Welcome to Week 16’s Championship Edition of Punt, Pass, Play. It’s that time of year again. Every trade you’ve made, every waiver wire addition to your team, every single week of digital blood, digital sweat and digital tears your team has given you, has taken you to this pivotal moment. Although the depression of football ending and having trade withdrawals being paramount, it’s time to finish strong more than ever.
I appreciate you taking the time to read each week of my article and certainly appreciate anyone who has reached out to me via email or left a comment on the page for fantasy advice. It’s likely that I return next season, however. I also am willing to offer advice on trades and picks to you during your dynasty off-season. So feel free to drop a line. Now on to this week. I will give input on a trio of running backs: Tevin Coleman, Jamaal Williams and Jordan Howard.
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears – Punt:
I was one of the higher buyers into Jordan Howard this season. By Week 4, I had gotten rid of him and boy am I glad. Although the Niners rank 14th against the run, Jordan Howard has averaged an abysmal 3.6 YPC in Matt Nagy’s system. The main benefit Howard has working for him is he’s averaged 18 rushing attempts per game the last three games but only has scored once in that span and only has one touchdown the past six games. To make matters worse, Howard’s only 100 yard rushing game came against the Rams in Week 14. Starting him is a risky play, but with Chicago winning the division, there may be more reason for them to run Howard and rest Tarik Cohen. There are still better options, but if you do start him, he’s a TD-Dependent RB3 at best.
As far as I’m concerned, Jordan Howard is a rich man’s Legarrette Blount for the Chicago Bears. He’s proven he’s one-dimensional and not an ideal fit for the Bears offensive scheme. One could say that the underwhelming passing game has allowed defenses to focus on Howard more when he’s playing, but Cohen has flourished in the same spot due to his dual-threat ability as a receiver. Personally, I would try to sell Howard as this being a fluke season or buy low in hopes he’s traded to a new spot with better opportunity.
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – Pass:
Tevin Coleman has the greatest opportunity to showcase his abilities with Ito Smith landing on injured reserve. With Cam Newton also out, game script may also work favorably for Coleman to potentially produce outlandish numbers and worst case RB2 numbers. However, I’m still passing on Coleman for a few reasons. First, I’ll pass some respect his way. He’s averaged a healthy 4.7 YPC and has scored eight touchdowns this season as he is closing in on over 1,000 scrimmage yards for the season. Next, I’ll throw some shade and why you shouldn’t start him. He’s only gone over 15 points four games all season (pending your scoring format) and has scored only two times the past six games. Again, the touchdowns may yield some positive regression now that Brian Hill appears to be Coleman’s only competition for touches. Last, as always, I consider defensive rankings. Carolina ranks 7th against the run, allowing only 101.9 total rushing yards per game. Overall, Coleman brings a floor with some high upside numbers, but he’s a risk I’m reluctant to play, placing him into the mid-range RB2 line. With injuries being plentiful, there may not be a better option here.
I’ve talked Coleman up before and I will do it again. I really do like him from a dynasty standpoint as long as he doesn’t re-sign with Atlanta. Unless they cut ties with Freeman, Coleman will likely be walking to find an opportunity elsewhere so he can be the lead back for the team he joins. If you have him, keep him. If you don’t, try buying at a mid-range fair price.
Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – Play:
This play is twofold: first, the Green Bay Packers aren’t playing for much other than pride at this point. We may see more of a volume of rushing opportunities for Williams, especially with Kapri Bibbs being the only other running back active this weekend and Joe Philbin talking about Williams being a part of the game plan this weekend. Even though I’m not big on coach speak, this time it actually makes sense. Second, I won’t lie, even with a career average of 3.65 YPC on 251 carries, there is still bias as I am starting him in two championship leagues of my own, partly due to the Jets ranking 23rd (125.9 YPG) against the run. I don’t see Rodgers throwing much, so I believe this game will keep game script in favor of Williams to receive touches.
If you were an Aaron Jones stockholder, you learned the hard way that retaining Jamaal Williams as a handcuff was necessary. If you didn’t sacrifice the roster spot, then dudes like me benefited from your negligence. We all thank you. Simply put, Williams has minimal dynasty value with Jones likely taking back the reigns next season. Once Williams gets released after teams get their use, sign him as an Aaron Jones holder or buy very low.
To summarize this week’s Punt Pass Play, Jordan Howard has lost my trust with too much volatility in his game. Tevin Coleman isn’t a horrible start, but he brings more of a floor than a ceiling. Jamaal Williams is prone to get more touches because of the Packers playing for almost nothing. For more fantasy advice, add me on Twitter (@ricco_3733) or ask via email at Riccadonna3733@hotmail.com. I might have a Week 17 edition for those of you who have two-week championship formats.