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RB DeAngelo Williams sleeper Jonathan Stewart
injury Ahmad Bradshaw week one Demarco Murray
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For most of 2011, if you
had DeAngelo Williams for Fantasy
Football Football…then you really had a wasted
roster spot. We all want to remember Williams as
the dynamic top-5 Fantasy Football Football
player in the days of ole' (for his one really
good season), but that ship sailed a long time
ago. Now, DeAngelo Williams is hardly
Fantasy Football Football relevant.
Williams ran for 1,515
yards in 2008, scoring 20 total-TDs, and became
a Fantasy Football Football sensation somewhat
"out of the blue." However, in his last two
seasons combined (22 games), Williams' output
cannot come close to his one magical season in
2008. Williams has rushed for 100+ yards in a
game only once in his last 25 games played since
2009. Williams carried the ball 13 or more times
in a game only twice last year (a high of 15
carries). Williams has become a Fantasy Football
Football "tweener." Williams has been between
not good enough to start on your Fantasy
Football Football team, but gets enough touches
that he becomes a fringe prayer-play for an
occasional Flex or as fleeting hope on your good
RB's BYE week.
The reason Williams still
gets some Fantasy Football Football play is that
he still possesses talent. It's not that he is
washed up. It's just that he splits a workload
with two other talented RBs now -- Jonathan
Stewart and Cam Newton. Make it three
RBs in 2012 with the addition of Mike Tolbert.
The outlook is mostly grim
for DeAngelo Williams for Fantasy
Football Football 2012; everyone knows it…even
the people who pulled the trigger in the 2012
Fantasy Football Football Draft because the ADP
said he was a value at a certain point, or even
the hard-core Panthers fan. Another season of
9-11 carries a game is projected with the
occasional TD. You never have him in the lineup
when he scores a TD, but the following week you
push him in just in time for a 33 yard rushing
effort with no TDs.
Those with the (mis)fortune
of having DeAngelo Williams to start 2012
most likely do not have a master plan to use him
as a starter…because no one trusts him. However,
I would ask to reconsider your position...for at
least a week. It is quite possible DeAngelo
Williams is going to give a "one night only"
performance that will give you a Week-1 Fantasy
Football Football push, and an even greater
opportunity the following week.
This is not just
Before you click that
little "x" in the upper right-hand side because
you do not want to waste your time reading about
DeAngelo, since you don't have him anyway…this
article is also for you. You must be
aware of the 2012 opportunity with RBs facing
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Tampa Bay
Buccaneers are a mega-doormat for Fantasy
Football Football RBs in 2012, as it was in
In 2011, Tampa Bay was a
sieve in the running game in the 2011 Fantasy
Football Football season (Weeks 1-16, no
Week-17). Tampa Bay allowed many opposing RBs
their first, or second, or third-best output
games of their 2011 season. An NFL team that
featured a single workhorse RB would typically
have that RB dominate the game versus Tampa Bay
in 2011. NFL teams using a split workload had
their duos and sometimes trios of RBs combining
for ridiculous numbers as teams realized they
could just run-run-run and crush the Bucs on the
ground. The best way to visualize the porousness
of the Bucs-Defense circa 2011 is to take
a quick walk through a week-by-week recap of the
2011 Fantasy Football Football season through
the eyes of the RBs the Bucs-Defense
Tampa Bay vs. RBs
(Weeks 1-16, no Week-17):
Week-1 = Jahvid Best
takes 21 carries for 72 rushing yards, and adds
another 42 yards on 4 catches. Best combines for
114-yards, his 2nd-highest yardage output in a
game in 2011.
Adrian Peterson goes for 120 yards rushing
on 25 carries and punches in 2 TDs. AP adds
another 21 yards through the air. Toby
Gerhart touches the ball only three-times
and produces 78 total yards. Combined, the two
RBs go for 219 total yards.
This is probably the only real anomaly of the
2011 season. Michael Turner takes 11
carries (low for him) in the rain for 20 yards
rushing. Matt Ryan throws 47-times for
The Colts could not run on anyone in 2011 until
Donald Brown came back later in the
season. They didn't do much against Tampa Bay in
Week-4, with Joseph Addai rushing for 41
yards on 11 carries. Delone Carter added
21 yards on 7 carries.
Frank Gore runs for 125 yards and a TD.
Kendall Hunter runs for 65 yards. Together
they combine for 190 yards rushing and 208 total
yards. Anthony Dixon punches in a TD as
well on the ground. This game represented Gore's
2nd-highest total yards in a game for 2011 (3
yards shy of his best for all of 2011).
New Orleans forgoes the run-first philosophy
against Tampa Bay, and no Saints RB has more
than 9 carries. Sproles, Ingram, Thomas combine
for 49 yards rushing and a TD on 17 carries.
However, Sproles sees 11 pass-targets and makes
8 catches for 46 yards. The three-headed RB
combo tallies 106 total yards and a 1 TD.
Matt Forte runs for 145 yards, adds 38 yards
more through the air, plus a TD. Marion
Barber chips in with 39 rushing yards and a
TD as well. Combined, they go for 222 total
yards and 2 TDs. This would be Forte's 2nd-best
total yardage game of 2011.
Three weeks from playing them the first time,
the Saints decided that running the ball against
Tampa Bay would be a fruitful plan. The Saints
run the ball with Sproles, Thomas, and Chris
Ivory (in for the injured Ingram) for a
combined total of 27 carries for 175 rushing
yards with a TD. The Saints RB-trio adds another
82 yards in the air for a total of 257 total
yards in the game and 2 TDs.
The Texans take running against Tampa Bay to the
extreme. Arian Foster takes 17 carries,
Ben Tate 13 carries, and Derrick Ward
11 carries. The RB-trio combines for 41 carries
for 183 yards and 3 TDs on the ground (each RB
scored 1 TD). To add insult to injury, Foster
also has 102 yards receiving and a TD. The
RB-trio has 285 total yards and 4 TDs versus
Tampa Bay. This game winds up as Arian Foster's
2nd-highest total yardage game of 2011.
Green Bay takes it easy on the ground, with
James Starks leading the way at RB only
having 11 carries for 38 yards. However, Starks
also adds 53 yards in receiving. Starks, John
Kuhn, and Ryan Grant combine for 108
yards and 1 TD on just 23 combined touches.
Chris Johnson is having a pretty awful
season up to this point, but there is nothing
like the Tampa Bay defense as an elixir for his
woes -- CJ2K goes for a season-high
190-yards rushing versus Tampa Bay. This is CJ's
best total yardage game of 2011 by far.
Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams
combine for 128 total yards and a TD. Cam
Newton adds 54 yards rushing and an amazing
3 rushing TDs.
MJD goes off for 4 TDs and 136
total yards. The 4 TDs represent 36.4% of all
MJD's 2011 TDs that he would score on the
Felix Jones rushes for a season-high 108
yards, as he and Sammie Morris combine
for 34 carries for 161 yards rushing with 184
Stewart and D. Williams again combine for a nice
day vs. Tampa Bay. They tally 154 yards rushing
on just 14 carries. The RB-duo combines for 183
totals yards and 3 TDs. For good measure, Cam
adds 65 yards rushing and a TD.
RBs with 16
or more carries against Tampa Bay (10 RBs in
2011) posted 22.3 FF PPG (25.3 PPR), on
22.5 carries for 116.1 rushing yards, 153.4
total yards, and 1.25 TDs per game against them.
RBs with 10
or more carries against Tampa Bay (17 RBs in
2011) posted 14.5 FF PPG (16.5 PPR), on
17.0 carries for 79.8 rushing yards, 102.0 total
yards, and 0.77 TDs per game against them.
In 2011, DeAngelo
Williams took 9.9 carries per game, with
most all of his games between 7-12 carries. The
reason Williams was limited in touches has
somewhat to do with the talented Jonathan
Stewart, who was afforded about the same
workload. However, Stewart many not play in this
game due to an ankle injury. Even if Stewart is
active, he will likely not need to push it
against lowly Tampa Bay. By default, Williams
could see 15+ carries in this game. Last season,
Williams had two games with 15+ carries, and he
posted 15.5 FF PPG (15.5 PPR) on 65.0 rushing
yards and 1.5 TDs per game (no receptions).
Should Williams get 15+ touches in this game,
against this generous Tampa Bay run-defense, he
would likely go for 100+ total yards with high
probability for a TD.
There are two benefits to a
big game for DeAngelo in Week-1...
The first benefit is
that you played him, he produced, and now you
look like a genius.
The second benefit
is that you must trade him before Week-2. If it
goes down as our computer predicts that it
might, then Carolina is going to run all over
Tampa Bay in Week-1. Williams will be prominent
in the highlights, as people continue to fawn
over Carolina as the sexy sleeper pick of 2012.
The only real value you're ever going to get out
DeAngelo Williams for Fantasy Football
2012 is if he has a big game in the opener, and
then you flip him for whatever the market yields
by Week-2. The market may not be any hotter to
trade Williams than on September 10th.
There are non-DeAngelo
Williams benefits/factoids to consider, but
I know what some of you are thinking -- "that
Tampa Bay stuff was 2011, this is 2012!" O, ye
of little faith. It was 2012 that tipped us off
to this fortune-telling scenario to begin with.
In the 2012 preseason,
after Week-1, I wrote an article about how awful
Chris Johnson was in his preseason
debut…and how that followed a theme from 2011.
Essentially, I called a top 5-7 overall 2012
Fantasy Football Draft pick (CJ) the worst
mistake you could make in the first-round of a
draft. A couple of days after publishing the
anti-CJ2K article, Johnson scored 2 TDs in one
quarter, and CJ2K-mania went wild again. I'm
human. I thought to myself when looking at the
ticker as it was happening…"oh ___." However, I
then looked at the Chris Johnson two-TD
game tape, and the seed for this article had
Johnson scored two TDs in
preseason Week-2, and the runs looked fine on a
quick highlight, but his performance pushed
along by a comically awful Tampa run-defense.
The Bucs safeties were so bad in this game that
it was noticeable to even an untrained eye.
Johnson could have been stopped on either of his
TD runs, but the Bucs went "Keystone Cops" in
pursuit. Outside of the two TD runs, Johnson
barely averaged 2.0 yards a carry in the game.
Tennessee pulled CJ after his early work, but
the Titans went on to rush for 216 yards on 37
carries in this preseason game. Darius
Reynaud looked more like the old Chris
Johnson in leading the Titans in rushing
with 75 yards on just 7 carries.
The following week from
CJ's efforts in preseason Week-2, New England
ran for 168 yards on 31 carries…making Stevan
Ridley look good, and Jeff Demps look
great, in Week-3.
In the final preseason
game, Roy Helu went from hurt for weeks
to 90 yards rushing. Four Redskins players ran
for 43 or more yards in the game, with the group
combining for 228 rushing yards on 41 carries.
In the opening week of the
preseason, Miami threw the ball 50-times in the
rain against Tampa Bay, and eschewed running it
for whatever reason (15 rush attempts for the
game). Ignoring that Miami game, the Bucs
allowed 204.0 yards rushing per game in the
final three preseason games…a robust 5.6 yards
per carry allowed. Unless the Bucs are "playing
possum" this preseason, and are hiding their
elite run-defense…then this is a carryover from
2011, and possibly worse than 2011.
2012 Regular Season
benefits and a caution…
The benefit to all of this
should be a factoid all season long -- the main
RB facing Tampa Bay every week is a definite
"start," with a possibility of having their best
games on the season. Not only will a main
workload RBs prosper against Tampa, but a RB-duo
(and trios) tends to succeed with two RBs having
good/big games simultaneously against Tampa Bay
These hot "one-off" games
provide temporary hysterias, and inflated trade
values. If DeAngelo blows up Tampa in Week-1,
it's a prime trade opportunity. Aren't as
excited with Ahmad Bradshaw currently?
His Week-2 performance versus Tampa could give
you a value push. Want to acquire DeMarco
Murray? You better do it before his Week-3
performance versus Tampa Bay gets everyone
The yin-yang of this
run-activity is that QBs facing TB are trending
to under-perform due to a lack of pass-attempts
needed for a team to defeat Tampa Bay. From
Week-7 to Week-16 (Week-7 looks like the point
everyone caught on to this in the NFL), opposing
QBs threw for just 225.1 yards per game on 28.0
pass-attempts per game. No QB from Weeks 7-16
had a 300+ yard passing game against Tampa Bay.
Knowing the Tampa Bay
defensive trends from 2011 and 2012 is another
arrow in your Fantasy Football 2012 quiver to
start out this season.
I take back some of the
2,000+ words above if Jonathan Stewart is
a 90-100% go for Week-1. If Stewart is "fine"
for the game, DeAngelo is a definite flex option
with upside. If Stewart is ruled out, then this
could be the best DeAngelo Williams
Fantasy Football performance we will see for the
rest of his career. Not to overstate it...
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