Taylor is expected to have an expanded role in the Cardinals' offense due to injuries to fellow running backs Chris Johnson (knee) and Andre Ellington (toe), the team's official site reports. David Johnson has already been anointed the top RB, if the veteran Johnson and Ellington require time to recover, but that duo's breakdown of reps implies that another player will get in on the action. As the only option remaining on the 53-man roster Sunday at San Francisco, Taylor picked up seven snaps after the third-quarter departures of Chris Johnson and Ellington, taking his only carry for two yards. In parts of the seasons with the Cardinals, Taylor has displayed ability as both a runner and pass-catcher, averaging 3.2 YPC and hauling in 19 of 25 targets across 41 games. His eventual workload this Sunday in St. Louis will be contingent upon the recoveries of the veteran backs typically in front of him.
Cardinals running backs Kerwynn Williams, Stepfan Taylor, Marion Grice and Robert Hughes could do little to nothing in Arizona's 27-16 loss to the Panthers Saturday. Arizona's running backs had 15 carries for 27 yards and one touchdown in defeat. Grice had just one carry for one yard and a touchdown. It was initally called a fumble on the field, with the ball popping out as Grice stretched for the end zone. However, it was overturned and called a touchdown. The Cardinals have been unable to get anything going on the ground the past few weeks, averaging 1.86 yards per carry in Arizona's last two outings.
Whether it was because he was limited in practice by a knee injury leading up to the game or because the Cardinals fell behind early and needed more of a pass blocker in the backfield, running back Kerwynn Williams, who had performed admirably the previous two weeks, totaling 175 yards on the ground, was hardly a factor Week 16 against Seattle, getting two carries for 4 yards. Instead, Stepfan Taylor was the lead ball carrier. Of course, he wasn't so effective in the role, picking up 19 yards on 11 carries, but that's bound to happen for any running back going against the Seahawks. He did at least have 25 yards on two catches. Marion Grice and Robert Hughes also each got a carry, but they haven't been as much of a factor with Andre Ellington out. Williams seems to be the best rusher of the group and the one you'd prefer to see get the carries in Fantasy, but if the Cardinals are that willing to abandon him when the score isn't in their favor, you can never feel confident playing him in Fantasy. Especially now that the Cardinals are down to their third quarterback, the score isn't going to be in their favor so often. Week 17 at San Francisco should be a more competitive game, but given that the 49ers are tough against the run as well, you should probably pass on Williams for the season's final week.
Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor had a tough game Week 16 against the Seahawks. Taylor received 11 carries, but only gained 19 yards during the contest. With Ryan Lindley at quarterback, the Seahawks defense could focus on stopping the run all game. Taylor averaged just 1.7 yards per attempt during the contest. He was a slightly larger threat in the passing game, pulling down two receptions for 25 yards. Taylor will take on the 49ers Week 17.
Cardinals running backs Kerwynn Williams and Stepfan Taylor shared the workload Thursday, with Williams receiving 15 carries and Taylor getting 14 carries in the team's 12-6 win over the Rams in Week 15. Williams was the star of the rushing attack last week and led the team in rushing again Thursday, gaining 75 yards on his 15 carries while adding 11 more yards on two receptions. But he shared the ball virtually evenly in the running game with Taylor, who racked up 61 yards on 14 carries while not receiving a target in the passing game. Neither player scored a touchdown, but neither team was able to reach the end zone on a night where defenses reigned. The Cardinals could opt to continue the time share in Week 16 when the Seahawks come to town. If quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) ends up missing that game, the offense could lean heavily on Williams and Taylor again.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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