In Part Two of the Risers and Fallers list for Week 2, I will be discussing the running backs who have increased and decreased their values following Week 1 on the 2014 NFL season and whether you should Buy, Sell or Hold them.
RisersGet used to seeing this for a long, long time.
Carlos Hyde, SF:
Easily my favorite pick in fantasy drafts this season, Hyde looked even better than I could have hoped in his regular season debut. Rushing seven times for 50 yards and a score, Hyde looked explosive and powerful, exactly the type of running back the Niners covet. Though his value is capped with a healthy Frank Gore, he will still get touches weekly and there are a lot worse options to plug into your lineup with injuries and bye weeks for your top backs. In the event that Gore wears down or misses time due to injury, Hyde could immediately put up RB1 numbers on a team that loves to ground and pound. BUY BUY BUY.
Matt Forte, CHI:
In a week where a lot of the “top” running backs faltered or failed to reach their lofty expectations, Forte stood out as a do-it-all standout in a high-powered offense. Forte accumulated 169 total yards split nearly evenly on the ground and through the air. Though he failed to find his way into the endzone, his yardage output (along with his eight receptions on nine targets) was efficient and promising for his 2014 outlook. Don’t be shocked if he finishes as the top RB this season, especially in PPR leagues. BUY.
Knowshon Moreno, MIA:
After a tumultuous offseason with the knee surgery and talk of him being effective solely due to being part of Peyton’s record setting offense, Moreno silenced his critics Sunday with an outstanding performance. Though he didn’t start the game, he established himself as the main back on early downs, getting 24 carries for 134 yards and a score. His upside is not the same as it was last year, but if he can maintain this type of workload and stays healthy, Moreno finishing 2014 with high-end RB2 numbers is not as crazy as it sounded a week ago. BUY.
Terrence West and Isiah Crowell, CLE:
Ben Tate almost managed to make it through an entire half without getting hurt and then he remembered he was Ben Tate. Thankfully, the Browns planned accordingly (as hopefully you did too) by adding two talented backs behind Tate on their roster to fill in for such an occasion. Both West (16 carries, 100 yards) and Crowell (five carries, 32 yards and two scores) shined in their debut against the Steelers leading to even more confusion in the Cleveland backfield. While Crowell put up the superior fantasy point total thanks to the two scores, West will be the bigger beneficiary if Tate misses any time now or in the season (aka he should be playing a lot). I’m a major BUY on West as he will see the majority of the workload sans Tate and I’m an optimistic HOLD on Crowell if he continues to vulture TDs from Tate and West.
Top 5 Most Added (Yahoo):
Justin Forsett, BAL
Chris Ivory, NYJ
Terrence West, CLE
Mark Ingram, NO
Ahmad Bradshaw, IND
Zac Stacy, STL:
What. A. Nightmare. Stacy finished last season with a paltry 3.9 yards per carry which tells savvy owners two things: Stacy is an average talent at the running back position that is dependent entirely on volume (and touchdowns to a lesser extent) to establish fantasy value. News out of St. Louis was that Benny Cunningham was the most impressive back in Rams camp during the offseason, opening the doors to a competition for the lead back slot on the Rams putrid offense. Speaking of their putrid offense, neither Shaun Hill nor Austin Davis were able to come close to even a Kellen Clemens led Rams offense, which is seemingly impossible considering how horrific Clemens is as a starting quarterback. Stacy’s situation is now a dire one as he will have to be at his best just to flirt with RB2 numbers week to week as he fights off Cunningham and earns touches on an offense that will be behind more than they were last season. SELL before its too late.
Doug Martin, TB:
A week ago, I wrote about how Doug Martin was an ideal trade target here based on his impending role in the offense and the weapons on Tampa Bay supporting his ascent back to RB1 status heading into the 2014 season. Oh the power of Week 1. Martin looked horrible getting nine carries for nine yards and even got himself hurt in the process. I really hope this is just a Week 1 outlier against arguably the best front seven in the NFL and not the trend this year, otherwise, Doug Martin is a worse version of Ray Rice last year. HOLD and pray that Josh McCown is not as horrible as he was on Sunday.
Jamaal Charles, KC:
In 2013, there were only two games where Jamaal Charles failed to reach 100 total yards (lowest was 72 total yards) and only five games where he had less than 20 touches (and one of those he went for 5 TDs). On Sunday, JC only touched the ball 11 times, five less than his low of 16 last season, and accumulated a grand total of 34 yards. Coupled with the major losses on the Chiefs defense (Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito) and the overall ineptitude of Alex Smith on Sunday, the Chiefs offense looks like it will take a giant step back in year two of the Andy Reid era. That said, Reid admitted his mistake in not force-feeding the ball to his best weapon (and under utilizing Kelce as well) and we can expect a big bounce back week from JC. Temper expectations for him with how bad this offense could be, but he’s still Jamaal Charles and he will get his, albeit with less frequency than last year. HOLD but could jump up in down in value all year long.
Top 5 Most Dropped (Yahoo):
Ray Rice, BAL
Jonathan Dwyer, ARI
Ben Tate, CLE
Danny Woodhead, SD
Andre Williams, NYG