I joked last week when writing about Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson that he could get “Carroll-ed.” At the time, I thought it was just sarcasm and that there was no reason to be concerned. But as a fantasy football owner who used Carson last week, when I turned on the game and saw Mike Davis running, I had a few choice words.
Fortunately, we didn’t get fully destroyed by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s lack of interest in having consistency at running back, although he certainly tried. While Carson rumbled for an impressive 116 yards on 19 carries, Davis had 12 carries for 68 yards and of course, stole the touchdown.
Thanks to this split, fantasy owners are now left trying to figure out whether to start or sit Carson in Week 6 against the Oakland Raiders.
Key Stats and Chris Carson’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down Carson’s matchup with the Raiders and also look at a few other key numbers which jump out. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Oakland Raiders vs. running backs in 2018: 109 rushes, 551 yards, five touchdowns, 18 receptions, 230 receiving yards, two touchdowns (No. 8 most fantasy points per game)
- Carson out-snapped Davis 35-25 in Week 6, per Football Outsiders
- Carson has received 51 carries over the past two games for 218 yards and one touchdown
- Raiders defense allowing 127.2 rushing yards per game, fifth-most in the NFL
Although Carson was the far superior back on the ground last week, Carroll was deadset on making sure Davis got work as well. Both running backs had solid games, but you have to wonder if the Seahawks coach will give in and just let Carson run the show at any point.
Regardless, the good news is that the Raiders have been very bad against running backs, to put it gently. The other key factor here is that when Carson is in the game, he’s getting the ball quite a bit. He received 20 touches on his 35 snaps last week and 34 touches on 51 snaps in Week 3.
Should You Start or Sit Chris Carson?
I’m not going to let the Davis situation cloud my judgment here and instead will look at the numbers, almost all of which favor Carson having a big week. He’s getting a heavy workload, has a great matchup and has looked impressive in the past two games.
Realistically, he makes sense as a play in 12-team leagues or larger, but I probably would only drop down to 10-team leagues if you need a bye-week filler or a flex play. Carson is a strong play for a variety of reasons and as long as the workload doesn’t just disappear, he should have another solid showing.