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Welcome to Week 13 of the 2023 Footballguys Roundtable. Our intrepid panel of fantasy pundits discusses and debates four topics every week. We split the conversation into separate features.
This week's roundtable features these four topics:
- Playoff Heroes
- RB Roulette: Whose Recent Emergence Is Sustainable (see below)
- Playoff Losers
- The WR Perception Game
RB Roulette: Whose Recent Emergence Is Sustainable?
Matt Waldman: These RBs have been fantasy starters in three-RB leagues in recent weeks. Pick one who is likely to sustain or build on that production and one who is likely to disappear.
Let's begin with Whom You Believe is Sustainable...
Joseph Haggan: Chuba Hubbard looks to have cemented himself as the lead back over Miles Sanders. One thing that Hubbard has over the others listed is rather consistent volume. He has 10 or more touches in 9 of the team's 11 games this season. The two games he didn't reach that mark were Weeks 2 and 3 where they were still trying to establish Miles Sanders. He has 618 yards in the season and is coming off his best game with 92 total yards and a touchdown. The most important stat of that game was the five targets he received. If Hubbard can carve out a more consistent role in the passing game, he becomes a legitimate RB2.
Andy Hicks: Devin Singletary began his career with the Texans under inauspicious circumstances. The team was struggling with a rookie quarterback. Singletary was the number two behind Dameon Pierce and did not look good in the process. The nadir was his game against Atlanta where he had zero carries and one unsuccessful target.
Once it was clear Pierce was not the same as in his rookie season and then subsequently injured, Singletary got his shot. With the passing game on fire, so were Singletary's numbers. He has become RB4 over the last three weeks. He should post borderline RB1 numbers for a few more weeks.
Phil Alexander: Keaton Mitchell is the most likely to build on his recent production. For weeks, we've heard the coaching staff in Baltimore say they're ready to put more on Mitchell's plate, and they finally delivered in Week 12. The electric rookie had a season-best 46% snap share and 39% route participation rate while maintaining efficiency as a runner (7.1 yards per attempt) and receiver (12 yards per catch).
The Ravens now have their bye week to integrate Mitchell into their offense further, and it makes sense that they would. With Mark Andrews lost for the season, Baltimore is in added need of offensive playmakers. Mitchell will never be an every-down runner and has zero shot of earning goal-line carries, but I would take my chances with his 12-14 weekly touches over more robust workloads from every other running back on this list.
Gary Davenport: Look back at Baltimore's Week 12 win over the Los Angeles Chargers and you'll see why Keaton Mitchell is the back most likely to build on his production. Against the Chargers, Mitchell had 11 touches. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill had 14 combined. Mitchell was on the field for 33 snaps. Edwards and Hill got 39 combined. This is becoming Mitchell's backfield—and given the explosiveness and receiving chops he has shown off, the pendulum is only going to continue swinging in his direction.
Corey Spala: I believe Keaton Mitchell will build on his production. Since Week 9 Mitchell has 29 carries for 269 yards and has added five receptions for 61 yards. The important variable is Mitchell out-carried Gus Edwards in Week 11. Mitchell has been boom or bust in limited playing time and has averaged 31% snaps over the last four weeks. The important note, his snaps have gone up each game (18%, 24%, 36%, 46%). Baltimore has a bye week, and I am optimistic the offense will continue to get the electric Mitchell involved.
Jeff Haseley: In a season of despair and offensive ineptitude for Carolina, Chuba Hubbard has been a semi-bright spot. Now that running backs coach Duce Staley is out of the picture, Miles Sanders will likely fade out as well. Hubbard has outplayed Sanders this season and deserves more touches. He could parlay that into a decent fantasy outcome for the stretch run. I am not projecting touchdowns and 100-yard games, but he could produce 60-70 total yards with 4-5 receptions, and that might be enough to consider him a flex option for the playoffs.
Joey Wright: It is no secret that I have an affinity for Samaje Perine, my flag plant sure thing player of 2023. Sadly, the usage has not been there in Denver. Through his first nine games of the season, Perine only had two games with at least 10 PPR fantasy points.
However, he has career highs in yards per attempt and yards per reception. In the last two weeks, though, there seems to have been a shift. Perine is seeing more usage with eight total touches in each game. In those games, he is averaging 13.6 PPR fantasy points.
During his time in Cincinnati, Perine averaged 18.4 PPR fantasy points per game in games where he saw 11 or more total touches. If there truly is a shift in Denver and we see Perine's usage continue, he could absolutely be a contributor to help you win a fantasy championship.
Waldman: I love your willingness to roll with a slow running back, Joey. Most folks find a way to build a statistical argument in favor of the fast player who isn't proven as a between-the-tackles option and tear down the big back lacking speed (see above). While it may not happen for Perine as you hope, he's a talented back with a favorable schedule and a versatile game.
Let's hear from the naysayers on Perine. I'm betting they're in abundance.
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