i'll go with Gillislee at RB2 and Thomas at the Flex. (see observations below)
Mike Gillislee vs. CAR
Carolina has given up the 4th fewest fantasy points to Running Backs this season. CAR held down SFF and BUF in the first two weeks. But the NOS backs gained 126 yards last week. Mark Ingram gained 56 yards on 14 carries and Adrian Petersen gained 33 yards on 9 carries. So Gillislee could find some running room if CAR focuses on stopping the NEP passing attack.
Jonathan Stewart @ NEP
New England has given up the most fantasy points to Running Backs this season. NEP have given up 102 yards receiving to RBs against KCC. They gave up another 75 yard receiving to the NOS backs. And HOU RBs got 72 yard receiving. After giving up 148 yards rushing to Kareem Hunt, no back has gotten more than 56 yards. And no back has scored a touchdown since KCC backs scored 4 TDs in week one. Stewart is averaging 54 yards per game. And it should be McCaffrey that takes advantage of NEP in the passing game.
Chris Johnson vs. SFF
San Francisco has given up the 8th most fantasy points to Running Backs this season. SFF has faced CAR (ranked 13th in rushing), SEA (18th) and LAR (20th) in the first three weeks. All three teams rushed for over 115 yards. ARI is ranked 31st in rushing and they are 29th in rushing attempts. Don’t expect Johnson to get many carries. He got 11 and 12 carries in the two games that he’s played.
Terrence West vs. PIT
Pittsburgh has given up the 5th most fantasy points to Running Backs this season. PIT gave up 218 yards rushing and another 50 yards receiving to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. West is averaging 42 yards per game. He won’t get the 23 carries the Howard got. He may not get the 12 carries that Cohen got. And West is not involved in the passing game.
Demaryius Thomas vs. OAK
Oakland has given up the 11th fewest fantasy points to Wide Receivers this season. This is the best set of WRs OAK has faced this season. But DEN is a running team. They rank 20th in the league in yards passing. Thomas is still averaging 78 yards per game. But he has not scored. In fact, he has only 1 target from inside the 20 yard line. OAK gave up 2 TDs to Jermaine Kearse and 1 TD to Josh Doctson. So maybe this is the week Thomas finds paydirt.
J.J. Nelson vs. SFF
San Francisco has given up the 9th most fantasy points to Wide Receivers this season. SFF gave up 106 and 108 yards to Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. And ARI is ranked 3rd in passing yards, but they only have 4 TD passes. Nelson is averaging 54 yards per game with 2 TDs. But he also has a hamstring injury. The injury limited him to 3 targets last week with no catches. I worry that with Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown healthy and possibly John Brown returning from injury.
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