Ryan Mathews will be out of action for at least a month which means Donald Brown is a must own. However, Donald Brown is not universally owned. After just 9 carries in his first two games Brown racked up 31 carries on Sunday against the Bills. He recorded just 62 rushing yards against a very tough Buffalo front seven but he did tack on 5 receptions for 27 yards. Brown is a lock for 20 plus touches per game for the next month with Mathews out of action. Donald Brown is still available in 10-35% of fantasy leagues.
Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 65 yards on 9 carries today against the Jaguars. He added 2 receptions for 18 yards and a receiving touchdown. He has averaged 12.3 touches per game through his first three games but expect that number to increase due to Trent Richardson’s sub 4.0 yards per carry average(again). Richardson is playing decently(for him) but Bradshaw is averaging 6.0 yards per carry thus far this season. Bradshaw also has 3 touchdowns and 0 fumbles to Richardson’s 0 touchdowns and 2 fumbles, 1 lost. Bradshaw is available in 15-30% of fantasy leagues. He is a fringe play at 12.3 touches per game but time will sort out this issue.
Donald Brown was back in action Sunday against the Titans after missing two games with a knee injury.
Analysis: Brown is under the radar at the moment due to his knee surgery and the layoff but he did perform well Sunday. Brown was on the end of 14 carries for 80 rushing yards. He’s averaging 15 carries per game in his five games this year making him one valuable lower tier back. He does not help out much in PPR leagues with only 3 receptions thus far this year.
At this point Donald Brown is available in well over thirty percent of leagues but he will be one of the hottest pick ups going into week nine. He may only have one touchdown this year but his workload has been consistent and his 4.3 yards per carry average is respectable. He is certainly more of a fantasy asset than his backfield mate Vick Ballard.
Going forward Brown will split some carries with Ballard but expect 15-20 carries per game and just hope for the touchdowns to come. If he’s available there is no reason not to pick him up.
Rookie quarterbacks who come into the league and have instant success almost always have a solid running game and defense to lean on. In 2011 the Colts finished 26th in total rushing yards and 25th in total defense.
Analysis: Maybe I’m the only one who isn’t on the Andrew Luck bandwagon but I just can’t see it. The Pac-12 is just an awful defensive conference. On top of that, Stanford had an awesome offensive line and a great running game(20th in nation). Take Luck’s three biggest games last year(Oregon, USC, OkSt), he threw four interceptions and only ran for twenty yards on eighteen carries.
Let’s face it, the Colts have tons of issues aside from Jim Irsay’s unparelleled narcissism. Jacob Tamme is now in Denver and there is a reason Peyton didn’t want Dallas Clark and neither do the Colts… he’s a shell of his former self. Donald Brown has yet to run for 700 yards in a season and Delone Carter certainly is not the answer. The defense will not be helping Luck out either, they allowed 26.9 points per game, fifth worst in the NFL. As a result Luck will be throwing tons of second half picks playing catch up. Keep in mind that AFC South rivals the Jags, Texans and Titans all finished in the top eleven in points allowed in 2011(under 21 PPG). Expect one “unlucky” fantasy year for the “next” John Elway.
Chicago running back Matt Forte sprained his right MCL Sunday in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Forte is expected to miss two to four weeks which will leave fantasy owners scrambling for a replacement.
Analysis: Marion Barber carried the rock thirteen times Sunday against the Chiefs. Although he only managed forty-four rushing yards, his fantasy outlook going forward looks solid. He now has double digit carries in back to back weeks and four in nine games this year. He also has a surprising five touchdowns in those nine games and expect more over the next few weeks. He definitely isn’t a threat to catch the ball but he should have even more of a monopoly on the rock in goal line situations.
Other possible replacements don’t make as much sense nor do they have the touchdown potential of Marion Barber. Kansas City’s Thomas Jones has carried the ball twenty-nine times in his past two contests but he only has seventy-three yards to show for it. Donald Brown is still widely available and he has at least fourteen carries in four consecutive games.
With another fine rushing performance against the Panthers Sunday, Donald Brown is quietly putting together a solid four weeks of fantasy numbers.
Analysis: Although the Colts are awful, Donald Brown has been relatively impressive recently. Brown rushed for eighty yards on fourteen carries with a score Sunday. Brown now has double digit carries in his last four games with two scores. On the other side of the coin, Joseph Addai only managed seven carries for twenty-three yards against Carolina in his first game back from a hamstring injury.
As of Sunday, Brown is only owned in about ten percent of fantasy leagues. Backs who are this fresh this deep into a season who are getting double digit carries need to be seriously considered. He may be a fringe RB3/FLEX play but he is certainly worth owning at the moment. Meanwhile, Joseph Addai looked old and slow in the first quarter on Sunday. Donald Brown is the hot hand in Indy and in standard leagues we may not have seen his peak in terms of numbers this year.
Keep expecting double digit carries going forward from Donald Brown while Joseph Addai continues to look fifty-six years old in running back years. Brown is widely available and the touches are there.