Start or Sit Dion Lewis?
Through three weeks, fantasy football running backs are certainly going as we all expected. Your leading rusher is Matt Breida, and your rushing touchdowns leader is Carlos Hyde. Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t played, David Johnson is the RB20, and Adrian Peterson is RB6. Just like we all thought would happen. That doesn’t even account for potentially multiweek injuries to Devonta Freeman, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, and Leonard Fournette. So far, running back has been a crapshoot outside of Alvin Kamara and Todd Gurley. With all the tumult happening in the running back ranks, it’s likely you have to make a decision you never thought you would make… like Phillip Lindsay or Kareem Hunt; these decisions suddenly carry a ton of agitation. Well, I guess it becomes an easy one if any random joker can become a starting caliber QB in any given week. This week we tackle the age-old question: Do I start or sit Dion Lewis as the Tennessee Titans host the world champion Philadelphia Eagles?
It’s been a strange season for Dion Lewis, and it’s only been three games. He entered the season as the presumptive short-half (no pun intended) of the Derrick Henry-Dion Lewis backfield split. Instead, he out-snapped Henry in two-of-three games (except last week’s 9-6 debacle). Lewis has been out-targeted 12-2, but Henry’s out carried Lewis 46-39. What does this all add up to? A big, fat, ugly mess at running back. Lewis outperforms Henry on a per-opportunity basis, but 12 targets and 39 carries over 3 games won’t cut it with such an anemic offense. The Titans line gets no push up front, and Lewis runs impotently into the line. The Titans need to get him the ball in space and stop bashing him between the tackles.
Bashing into the line will be a massive problem for Lewis this week, as he takes on one of the top run defenses in the NFL. The Eagles have allowed just one running back touchdown through the first three games of the season. Not a single back has surpassed over 50 yards against the Iggles and backs average an absolutely scorching 2.83 yards per carry. They’ve also faced three jumbled up backfields (Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Indianapolis), so it’s a great thing the Titans don’t have that (ironic naivety intended)!
Dion Lewis hasn’t had enough touches or sufficient efficiency to merit starting him regardless of matchup. This week, he gets one of the worst possible matchups. The Eagles have stifled all challengers in every aspect of the game. It’ll be a disaster for the Titans this weekend, and Dion Lewis will suffer. Don’t drop him yet, but if you’re worrying if you should start or sit Dion Lewis… go ahead and keep him out of your lineups. Sit him.
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