Charles, Forsett Injured; Barnidge, Snead Not Flukes
Jamaal Charles Injured
The Kansas City Chiefs suffered an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears but the real damage was the loss of running back Jamaal Charles, who reportedly tore his ACL and will not play again this season. Charles went down in a heap without making any contact and immediately grabbed his right knee; he required help to leave the field and did not return. Losing Charles is bad news for his Fantasy owners, but those of you who planned ahead and rostered Knile Davis for just such an emergency are in for a surprise; Davis may not get the starting running back job to himself. In fact, he might not be the starter at all.
Last week, when Charles needed a breather, Coach Andy Reid chose to bring in rookie RB Charcandrick West, who totaled seven carries for 31 yards (4.4 ypc) and caught one pass for a five yard gain. Davis had just two carries for two yards. Overall, Davis is considered a very average running back, as he’s averaged just 3.4 yards per carry over the course of his career. Given that the Chiefs are already in a 1-4 hole and sitting at the bottom of the AFC West Division, Reid may choose to see what they have in West, or he could go with a committee approach. Davis owners should hang onto him, as he could still have some value going forward. However, if West is available, he is worthy of a high waiver claim or FAAB bid, as he could potentially become the focal point of the Chiefs’ offense going forward.
Justin Forsett Injured
[caption id="attachment_95192" align="alignright" width="359"] Jamaal Charles' 2015 season is over. Photo Credit: Dave Kopp[/caption]
There were several stunning endings to the early Sunday games, perhaps none more so than the Cleveland Browns beating the Baltimore Ravens in overtime by a score of 33-30. To make matters worse for the Ravens, running back Justin Forsett limped off the field late in the fourth quarter with an injury to his right ankle and did not return to the game. Forsett had a strong game to that point with 121 rushing yards and a touchdown, plus four receptions for another 49 yards.
Since Lorenzo Taliaferro was inactive for the game Javorius “Buck” Allen was the only other active running back for the Ravens. He took over the running back duties after Forsett was injured and was the only running back on the field for Baltimore during overtime. If Forsett is unable to play in Week 6, when the Ravens will play the 49ers in San Francisco, Allen could be named the starter, although Taliaferro could certainly be used for goal line and short yardage carries if healthy. Allen may not be worth claiming as a substitute for Forsett. When pressed into service against Cleveland, Allen gained a total of 58 yards on eight carries, however, 44 of those yards were picked up on one play. It would probably be best to set your sights on a different running back if Forsett is unable to play against San Francisco.
Barnidge is No Fluke
On Saturday, I traded a few emails with Pat Mayo of The FNTSY Sports Network over his misspelling of Cleveland Browns TE Gary Barnidge’s name in one of his articles. He wrote back to me that the misspelling was sort of a running joke on his show (The Pat Mayo Hour) and that he often misspelled it because Barnidge was an insignificant Fantasy player and nobody cared. To be honest, I even got in on the fun by sending my own little abominations of Barnidge’s name to Pat to use (Burnitch, Barnditch).
Well, the joke’s on both of us now. Barnidge first opened eyes in Week 3 against the Raiders with six receptions, 105 yards and a TD. Then in Week 4, he had another six receptions for 75 yards and a TD against the Chargers. Unfortunately, the Browns didn’t win either of those games. Of course, you already know they pulled off the big win against the big bad Ravens this week. Gary Barnidge contributed eight receptions for 139 yards and a TD, the top performance by any tight end for Week 5 and one of the Top 5 performances for any receiver this week. Clearly, Barnidge has to be taken seriously as a Fantasy commodity for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to recommend him as a player to target in a trade. A look at the schedule is all you need to dissuade you. The next four weeks feature the Broncos, Rams, Cardinals and Bengals, which are four of the toughest defensive teams in the league this season. Things get a little easier after the Browns’ Week 11 bye, so if you own Barnidge, don’t get discouraged if there is a dry spell during the next four or five weeks. Hang onto him and know that you should get more production from him during your Fantasy playoff weeks. For more on Barnidge and the Browns, check out this video:
A Need for Snead
Those of you getting tired of waiting for some of the second-year wide receivers to start producing (ahem, Mike Evans) may want to take a look at Willie Snead of the New Orleans Saints. Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Snead was targeted a total of 11 times, catching six passes for 141 yards. One of those was a 59-yard catch and run on a sweet little pass from Drew Brees, who clearly trusts Snead and has developed a nice rhythm with him.
The Saints will play the Atlanta Falcons on just three full days rest, as they will tilt on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. The Falcons’ secondary can be picked apart by a veteran like Brees. As we saw during Week 5, a relatively poor QB like Kirk Cousins was able to do considerable damage throwing to just one veteran receiver (Pierre Garcon) and a bevy of rookies. Brees should be able to connect with Snead, who is second on the team in targets over the past three games with 24.
The Question of the Week
I can play either Derek Carr or Eli Manning at QB. My opponent has Odell Beckham Jr. Should I play Carr because he has Beckham?
Questions like this come in to our Email Advice service every single week. Here’s what I told this guy and what I tell everyone who asks a question like this. You’re overthinking things. You cannot control what your opponent does. You can only control what you do with your team, and you have an obligation to start your best players every single week regardless of what your opponent does. If you have two similarly ranked players, look at the matchup to make your decision. In this case, Eli Manning is clearly the better play. Carr has played well, but he has a dreadful matchup against the Broncos defense.
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