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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Fantasy Football

Charcandrick West fantasy – Pick him up with Charles out

Charcandrick West Chiefs

Charcandrick West is a good player to add to your fantasy football team with Jamaal Charles potentially out for the season.

Charles got hurt against the Chicago Bears on Sunday on a non-contact play, and the Chiefs reportedly fear that he has a torn ACL. An injury like that would take Charles out for the season and leave a big hole at running back for KC.

Enter Charcandrick West.

West carried the load for the Chiefs after Charles exited the game. He rushed for 31 yards on seven carries.

West is a second-year back from Abilene Christian who entered Week 5 with just 17 yards on five career carries.

There are two things going against West as a top fantasy player to add.

1) He plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, whose offense does not look good. KC’s passing game is weak as heck, which doesn’t give them a ton of options that will open things up for West. The counterpoint to that is that Andy Reid tends to like featuring a running back when he has a good one.

2) How good of an actual player is West? If he’s not too talented — and we don’t think he is — then even if he gets 15 carries a game for a few weeks, it won’t do much good if he’s only putting together 50 yards and not too many touchdowns.

We also would expect the Chiefs to bring in a few more running backs as competition.

For now, if you are pretty desperate at running back and just want someone who will be getting significant carries for a few weeks, West is a good pickup. Otherwise his upside is limited, so don’t rush out to get him.

Photo: Charcandrick West/Twitter

Boobie Dixon, Boom Herron fantasy options with Karlos Williams injury


The Buffalo Bills may find themselves reaching way down the depth chart for a running back this weekend, and Boobie Dixon is expected to be the beneficiary.

LeSean McCoy is still sidelined with a hamstring injury and rookie Karlos Williams has not practiced this week because of a concussion. If Williams is unable to clear the concussion protocol, he will not be able to play against the Tennessee Titans.

That leaves Dixon, who is dealing with a calf injury of his own but is expected to be active, as the next man up. The Bills also brought in former Indianapolis Colts running back Dan “Boom” Herron, and at least one reporter would not be surprised if Herron ends up receiving more touches than Dixon.

The Titans rank 20th in the NFL with 113.7 rushing yards allowed per game, so the Bills are going to try to establish the run no matter who lines up in their backfield. Both Boom and Boobie — easily the best nicknamed backfield in the NFL this week — are going to get their chances if Williams is inactive.

Ethan Haskell: Draft Kings employee won $350,000 on FanDuel

Ethan Haskell DraftKings

Ethan Haskell is a DraftKings employee at the center of a huge scandal involving daily fantasy sports games after he won $350,000 playing an NFL game on rival company FanDuel.

Haskell finished second out of 229,885 entrants on a FanDuel “$5M NFL Sunday Million” NFL competition in Week 3 in order to cash in on his $350,000 prize. A look at his fantasy profiles show that he has been raking it in big on FanDuel all year. It’s enough to make one wonder how he’s been so successful — could it be due to insider information?

Haskell’s undeniable success at daily fantasy sports brings into question what kind of data company employees have access to, and if or how they’re able to use it to their advantage by playing on competitor sites (the companies say they ban employees from playing on their own sites). However, DraftKings does have language allowing for employees to play to use their site.

“DraftKings employees may use the Website, and will from time to time do so for the purpose of testing the site user experience, socializing and competing with customers to build community, and other reasonable and fair uses at the discretion of DraftKings.”

What could all this mean? First let’s start with the basics.

Who is Ethan Haskell?


Karlos Williams a fantasy option with LeSean McCoy likely out


LeSean McCoy is battling a hamstring injury that could force him to miss Week 4 against the New York Giants. That would thrust rookie running back Karlos Williams into a starting role and make him a great one-week fantasy option.

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday that it “doesn’t look good” for McCoy to play against the G-Men. Given the way Williams has looked so far, it would make no sense to rush McCoy back at less than 100 percent.

Williams, a fifth-round draft pick out of Florida State, has averaged a whopping 7.8 yards per carry through Buffalo’s first three games. He has also scored three touchdowns and been the team’s primary goal line back. Even if McCoy plays, Williams has earned his share of the workload.

For those in need of running back help, Williams should be a good flex option for the rest of the season and could flirt with RB1 status for any games McCoy might miss. Williams is a must-add in all formats.

Photo: Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Rawls a fantasy option if Marshawn Lynch is out


Marshawn Lynch has been dealing with a hamstring injury that forced him to leave Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Lynch underwent an MRI on Monday and is scheduled to be reevaluated later in the week. In the event that he can’t play against the Detroit Lions, Thomas Rawls would be a good fantasy option to consider for Week 4.

Rawls, an undrafted rookie free agent, carried the ball 18 times for 109 yards against the Bears. Chicago’s defense is horrible, but anytime you can rack up 6.1 yards per carry you are going to grab the attention of your coaches.

If Lynch is out, the Seahawks would also use veteran running back Fred Jackson quite a bit. Still, Jackson is more suited for the passing down role, whereas Rawls would likely get the bulk of the early down work.

As we know, Lynch is one of the toughest and most durable players in the league. The Seahawks are playing the Lions on Monday night, so that gives Marshawn an extra day to rest. There is still a good chance he will play, but Rawls would be a solid one-week fill-in if Lynch can’t go. He is also clearly the handcuff back to own behind Lynch in Seattle.

Photo: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles fantasy options if DeMarco Murray is out

DeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray is dealing with an injured hamstring and may not play against the New York Jets on Sunday. That means fantasy owners might have to turn to Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles for at least a week.

That is, if you trust the Philadelphia Eagles’ running game.

Murray missed practice on Thursday after leaving early Wednesday, and Chip Kelly said he is unsure if he will play against the Jets. If Murray is out, Mathews would likely handle the early-down work against Jets. Sproles might get a few more carries, but his role shouldn’t change much as he has already been the passing-down back and more of a receiving threat.

While you may have no choice but to plug Mathews in if you are a Murray owner, the Philly backfield is a situation to avoid this weekend if possible. The Eagles rushed for a total of seven yards last week in a 20-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 1, they mustered just 63 yards on the ground against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Eagles’ running game has been a total mess so far. How will it fare on the road against a stout New York Jets defense? Utilize at your own risk.

Lorenzo Taliaferro a fantasy football player to watch

Lorenzo-TaliaferroBaltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro returned from a preseason MCL sprain last week, and he immediately took on a significant role in the offense.

Taliaferro basically split time evenly with Justin Forsett, who enjoyed a breakout season last year as Baltimore’s featured back. More importantly, Taliaferro worked as the goal line and red zone back and vultured a touchdown away from Forsett. He finished with seven carries for 34 yards and a score. Forsett rushed 15 times for 68 yards.

Was the amount of work Taliaferro got a fluke? Forsett feels his coaches were just trying to keep him fresh.

“It’s just a rotation that we had going on,” he said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “Coach was trying to keep me fresh throughout the game. So, we do that every now and again.”

Forsett will turn 30 next month, which can often be a death sentence for an NFL running back’s career. He’s not going to suddenly disappear, but there’s a legitimate possibility the Ravens could move to a timeshare with him and Taliaferro. If Taliaferro continues to receive goal line work, he will need to be rostered in all fantasy football leagues.