The Seattle Seahawks are set to get running back Chris Carson back from a hip injury in Week 5, but the decision on how to deploy him in fantasy football is a tough call. While Carson finally received a workhorse opportunity against the Dallas Cowboys back in Week 3, it sounds as though he may be primed for a timeshare once again.
In the Week 3 victory over the Cowboys, Carson rushed 32 times for 102 yards and one touchdown. It seemed as if, for one week at least, the Seahawks frustrating running back situation had some clarification.
But with Carson surprisingly inactive last week, it led to Mike Davis rushing 21 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The 25-year-old back may have carved out a role, so how should fantasy football owners approach Carson in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams?
*Note: Carson is listed as questionable, but Pete Carroll stated earlier this week he’s ready to play, per Mike Vorel of the Seattle Times.
Should You Start or Sit Chris Carson?
It may not seem like it on the surface, but Davis receiving 21 carries last week is a good sign for Carson. Head coach Pete Carroll was high on the young running back, and it seems if he can find a productive option at the position, he’ll roll with them.
Rookie Rashaad Penny has been made essentially a non-factor at this point, and in Week 3, Carson out-snapped all Seahawks backs, seeing 74 percent of the work, per Football Outsiders. Then last week, Davis received 71 percent of the snaps. Carroll’s mindset seems locked on finding a player to carry the load, so if Carson is able to hit the ground running, he has a solid opportunity to produce in Week 5.
For me, the tough spot comes down to the matchup, as the Los Angeles Rams haven’t been bad against the run. This season, they’ve allowed just 292 rushing yards and two touchdowns to the position. They’ve only faced 67 attempts, though, and a large reason for that is because the Rams find themselves jumping out to early leads often. If that stands true again, the Seahawks may be forced to throw early and throughout the game.
With this game being played in Seattle, if you believe the Seahawks will hold their own and stay close, Carson should see a heavy workload again. In that case, I’m fine using him if pressed in 12-team leagues, but also all larger leagues. The 12-team leagues would come down more to your specific roster, but if you need a flex play who has upside, I’m fine using Carson.
I’d avoid the Seahawks back in any league smaller than 12 teams, though, and ideally would like to see how his workload looks for one week after Davis’ strong showing.