Start: RB David Johnson vs. Raiders
Sit: RB Wendell Smallwood at Saints
Johnson has been a disappointment based on where he was drafted, but things are looking up for the Cardinals running back this week. Johnson is coming off a great Week 10 where he had 183 total yards and two touchdowns. Prior to last week, Johnson had some disappointing outings.
The Cardinals running back had just 59 rushing yards in Week 8 and 39 rushing yards in Week 7 on a dismal 2.8 yards per carry. Johnson admitted it has been an adjustment getting acclimated to a new offense, but the Cardinals running back is starting to feel like himself again.
“The first eight weeks were tough, trying to get used to a new type of offense,” Johnson said per AZCardinals.com. “It was tough, but the biggest thing is I’m glad we’re coming back to the old ways...It felt good. It made me feel like it was back to the 2016 offense."
Johnson gets a plus matchup in Week 11 against a Raiders defense that is allowing the third-most rushing yards in the NFL at 141 per game.
With the way Johnson played last week, the Cardinals are going to want to continue to give him the football, especially against a suspect Raiders defense. Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen noted he now has more confidence in targeting Johnson in the passing game than he did to start the season.
“He’s repping more of it in practice as it comes into the game plan, so definitely confidence starts to go up,” Rosen explained per AZCardinals.com.
Wendell Smallwood Has Been a Disappointment Since Jay Ajayi's Injury
Smallwood was once a waiver wire darling earlier this season. No one likes to see injuries, but there was some thought Smallwood could take over the reins of the Eagles backfield after Jay Ajayi was lost for the season.
Not only has Smallwood failed to take advantage of the opportunity, but no Eagles running back has done much to secure the position. This has led to the dreaded Running Back by Committee approach in Philly making it hard for any player to be fantasy relevant.
Smallwood had just two rushes for four yards against the Cowboys. The only way Smallwood is getting fantasy points is through his usage in the passing game, but three receptions for 30 yards does not make up for his lack of rushing production.
The Eagles running back has only received double-digit carries twice this season. Smallwood had just 24 rushing yards in Week 8 and 37 total yards in Week 7. This week, Smallwood gets a difficult matchup against the Saints.
The Saints are known for their high-powered offense, but it has been the improvement of the defense that has New Orleans looking like a contender. The Saints have the best rushing defense in the NFL allowing just over 80 rushing yards per game. The entire Eagles backfield has become hard to start and this week's matchup confirms even more that Smallwood and company should be on your bench.