Here are my top five run defenses to target this week. The 49ers and Rams are except from the list since they’re the Thursday game. (You’re using Gurley and Hyde if you own them anyway.)
- New Orleans Saints. Target the Saints above all else. The offense plays with pace and puts an already bad defense back on the field far too often. To make things worse (better for us) Sean Payton could care less, especially about yardage given up. The Panthers have a plus rushing attack. Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey are both good bets to exploit their increased workload Sunday. I’m particularly interested in CMC for a coming out party at home.
- New York Jets. Gameflow is against this unit almost from the opening kick. It honestly feels like the Jets are trailing the second they take the field. They’ve given up the second most yards to RBs so far. Miami will look to capitalize on that while continuing to limit Jay Cutler’s passing attempts. Jay Ajayi looks like the best version of himself right now, largely in part to being healthy, so fire him up.
- Cleveland Browns. They’re making strides under Greg Williams, mostly in the aggression department. Buck Allen buoyed his numbers with receiving last week, but he looked fairly pedestrian rushing. This week’s an interesting test against the Colts who want to run the ball with Jacoby Brissett quarterbacking. I don’t mind a Frank Gore or Marlon Mack dart this week in limited capacity.
- LA Chargers. They don’t rank high on fantasy points given up to backs, but that’s due to yielding zero rushing TDs. That is obviously due to regress. Their tackling is piss poor and they’ve given up the fifth most yards to RBs. Enter the breakout back of 2017, Kareem Hunt. The guy with incredible balance and a strong lower half. People will shy away from his price or try to swim against the current so I don’t expect his ownership to be as high as it should. He’s the top back for me this week.
- Cincinnati Bengals. This one surprises me some, since there’s talent on that defense. I suspect the offense averaging 13 first downs per game has a good amount to do with it. I’m not sure that changes this week against an effective Packers team that should win easily. The kicker here is they’ve also opponents to pass to backs effectively, as well. Ty Montgomery is pretty good at that.
Follow Mike on Twitter @Roto_Wan.