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RB Spencer Ware - Kansas City Chiefs

5-10, 228Born: 11-23-1991College: LSUDrafted: Round 6

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Recent Stats and Projections

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19 vs PIT 0 8 35 1 4 2 1 0 0 9.6

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 19 vs PIT (8 / 35 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 1 / 0 rec)

Spencer Ware played admirably in his first season as the Chiefs bell-cow running back. The game against Pittsburgh was tightly contested, yet the Chiefs only gave their lead back eight carries, which Ware was able to turn into 35 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for one yard on four targets. Ware did well when called upon, scoring one of only two touchdowns in the game. The Chiefs have found their running back of the future and will look to Ware after most likely moving on from Jamaal Charles this offseason.

2016 Week 16 vs DEN (13 / 62 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)

Although Ware's stats do not indicate that he had a big game, he was a key cog in the Chiefs offense against the Broncos. Ware gained 62 yards on 13 carries, and caught two passes for 20 yards. What doesn't show up in the stat sheet was Ware's ability to orchestrate the offense out of the Wildcat formation, where he was able to gain positive yardage and keep the Broncos defensive front off balance. His presence the Wildcat formation was a big reason why Tyreek Hill was able to run for a 70 yard touchdown, as Ware deftly sold option fakes when lining up with Hill as his backfield mate. Ware continues to be the mainball carrier for the Chiefs, and despite not having the same success as he did early in the season, he is contributing as not only a ball carrier now, but as a decoy that has helped generate big plays for the Chiefs.

2016 Week 15 vs TEN (18 / 70 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)

Spencer Ware gained 70 yards on 19 carries, and caught three passes for 25 yards. In what has become a disturbing trend in the second half of the season, Ware was not able to generate rushing yards beyond the line of scrimmage, even on plays where his offensive line created a hole for him to run through. Over the last several weeks, Ware has not been assertive hitting open holes in the line, but rather choosing to bounce inside runs outside in hopes of turning the corner. This has plagued him, and it was no different against the Titans. There were several times when Ware could have picked up four to five yards by simply running through the center of the line, but when he hesitated the Titans defensive line and linebackers were on him quickly and stopped him for no gain or a loss of yards.

2016 Week 14 vs OAK (20 / 56 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)

The emergence of Tyreek Hill and the stellar play of Travis Kelce have help mask the fact that Ware has been unimpressive in the second half of the season. He rushed the ball 20 times for 56 yards and caught only one pass for seven yards. Of his 20 carries, 11 of them went for two yards or less. It is not that he has changed the way he is running but he looks hesitant at times, and he also looks much less explosive than he did in the beginning of the year. A good example of this came when the Chiefs were running Ware off the left tackle. Ware was four yards behind Smith and took the handoff with momentum, and where we were used to see him hit the hole and start up field, he was tackled by an Oakland defensive lineman who had gotten penetration. It looked as though Ware hesitated before finding the hole, and that hesitation cost him a positive gain. When he can follow his blockers he is gaining four, five and six yards, but when he is forced to create yards on his own, or break an arm tackle or two, he is much less successful than he was at the start of the season. He has carried a full load this year, and it could be that he is hitting the wall that many young running backs encounter when they are tasked with being a lead back in the NFL.

2016 Week 13 vs ATL (14 / 29 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 23 / 1 rec)

Spencer Ware had a rough day rushing the ball, gaining only 29 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He also chipped in three catches for 23 yards and another touchdown, salvaging his day for fantasy owners. Five of Ware's 14 carries went for zero or negative yards, with the Falcons defensive front pushing around Kansas City's offensive line. The rushing touchdown was Ware's first since week six, and the receiving touchdown was Ware's first since week seven. Ware's rushing touchdown came on an off-tackle left where he allowed his blockers to run out to the left side and create room for him to turn the corner and get in the end zone. It was a play that we've grown accustomed to seeing Ware make, but it had been over six weeks since he last hit pay dirt. Ware has taken the reigns as the Chiefs lead back, and although he has slowed down during the second half of the season, he still looked like he had fresh legs on Sunday and caught his second wind.

2016 Week 12 vs DEN (17 / 64 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 32 / 0 rec)

Spencer Ware had another solid, although unspectacular game against a Bronco's team that had been very generous to opposing runners over the last several weeks. Ware gained 64 yards on 17 carries, while catching two passes for 32 yards. Ware's biggest contribution came operating out of the Wildcat formation, where he was able to show off the skills he developed as a former option quarterback. On three straight plays in the third quarter, Ware took the snap out of the shotgun formation. On the first read option call, Ware faked a handoff to Tyreek Hill before bursting through the left side of his line for a six yard gain. The Chiefs ran the same play again, and Ware was able to gain three yards and get down to the Denver six yard line. On the third play from the Wildcat formation, Alex Smith broke out in motion to the left side, allowing Ware to take the snap again. This time Ware was very patient, side stepping twice to the right side and then handing the ball off to Tyreek Hill who ran the ball in for a three yard touchdown. Ware looked very natural running the read option, and for a team that is desperate need of generating big plays, this might be something that Kansas City does more often in the second half of the season.

2016 Week 11 vs TB (17 / 69 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

Spencer Ware was unable to find running room against a Tampa Bay defense that clamped down on the Chiefs whenever they crossed half field. Ware finished with 17 carries for 69 yards and caught two passes for 16 yards. Ware was given enough carries to make a difference, but he was very inconsistent, having seven carries of five or more yards, and ten carries with less than four yards. Ware has been a big part of the Chiefs winning record this season, filling in for Jamal Charles admirably, and putting up enough big plays to fill the gap between he and Charles. When Ware is not churning out big plays though, the offense tends to stall, similar to what happened on Sunday. The Chiefs just do not have enough firepower on offense to match points with most of the NFL, and they've been lucky enough to get points and turnovers from their defense this season. Ware should continue to see the bulk of the carries each Sunday, but his touchdown upside is limited with the Chiefs inability to move the ball through the air.

2016 Week 10 vs CAR (13 / 61 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)

Ware returned to duty after a one week injury layoff, rushing 13 times for 61 yards, while also catching three of five targets for 11 yards. Ware has played a big part in the Chiefs offense through the first nine games, and has led them to a 7-2 record based mainly on his ability to generate big plays in the rushing and passing game. That big play ability was not on display in this game however, as Ware's longest rush went for 12 yards, and he failed to get anything going in the passing game, with a long reception of five yards. Ware's biggest play of the game came without the ball, and it showed how far he has come as a player in a short amount of time. With Kansas City trailing 17-14 late in the 4th quarter, Alex Smith dropped back to pass and was met with an aggressive Panther blitz package. Luke Kuechly came rushing up the middle unblocked, but Ware delivered a crushing block that sent the linebacker straight to the ground, and allowed Smith to complete a pass to Travis Kelce that led to a game tying field goal from Santos. Ware will continue to have big games moving forward, as he represents the best chance the Chiefs have of moving the ball down the field.

2016 Week 8 vs IND (7 / 19 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)

Ware was off to another hot start on Sunday, rushing seven times for 19 yards and catching two passes for 28 yards before he also fell victim to a concussion. Ware has entered the league concussion protocol and is currently questionable to play in week 9. Ware's best play of the day come on a short screen from Alex Smith, where he displayed nice burst off the line of scrimmage before quickly getting into the Colts secondary and showing off his strength by pushing several tacklers forward for a 23 yard gain.

2016 Week 7 vs NO (17 / 77 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 54 / 1 rec)

Spencer Ware did the grunt work for the Chiefs, setting the tone early and never looking back. Running with excellent patience and power, Ware showcased why the Chiefs think so highly of him. He makes a habit of bulling his way through contact, and followed some excellent blocks on off tackle and counter plays to churn out yards. On a quick pass into the flat, and behind a great block from Jeremy Maclin, Ware scooted for a beautiful touchdown. He showed good wiggle to avoid a Saints defender, and did the rest of the work himself to sprint for the end zone. The Chiefs played keep away for most of the second half, with Ware playing his part in keeping the offense on schedule.

2016 Week 6 vs OAK (24 / 131 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 32 / 0 rec)

Ware played a pivotal role in the Chiefs win against the Raiders, as he was instrumental in the Chiefs winning the battle of Time of Possession (Chiefs: 36:45, Raiders: 23:15) by over a full quarter of play. He rushed for a career high 131 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, while also catching two passes for 32 yards. Ware looked the part of a true workhorse, grinding out tough yards between the tackles but also showing the agility to bounce runs outside when the situation called for it. The most impressive part of his evolving skillset is his ability to generate big plays, week in and week out. This past Sunday was no different, as Ware was able to break off a 45 yard rush, and a 30 yard reception. With his 45 yard rush, Ware has now generated a 35+ yard run or catch in five of his six games this season. This is the main reason why Ware will continue to receive a lion's share of the touches in the Chiefs backfield, even with a healthy Jamaal Charles. Kansas City always depended on Charles to generate explosive plays for them, with Ware also having that explosive skillset, the Chiefs now have two running backs who can take pressure off their passing game by moving the ball in large chunks. Ware also continued his elite production in the red zone, converting on his only carry inside the five yard line. In shotgun formation, Alex Smith ran a delayed draw to Ware who used his plant foot to create leverage to put his pads down and run through the Oakland defensive line into the end zone.

2016 Week 4 vs PIT (13 / 82 / 0 rush, 5 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)

With Jamaal Charles set to make his regular season debut, the biggest question among Ware owners was how Head Coach Andy Reid would divide their shares in the backfield. Due to the outcome being decided rather quickly, we probably don't have much to go on, but it was certainly optimistic to see Ware dominate the touches. He rushed 13 times for 82 yards, a very healthy clip of 6.3 yards per carry. Ware had the long gain (for the third time in four games) of the night for the Chiefs, busting open a draw play through the middle of the line, breaking two tackles before turning the ball outside and taking off down the right sideline for a 42 yard run. Ware was ultimately caught from behind on what looked to be a possible touchdown run, but the play was one of beauty and showed why Ware deserves to be given meaningful touches each week. He is still developing as an NFL running back, but he has a diverse skill set that can both grind out tough yards and break open big plays. Unfortunately for Ware, he lost a fumble for the third straight week, something he had not done at all through his college career and his through his first year as a professional. He is too talented to keep on the sidelines, but the Chiefs need to work on ball security with the young running back, especially as he is being groomed as the heir-apparent to Jamaal Charles.

2016 Week 3 vs NYJ (20 / 75 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)

Ware was more successful that his stat line indicates. He was strong running between the tackles despite a tough Jets front, often pushing the pile and churning his legs for extra yards when there was nothing there. Ware's best gains came on runs outside of the tackles, where he showed elusiveness and the ability to get yards after contact. The Jets stiffened up against the run in the second half and Ware's stats stalled out. He wasn't as involved in the passing game as the Chiefs controlled the game almost from start to finish. Ware would have had a fine fantasy day if he hadn't lost the ball diving for the pylon, turning a touchdown into a touchback.

2016 Week 2 vs HOU (10 / 57 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 48 / 0 rec)

Although it isn't saying much, Ware was the best offensive player on the field for the second straight week. He ran decisively behind a hodge-podge offensive line, gaining 57 yards on ten carries. As it many times goes in the NFL, Ware's runs were a mix of very short gains mixed with the occasional big play, which for Ware, came on a long run of 25 yards. While Ware mainly made a name for himself as a power runner, he has made tremendous strides in the passing game since last season. This was on full display in week 1, where he finished with seven catches for 129 and was instrumental in leading the Chiefs to a comeback victory. He continued this stellar play in week 2, totaling 48 yards on two catches (4 targets) while having the long play for the Chiefs offense of 35 yards. Ware failed to impact where the Chiefs really needed him though, and that is in the red zone. He also lost a fumble on a second quarter drive that stalled an otherwise anemic offense, making the decision to play West on half the snaps that much easier for the Kansas City coaching staff.

2016 Week 1 vs SD (11 / 70 / 1 rush, 8 / 7 / 129 / 0 rec)

Spencer Ware looked every bit like a number one back today as he racked up 70 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown, and caught 7 of 8 passes for 145 yards out of the backfield. Ware put this team on his back with almost 200 yards of total offense on only 18 touches. The big strike came on a 45-yard reception from Smith to start a touchdown drive in the third quarter. Ware also took the ball in from 5 yards out to tie the game with just over a minute left to go. Ware will get the majority of the work while Charles is out and is a must play against Houston next week.

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