Earlier this week, the Ravens “mutually parted ways” with Justin Forsett, making him a full-fledged free agent and Terrance West the starting running back of the Ravens. For now, at least. Rookie Kenneth Dixon is waiting in the wings and might be the better back to own long-term, but for this week, getting West into your fantasy football lineup is an incredibly smart move as he takes on a Washington defense that struggles against the run.
First off, this isn’t your daddy’s Terrance West. After flushing out of Cleveland and having a cup of coffee with Tennessee before settling with Baltimore in 2015, he wasn’t a very good player. This offseason West was awash in reports that he was reporting to camp in the Best Shape of His Life (BSOHL). Many BSOHL reports are massive hogwash, and not worth the pixels or kilobytes they’re written with. See Eddie Lacy and the Magical P90X Transformation that led nowhere, as he is still Fat Eddie. However, in the preseason, rumblings of West’s transformation began seeping out from beat reporters and coaches. NFL.com news and analysis dynamo Chris Wesseling even predicted the future, citing that West has gotten better in basically every way:
Prediction: Only a matter of time before Terrance West takes Forsett’s starting job. Difference in West last year to this year astonishing.
— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) August 28, 2016
Fast forward to now. Justin Forsett is gone, and West is the lead back in Baltimore after averaging over 4 yards a carry so far this season, a feat he is yet to do over a full year. He’s running much better than before and now has the one thing he was previously missing (opportunity). He is going to share with Dixon, but a rookie coming off of injury isn’t likely to be tossed into the flames. Instead, expect a 75/25 split Sunday, which might gradually change into Dixon’s favor, depending on how he plays.
A 75/25 split will be more than enough for West to pull off a useful fantasy day against the Washington defense that is the second worst in the NFL at stopping opposing backs. Through the first four games of the season, they have yielded seven rushing touchdowns (to six different backs), and five backs have gotten 75 or more yards against them so far this year.
Sieve doesn’t even begin to describe it. West may be the newest member of your fantasy football squad, but this might be the only week to use him in the foreseeable future. After this week, he gets the Giants (25th fewest points to RBs) and Jets (23rd).
Those matchups for a non-feature back would be ones to avoid. His matchup this week is magnificent, and one you should angle towards with your fantasy football squads this weekend.