Tate Great or Less Filling?

Tate Great or Less Filling?

Dec 6, 2013

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed 126.8 rushing yards and 1.2 rushing touchdowns this season. They have turned things around a bit in recent weeks as they have won four of the past five games. It started off in Week 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They gave up 83 rushing yards and a touchdown. The score came from Ryan Fitzpatrick though. They held Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene to a combined 52 yards on 21 carries (2.5 yards per carry).
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In Week 11 they yielded a rushing score to Rashard Mendenhall, but they held the Mendenhall and Andre Ellington to 17 yards on 21 carries (0.8 ypc). Willis McGahee scored in Week 13, but the Jags held the Cleveland Browns to 97 yards on 30 carries (3.2 ypc).
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Clearly the Jaguars have improved their run defense despite the rushing scores. They really did a nice job on Ben Tate. In Week 12 Tate had one yard on seven carries (0.1 ypc). Dennis Johnson did a much better job with 74 yards on 13 carries, but the Texans as a whole had 77 yards on 21 carries (3.7 ypc). Last night they held Tate to 53 yards on 14 carries (3.8 ypc). The team finished with 83 yards on 19 carries (4.4 ypc).
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Despite two great matchups, Tate has floundered. Before you avoid him completely, consider that maybe the Jags just have his number. Sandwiched in between the Jacksonville games is a 102-yard, three touchdown performance against the New England Patriots. In six non-Jacksonville games in which Tate received 10 or more carries, he is averaging 74.2 yards per game and 0.7 touchdowns.
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The problem is Houston is bad. They have lost 11 straight games. They were always a run heavy team because they were protecting leads. Last season the Texans threw the ball 554 times (52.2 percent) compared to 508 carries. This year, through 13 games, they have thrown the ball 528 times (60.8 percent) compared to 341 carries. When you’re 2-11 compared to 12-4, you tend to operate differently.
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So what should you make of Tate going forward in the fantasy playoffs? I think you’re looking at one good and one bad spot for Tate in the coming weeks. Next week he gets the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts enter the week allowing 128.6 yards at 4.4 ypc and 0.9 rushing touchdowns per game. I can understand being a little leery after his 56-yard performance against a bad run defense, but as I mentioned the Jags have come around. He should bounce back on the fast track of Lucas Oil Stadium.
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In Week 16, I’d suggest you go another direction. He’s facing the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have allowed 100.2 yards and a touchdown per game. My fear is the Broncos offense scores in bunches, effectively taking the run game away from the Texans.
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If you play the full season out, you’ll have to wait and see against the Tennessee Titans. The final week is tricky, particularly for teams that have nothing to play for but draft positioning. On paper Tate has a good thing going against the Tennessee Titans. They have allowed 114 yard and 1.3 touchdowns per game. You just have to wait and see.
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