Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Frank Gore in Week Twelve?

Nothing has really gone right for the 2017 iteration of the Indianapolis Colts. Andrew Luck can’t seem to get back from injured reserve, and it’s become an entirely lost season for the franchise. They will hopefully have Luck back next season, and if they’re smart, with an entirely new, high talent offensive line in tow. This season has had very few fantasy football bright spots outside of some flare-ups from star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and volume-based productivity from tight end Jack Doyle. This leaves Hall of Fame-bound Frank Gore as a fantasy football afterthought these days. He was drafted as a matchup-based depth commodity; is this the week where you run Frankie out there against the Tennessee Titans, who were left reeling last week after a shellacking at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

First, let’s look at Frank Gore this season. Things haven’t been great, and that’s to be expected from a 34-year-old running back. As the saying goes, Father Time is undefeated, and Gore has started to slow due to the ravages of time. He’s still getting plenty of touches, topping eighteen in each of the last three games (after getting just nine when the Jags boat raced the Colts). He produced against the Bengals, going for just over 100 yards. Since then? Things have been slightly rougher, averaging just 69 yards a game over the last two games. For set-and-forget RB2 production, even in a deeper league, the 6+ fantasy point floor is not a bad thing to be able to bank. However, things are likely to change this week.

This week, Gore gets one of the worst possible matchups to be running into as the Bye weeks dry up. He takes on the Titans, who were thoroughly embarrassed on national television by the Steelers. However, the only aspect of their team that worked on Thursday Night Football was the run defense, and that has been their most consistent aspect all season.  Shockingly enough, the Titans haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher yet this season. They haven’t even allowed a ninety-yard rusher… or an eighty-yard rusher. The high water mark for running back rushing yards against the Titans was Jay Ajayi’s 77 in week five. Right after that game? Frank Gore with 49 rushing yards, so they already had Gore’s number once. The Titans have allowed double-digit fantasy points to running backs in each of the last three games, I will concede that point. However, Javorius Allen absorbed seven targets to do it (something Gore won’t do), Joe Mixon needed a touchdown and forty yards to get ten points on the nose. The third player? A future all-timer with Lev Bell. And it took him nine targets. Rushing against the Titans just plain doesn’t work.

Sitting Frank Gore is the best course of action this week unless you’re in an exceptionally desperate position. The Colts haven’t made a useful situation for Gore, and the Titans absolutely crush opposing running backs who only run the ball. Gore’s eight targets in his last two games won’t break him through to great usefulness this week. Keep Gore on your bench, and if you need the space for a handcuff or a lottery ticket, he only has one great matchup left: week fourteen against the Bills. If you won’t start him then, it’s likely time to cut bait on Frank Gore entirely. He doesn’t offer any sort of weekly upside, and is purely a low ceiling depth player at this point.

About Jeff Krisko

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