RB Lex Hilliard - New York Jets
|5-11, 231||Born: 7-30-1984||College: Montana||Drafted: Round 6|
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Week 15: at New Orleans Saints
All RB vs NO
FBG says: Good matchup. The Jets' three-headed running back monster has flashed dynamism at times, but only very briefly so; they're still hard to trust in any fantasy capacity. Matt Forte has looked every bit of his age of late, averaging just 3.13 yards per carry and 32.3 per game since returning from injury in Week 12. Bilal Powell is a more athletic and dynamic back than he's given credit for, but in a timeshare with Forte and running behind a mediocre line, the deck is typically stacked against him. Rookie Elijah McGuire isn't much of a factor, either; he's been given just 11 carries over his last 9 quarters of play and hurt his ankle in Week 14. Altogether, this is generally a unit to avoid regardless of matchup or expected game flow. And with quarterback Josh McCown out and the Jets' league-worst backup situation in play, both matchup and script are turning overwhelmingly negative for the trio.
The Saints' run defense numbers are actually decent, but they belie the true vulnerability that exists here. They're allowing 4.50 yards per rush, fourth-most in the league, after all. But when they dominate games, as they often did from Weeks 6-10, they've been able to snuff out opposing runners and prevent big fantasy days. Offenses can't stay committed to the run, of course, when the Saints are leading comfortably and their own backs are grinding out the second half. That said, their run of huge wins seems to have skidded to a stop; they've spent most of their last four weeks in neutral or negative game script, and it's afforded their opponents more opportunity - and room - to run. Samaje Perine (117 yards and 1 touchdown), Todd Gurley (74 yards), and Devonta Freeman (91 and 1) have been able to wear them down successfully. The Saints are overwhelming Week 15 favorites (currently -16), but we need to bear in mind what their opponents are capable of when the game is rolling toward the middle.
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