Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, and Jamaal Charles – just a few of the stud RBs that Andy Reid has coached to become some of the most complete backs in both the passing and running game. After Jamaal Charles suffered a high-ankle sprain in last week’s loss to the Broncos, 2nd year RB Knile Davis spelled Charles to the tune of 2 Tds and 95 total yards on 28 touches. Dating back to last year, in the parts of the 3 games Charles has missed, Davis has racked up a total of 6 TDs in relief.
In Andy Reid’s last season with the Eagles in 2012, LeSean McCoy left a Nov. 18th game after suffering a concussion, forcing McCoy to miss the next two games. Bryce Brown came on in relief for McCoy and rolled along to a juicy 43 – 347 – 4 TD line across the two contests.
As we’re well aware, Andy Reid-coached offenses are highly dependent on the Running Back position, as well as their involvement in the passing game. Davis is a shifty, talented runner working in a run-first scheme and as long as JC25 is on the shelf, Davis will be a bonafide RB1. Waiver-wire vultures can feel comfortable flowing with Knile as their top add for the week.
The Broncos unleashed an even three-headed running attack in last night’s game vs. the Raiders. Knowshon Moreno received 11 carries, Montee Ball had 12, and Ronnie Hillman toted it nine times. But, that’s not to say there was a method to the madness for the divided workload. After the game, Hillman went on record to clarify the root cause for determining who would carry the “rock.”
Early in the 4th quarter, Hillman appeared to score on a 19 yard run, but was ruled down at the 1-yard line. After the Broncos called a timeout, the three Denver running backs huddled around and decided to leave it to rock, paper, scissors for who would get the crack at a goal line TD. Hillman threw rock, whereas Moreno and Ball both put up scissors. Hillman took the ensuing 1-yard carry into the end zone and the rest was history.
The Broncos RB situation will be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses, but don’t go pointing to Hillman’s 1-yard TD run as a sign of things to come in the Denver backfield.
Former heavyweight champion, Ken Norton Sr, passed away today at the age of 70. Norton’s boxing career was highlighted by capturing the heavyweight title in 1973 when he defeated Muhammad Ali.
As a seven-year-old, I had no real grasp on the sport of boxing. I couldn’t tell you much about Ken Norton Sr, or his last career fight that was six and a half years before I was born. Yet, one of my first favorite players in the NFL was his son, former 49ers Linebacker, Ken Norton Jr.
Acknowledging that Norton Jr. celebrated his touchdowns as a tribute to his father, I understood at an early age how endearing it was for Norton Jr.’s touchdown celebrations to transcend football.
I’ll always cherish one of the earliest sports memories from my childhood, exhibited below, and may the late legend, Ken Norton Sr, rest in peace.
Alex Smith – One of the contentions for Dwayne Bowe to be regarded as an overrated Fantasy WR coming into this season was the presence of Alex Smith at the helm in Kansas City. During his time with the 49ers, Smith struggled with what Colin Kaepernick excelled at doing; making Michael Crabtree an elite WR. Many thought this would carry over to his involvement in the Chiefs aerial attack, alongside Bowe –I digress. Smith has been been highly effective, totaling 390 yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions through his first two starts with his new club. Smith’s immediate schedule suggests no signs of slowing down, as he has three plus matchups across the next four weeks. Owned across just 24% of Yahoo! leagues, Smith will face a lowly Eagles defense, a banged up Giants secondary, and a mistake-prone Raiders defense who just lost Tyvon Branch to a significant leg injury.
The Bottom Heist: Alex Smith, much like the next wire heist below, is a plug-and-play backup QB who can provide relief if your starting QB has a tough matchup (i.e. the Seahawks defense). Until he proves otherwise, Smith is worth a bench stash in standard 12+ team leagues.
Philip Rivers – Just three years ago, Rivers was in the mix of elite NFL QBs. Tallying the 2nd best QB rating behind only Tom Brady, Rivers finished 5th in TD passes, but recorded less INT’s than all of the QBs in front of him, except for Brady. With the broken record that was Norv Turner, spinning off its needle, it’s safe to say that Rivers is benefiting from a changing of the guard in San Diego. Through two games, Rivers has completed 65.8 % of his passes, amassing 614 yards and 7 touchdowns. Not too shabby for a player owned in just 48% of ESPN leagues, a mark that significantly increased after today’s waiver claim period.
The Bottom Heist: As Rivers proved this past Sunday vs. the Eagles, he can still sling it, especially vs. a highly susceptible defense. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Rivers could end up being a legitimate starting QB1 if your starter were to go down, or perform ineffectively for a stretch of time.
Terrelle Pryor – Fantasy football is based on assumptions, nothing else. Year-to-year, owners get hype on certain players and are let down. Well, why not jump on the bandwagon of the former Buckeyes star who you can get for nothing. Pryor is a prime example of a player where nobody knows the cap to his ceiling. Believe it or not, Pryor led the NFL in rushing entering Monday’s games in Week 1, running for 112 yards on 13 carries, good for a 8.6 avg. Owned in just 11% of Yahoo leagues and 8.4% of ESPN leagues, Pryor has the potential to put a new engine into a broken down car in Oakland.
E.J. Manuel takes on the Patriots in his NFL debut
E.J. Manuel – Leading up to his NFL debut on Sunday, Manuel has been the subject of a lot of skepticism when the Bills decided to use the 16th overall pick. As is the case with Pryor, Manuel has higher potential than other QBs in the free agent basement. If you have a legitimate top 8 QB and a solid backup (i.e. Eli Manning), it would behoove you to try and net something for your backup, as you can replace that spot with somebody like Manuel. The NFL is becoming more geared towards having a QB possessing dual-threat capabilities. Manuel might not be this year’s Russell Wilson, but just remember it’s all about futures when loading up on your bench.