Ranks reax: Lynch not a top-10 RB? 

December, 21, 2011
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is riding one of the best streaks we've seen in recent years, having scored an average of 19 fantasy points per game since Week 9. Since 2001, only two players have had longer stretches than his 10 consecutive games in a season with a touchdown: LaDainian Tomlinson in 2004 and Priest Holmes in 2002. That's pretty good company.

[+] EnlargeMarshawn Lynch
Cary Edmondson/US PresswireMarshawn Lynch was held to 33 yards on 13 carries in Week 1 versus the Niners.
Still, Lynch didn't make it into the top-10 running back rankings for this monumental, holiday-infused Week 16. How can that be? The guy is on fire! Well, it's because an immovable object, if you will, is lining up to stop fantasy's No. 5 running back: the San Francisco 49ers' defense. These guys are good, and they have shut down every running back they've faced this season. Consider that no one has scored a rushing touchdown against the 49ers this season; there are 14 teams that have allowed 14 or more rushing touchdowns. The Niners sport a goose egg. That's impressive.

That's basically my reasoning right there. It has nothing to do with trusting the formerly unreliable Lynch. He'll be back in my top 10 in Week 17! I'm sure I'll be asked about this in Wednesday's chat session and on Twitter and perhaps in the halls of the Worldwide Leader, and it's all right with me. Faced with choosing a dominant running back -- yes, Lynch has been dominant for seven weeks now, like LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice dominant -- I side with the defense. Nobody doubts the importance of Week 16 in fantasy football; it's either your championship round or the semifinals to advance one more time, but I don't buy the theory that you've gotta dance with the players who got you to the dance, either. We're looking for statistics here, not building loyalty in players.