Shawn Siegele looks at every NFL roster and explains where you need to stash and where you need to cut.
Monday Night Football didn’t go as well for the MEs as I had hoped. Blair and I lost a team in the final moments, but the blow was softened somewhat by also losing Jonathan Taylor to injury on Tuesday. We wouldn’t have had the Round 7 trump card in our bid to win the next two weeks anyway. It’s always helpful to look on the bright side, and for my best ball rosters with Taylor . . . hopefully he misses just the next two weeks and is back as a low-advance option to help with the three-week gauntlet.
His injury brings Zack Moss roaring back to the fantasy forefront.
Moss missed Week 1 and started losing serious touches to Taylor by Week 7, but he was the overall RB4 from Weeks 2 through 6. He trailed only Christian McCaffrey and the two Dolphins in that span while averaging 20.7 PPG.
Although Moss played only 26% of the offensive snaps from Week 8 to Week 10, he was heavily involved again after the Week 11 bye. The usage pattern appeared questionable at the time, but it’s possible this was a combination of coaching intent and Taylor’s discomfort from the thumb.
Regardless of the reasons, Moss again played well, and will likely play the majority of snaps until Taylor returns. Trey Sermon has been named as the backup and becomes a savvy emergency stash, but Moss should be among the league leaders in RB snaps during this final push to the fantasy playoffs.
In the preseason Zero RB Countdown Update, I hazarded that this type of season could be in the offing for Moss.
Could Moss be the 2023 Josh Jacobs?
Jacobs was a barely competent starter across 2020 and 2021, but he was a broken tackle machine as a rookie. Well, Moss joined the league as a fantasy sensation due to elite evasion rates in college. He then tied with Aaron Jones for the top broken tackle rate of any RB as a rookie in 2020. That season he averaged 2.8 yards after contact per attempt, and while he was still a below-average overall runner, his signature tool had apparently translated to the NFL.
Moss was not quite as dynamic in 2021 and didn’t really have a place in the Buffalo offense before the midseason trade of 2022.
Especially with a hybrid QB — and with a crafty schemer/play-caller in Shane Steichen at the controls — you could see Moss making a similar jump to Jacobs, albeit without the huge workload or similar level of fantasy relevancy.
“Without the similar level of fantasy relevancy” turned out to be wildly incorrect over the first third of the fantasy season, and it could be inaccurate over the final third as well. Moss has lived up to the praise in that blurb, averaging 2.8 yards after contact per attempt and tying for the third most broken tackles in all of football (17). While Taylor has been even better after contact (3.1) due to his big-play ability, Moss has surprisingly been better before contact, while creating twice the broken tackle rate (12% to 6%). Both backs have succeeded against stiff competition, including last week when the Bucs graded out as easily the most difficult matchup.
Zero RB: Week 13 — Sculpting Our Rosters for the Playoffs
As we work through the teams this week, the focus will be on sculpting your rosters for the fantasy playoffs.