Here are my top ten run defenses to target this week. Detroit is on a bye, FYI.
- LA Chargers (e). Somehow, opponents aren’t managing to translate the easy rushing yardage the Chargers give up into rushing touchdowns. We’re getting past the point of regression and into labeling them a ‘bend, don’t break defense’ territory. They don’t tackle well as a team and that results in good YPA against. The yardage will get it done for fantasy purposes and they won’t keep every back out of the endzone. Denver should be better focused for this divisional clash than they were against the Giants as well. I’m interested to see if Devontae Booker eats into C.J. Anderson’s already shared workload.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (-4). Limiting LeVeon Bell two weeks ago seems to be an apparition. Todd Gurley piled up 116 rushing yards this past Sunday. Almost every team they’ve faced has gashed them via the run. The Colts are a run first team despite Jacoby Brissett’s success this year. Watch out for a Marlon Mack break away.
- New Orleans (+1). Don’t be distracted by the modest rushing total Detroit put up. They were playing catch up early on in the game and called 52 pass attempts. The Saints defense has been opportunistic, but are still a liability. The Packers have options if they want to keep pressure off Brett Hundley and a dinged O-line.
- New England Patriots (+1). I’m not buying a one week performance against the Jets beleaguered run blocking while Josh McCown was piling up 354 passing yards. Atlanta is one of the better run blocking O-lines in the league and both Falcon backs are capable of having a big day.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+1). Kudos to the Steelers for going into Arrowhead and getting a tough win. They controlled the ball with their own run game and that did wonders for their defense. It’s a slugfest when the Steelers and Bengals play, so the rushing volume should be there. I like the odds of rushing volume vs this defense.
- New York Jets (+1). I whiffed on Jay Ajayi against the Jets in week 3. I think it’s a different story this time around and he keeps his momentum rolling.
- San Francisco 49ers (+2). Washington opted to throw to Chris Thompson out of the backfield with their other RBs nursing injuries. That total should count against them as rushing.
- Dallas Cowboys (bye). This unit should get a big boost with MLB Sean Lee back.
- Los Angeles Rams (-1). Most of Fournette’s yards came on one big 75 yard TD run. It’s going to be interesting to see if AP can duplicate his success from last game.
- Baltimore Ravens (+1). Brandon Williams is practicing. You better believe this guy is going to help against the run.
Follow Mike Alexander on Twitter @Roto_Wan