If Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith is active, you play him against the Oakland Raiders in Week 15.
It’s as simple as this. You saw what Ryan Grant did last week against the Raiders right? He came out of nowhere, and busted off a 47-yard TD run in the first three minutes that no one thought he could still do and finished with 85 yards and two scores on the day.
Smith aggravated a high ankle sprain in Week 13 and had an exit that frustrated many owners in what would have been a good matchup against the New Orleans Saints. He sat out last week’s game against Minnesota and has been limited in practice this week while he deals with the injury.
The running back situation is such that it’s hard to be wrong because there aren’t that many healthy ones left to have to make a decision. But in weeks like this where Rashard Mendenhall, Frank Gore have matchups that barely make them worth plays; Adrian Peterson is coming back from a three-game layoff due to a high ankle injury of his own and Michael Turner, Maurice Jones-Drew, LeGarrette Blount and Felix Jones have already played, with a matchup that’s easy on paper, it would certainly be nice to have Smith in the fold.
The Raiders are ranked 28th this season against fantasy running backs and are 21st the last three weeks. Since Week 9, Oakland has allowed Willis McGahee to run for 163 yards and two scores on 20 carries, Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews to combine for 130 total yards, Matt Forte and Matt Forte and Marion to combine for 147 total yards, Reggie Bush 100 yards rushing and a score and Ryan Grant and John Kuhn 144 total yards and two scores. They were also the benefactors of Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte having to exit early due to injuries against them.
Detroit hasn’t been the model team when it comes to running the ball this season — it ranks 24th in rushing at 100.5 per game and is ranked 21st with just eight rushing TDs from its running backs — but if Smith is active he will be a good workhorse to help control a game the Lions should be in control of as the Raiders are reeling as of late.
By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter