Week Seventeen Analysis:
We called our shot with an Alfred Morris touchdown last week, and he came through with 88 yards and a score against Dallas. His 24 carries were six more than any of his previous four outings, so he has a little momentum heading into the season finale in the Meadowlands. The Giants' once-strong run defense has faltered over the last three games, surrendering five touchdowns and an average of 201 combo yards per game to the position. Morris totaled 53 combo yards and a score in the first meeting.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
Coming into last week's tasty matchup with Atlanta, Alfred Morris had failed to top even 52 rushing yards in three straight. However, he steamrolled his way to 106 combo yards against the Falcons, and he'll have an even better opportunity this week against the Cowboys. Over their last seven games, Dallas has surrendered an average of 206 combo yards and two touchdowns to opposing backfields. For a guy who's scored just once in his last six games, it wouldn't be surprising if Morris made amends with his first multiple-touchdown game of the season.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
Alfred Morris' 4.7-yard per carry average is just a tenth of a yard off last season's pace, and that's really all he's been able to control. Unfortunately, no other back has dealt with a more wild mix of variables. Whether it's been huge deficits, erratic quarterbacking, random touchdown vulturing or inexplicable play-calling, Morris just hasn't been able to catch a break. He's now scored just once in his last five games, while averaging 12 carries for 36 yards over his last three. In Atlanta's last seven games, opposing backs have averaged 151 rushing yards and over a rushing score per game. Sadly, while this should be a lock, there are just no guarantees for Morris anymore.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
After a year off, the Dark Lord of Fantasy has been toying with Alfred Morris owners all year. The sophomore is limping into the fantasy postseason with just one touchdown in his last four games, and over the last two weeks he's totaled a measly 25 carries for 78 yards. Fortunately, on the other side of the ball, Kansas City is reeling. Six of the eight touchdowns they've surrendered to opposing backs this year have come in the last three games alone. Moreover, they've allowed over 190 combo yards per game to the position in their last four outings. Morris is one of the trickier calls of the week, but you probably don't have two better options.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
As a rookie, Alfred Morris scored 13 times and averaged 21 rushing attempts per game. As a sophomore, he's on pace for just seven touchdowns, and his workload has dipped below 18 attempts per game. Still, he's nipping at the heels of LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson in the yardage column thanks to an outstanding 5.0-yard per carry average. In fact, prior to his Monday night speed bump in San Francisco, he'd topped 90 rushing yards in five straight. Conversely, the Giants' sixth-ranked run defense hasn't allowed a back to hit 90 yards in eight consecutive games, and they've allowed just two rushing scores over that span. It's an uphill battle for Morris this week.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Seeing San Francisco on the schedule against your running back more than likely sends a shiver down your spine, but it shouldn't. The 49ers are a neutral yardage opponent that allows a touchdown per game to opposing backs. Enter Alfred Morris, whose 541 rushing yards in the last five weeks are over 100 yards more than everyone else. He hasn't dipped below 90 yards during that span, which takes the sting out of his current eight-game catchless streak. He's scored five times in 10 games, so pencil him in for about 100 rushing yards and a coin-flip's chance at a score.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Finally, Alfred Morris is getting the heavy workloads that we fell in love with last year. He's posted season highs in attempts and yardage in back-to-back weeks, carrying 25 and 26 times for 121 and 139 yards. He's also scored twice in his last three games, despite Mike Shanahan's best attempts to keep him out of the end zone. Morris has also scored in each of his last two meetings with division rival Philadelphia, but the Eagles have only given up two rushing touchdowns in their last five games. They've also allowed just one 100-yard rushing performance all year, and they just bottled up Eddie Lacy, so it's a tougher matchup than you'd think.
Week Ten Analysis:
Alfred Morris has now scored in three of his last four games, and he just posted season-highs of 25 carries and 121 yards against San Diego. However, his owners should be furious. Morris is built for goal line use, yet for the second time in three weeks, he was vultured not once, not twice, but three times. There's only one possible explanation: The Dark Lord of Fantasy Football is back, and he's making up for lost time. The Vikings biggest weakness is defending backs in the passing game, where Morris is a non-factor, but they also surrender a rushing touchdown per game. Morris' biggest obstacle is Mike Shanahan.
Week Nine Analysis:
An efficient Alfred Morris has cracked 5.0 yards per carry and 80 rushing yards in three straight games, and he's hit pay dirt in two of those three contests as well. In fact, he's now scored and/or topped 70 combo yards in 22 of 24 career games, and 16 straight, so he's certifiably bust-proof. Shockingly, despite giving up a charitable 4.5 yards per carry, San Diego is your top fantasy run defense, based on the facts that they've faced the fewest attempts in the league, and that they're the only team yet to allow a touchdown to the position. That's smoke and mirrors—Morris will be just fine.
Week Eight Analysis:
What the Helu was that? Alfred Morris continued to run well, but it was Roy Helu who scored three times against Chicago. That matched Morris' season total. While much of Helu's big day can be attributed to the team being in hurry-up passing formations, that game script has become all too common for Washington. Morris averaged 21 carries last year, but he's yet to crack 20 attempts even once in six games. Meanwhile, Helu has received double-digit touches in three straight games as the team's pass-catching back. Although the Broncos have allowed a charitable six rushing scores, they only surrender 2.8 yards per carry, and Washington's certainly at risk of falling behind early, and repeating a difficult gameplan for Morris.
Week Seven Analysis:
Alfred Morris has certainly been disappointing, but considering the bed-wetting performances of many other first round backs, his owners don't have much to complain about. He's scored or topped 100 yards in four of five games, and his 5.2-yard average is actually better than his rookie mark. The issue is that he's on pace for 230 carries, which is over 100 fewer than last year. The Bears are allowing less than 4.0 yards per carry to opposing backs, but their injury-ravaged offensive line just gave up 106 yards and two scores to Brandon Jacobs, so Morris should be just fine this week.
Week Six Analysis:
Washington was forced into catch-up mode in each of their first three games, and then Alfred Morris got hurt, so he's way off last year's 335-carry pace. Still, you can't complain about 5.3 yards per attempt, and Morris also scored in two of three games prior to the injury. He'll look to kick it into high gear this week against a Dallas defense that he destroyed for 325 combo yards and four touchdowns in two meetings last year. The Cowboys run defense has tightened up, but Knowshon Moreno just ran for 93 yards and a score on them, so start Alf with confidence.
Week Four Analysis:
Alfred Morris has either scored or topped 100 yards in each game this season, but lack of opportunity has really capped his upside. Last year Morris established himself as a volume runner who could wear down defenses, and he finished the season third in rushing attempts. However, big deficits have resulted in just 40 carries through three weeks, which ranks 21st in the league. Surprisingly, Oakland has been a neutral matchup, but the real key here is game flow. Instead of trying to catch the dynamic offenses of the Eagles, Packers and Lions, Washington should be able to employ a more balanced, run-heavy attack.
Week Three Analysis:
As a one-dimensional power runner, Alfred Morris is dependent on outside variables such as field position, game flow and a healthy RGIII. Unfortunately, the quarterback clearly isn't right, and Washington's defense is putting the team in big deficits. While Morris has still managed to score in one game and crack 100 yards in the other, he has just 25 carries through two weeks. Detroit has only allowed 2.6 yards per carry since Adrian Peterson's season opening 78-yarder, and their offense is fully capable of building a quick lead. The ray of hope is that they've surrendered three rushing scores, so an early touchdown is Morris' best angle.
Week Two Analysis:
It was an ugly start for last season's Cinderella story. Alfred Morris' 12 carries and 45 yards against the Eagles were both career lows, and he also mixed in a pair of fumbles. He salvaged his box score with a touchdown, and he'll remain the bell cow unless Washington is forced to play catch-up. Unfortunately, that could be the case once again this week. Green Bay just put up 28 points against the league's best defense in San Francisco, and they held Frank Gore—a similar type of runner to Morris—to just 44 yards and a score on 21 carries. It's a tricky matchup for Alf.
Week One Analysis:
In two meetings last season, Philadelphia's mediocre run defense held Alfred Morris under 4 yards per carry, and he totaled a pedestrian 167 yards and one touchdown. Now, throw all of that out the window. Philadelphia's shift to a 3-4 defense was a disaster this preseason, as they allowed a league-worst 5.3 yards per carry. Morris finished third in the league in attempts last season, and he'll surely remain busy as Washington eases RGIII back into action. It takes a lot of time for these defensive transitions to click, and Morris is the first in line to benefit.
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A year ago at this time, we were speculating on Roy Helu's potential in Washington, Mike Shanahan's evil ways, and the validity of the Evan Royster hype. Today, the entire fantasy world is in search of the next Alfred Morris. The sixth-round rookie came out of nowhere to win the opening day starting job and never looked back, finishing third in the league in rushing attempts, and second in both yardage and touchdowns. What Morris lacks in elusiveness and top-end speed, he makes up with power and vision. RG3 is obviously the catalyst for this offense, and his quick recovery only bodes well for Morris in his sophomore season.