I am not usually the fantasy player that looks to the vulture, the goal line-back, but injuries and matchups have left me no choice as the fantasy playoffs start. And that combination might just have produced us a great play in Week 14 in the form of Baltimore Ravens running back Ricky Williams against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.
The Ravens are coming off a game in which their running backs torched the Browns to the tune of 292 rushing yards — Ray Rice had 204 of them on 29 carries and one score; Ricky Williams had 76 yards and a score on 16 more carries.
There’s a great chance that it will be déjà vu all over again for Baltimore against a Colts team that is ranked 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (144.2), last in total yards (387.1 YPG), last in points allowed (29.8 PPG) last in rushing touchdowns allowed (17) and is giving up a touchdown 69.77 percent of the time teams get in the red zone — good for a 31st in the league.
And on the offensive side of the ball, don’t expect much of a fight from the Colts. They possess the 26th ranked rushing offense, 26th ranked passing offense, 29th ranked total offense (293.1 YPG) and 28th ranked scoring offense (14.5 PPG) to go up against Baltimore’s second-ranked rush defense, fifth-ranked pass defense, third-ranked total defense and fourth-ranked scoring defense (16 PPG).
That’s a lot of numbers, but the one I keep thinking of is under three this week for the Ravens — as in they will run the ball as much as they can and see how many minutes under three hours they can get this week’s game done in.
Of course Rice will see the majority of the carries and will probably have great success, but Williams will be there to spell him and probably get another good amount of work himself.
In games the Ravens have won by 14 or more — five of them — Williams has had carries of 12, 5, 12, 2 and 16. With four weeks to go, think the Ravens might want to begin preserving their starting back for the playoffs?
I will lean toward the three double-digit carry days that Williams had in previous two-touchdown wins by Baltimore, producing 40 rushes for 188 yards at 4.7 yards per carry and hope that he gets a touchdown against the easiest team to do so against. With the injuries to all the other running backs across the NFL and the playoffs here, there are not too many chances you get to plug in an above-average vulture that is still available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues.
By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter