More changes come to the Seattle Seahawks backfield. Chris Carson will start this week against the Indianapolis Colts. This isn’t much of a surprise. For three straight games, the rookie has played as Seattle’s clear-cut primary back. From week 1 to week 3, he has led all Seahawks’ backs in offensive snaps in each game this year, with 25 (52.1 percent), 48 (60.8 percent) and 41 (56.2 percent).
While the Seahawks struggled last week against the Tennessee Titans, Carson delivered a solid stat line. He had 11 carries for 34 yards and two catches for 18 yards and a touchdown. That gave fantasy owners a double-digit week. In week 4, he’s in an ideal spot to cash in on another great week.
Week 4 VS Colts
To start off, Seattle will be without their pass catching back C.J. Prosise due to an ankle injury. Carson has expanded his game, becoming not just a good runner, but a dependable pass catcher out of the backfield as both of his targets last week were caught. He averaged 9.9 yards per reception on 30 receptions in 21 games played in two years for Oklahoma State, according to Sports-Reference. Through three games, he’s caught four of five targets for 35 yards and a touchdown in week 3.
The Seahawks are in position to have a great day against the Colts. Carson should be in line for plenty of opportunity. He could have a similar day like week 2 against the 49ers. He finished with 20 carries for 93 yards and one catch for 7 yards. Carson has a chance to top those numbers against the Colts.
However, the Colts actually aren’t that bad against the run. The Colts have only allowed 85.7 rushing yards per game, the 10th-best in the NFL so far. No running back has gained more than 44 rushing yards, including matchups against Todd Gurley and Isaiah Crowell. Gurley did get 15 points, but Crowell struggled. Duke Johnson Jr., the backup in Cleveland, had 104 total yards and a touchdown.
Carson should still have a solid day, especially if he plays like last week. Sometimes good players find a way in bad situations, and he is capable of doing that.
What to do now with their other running backs
As for his week, the backups will be Thomas Rawls, who only had one snap last week and 16 in week 2, and Eddie Lacy, who has not seen a snap since week 1. Expect this trend to continue this week.
Rawls entered the year as the starter, but Pete Carroll had high praise for the rookie Carson since after the preseason. Carroll even stated he wanted to give Carson more snaps.
Lacy on the other hand was in line to compete, but was named the backup after the preseason. He was drafted in many leagues only because no one believed Carson would break out. Rawls and Lacy are now players you can dump into waivers.
As for Prosise, he is worth a look in PPR leagues as he is the pass catching back in Seattle. He saw 27 snaps last week with three catches for 65 yards. When healthy, he will fit right back into his role with Carson.
Prediction: Carson will finish a top-15 back
Carson is a RB2 right now and a high flex play. If he has a great game against the Colts, he could be primed for a good season. One reason is because of how much the Seahawks like to run the ball. From 2012 to 2015, they ranked in the top three in rushing attempts.
Even though their offensive line is mediocre, he’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Carson is also getting the majority of the snaps. As I mentioned in the beginning, he saw 41 snaps last week where the next guy only saw 27.
This isn’t just a one week phenomenon. This has been building since the beginning of the season. I expect him to keep playing at a high level and get better as he could bring Seattle back to its roots in having a good running game.
Featured image from sports.mynorthwest.com.
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