RB Roosevelt Nix - Pittsburgh Steelers
|5-11, 260||Born: 3-30-1992||College: Kent State||Drafted: ---|
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Week 12: vs Green Bay Packers
All RB vs GB
FBG says: Neutral matchup. LeVeon Bell seems to have lost a lot of his 2014-16 form. Finally healthy and deployed for a full season, Bell has underwhelmed despite leading the league in rushing, averaging just 3.82 yards per carry - his lowest since his 2013 rookie year. He's reached 80 ground yards just 5 times in 10 games - only once over his last 3 - and topped a 4.00-yard average just 3 times all year. (Consider that, from 2014-16, he hit 80 yards in 22 of his 36 games, playoffs included, averaging 4.87 over that span.) It's hard to blame the front line, which remains stout and draws the No. 6 spot in our Matt Bitonti's rankings. And it's hard to fault the passing game, which has slowed but remains effective enough to open up the field. Bell has seen wide openings into the second and third levels; he's just not making defenders miss nearly as often as we're used to seeing. Bell remains the absolute bell cow of this backfield and often the centerpiece of the Pittsburgh offense, and that won't change anytime soon. But it's probably time to stop merely assuming he'll turn 25 attempts into 125 yards. Bell is still a no-brainer fantasy RB1 regardless of situation or matchup, but he's now blended in with a handful of similar producers rather than soaring above the pack.
The Packers run defense has been surprisingly stout in 2017. They've allowed the league's eighth-fewest yards per rush and just 105.7 per game, a feat made even more impressive when we note how negative their game scripts have been. The interior of the front seven, namely defensive tackle Mike Daniels, have been truly stout, and rookie safety Josh Jones has been a revelation as an in-the-box roverback type. Over the past 3 weeks, they've corralled all comers, with Ameer Abdullah, Jordan Howard, and Alex Collins averaging an anemic 50.3 yards (just 2.70 per rush). Of course, failing so hard on offense tends to open up plenty of touchdown opportunity, and only seven teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns. This looks to be one of those sad cases in which a dominant unit is crushed by game flow; they look poised to limit LeVeon Bell's per-touch impact but are prime candidates to allow him into the end zone, perhaps more than once.
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