Week Fifteen Analysis: Last week I cautioned that Tampa Bay had surrendered just 40 rushing yards per game to the previous five starting backs they'd faced, and Bryce Brown came nowhere close to that number. After topping 180 combo yards and scoring twice in each of his first two NFL starts, Brown managed just six yards on 12 carries against the Bucs. He'll look to bounce back against a Cincinnati defense that's only allowed two touchdowns to the position in their last six games. Moreover, no back has topped 87 rushing yards against the Bengals during that six-game span. Brown's talent is undeniable, but he'll be facing an uphill battle again this week.
Week Fourteen Analysis: In ten starts this year, LeSean McCoy never scored and topped 100 total yards in the same game. Meanwhile, the immensely talented Bryce Brown has scored twice and eclipsed 180 combo yards in each of his first two career starts. This week the red-hot rookie will be challenged by the league-leading Tampa Bay run defense that allows just 3.5 yards per carry. Over the Bucs' last five games, opposing starters have averaged a remarkably low 40 rushing yards, with a high-water mark of just 69. The best angle for Brown is that the Bucs have given up three rushing scores in their last three games, but this is a daunting matchup.
Week Thirteen Analysis: Once upon a time, Bryce Brown was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country, ahead of some guy named Trent Richardson. Now we know why. His two rushing scores against Carolina matched LeSean McCoy's 10-game total, and his 178 yards were over 100 more than McCoy's season average. Brown's only drawback was a pair of correctable fumbles, but he also chipped in four catches. And next up is a banged-up Dallas run defense that's surrendered over 100 combo yards to four straight starting backs. The Cowboys have also surrendered seven touchdowns to the position in as many games, so, assuming McCoy doesn't play, Brown has an excellent opportunity to build upon his breakout performance.
Week Twelve Analysis: This ranking is based on the assumption that LeSean McCoy will miss this game due to concussion. Talented rookie Bryce Brown has an intriguing blend of size and speed, but considering McCoy's struggles to produce in Philadelphia's disintegrating offense, it's hard to get too excited. Moreover, the Eagles play Monday night, so unless you own both Brown and McCoy, you probably can't afford to risk waiting. Carolina is a bottom-third run defense that just gave up over 160 combo yards to Doug Martin, but Brown carries a lot of uncertainty this week, so proceed with caution.
Week Twelve Add: When LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion last week, it was severe enough to require a trip to the locker room on a Cushman. When guys can't walk under their own power, it's usually because they have an ACL or a broken leg or something. When a guy is so badly concussed that he can't walk to the locker room, I've got to believe that it's serious. Bryce Brown hasn't done much this year, with just 30 touches all year. He's a big guy, who'll take over as the workhorse back, and will get goal line carries, when available. But, note that the Eagles' offensive line is brutal, and Brown isn't nearly as elusive as McCoy, so I worry about his ability to avoid defenders. I'd bid $8 for Brown.