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What to do with Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, Brian Hill in Week 14 fantasy football

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, Brian Hill ahead of the Falcons Week 14 matchup against the Chargers.

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II (21) runs against the Denver Broncos during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Game day update: With Todd Gurley dealing with a knee injury, it’s hard to depend on him as a RB2 candidate this week. His backups, Ito Smith and Brian Hill played okay last week, but it was nothing to get excited about. This week, the Falcons face a Chargers’ defense that has only given up seven touchdowns and 18.5 fantasy points to opposing running backs.

At best, Gurley is a fringe FLEX play because of his ability to score rushing touchdowns, once the Falcons enter the red zone. ESPN projects Gurley to score 8.6 fantasy points, while Smith and Hill to score 5.0 and 3.6 points.

Todd Gurley was back in action last week, but the Atlanta Falcons running back didn’t see much work. Part of that, we’ve since learned, is because he’s dealing with a knee injury. The team limited his work to third downs. That’s ceded the bulk of the backfield work to Ito Smith and Brian Hill, clouding the fantasy football picture a bit for this week’s tilt against the Chargers.

Fantasy Football analysis: Falcons RBs Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, Brian Hill

Gurley had just 16 yards on eight carries. Smith had the same number of rushing attempts, but finished with 36 yards. Hill was the third man in the rotation with 18 yards on five carries. A three-headed committee makes it hard to rely on any one player. It’s possible that Gurley feels better this week, and gets the chance to do something with his limited reps, especially inside the 20.

The Chargers are allowing an average of nearly five yards per carry to opposing running backs, so players don’t necessarily need a lot of reps to make a decent impact on the box score. Still, the situation in Atlanta limits Gurley’s value to a RB3, with some upside, and Smith is a fringe RB4.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Todd Gurley. Sit Ito Smith and Brian Hill.