Everything that glitters isn't gold Laurence Maroney, Patriots RB
Facing the 31st ranked Buffalo's run defense this week, Maroney seems like a no brainer start. But lately the Bill Belichick of old has begun to reappear. For a while it looked like Maroney was the clear cut #1, but after losing fumbles in 3 straight games (Weeks 10,11,12), the Patriots have gone to a more diverse running game over the past two weeks.
While it appeared this past week (with his 22 carries) that Maroney had rebounded, he was given roughly the same disappointing portion of the Patriots carries as in Week 13 (when he had 13 for 41 yards). This past week he got 22 of New England's 40 carries, and 13 of their 25 two weeks ago. Getting 54% of your teams carries isn't good enough, and is a real hit to Maroney's value.
In addition, Maroney's dominance of the Patriots' carries in scoring situations has ended. After getting nearly every RZ and GL carry since Sammy Morris
got hurt, the past two weeks have seen Maroney receive slightly less than 50% in the RZ and on the GL. This has cost him a TD in each of the past two games (Kevin Faulk
Although this is all bad news for Maroney, he's still facing Buffalo which makes him a good RB2 option. As far as the other guys in the backfield go, Morris is the most effective runner, but Kevin Faulk
has converted 2 GL carries for TDs in two straight weeks; still I'd opt for Morris as a decent Flex play. Quinton Ganther, Redskins RB
Yes, Ganther had an awesome Week 14 in fantasy. But let's face it: any RB facing the Raiders has a real chance to produce significant value. The good news is that Ganther seems to be the Redskins #1 RB in the Red Zone too, getting 4 out of 5 RZ carries, and all 3 on the Goal Line (converting for 2 TDs).
The bad news is that he managed just 3.6 yards per carry against one of the easiest teams to run on in football. More bad news: He's facing the Giants and Cowboys over the next two weeks, two competent run defenses (ranked 17th and 13th). So despite his great debut as starting RB for the Skins, I'd say Ganther should be relegated to being no more than a solid Flex option.Updated Red Zone Statistics for RBs, WRs, and TEs: