When Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson is healthy, he’s pretty good at his job. Unfortunately for fantasy football players who used Carson in Week 9 against the Los Angeles Chargers, they were burnt pretty bad. While the Seahawks back started the game in impressive fashion, he was sidelined shortly after halftime and didn’t return to action.
Carson’s day ended with just eight rushes for a solid 40 yards, but now fantasy owners are left with another brutal decision ahead of Week 10. With a looming matchup against the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams up next, the 24-year-old back could be a key to the Seahawks pulling off a road upset. But as ESPN’s Brady Henderson revealed, Pete Carroll made it known Carson won’t “do much in practice this week.”
For now, we’re left playing the guessing game on Carson’s status. It does seem as though there’s a good chance he could practice if needed, but we’ll monitor the situation over the next few days. If the Seahawks do roll out Carson against the Rams, let’s evaluate whether he’s a fantasy start or sit.
Should You Start or Sit Chris Carson?
In three of four games prior to last week, Carson had tallied 100 or more yards with two total touchdowns. He was finally beginning to hit his stride prior to the injury, and it’s become apparent that he’s going to be the top option in the run game moving forward.
While we can’t use last week’s snap counts as a way to evaluate, if you go back to Week 8, Football Outsiders shows Carson out-snapped backfield mate Mike Davis 42-20. Although he’s banged up currently, I don’t believe Carroll would roll Carson out in Week 10 unless he had a good chance to play at a high level throughout the game. This especially stands true due to the fact that it’s an important game for the 4-4 Seahawks.
A matchup with the Rams is no walk in the park for Carson, but he had success against them in the first matchup, a 33-31 loss in Seattle. During that game, the Seahawks back rushed 19 times for 116 yards (6.1 yards per carry). While the Rams aren’t bad against the run, they aren’t unbeatable either, allowing 841 yards and seven touchdowns on 181 carries this season.
It’s a risk if you start Carson this week, but much of the decision comes down to whether you’re comfortable with that. I’m confident that if Carson is on the field Sunday that the coaching staff is convinced he’s healthy enough to be out there. In that case, I’d play him in 12-team leagues or above unless you have options who are clearly in better spots and have no reason to take any sort of risk.