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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Isaiah Crowell in Week 4?

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Going into the season, there was much debate about whether Isaiah Crowell or Duke Johnson would be the preferred back to own in Cleveland, or if the Factory of Sadness would even produce a running back with rostering in fantasy football. So far this season, Crowell truthers have had much to crow about, as he is averaging over 100 yards per game and has scored in two of three games thus far this season. That trend will continue as he takes on Washington on Sunday.

There isn’t anything to dislike about the lone bright spot for the Browns through all three games this year. Crowell is averaging 100 yards per game and is doing it extremely efficiently. On 45 rush attempts through three games, he is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Granted, he has an 85 yarder tossed in there. Even if you remove that carry, he is still averaging 4.3 yards per carry on the year. The only question with Crowell is if he will be available for the game Sunday against Washington. On Thursday, Crowell was a full participant after sitting out Wednesday with a knee injury. This is very good news and means that despite being under the new “everyone is questionable” Questionable designation, he is a shoo-in to play Sunday barring any setbacks. And Sunday he will feast against an awful Washington defense.

So far this season, Washington has yielded six touchdowns to running backs, with those being scored by five different backs (meaning Duke Johnson may get in on the scoring, too). Through the three games they’ve played this season, four running backs have scored at least 12 fantasy points against them. If the Steelers believed in spelling running backs, that likely would have been five, as DeAngelo Williams went for over 170 yards on 32 touches on the season debut of Monday Night Football. There is one certainty with teams playing Washington: their running backs will eat.

The biggest issue for people investing in Isaiah Crowell this offseason was the shared workload. While he is sharing the workload slightly with Duke Johnson, he’s about as lead of a back as you can get in the current NFL when you get past the superstar tier. He has 45 of the 76 carries on the year, and he’ll be the one toting the rock Sunday as the Browns take on one of the most pathetic rush defenses in the NFL. Find a way to get Crowell into your lineups.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]