A pair of games on Tuesday night finished Week 15. In two games between division rivals, running backs were the biggest fantasy football storylines. The Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles were healthier than they’ve been in a long time in the backfield while the Washington Football Team and Seattle Seahawks were both lacking depth and saw their starters get hurt at some point Tuesday night.
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- Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
- Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
- Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.
- Cooper Kupp: 9 receptions, 136 yards, 2 TDs (40.6% threat rate)
- Sony Michel: 18 carries, 92 yards (8 avoided tackles), 2 receptions, 23 receiving yards
|Los Angeles Rams||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||50||31||3||0|
|Seattle Seahawks||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Darrell Henderson‘s return: Henderson started all season for the Rams, typically playing over 80% of the offensive snaps. He finished with 55 yards or fewer in his last three games and then missed the last two weeks due to injury and landing on the COVID-19 list. Sony Michel was the Rams' first single-game 100-yard rusher of the season in Henderson's absence and followed that up with a 79-yard day.
Michel remained the starter Tuesday night, although the Rams rotated a little more than usual. Neither back was very effective until Michel broke a 39-yard run. Michel can be started again next week, but he has a low floor if Henderson gets the hot hand.
Still trust Rashaad Penny: The former first-round pick had a breakout game a week ago with 137 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. The Seahawks didn’t have Alex Collins or Travis Homer this week due to COVID, so Penny was supposed to have another big game. He was playing on first and second downs while DeeJay Dallas took the third-down work and played a significant amount during the two-minute drill at the end of both halves.
Unfortunately, he left for the locker room at the worst time, allowing Dallas to score a touchdown. He was gone long enough to lose some carries as well, but he returned later in the third quarter. He should remain Seattle's primary back on first and second downs for at least one more week, making him a fantasy starter in most leagues.
Don’t add Bennett Skowronek: The Rams' No. 4 wide receiver surprisingly had a big day while Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson combined for three catches. The latter two were still on the field nearly every play while Skowronek was only played during four-wide receiver sets, which isn’t enough for sustained fantasy success. The other wide receivers should rebound next week.
- Miles Sanders: 18 carries, 131 yards (74 yards before contact), 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards
- Dallas Goedert: 7 receptions, 135 yards (3 for 3 on contested targets)
|Washington Football Team||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
The Eagles' crowded backfield: The Eagles' top four running backs were active, which was a first in 2021. Miles Sanders was the clear lead back while Jordan Howard also mixed in as well. Kenneth Gainwell played a few third downs, acting more like a wide receiver. Sanders needs to remain a fantasy starter next week despite the fact that he still hasn’t scored a touchdown.
Washington’s thin backfield: Washington’s receiving back J.D. McKissic landed on injured reserve earlier in the day. Wendell Smallwood was activated to take McKissic’s place when he initially got hurt, but Smallwood landed on the COVID-19 list and missed this game.
Antonio Gibson scored a touchdown early but also suffered a toe injury that kept him out for the better part of two drives. He played nearly every snap outside of those two drives but wasn’t all that effective. Unfortunately one of the few snaps he missed resulted in a Patterson touchdown run. His snap share is very promising, especially for 2022, but every injury he sustains adds more concern.
Washington’s tight end rotation: Ricky Seals-Jones was questionable coming into the game with an illness, but he ended up playing. For the second straight game, he and John Bates split time at the position. Washington traditionally gave the top tight end on the depth chart 100% of the team's offensive snaps regardless of who was healthy. Bates played a little more in run situations while Seals-Jones did the same in passing situations, but it was not a clear split. Seals-Jones ended up with four catches for 29 yards while Bates gained 29 yards from one catch. This remains a situation to avoid until someone takes over the job.