According to CSN Philly, head coach Doug Pederson said he’s considering replacing Ryan Mathews as the starter with Darren Sproles.
But if you look at the snaps and stats of each player, it looks Sproles has already replaced Mathews.
In Week 8, Sproles was on the field for 81% of the offensive snaps. He recorded 15 carries, rushed for 86 yards, and caught five passes for 17 yards. In comparison, Mathews was on the field for just 10% of the offensive snaps.
He only had four carries, but he did score a rushing touchdown.
That doesn’t sound like Pederson is considering anything. That sounds like he has already made up his mind.
The problem with starting Sproles in Week 9 is that if Pederson gives Mathews another chance, the upside for Sproles is obviously limited. Sproles has a strong 5.0 YPC average in the 2016 Fantasy Football season, but he can only score so many Fantasy points if he’s stuck in a committee.
The other problem Sproles could have in Week 9 is that the New York Giants are actually pretty good at stopping running backs from having strong Fantasy performances.
So far this season, the Giants have allowed the ninth-fewest Fantasy points per game to running backs. But if he is the main back, he could still have good game just because of the amount of times he touches the ball.
If you own Mathews and think you’ll make the 2016 Fantasy Football playoffs, you have to make sure you’re covered if Mathews is no longer the starting back. If you only have two starting running backs right now and a weak bench, you don’t want to be forced to put Mathews in as a starter.
I know though there aren’t a ton of option on the waiver wire right now.
So that leads us to the second reason why it’s important to keep an eye on the Sproles and Mathews situation.
The trade deadline for Yahoo leagues appears to be Nov. 12 and the deadline for ESPN is Nov. 25.
If Mathews does have a decent game in Week 9, I would try to trade him immediately. His stats have been inflated this year when he does have a good game because of his touchdowns.
Mathews has not scored more than 8.1 points in a game unless he’s scored a touchdown.
If he doesn’t have a good game and Sproles is clearly the starter, then you have to think about dropping Mathews. You could still try to trade him in a package deal if someone is really desperate at the running back position.
But you may just need to think about cutting him.
If you need any lineup help, hit me up on Twitter or feel free to send me an email for a more detailed response. If you’re looking at the waiver wire, just send me a screen shot or let me know the players you are considering adding.