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The Jets look like a tough matchup on paper, and their defense deserves credit for that. But when these teams met a couple of weeks ago, Stevenson balled out. He rushed 16 times for 71 yards, but thrived in the passing game, catching all seven of his targets for 72 yards. That was good for 21.3 PPR points, which was enough to make him the RB10 in Week 8. That is all without scoring one touchdown. Given how strong the Jets secondary has been playing, I would anticipate Stevenson to stay heavily involved in the passing game. Stevenson’s low game since Week 5 is 16 fantasy points, and he has scored more than 20 in three of his last four games. He is matchup-proof and a RB whom you start each and every week.
Patterson is coming off a dud in which he played just 37 percent of the snaps and scored just three fantasy points. But I am willing to give him a pass. It was a short week in very bad weather conditions. The Falcons could have just been playing it safe with their best RB after he returned the week prior from a knee injury that landed him on IR. This is also about the matchup. The Bears have allowed 25.9 fantasy PPG to RBs this season and 26.7 per game in the past month. Both rank inside the top eight in the NFL. They have also allowed the fifth-most rushing yards over expectation on outside runs (176) as well as the most total yards on those runs. The Bears have allowed 1,024 rushing yards on outside run; no other team has allowed more than 970 and only two others are over 900. Patterson has ran well on outside runs this season, averaging just under 5.0 yards per carry. Four of his five carries last week were outside the tackle. Tyler Allgeier is a sleeper in this great matchup as well. But Patterson can be started as an RB2 with upside.
The Washington backfield has been a tough one to figure out this season. After having Robinson as a sit last week, he went off for 86 yards and one touchdown. I will take that L. Robinson played 52 percent of the snaps with 26 carries. Antonio Gibson played 48 percent of the snaps with 14 carries, three targets and a touchdown. My best read on this backfield is that it's situational. Robinson is best when the Commanders are playing with a lead and he can run downhill. Gibson is more of the change-of-pace and pass-catching back. There’s also the possibility it’s a matchup-based thing and could change week to week. But I feel confident this is a good Robinson week because of the matchup. The Texans have allowed by far the most fantasy PPG to RBs this season at 32.4 per game. That number jumps up to 38.1 in the past month. Running backs routinely explode against them. They have also allowed the second-most rushing yards over expectation on inside runs and the fourth-most on outside runs. They just cannot stop running backs. It's also a situation in which the Commanders could easily be playing with the lead. That means lots of work for Robinson, who is in play as an RB2 this week. Gibson is a sleeper in this great matchup as well.
Singletary was originally a sit last week, but I amended that as the week went on given the Josh Allen elbow injury. Singletary scored 15.7 fantasy points last week, his second-most this season. He did so after scoring not one, but two rushing touchdowns, his first TDs of the season. Singletary has been more involved as of late, with at least 13 carries in three of the last four games. Last week's workload could have been built in to help limit Allen’s passing attempts, but that is something the Bills might have to deal with for a bit. Additionally, this is largely about the matchup. The Browns have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season at 30.4 . That includes 12 rushing touchdowns and three through the air given up to the position. Plus, they’ve allowed the third-most rushing yards over expectation on inside runs. That bodes well for Singletary, who has 52 of 101 Bills inside rush attempts this season. He does not bring the safest floor, but if there was ever a week to start Singletary as an RB2 or flex, it's in this matchup.
Last week, I originally said to sit Swift. But after Dan Campbell said that they were set to get Swift more work, I changed my tune. Well, it turns out that Campbell is a liar. Swift played fewer than 20 snaps for a second straight game. In total, he played 31 percent of the snaps, finishing with 12 yards and one touchdown on six carries and three targets. He played the same number of snaps and had the same number of targets as Justin Jackson. That’s right, the Lions are now bringing a third running back into the equation here. Swift finished fourth on his own team in rushing yards behind the two other RBs and Jared Goff. The touchdown somewhat salvaged his day, but you can’t rely on that weekly. Swift still clearly is not right and on a pitch count. Until we see him get his usual workload, you can get away from him in fantasy, especially against the Giants, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy PPG to backs this season at 19.4 per game. There is far too much potential to do anything except sit Swift, but unfortunately, that is where we are at with him right now.
Speaking of running backs scoring one touchdown to salvage their day, can I introduce you to Darrell Henderson Jr.? While he led the Rams by playing 57 percent of the snaps, he had just six carries for 21 yards. He also caught his lone target for 11 yards. That would be 4.2 fantasy points if not for the touchdown, which pushed him just into double digits. Still, Cam Akers is not going away, and now we have seen Kyren Williams involved as well. That duo combined to take seven carries and four targets off of Henderson’s plate. The 10.2 fantasy points in Week 10 was just under what he scored in the past two games combined (10.6). Henderson has scored single digits in five of his last seven games, and this week he has a tough matchup against the Saints, who are just outside the top 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to RBs this season. The floor and ceiling remain too low to trust in this matchup.
The last time the Jets played the Patriots, it was Robinson’s first game with New York after was traded mid-week, so we will not hold Robinson's lack of production against him. In that game he rushed five times for 17 yards and had one target. In the Jets' next game, he carried the ball 13 times for 48 yards and added five yards and one touchdown on his two catches. Robinson played 40 percent of the snaps in that game. Perhaps he has a larger role coming out of the bye, but so far he has been on the short side of a platoon. He also has mostly been used on the ground. But this is largely about the matchup as well. The Patriots have allowed 17.4 fantasy PPG to running backs this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. That includes just one touchdown on the ground and one through the air. Plus, it is no secret that Bill Belichick is going to look to take away the Jets' run game and make Zach Wilson beat New England. It has been his formula for a long time against young QBs. Robinson is a back splitting time, who has not shown the same explosiveness that he had in prior years and who could have questionable usage in the passing game in one of the toughest matchups a running back could have. I would avoid him in this one.
If you are reading this, take solace in the fact that you had as many fantasy points and touches as Edwards-Helaire did in Week 10. He played all of four snaps and finished with two targets and zero catches. Yup, a big fat zero in terms of fantasy points. That was after he played just 17 percent of the snaps in Week 9, seeing four carries and two targets in that one. The former first-round pick is more than just in the doghouse -- he is the odd man out in the Chiefs' backfield. Isiah Pacheco is the lead ball-carrier for the Chiefs, while Jerick McKinnon is the top passing-downs option. That leaves Edwards-Helaire just fighting for scraps. Edwards-Helaire has scored single digit fantasy points in every game since Week 5. I don’t care how good the matchup is for the Chiefs backs, there is no way at all that you can possibly trust Edwards-Helaire this week. He is droppable at this point, which means he is certainly not startable. Do not fall for this trap.