From Week 1 through Week 11 of 2019, Carson had averaged an impressive 15.9 fantasy points. That output was good enough to outpace superstars such as Alvin Kamara, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, and Saquon Barkley. Over that span, Carson ranked as the 10th-highest scoring player at the running back position, cementing himself as a legitimate RB1 in nearly all fantasy football formats.
However, despite his stellar production this season, the most notable thing Carson has done on the football field this year is put the football on the ground. The Seattle running back has fumbled an absurd seven times over the Seahawks’ first 11 games in 2019.
When Carson fumbled yet again in Week 12, Seattle seemingly had enough, opting to turn to former first-round draft pick Rashaad Penny to give the run game a spark. Penny responded with the best performance of his career.
Has Carson lost a handle on the lead back gig in Seattle? And if so, has his once bonafide standing amongst fantasy elites fallen to the wayside? Let’s discuss.
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Chris Carson’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Minnesota Vikings
If you’re still in playoff contention in your fantasy football league, chances are you put a waiver-wire bid in for Rashaad Penny. Penny is coming off of a 14 carry, 129 yard, one touchdown performance a week ago, leaving many Chris Carson fantasy owners in limbo when evaluating the incumbent’s fantasy potential for the final stretch of the season.
While, Carson’s fumbles are certainly concerning, and the fact that he carried the ball a meager eight times in Week 12 may be an even bigger issue, let’s not forget that Carson has been one of the league’s few true bell-cow backs over recent years. Carson ranked 7th in the NFL in rushing attempts in 2018. Even with his limited usage a week ago, Carson still ranks fifth in the NFL this season with 208 rushing attempts, an average of nearly 19 carries per game.
A team will not commit to a player the way Seattle has for years on end, just to ditch him in favor of a player who just happened to rip off a long touchdown run, yet totaled more than 18 rushing yards just once over his previous four games.
Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer reiterated that sentiment to the media on Friday.
“I mean, Chris is our guy…We know that. He’s playing terrific football as well.”
The most concerning aspect of Carson’s fantasy value for this week may not be Rashaad Penny at all, instead, it has to deal with a stingy Minnesota Vikings defense who’s been less than welcoming to opposing running backs this season.
The Vikings have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points in football to the RB position. Opponents’ leading rushers have averaged just 47.5 rushing yards against the Vikings in eight of Minnesota’s last nine games.
Even worse is the fact that only three starting running backs have scored rushing touchdowns against Minnesota this year, and just two since Week 2.
Should You Start or Sit Chris Carson in Week 13?
The matchup is difficult, but to be honest, that’s really all I’m concerned about on Carson’s front. I expect him to reclaim his typical usage in the Seattle offense, an offense that ranks sixth in rushing yards per game this season.
Carson may drop from his typical RB1 status due to Minnesota’s tendency to keep runners out of the endzone. However, to question if he’s still a startable option this week is just typical fantasy football overthinking. Carson is an RB2 start in all scoring formats on Sunday.
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