Fantasy checkdown: Stick with Shady 

December, 6, 2013
It's the end of the week, which means it's time for another installment of Rumor Central's "Friday Fantasy Checkdown," where I take a look at a number of rumors and how they will affect your fantasy football teams.

Most leagues are entering the first-round of their playoffs, so all roster decisions are paramount this weekend. There aren't many fantasy teams out there with an RB corp deep enough to consider benching LeSean McCoy, but none of his owners can be thrilled that the Philadelphia Eagles are facing the Detroit Lions' impressive rush defense. They rank third in rushing yards allowed per game (82.7), fourth in yards per attempt (3.7), and only three teams have allowed fewer rushing touchdowns (5).

However, Shady isn't a traditional ground-and-pound running back. He's quite adept at catching passes out of the backfield in coach Chip Kelly's versatile offense. That should benefit his fantasy potential versus the Lions, a team which ranks in the bottom third in receiving yards allowed to opposing running backs (6.0 per catch) this season. Plus, only the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys have allowed more RB receiving touchdowns than the Lions (4).

In other words, even though McCoy doesn't have an ideal matchup, fantasy owners shouldn't get cute and stick someone else into their lineups in his place. The Eagles O is potent and Kelly will find a way to keep Shady productive versus the Lions.

Here are some other fantasy-relevant notes and thoughts:

  • Ladarius Green is supposed to be Antonio Gates' long-term replacement, but the pair were on the field for nearly every play last week, as the San Diego Chargers turned to 2-TE sets. If he looks good against a vulnerable New York Giants D this weekend, he could be an excellent plug-in for Week 15 against the Broncos, which have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

  • Fantasy owners who have Robert Griffin III in keeper/dynasty leagues may have a difficult decision to make during the offseason: keep or don't keep RG III? One thing to consider is that he has not been injured this season. As ESPN Washington Redskins reporter John Keim notes, another factor is that he didn't have an offseason. "Missing the offseason really hurt Griffin’s ability to develop as a passer, and that has been a big issue. ... Because he came from a much less complex passing system at Baylor, he needs a full offseason of work." If he escapes the season unscathed and gets in a full offseason of prep, we may see him back to form next season, which makes him an intriguing keeper option.