Few things will get me as excited this week as the knowledge that I get to start David Johnson against the 49ers. The same 49ers who have allowed a 100-yard rusher in seven straight games. The same 49ers defense that has allowed big days to the likes of Mark Ingram and Jacquizz Rodgers. The same 49ers who gave up 157 rushing yards to Johnson back in Week 5. If you can find me a better potential RB start (or fantasy start of any kind) than DJ against the Niners this week, I'll let you do my running back rankings for the week.
whispers Please find a better fantasy start this week.
I mentioned Mark Ingram's big day against San Francisco (171 scrimmage yards, 2 TDs) but Tim Hightower (102 yards, TD) wasn't too bad either. Maybe the Saints are turning over a new leaf now that they've found a pair of backs that can be productive in both the ground and air games. It would certainly be welcomed by anyone who has Ingram on their fantasy roster. After plenty of fantasy analysts -- including yours truly -- spent the week burying Ingram it appears that rumors of his fantasy demise were greatly exaggerated. Or he was playing the Niners. Pick the one that best fits your personal narrative.
Well, Ajayi didn't run for 200 yards this week so obviously he's washed. But seriously, the Dolphins have at least figured out that part of their offense. Miami has rushed for 615 yards over the past three games and Ajayi has solidly grabbed the job of workhorse running back. This is a far cry from Week 1 when Ajayi was left at home and the team gave every indication that they wanted nearly anyone EXCEPT Ajayi to run the football. Fortunately for them (and us), Adam Gase and his coaching staff have come to their senses and clarified the running back situation.
Not only is Matt Forte stiff-arming Father Time right now, but the Jets are helping him do it. The veteran back is playing more than 64 percent of the snaps and dominating the backfield touches. On Sunday, that meant just 13 total touches (which Forte turned into 97 scrimmage yards and a touchdown) but the previous two weeks it was a combined 61 total touches. Either way, the point is that Forte is the primary running back in an offense that is going to run the football. There's little indication that things are changing soon. That's a relief.
Part of the reason the Jets might want to lean on Matt Forte is because it's still hard to trust Ryan Fitzpatrick. That's good news for anyone streaming defenses. The new rule is to start any defense going against the Jets. Gang Green hasn't been great at protecting its quarterbacks this season while Fitzpatrick makes up for poor offensive line play by turning the ball over a lot. The Dolphins entered Sunday night as the second-highest scoring fantasy defense in Week 9. In case you're wondering ... the Jets host the Rams next week.
Can anyone please explain to me what's going on in the Eagles backfield? Darren Sproles is allegedly the lead back. He played 59 snaps in Week 9, compared to eight for Ryan Mathews. Sproles had 16 touches compared to Mathews' six. Yet it was Mathews who finished with the higher fantasy point total thanks to a touchdown. And that's the way it's been all season. Everything has pointed to Sproles being the preferred back in the offense, but Mathews has been the more successful fantasy runner. It's like we're all living in The Upside Down.
I'm still waiting.
Forget the Browns record this season ... and for a moment ignore what happened on Sunday. The Browns are showing that they're trying to build something. Terrelle Pryor has been a baller all year, Cody Kessler has been better than anticipated and we're excited to see what Corey Coleman can do in the offense. I'm calling it now, the 2017 Browns will be to fantasy what the 2015 Jaguars were.
Wait ... what?"
And one for the road ...
Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. His snapchat (marcasg9) is a mixture of fantasy football and shenanigans. Instead of going to the USC football game on Saturday, he sat home and studied his ballot measures. Partially so he could lord over other. And partially because it's a reminder that everyone should get out and vote on Tuesday. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Twitter too.