Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 14

Footballguys Staff takes you through the Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups for Week 14


To view all of our Week 14 Matchup content, please see the links below:
Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 14
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 14
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 14
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 14
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 14
Passing Matchup Chart Week 14

Minnesota at Tampa Bay

The Vikings remain deeply committed to a clock-controlling run game, pounding the ball at a 48% rate (sixth-highest in football). And Dalvin Cook has answered the bell, though it’s worth noting his efficiency has tailed off over the past month or so. After putting up 6.0 yards per rush over the first 8 games, he’s generated just 3.7 since. That’s roughly the same timeframe as last year’s big dip, which saw Cook run as a fantasy RB2 over his final 7 games. There’s no doubt he’s a volume dominator, and that he boasts as good a touchdown outlook as anyone. But even if his efficiency weren’t slipping a bit, this week he’s staring down the most imposing matchup in all of football.

The Buccaneers continue to field the game’s most dominant run defense and by a wide margin. Only a single running back (Christian McCaffrey in Week 2) has cleared 50 ground yards in this matchup, and even he needed 18 attempts to do it. Along the way, they’ve thoroughly shut down the likes of Aaron Jones (10 rushes for 15 yards), Josh Jacobs (10 for 17), Melvin Gordon III (8 for 26), and Alvin Kamara twice (21 for 56). There’s just nowhere to exploit in this unit, which boasts a dominant front and a playmaking second level. Nose tackle Steve McLendon has proved a solid replacement for Vita Vea; his stable, gap-stuffing play pairs well with the still-dynamic Ndamukong Suh. Behind them, linebacker Lavonte David is enjoying the best season of an impressive nine-year career. He’s still instinctive and quick-footed in pursuit, and he papers over many of young Devin White’s miscues. All together, they make for the most suffocating unit in football. We’re at the point that even elite fantasy runners - like Cook - make for nothing more than volume/touchdown dice rolls in this matchup.

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