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Fantasy football: Temper expectations for Bucs’ Rainey

Bobby Rainey Joplo Bartu

Bobby Rainey, Joplo Bartu

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Bye weeks: Bengals, Bills, Eagles, Seahawks.


Broncos at Patriots: Peyton Manning has scored at least 20 points in every game but two. Tom Brady looks more like himself lately.


Panthers at Dolphins: There isn’t one Dolphin you’re starting with confidence. There’s only one Panther: Cam Newton.


QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: In his last five games against the Browns, he has a touchdown-interception ratio of 10-2. The Browns have allowed 14 touchdown passes in the last five games.

RB Andre Brown, Giants: Don’t be scared off by Brandon Jacobs’ vulture touchdown. Brown had 21 touches to Jacobs’ five, and the Cowboys rank 29th in run defense.

WR Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers: He’s the best Buc to play this week. The Lions rank 30th in pass defense and have allowed 10 touchdowns to wideouts in the last four games.


QB Robert Griffin III, Redskins: The 49ers have allowed multiple touchdown passes twice since Week 2. They also have held quarterbacks to an average of 11 rushing yards per game.

RB Ray Rice, Ravens: He exploited a great matchup against the Bears, but the Jets have held running backs to 63.3 rushing yards per game.

WR Terrance Williams, Cowboys: His pace has slowed dramatically, and now Miles Austin is due back from a hamstring injury.



QB Russell Wilson: 230 yards, 2 TDs

RB Frank Gore: 13 carries, 48 yards

WR Torrey Smith: 5 catches,
32 yards, TD


QB Andy Dalton: 93 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs

RB Stevan Ridley: 13-48, TD, fumble

WR Jordy Nelson: 8-117-0

Updated: November 19, 2013 8:21PM

Bobby Rainey was started
in 0.6 percent of leagues Sunday. One of those was mine, and he played against me.

I lost.

But the vast majority of the world didn’t start Rainey, the Buccaneers running back who was the top scorer in Week 11
with 34 standard-scoring points (163 rushing yards, three touchdowns). And odds are the vast majority of the world missed the best game of Rainey’s career.

Rainey exploited a favorable matchup against the Falcons, who had allowed 492 rushing yards to running backs in their previous three games. He looked great doing it, too. He was quick and shifty, he broke tackles and he displayed an all-around game.

But here’s the thing: The Ravens signed Rainey (5-7, 205 pounds) as an undrafted free agent last year, then released him Sept. 1. The Browns claimed him but released him Oct. 18, despite their running woes.
Then the Bucs claimed him four days later. That’s three teams in two months.

Given the state of running backs this season and his feature role, Rainey is worthy of a flex spot or a No. 2 running-back spot in deep leagues. But no more. Consider his next two matchups: at the Lions, who rank fifth in run defense, and at the Panthers, who rank third.

He’ll face vulnerable run defenses in the Bills (Week 14) and the Rams (Week 16), but maybe his magic will have run out by then. The Bucs seemed to catch lightning in a bottle with Mike James before he broke his ankle two weeks ago. Have they done it again, or did a matchup play in their favor?

I’d lean toward the latter.

Box-score bits

Jets running back Chris Ivory has earned a No. 2 running-back spot. He has taken over the feature role from Bilal Powell, who hasn’t cracked double digits in scoring since Week 4. Ivory has in three of his last four games. The Jets’ schedule isn’t exactly favorable (save for Week 13 against the Dolphins), but expect Ivory to get plenty of carries.

◆ Here are the next running backs who will face the Bears’ decrepit run defense, making them must-starts: Zac Stacy, Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray and Chris Ogbonnaya. Get that last one? The Browns are giving him a chance, and he had 14 touches Sunday. He also has 14 receptions in the last three games.


Twitter: @JeffreyA22

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