How important is it to have a running back that is a part of his team's passing game? In today's game, it is becoming more imporant, especially in fantasy. I have had Marshawn Lynch for several seasons and while I can't complain, it sure would be nice for him to be move involved on third down. The league awaits Rob Gronkowski's return, but for now its Jimmy Graham and Jordan Cameron at the top of the position. Green Bay and Carolina are on bye, so DeAngelo Williams and Greg Olsen get the week off. The Packers try to sort out their running back situation and Jermichael Finley gets a chance to bounce back from concussion issues.
As we wrap up 2012, I wonder how many season's were won.... and lost, due to lack of passing yards accumulated by running backs. It appears that Darren Sproles will be the only back that will hit triple digits in targets for the season. Only half a dozen other backs are averaging four or more targets per week. Injuries to LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte diminished the every down back list, but all in all, teams are throwing the ball downfield more. The "super" tight ends also took a bit of a hit this season. Rob Gronkowski remains sidelined and has dropped from the league leaders. Jimmy Graham has had a solid season, but Jason Witten remains the standard bearer at the position.
No position is as negatively effected by off-week's as that of running back. It's not even close. There are plenty of quarterbacks and pass catchers around to fill a bye week hole for a week. Matt Forte and Maurice Jones-Drew owners, I feel your pain. You don't know how much they mean to you, until they're gone. Those owners throwing darts with Carolina and New Orleans backfields, might have even found a more reliable option this past week. Week seven is the busiest bye week of the season and plenty of 'hurtin to go around. Michael Turner, Willis McGahee, Jammal Charles, Reggie Bush and all-world backs Ryan Matthews and LeSean McCoy will leave gaping holes in fantasy lineups this weekend.