RB Wendell Smallwood - Philadelphia Eagles
|5-10, 208||Born: 0-0-1994||College: West Virginia||Drafted: Round 5, pick 2016|
Week 15: at Los Angeles Rams
FBG says: Great matchup. The Eagles backfield has shifted in recent weeks with the activation of Darren Sproles and the Week 14 injury to Corey Clement, which is likely to keep him out for multiple games by early reports. Sproles adds a dynamic nature to the position to complement the power running of Josh Adams. The Eagles struggled against Dallas in Week 14, a notable departure from their previous two weeks of success on the ground. Josh Adams saw a mere seven carries as the Eagles went to a pass-heavy approach despite a few solid runs from Adams early on. The Eagles have yet to fuel even a 90-yard rusher in a game this season despite the success of Josh Adams of late and some solid games from Jay Ajayi early in the year. For the season, the Eagles are bottom-10 in yards per carry and total rushing attempts. The Rams rushing defense has been a concern in recent weeks as they have continued to be exploited by their lack of linebacking play and have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game since week 9. Rolling out Mark Barron and Cory Littleton make up one of the worst linebacking groups in football. The Bears' combo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen gutted the Rams for a combined stat line of 28-170-0 last week and Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis did the same in Week 10. The Rams turning the game script negative on opponents has hidden this struggles for much of the season, but Los Angeles has allowed the fourth-most runs of 20 or more yards in the NFL and an NFL-high 5.1 yards per carry while being in the bottom-10 of rushes allowed.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36
Wendell Smallwood's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 10 vs DAL (2 / 4 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
Smallwood saw minimal snaps early in the game against Dallas before flashing as a receiver in the second half. Most notably, Smallwood made a quality catch on a throw behind him. However, the Eagles are running a heavy rotation of three running backs, limiting the upside of Smallwood in the process.
2018 Week 8 vs JAX (8 / 24 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 42 / 1 rec)
Smallwood drew the start against the Jaguars, but the Eagles ran a three-headed committee at running back. Smallwood did flash with his 10 touches, including a wide open screen pass for a chunk touchdown and a game-clinching 10-yard run, churning through a defender, in the closing minutes as Philadelphia salted away the victory. With Josh Adams more involved suddenly this week, Smallwood is a part of a cluttered backfield where the back with the goal line looks or heavier passing game involvement.
2018 Week 7 vs CAR (9 / 32 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
As teammate Corey Clement struggled on the ground against Carolina, Smallwood found some room to log a positive performance. Smallwood runs bigger than his size (208 pounds) inside, including a power third down run and chunk runs of eight and 10+ yards respectively between the tackles during the game. Smallwood was stuffed on a screen pass, but did log a 50+ yard gain on a reception called back by penalty beyond the box score. Smallwood and Clement are firmly in a committee backfield with little clarity on the preferred option for a given game.
2018 Week 6 vs NYG (18 / 51 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Smallwood saw the start against the Giants and was the primary interior runner with Corey Clement serving as a complementary back in the Eagles' rotation. Smallwood showed toughness inside and ran with more power than his size would suggest, dragging a defender for a chunk of yardage on a notable interior run. Smallwood did fumble in the game, but it was reversed to an Eagles recovery upon replay. Smallwood was limited as a receiver with Clement the clear preferred option through the air. While Smallwood had 19 touches in the blowout win, he did not have any touchdown opportunities or optimized looks for potential big gains.
2018 Week 5 vs MIN (3 / 27 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 44 / 1 rec)
Smallwood was a strong No.2 back for the Eagles with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles out against the Vikings. Jay Ajayi rarely got into a rhythm as the starter by title and Smallwood was the back making more plays in space, seeing two big gains on a run and a catch with quality blocking. Smallwood's best sequence came on a perfect wheel route throw by Carson Wentz in the red zone late in the game, followed by a two-point conversion on a toss, successfully diving for the pylon. Smallwood remains a Jay Ajayi injury (check) and more commitment to the run game by the Eagles away from being a higher-level performer, but has been a pleasant surprise over the past month, including this game, with his touches.
2018 Week 4 vs TEN (5 / 39 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
Smallwood had an elevated role with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles inactive against Tennessee. Jay Ajayi was the clear preferred option for snaps on early downs but Smallwood had his change-of-pace and hurry-up passing role for eight touches. Smallwood did log a drop, but also exhibited nice balance through contact on yards-after-the-catch on another occasion.
2018 Week 3 vs IND (10 / 56 / 1 rush, 5 / 3 / 35 / 0 rec)
Smallwood saw a substantial increase in snaps and touches with Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles out of the lineup against Indianapolis. Smallwood was on the field before Corey Clement, running for two chunk gains on the opening drive. Smallwood lacks the tackle-breaking ability of Clement, relying more on a well-defined running lane or merely pushing the pile for his success. Smallwood was left along down the seam for his notable reception and churned in for a goal line touchdown late in the fourth quarter as the Eagles' lone scoring chance for a running back in the game. On the positive note for Smallwood, Clement was not the clear starter over Smallwood, but the backfield did lack clarity either way for a true lead back in how they were deployed against the Colts.
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|15||@ Los Angeles Rams|
|16||vs Houston Texans|
|17||@ Washington Redskins|