Welcome to Week 14’s playoff edition of Punt, Pass, Play. For some people, they have committed dynasty suicide to their roster and can finally start really looking forward to next year. For others, many have had their drunken sorrows kick in, knowing they just missed the playoffs. For people like me, we are doing the peanut butter jelly time dance. I made the playoffs in both dynasty and my one IDP league. Now is the challenge. This late in the year, you may consider starting someone you’re reluctant to start. Let me detail out three former back-up running backs who are starting this week to help you move into next week’s playoffs, especially with injuries. This week, we look at Spencer Ware, Jaylen Samuels and Jeff Wilson.
While I’ll admit that I would be as excited as you are when it comes to starting him against a porous Oakland Raiders team. However, Samuels has only touched the ball 19 total times this season. Additionally, both the Steelers and Samuels have admitted that Stevan Ridley will also be rotated, thus creating a committee. There isn’t much more insight to put on here since you know I’m not going to praise a player who hasn’t shown me any reason to start him yet. In the playoffs, Samuels could best be viewed as a high-risk, mid-reward PPR FLEX.
Jaylen Samuels isn’t going to fly off the radar on the block. He is probably worth more to you rostering him in situations like the James Conner injury than trying to make a trade for him. Beyond that, he holds no real standalone value. At this point, he’s owned in 82.1% of ESPN leagues. So if you can still roster him, put him on your team, especially in deeper leagues and a speculative add.
The Baltimore Ravens are ranked third in run defense and first in overall defense. Although Spencer Ware is averaging 4.8 YPC this season and had over 1,300 scrimmage yards in 2016, Andy Reid also mentioned going into a committee with Darrel Williams and Damien Williams. Ware could bring in some PPR value, but I wouldn’t place him much more than a TD dependent RB3. With all the injuries coming up, he may be one of the few remaining value plays. Given the matchup, I would still consider going elsewhere.
Who? Yes, I’m saying play the guy who sounds like a NASCAR driver this week, and here’s why. First, the Denver Broncos are ranked 22nd against the run, allowing 122.1 yards per game. Second, Wilson had 23 total touches and has a combined 31 over two games, making him a pretty reliable FLEX play in both PPR and standard scoring formats. Third, Alfred Morris hasn’t done much with his opportunities this season, which doesn’t leave many options for the Niners after ALF and creates an opening for more of a workhorse role for Wilson. Fourth, in case you forgot, I’ve bragged about any running back under Kyle Shanahan. He’s the “running back whisperer,” and he will continue to take late round picks and UDFA running backs and turn them into stars. Trust his system. Trust the process. Trust in Jeff Wilson.
I would try to move Wilson this off-season, especially with Jerick McKinnon returning and Matt Breida being healthy. If Wilson does shine, he may be able to have a committee opportunity. I’m not one for a committee personally, so try moving Wilson if you were able to acquire him before the empty choices turn into a stable of decision for Shanahan. Worst case, ALF will get cut and Wilson will be the third string RB in San Francisco.
To summarize this week’s Punt Pass Play, Jaylen Samuels hasn’t had an opportunity to play in as the main RB and will be in a committee with Ridley. Spencer Ware is a TD-dependent RB3 against a high-end Ravens defense. Jeff Wilson Jr. should get the bulk of touches for the Niners against a juicy matchup against a low-end Denver Broncos run defense. For more fantasy advice, add me on Twitter (@ricco_3733) or ask via email at Riccadonna3733@hotmail.com. Until then, I’ll see you for the Week 15 playoff edition of Punt Pass Play!