RB Spencer Ware - Indianapolis Colts
|5-10, 228||Born: 11-23-1991||College: LSU||Drafted: Round 6, pick 194 (2013)|
2018 Week 9 vs CLE (2 / 12 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 69 / 0 rec)
Spencer Ware rushed two times for 12 yards, while also catching four passes for 69 yards on four targets against the Browns on Sunday. After seeing only 16 touches for 106 yards in the Chiefs first six games, Ware has now quietly compiled 17 touches for 170 yards in weeks seven and nine. His touches have not come at the expense of Hunt, which actually bodes well for his playing time going forward, as Andy Reid is starting to figure out ways to feature them in the backfield at the same time. Ware has stepped up and made some nice plays when his number has been called, including a nifty one-handed catch on a throw where Mahomes put the ball too far out in front of him. Ware was able to tip the pass to himself and corral the catch for a 21 yard gain. Based on previous production in year's past, and the way the Chiefs feature the running back, Ware is a must-own handcuff for Hunt owners, while also making a sneaky pickup for teams that could be making a deep postseason run.
2018 Week 10 vs ARI (2 / 6 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Spencer Ware rushed two times for six yards and at touchdown, while also catching his only target of the game for seven yards. The running game did not see the scoring opportunities that they normally do, however Ware was able to frustrate Hunt's managers around the world, by punching in a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put away the Cardinals. Ware lined up in the backfield at the fullback position with Hunt behind him in the backfield. Hill then came in motion from the left side just before Mahomes took the snap under center. What resulted from that was Hunt and Hill going one way to the right, while Ware took the handoff and cut back to the left side of his offensive line. He got through the initial line but hit a wall of players at the one yard line, but was able to keep his legs moving and power through them for a two yard touchdown. It was Ware's first touchdown since the 2016 season.
2018 Week 13 vs OAK (14 / 47 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Spencer Ware rushed 14 times for 47 yards and a touchdown, while also catching one pass on one target for five yards. Ware stepped into the starting role after Hunt was released by the Chiefs this week. Ware has had some experience in the lead role prior to Hunt being drafted, so this isn't exactly new territory for him. While he is a versatile back, who can excel in all three phases (rushing, passing, red zone) of the Chiefs offense, he does lack the explosive ability of Hunt, which is going to be a harsh reality for an offense that has depended on big plays this season. Ware was serviceable in this game, but did not do much to separate himself from back up Damien Williams. In fact, Williams averaged 7.6 yards carry (five rushes for 38 yards) and caught two passes for seven yards, to Ware's one catch, so it would be not a stretch to see Williams more involved going forward. Ware's touchdown run came with the Chiefs facing a fourth and goal from the Oakland one yard line. Mahomes was off the field, and Ware lined up as the quarterback in the Chiefs version of the Wildcat, with Hill and Kelce flanked on both sides of him. Ware took the direct snap, faked the handoff to Hill and then rushed up the middle for the touchdown, breaking through a wall of Raiders defenders on his way into the end zone.
2018 Week 14 vs BAL (15 / 75 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 54 / 0 rec)
Spencer Ware rushed 15 times for 75 yards and caught five passes on five targets for 54 yards. Ware was much more efficient in this game than he was last week, and the Chiefs really needed it with the offense struggling to move the ball through the air in the second half. With the Ravens blitzing Mahomes, Ware played a key role in the passing game, not only catching passes but also in pass protection. Unfortunately for Ware, Williams was the preferred option in the red zone, punching in one touchdown, and making the game tying touchdown reception. Ware has shown in the past that he is a solid goal line back so his opportunities should come, but bigger issue is that the Chiefs rolled with Williams nearly exclusively in the fourth quarter. Ware gained five or more yards on seven of his 15 rushes, and was gashing the Ravens in the third quarter, rushing for 12 and 13 yards on back to back runs. It remains to be seen how much volume Williams will see, but for now, it is safe to roll out Ware as a #2 RB, as the Chiefs offense is too good not to give him scoring opportunities.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
2015 Week 10 vs DEN (2 / 4 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Ware was the primary backup to Charcandrick West but did not see much action as he carried the ball only twice for a total of four yards. The Chiefs made Knile Davis a healthy scratch on Sunday, so Ware has presumably leapfrogged him for primary backup duties. Don't expect much in the way of production as West will continue to dominate the workload.
2015 Week 12 vs BUF (19 / 114 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 1 / 0 rec)
It was next man up for the Chiefs as Spencer Ware assumed lead back duties for the injured Charcandrick West. Ware delivered an encore to his strong relief performance in Week 11 and showed that he is more than capable of handling workhorse duties. He carried the ball for 19 of the team's 27 total rushing attempts, picking up 114 yards for an impressive average of 6.0 yards per carry. Ware finished off a Chiefs scoring drive in the second quarter with a three-yard run, but saved his longest run of the day for late in the game. On 1st and 10 from the Chiefs 11-yard line, Ware took the handoff from Alex Smith and found the hole up the middle to burst through for a 35-yard gain. Ware would gain 20 more yards on that drive alone, helping the Chiefs get into field goal territory for Cairo Santos to finish off the job. We'll have to wait and see how West's injury shakes out for his Week 13 availability, but Ware has shown that he's a solid option for both the Chiefs and his owners if West continues to miss time.
2015 Week 13 vs OAK (7 / 26 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / -1 / 0 rec)
Ware's strong play over the last two weeks has earned him a seat at the table ñ albeit in a committee situation with the returning Charcandrick West. Neither back was terribly effective against a strong Raiders run defense as the duo would only combine for 61 yards, but Ware did manage to find the end zone in the third quarter as the result of a 10-yard run, which also qualified as his longest gain of the day. In total, Ware carried the ball on seven of the team's 22 rushing attempts and caught both of his targets from Alex Smith for a total of 25 combined yards. The committee approach is likely to continue in Kansas City, which is likely the right move for the team as it continues to push for a playoff berth, but lessens the prospects of Ware or West from a fantasy perspective.
2015 Week 14 vs SD (8 / 52 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Ware continued to share carries with Charcandrick West in a relatively even fashion, with eight carries for Ware versus 10 for West. His longest run would come on the Chiefs lone touchdown drive of the day. On first and ten from the Chiefs 17-yard line, Ware took the handoff from of the right guard for a 20-yard gain. The drive was ultimately capped off by a 44-yard Alex Smith to Albert Wilson touchdown connection. Sunday's weather conditions were not conducive to productive offensive football, limiting the effectiveness of both Ware and West. Ware exited the game with a rib injury but is expected to be fine. We can expect the committee approach to continue for the remainder of the season.
2015 Week 15 vs BAL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After being questionable all week with a rib injury, Spencer Ware did in fact suit up but did not take the field. No word on his status for Week 16 at this early juncture, but we would expect him to re-form a committee with Charcandrick West upon his return.
2015 Week 16 vs CLE (5 / 15 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Spencer Ware was eased back into action against the Browns after spending last week on the sidelines. He carried the ball only five times versus 14 for backfield-mate Charcandrick West and gained 15 yards in the process. It's unclear if West will handle the bulk of the work going forward and into the playoffs or if the team will return to a committee approach for the regular season finale against the Oakland Raiders.
2015 Week 17 vs OAK (16 / 76 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After being limited for the two previous games with a rib injury, Spencer Ware reassumed his role in the Chiefs running back committee with Charcandrick West. On the day, Ware was the more effective of the two backs with his 16 carries yielding 76 yards and a score versus West's 13 carries for 34 yards. When it came time to punch it in from short yardage, Ware was the one who had his number called. Facing first and goal from the Raiders three-yard line, Ware took the handoff from Alex Smith through a massive hole created by the offensive line for the Chiefs second touchdown of the day. Ware would handle the bulk of the carries as the game developed and appears to be fully healed up heading into the playoffs. We'll look for the committee approach to remain in place for Wild Card weekend, with Ware the apparent choice for red-zone carries.
2015 Week 18 vs HOU (16 / 67 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Saturday's opening playoff round victory for the Chiefs was awfully one-sided as the Chiefs pounded the Texans to the tune of 30-0. The divvying up of workload in the Chiefs backfield also became a bit lopsided as the usual committee approach of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware clearly skewed in Ware's favor, with Ware receiving twice the number of carries as West. Ware carried the ball 16 times and averaged 4.2 yards a clip, while West received eight carries on the day and averaged 3.3 yards per carry. The first half saw an even enough split with West receiving seven carries to Ware's five, but it was a very different story after halftime. Ware would carry the load by toting the rock 11 times versus only one for West. Ware's longest run of the day would come just before halftime, which perhaps helped to set the tone for second half responsibilities. Facing 2nd and 5 from the Chiefs 15-yard line, Alex Smith handed the ball off to Ware who was able to take the ball around the right guard and find enough daylight for a 23-yard gain. Ware was also giving the nod for red zone work later in the game as he finished off an eight-play, 71-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Looking ahead to next week's date with the New England Patriots, it appears as if Ware has jumped ahead of West, but we'll have to wait and see how the carries shake out on Saturday. We'll give the nod to Ware due to the increased carries in the second half and for having his number called near the goal line.
2015 Week 19 vs NE (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After a solid outing in the Wild card victory over the Texans, a questionable tag hung over Spencer Ware for Saturday's Divisional Round tilt against the Patriots. Ware would ultimately dress for the game, but was apparently only available for emergency duty as he did not receive any carries. He did a solid job for the Chiefs this season, initially in a committee with Charcandrick West, who he had seemingly bypassed on the depth chart towards the end of the season and into the Wild Card round. Ware is an intriguing long-term prospect and could see some work next season if the Chiefs decide to ease back on the workload for Jamaal Charles.