FBG says: Tough matchup. It is looking increasingly likely that the days of Chris Carson as Seattle's bell-cow running back may be a thing of the past after recent issues with ball security along with Rashaad Penny's emergence as a viable running back finally late in year two. Carson's workload was one of the heaviest in the league earlier in the season, bearing the brunt of the work in Seattle's run-heavy offense that ranks third in total rushing attempts this season. Even after another 20-carry day against Minnesota on Monday night in Week 13, the underlying numbers are worrying for Chris Carson down the stretch, as he played approximately 50-percent of offensive snaps for the second consecutive weeks after his fumbling issues resurfaced in recent weeks. Rashaad Penny has registered his two highest-usage games of the season over the last two games, with 14 carries for 129 yards and a score against Philadelphia's stout run defense in Week 12, followed up by 15 carries for 74 yards and 1 score in Week 13 against Minnesota in Week 13. Penny has played nearly 50-percent of snaps in each of the two games, and his efficiency on the ground (5.7 yards per carry as opposed to Carson's 4.2 yards per carry this season) and ball security may lead to an increased role down the stretch this season. Overall, in a run-heavy offense like Seattle's may be able to support multiple viable fantasy producers, but Carson's value to close the season diminishes greatly as Rashaad Penny, the team's 2018 1st-round draft pick, eats into his playing time.
The Los Angeles Rams' defense has faced the sixth-most rush attempts in the NFL this season, and while that volume may lead to high raw rushing totals, their efficiency numbers rank amongst the league's best. The Rams have allowed just 3.7 yards per carry through 12 games this season, the 3rd-best mark in the NFL, and their defensive personnel matches this top-end ranking as well. Los Angeles fields one of the NFL's most talented defenses against both the run and the pass, and their strength starts up front in the trenches. Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers grade as two of the NFL's best interior defensive linemen against the run, and they do an exceptional job clogging up rushing lanes in the middle. Then, at linebacker, Cory Littleton's tackling is much-improved this season, as he has struggled in run-support in recent years. Through 12 games, Littleton has missed just 1 tackle while registering 57 total tackles, good for 21st in the NFL. Then, in the secondary, Eric Weddle and Jalen Ramsey are both willing run-supporters, helping round out one of the NFL's best defenses against the ground game. This matchup between NFC West foes is shaping up to be one of the season's best battles in the trenches, as the Seahawks will likely attempt to run the ball early and often against the Rams' strong run-stopping defensive front.