Arian Foster, Ray Rice and Darren Sproles will likely be the most popular RB choices this week. Which two are you going with and why?
This one is easy for me. I started Rice in the wild card round so I can get double points from him in the divisional round, triple points in the conference round (if the Ravens beat the Texans) and so forth, so he's a lock in my backfield. I'm also going to continue to start Sproles, who was in my starting lineup last week as well, to gain those all-important double points. Yes, Foster was awesome last week -- and he's my choice to be the No. 1 overall pick in 2012 fantasy drafts -- but it's going to be tough sledding in Baltimore with a rookie quarterback in T.J. Yates under center. If you started Foster last week, kudos -- you should start him again to get those double points. But I have a hard time seeing the Texans getting past the Ravens this weekend.
I'm going with Ray Rice and Darren Sproles because Rice is the most complete back in the postseason, with the highest chance of going to the Super Bowl. Sproles has been a fantasy machine this season, and like Rice, has a very good shot of going to the Super Bowl ... thus giving me an opportunity to get the multiple fantasy points. I would be surprised if the Texans beat the Ravens in Baltimore, and Foster was to stay fantasy relevant for another round (in the AFC Championship).
How about Ahmad Bradshaw? Everybody is so quick to put the Packers in the Super Bowl, they are ignoring the Giants. I can't be in the minority of people who loaded up with Giants players to make a run in the challenge. Or maybe I am and it will lead me to the title. I'm pairing Bradshaw with Arian Foster, because I had both guys in the first round and it wouldn't surprise me if the Texans beat the Ravens, so I will roll the dice.
- Jason SmithNFL.com
Rice, Sproles the only choices
To me this is a very easy choice. Obviously, you're going to lose either Foster or Rice after this week, so you're only going to pick one of them. It's as simple as who do you think is going to win, and I'm taking the Ravens over Houston, making Rice the pick. But also because I think Baltimore has the best chance to upset New England and make it to the Super Bowl. Darren Sproles, seriously, may be THE best Playoff Challenge running back this season. Think about it, who are the favorites for Indianapolis? New England, Green Bay and New Orleans. Sproles has been better and more involved than de facto number one RBs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Ryan Grant. So he could be THE most valuable RB when you factor in production along with the teams' possibility of making it to the Super Bowl. If this doesn't show you how de-valued the running back position has become in the NFL, nothing else will.
A lot of this revolves around who you selected to play in the first round, and how you might be playing catch up with other players that performed better than you. I took Arian Foster, so obviously I'm rolling with him for the double points. I'll lay off Ray Rice considering I'd be guaranteed to be down a back for the conference championships. That brings me to the choice between Frank Gore and Ryan Grant. Part of me wants to ride Gore because he's not owned by very many Playoff Challenge players, but I simply can't see the 49ers winning. Since the Giants defense made my Michael Turner selection look foolish, I'm tempted to take Grant and ride him all the way to the Super Bowl. So, Grant it is, and lets hope for cold weather and a lot of handoffs.
Who would have thought it, but the three best running backs left in the Playoff Challenge are facing three of the NFL's toughest defenses this weekend. We went with Arian Foster because he's Arian Foster and we weren't disappointed. So it wouldn't make a lot of sense to dump him when we're set up for double points. Similarly, we went with Ray Rice waiting for the chance for double points in the divisional round. Yes, we're going to lose one of those two guys by the end of Sunday, but the chance to get solid scoring from two of the NFL's top backs is too good to ignore. Plus, we can always replace one with Darren Sproles (if the Saints advance) against either the Packers or Giants -- both of whom struggled against the run this year.