After another disappointing performance, can Wayne Gallman deliver a championship for fantasy football managers in Week 17? Let’s take a look at Gallman’s season so far, the competition for touches in New York, and his Week 17 matchup.
Wayne Gallman’s impressive stretch has come to a screaming halt
The last time Wayne Gallman was relevant in fantasy playoffs was in 2017 as a rookie. Since then, he has been a relative non-factor. However, he looked set to deliver in 2020 before posting disappointing numbers.
Gallman posted seven straight weeks of double-digit PPR fantasy points
In the first six weeks of 2020, Wayne Gallman had just 15 carries, five receptions, and 14.7 PPR fantasy points. Week 7 saw Gallman get double-digit carries for the first time since Week 5 of the 2019 season. In that game against the Eagles, Gallman scored 16.4 PPR fantasy points.
That started a run of fantasy relevance for Gallman in the 2020 season. Over the next six weeks, he continued to post double-digit fantasy performances. During that seven-game stretch, Wayne Gallman averaged 15 PPR fantasy points per game. Over the course of a full season, 15 points per week in PPR would place Gallman as the RB14, tied with Josh Jacobs.
However, during that stretch, volume was crucial for Gallman. Gallman racked up 485 rushing yards on 106 carries across those seven games, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Yet, if we remove the game against Seattle, where Gallman had 135 yards on 16 carries, the numbers do not look as rosy. In the other six games, he averaged 3.9 yards per carry.
Wayne Gallman has seen his volume dwindle in recent weeks
After reaching a peak at 24 carries in Week 12, Gallman has seen his usage decrease. He dropped from 24 to 16 carries against Seattle, although 135 rushing yards hid any concerns. In Week 14, he carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards. In that game, he added three receptions for 16 yards to once again finish with double-digits in PPR fantasy points.
Week 15 is when things really took a turn for the worse. Gallman rushed nine times for 29 yards and was not targeted a single time. His 2.9 fantasy points were the lowest in a game he logged at least one touch since Week 1.
While Week 16 saw his fantasy points rebound slightly to 7.3, there was a further reason for concern. On just six carries, he managed 27 rushing yards. It was only thanks to adding two receptions on two targets for 26 yards that Wayne Gallman maintained any fantasy value at all in Week 16.
The situation in the New York Giants backfield has got complicated
After the Giants started the season with Saquon Barkley, they turned to Devonta Freeman. Following Freeman’s injury, they handed the reins of the offense to Wayne Gallman. As we have seen, Gallman was the main back in the offense through the middle of the season. However, things have become complicated in recent weeks.
Dion Lewis and Alfred Morris are firmly in the mix for backfield opportunities
When Gallman had those 24 carries in Week 12, he had 86% of the carries by running backs. They added a further 12 carries from Daniel Jones, Colt McCoy, and Sterling Shepard, but it was Gallman’s show in terms of the backfield.
Against Seattle, we saw Alfred Morris begin to eat into those opportunities. Gallman saw just 55% of the running back carries, with Morris getting 28%. That looked like a blip in Week 14, as Gallman had 71% of the running back carries against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, in Week 15, the pendulum swung again. This time, Gallman saw just 50% of the running back carries. Morris got 39%, while Dion Lewis and Elijhaa Penny chipped in with a carry apiece.
Last week was a slightly different story but with a similar ending. Due to the nature of the game, the Giants turned to a pass-heavy game script against the Ravens. That meant they only carried the ball 12 times in total. One of those was taken by Daniel Jones and another by Evan Engram. However, Gallman still only saw 60% of the running back carries.
Gallman has not seen a red zone carry since Week 12
On the season, Wayne Gallman has commanded a team-high 27% of the red zone carries. However, he has not seen a single carry in the red zone in four straight games. The five red zone carries have been split between Alfred Morris (three) and Dion Lewis (two).
When it comes to fantasy points, red zone opportunities are crucial. It is tough for a running back to score touchdowns without getting red zone touches. Touchdowns are highly unpredictable, but even more so outside of the red zone.
Should you start or sit Wayne Gallman in Week 17?
The evidence we have seen so far would suggest that Gallman is a player trending downwards. However, with teams potentially resting players or only playing them for a half, we need to look for fantasy value wherever we can find it. Let’s take a look at this week’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys and see if there is some potential for Gallman.
The Dallas Cowboys present a mixed matchup with opposing running backs
When we look at PPR scoring, the Dallas Cowboys rank ninth in average points allowed to the running back position. In terms of Pro Football Network’s Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (D-PAC), they rank middle of the pack in 16th. When it comes to standard leagues, they allow the sixth-most points to the position. However, in terms of D-PAC in standard formats, they still rank 14th.
The Cowboys are certainly vulnerable to the ground game. They allow 130 rushing yards per game on average and have allowed over 100 rushing yards in six straight games. They are allowing 4.9 yards per carry, with a rushing touchdown per game on average. However, they are stronger against running backs in the passing game. They allow just 3.8 receptions and 23.5 receiving yards per game. On top of that, they have not allowed a rushing touchdown.
Of his 130.1 fantasy points in PPR formats, 97.7 (75%) have come in the run game. In standard formats, that jumps to 90%. The Cowboys are certainly a team that running backs can have success against. The concern is just whether Gallman sees enough volume to capitalize on the matchup. Entering Week 17, Wayne Gallman ranks as a FLEX play for fantasy. However, with uncertainty surrounding several options this week, it might be that you have no choice but to risk Gallman in Week 17.
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