Fantasy owners in need of an immediate fix at the running back position should look no further than Tre Mason.
After missing Week 1 with an injured hamstring, the St. Louis Rams’ second-year back has been a full participant in practice this week and is expected to start against the Washington Redskins. It’s worth noting that explosive rookie Todd Gurley has also been practicing, but it doesn’t appear he’s ready for game action.
UPDATE: Mason is officially active for Week 2, while Gurley is inactive.
In fantasy football, volume is value, and that’s the biggest thing working in Mason’s favor this week. With Gurley out, the only potential threat to his touches is Benny Cunningham, who is more of a passing-down back, as evidenced during his Week 1 performance, when he was far more effective as a receiver.
Speaking of which, even an ineffective Cunningham (2.8 yards per carry) got 16 carries as the starter in Week 1. In a game in which the Rams are favored and anticipated to be nursing a lead, Mason is a great bet to see at least 20 touches.
Although Lamar Miller only tallied 53 yards in Week 1 against this improved Washington run defense, that was more due to the fact he only got 13 carries. The Redskins allowed a healthy 4.1 yards per carry, they graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 24 rush defense and big nose tackle Terrance Knighton is nursing a rib injury. And again, even if Mason doesn’t break off anything huge, the volume will be there for him to grind out serviceable numbers. It may not be pretty, but there will be production.
Mason’s long-term value isn’t great with the more talented Gurley expected to be in the mix soon, but if you have someone like Le’Veon Bell, Arian Foster or Andre Ellington on your team, Mason can be a rock-solid RB2 this week.
In daily leagues, Mason costs $4,700 in DraftKings’ Week 2 millionare maker contest. That’s a solid bargain, but it’s hard not to like guys like Chris Ivory, Ameer Abdullah or Tevin Coleman for the same or lower price.
Prediction: 70 rushing yards, 1 touchdown