It’s been quite the rollercoaster four weeks for Leonard Fournette. Riding high after a monster performance against the Rams in mid-October, he missed a game with a sprained right ankle and then followed his bye week by skipping picture day, thus invoking a team-issued one game suspension. So after not playing for three straight weeks and facing a struggling Chargers rush defense, he should have gotten back on track, right?
Not so fast. The Chargers limited Fournette to 33 yards on 17 carries and 13 yards on two catches. Overall it was his least productive day as a pro, and health issues remain.
Marrone said they limited 27 because “Fournette was limping A little bit today. He wasn’t 100%” https://t.co/Bd1oOt01QG
— Brian Chojnacki (@BroadcastingBri) November 12, 2017
What does this mean going forward? Well, he’s a little bit less of a sure thing for the offensively stagnant Jacksonville offense. Monitor his health and his usage going forward. It’s been a very strange four weeks for his fantasy owners, and that unsteadiness might not be done yet.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
In one of the more thoroughly surprising performances this week, Ekeler, an undrafted rookie for the Chargers, caught five passes for 77 yards and two scores while also racking up 42 yards on 10 carries. By all accounts, it was a really impressive performance and, in fact, a historic one for the franchise.
.@austinekeler manages to stay in bounds… and SCORE!
— NFL (@NFL) November 12, 2017
But then disaster struck. Aiming just to run out the clock, the Chargers gave Ekeler the ball and he coughed it up. The Jaguars not only managed to tie things up, but win in overtime shortly thereafter.
Melvin Gordon had been bottled up for most of the game against a Jaguars defense that has struggled to stop the run this year, opening the door for Ekeler. The rookie out of tiny Western State Colorado University is owned in just two percent of leagues, and given Gordon’s struggles, he’s a very solid handcuff. Ekeler has shown he can contribute in the passing game and is quick enough to the hole to warrant some more time on the field going forward.
Another week another huge performance for the youngest player in the NFL . Smith-Schuster reeled in five receptions for 97 yards and a score. Smith-Schuster clearly has developed a good rapport with Ben Roethlisberger. The USC product has enough size to win in small areas and enough speed to get deep, plus he does very well to bring in 50-50 balls. Smith-Schuster is a worthwhile starter in all formats.
Kamara continues to be a key part of the very productive and versatile Saints backfield. While Mark Ingram grabbed the major headlines with a three-touchdown effort, Kamara showed his value both in the run and the pass, accruing 138 total yards. While Ingram is a more downhill, bruising runner, it’s clear the Saints have designed a Kamara-specific package that gets him to the edge on a variety of sweeps, screens and quick-hitting passes. He’s a terrific change-of-pace back and more versatile than your typical third-down back.
When Washington drafted Perine, it was clear he was going to be a bit of a project. The team asks a lot of its backs in the passing game — both receiving and protecting — and Perine didn’t do that much at Oklahoma, usually sitting for Joe Mixon in passing situations.
But when Rob Kelley left against the Vikings, Perine was forced to step up, and he did well, finishing with 60 total yards. If Kelley misses more time, keep Perine in mind, because Chris Thompson simply isn’t built to be a three-down back. Perine looks more prepared to be a considerable part of the game plan than he did a few weeks ago when Kelley also missed time. He’s available in over 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
After Aaron Jones went down early with what’s being reported as MCL sprain, Ty Montgomery picked up the slack. That is, until Montgomery himself went down after re-aggravating a rib injury, which is when Jamaal Williams got the nod. Williams finished with 20 rushes and a reception for 74 total yards in the Packers victory. If Jones and Montgomery miss time, Williams would become the de-facto No. 1. He’s owned in just three percent of leagues.
- Corey Davis fumbled at the goal line, continuing a frustrating rookie season. After a promising debut, Davis missed several weeks with a hamstring injury. He had just two catches for 28 yards in his return last week and four catches for 48 yards and a fumble this week. He’s still not a big enough part of the Titans offense to be a key part of your fantasy team.
- Kenny Golladay, like Davis, missed a ton of time due to injury. But his return showed some promise. He played more than expected and reeled in two catches for 64 yards, recapturing the big-play ability he showed in his debut. Keep an eye on Golladay as he works back into the Lions mix. He’s owned in just 7 percent leagues.