On Thursday, Dallas head coach Jason Garrett offered these comments about his backfield:
"Different runners will get different opportunities here in Felix' absence,'' Garrett said. "We have to be prepared for each of those guys to be able to do anything, play on first and second down and also third down.
"We feel good about the options we have at that backup running back position and we're certainly hopeful that Felix can get back quickly. In his place, these guys will just step in and play. We anticipate them sharing the workload.''
So that quote shouldn't make anyone feel great about starting DeMarco in Week 7, even though the Cowboys are facing a defense that's allowed a league-worst 163.0 rushing yards per game. Tashard Choice will get touches, and we could see a cameo appearance by Phillip Tanner, an undrafted rookie who impressed in the preseason. It's a pileup. Murray finished with more touches than Choice in Week 6 (11 to 8), but neither player put anything remarkable on tape. DeMarco gained just 39 total yards against the Patriots, while Tashard finished with 30. Murray also had an ugly drop.
Bottom line: I've ranked Murray as my No. 20 running back this week, with Choice at No. 31. If you want a percentage-of-workload guess, let's go with 55-35-10, Murray-Choice-Tanner. But as Garrett himself said, "different runners will get different opportunities." Neither Murray (3.0 YPC) nor Choice (2.6) have shown us anything over the first six weeks. For that reason, when I get questions like this one...
...I'm going to favor the superior player with the guaranteed workload, despite the difficulty of his match-up. If you want a different answer, ask a different guru.
I've fielded a fair number of Jermichael Finley questions this week, too, following three relatively useless games from the Packers tight end. Here's an example Q, from a back-and-forth exchange:Greg Jennings has clearly been the receiver to own in the Green Bay, if you can have just one. But let's be careful not to dismiss Finley. The per-game targets break down like this for the Packers receiving corps:
Greg Jennings, 8.0
Jermichael Finley, 5.8
Jordy Nelson, 5.2
Donald Driver, 3.5
James Jones, 3.5
James Starks, 3.3
Finley hasn't disappeared from the game-plan, even if you're not seeing him in the 90-second highlight vids. Have a little patience. The greatest threat to any Green Bay receiver, of course, is the possibility of a first-half blowout, as we saw last Sunday in the St. Louis game. The Pack had 24 points at the break, then coasted to a 24-3 win. It's entirely possible that the same scenario will play out in Week 7 at Minnesota. I'll still buy Finley, if you're willing to sell.
And just in case you think I'm dodging the Philip Rivers question above...
I understand your concern about Rivers' match-up in Week 7, but I don't share it. The Jets D has allowed 300-plus yards to the two elite QBs they've faced this season. In New York's other four match-ups, they've merely faced Luke McCown, Jason Campbell (and lost), Joe Flacco (another loss), and Matt Moore. Not exactly a murderer's row. (And if Brandon Marshall didn't have such a miserable game, Moore would have had two passing TDs).
I wouldn't sit Rivers now, or in any other week. The Chargers have had two weeks to prep, while the Jets are coming off a Monday nighter. Antonio Gates should return this week and Vincent Jackson put in a full practice on Thursday. No matter who visits Revis Island this week — Gates, Jackson or Malcom Floyd — the receiver will have a half-foot height advantage. In fact, the last time V-Jax visited the island, he had a lovely time, enjoying many tropical drinks (7 catches, 111 yards).
This next tweet deals with a pair of issues worth discussing: 1) Roddy White, and 2) return yardage leagues.
The guy who posed the question above happens to also play in a league that awards points for return yardage, which, for the record, is perfectly fine. That's why he owns Brandon Banks. But I'm not crazy about the specific scoring system in this league, because they treat receiving and rushing yards the same as returns: 1-point per 10 yards. In their format, Banks already has 58.6 fantasy points, despite not having a catch or a touchdown this season. He's the highest-scoring wideout on this roster (unless it's also a PPR). Seems wrong, no? Next year, maybe consider going 1-point per 20 or 25.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/American Football
- DeMarco Murray
- Jermichael Finley
- Philip Rivers
- Tashard Choice