Up until this week there were probably a lot of people who hadn’t even heard of Chris Ogbonnaya. It’s not surprising, considering the running back has played in just 41 games since entering the league in 2009 and for three different teams already. He has 224 rushing yards on the season and only one rushing touchdown in his entire career. The fact that I’m selling this guy as a solid play this week might raise a few eyebrows given his resume, but a closer look at the situation might provide some clarity.
The Cleveland Browns take on the Chicago Bears this week and they’ll do it without the services of veteran Willis McGahee, who’s been ruled out due to a concussion. The next man up is Ogbonnaya, who will start and likely share some of the load with fellow back Fozzy Whittaker. Although the two aren’t exactly household names, their matchup is simply too favourable to ignore and they can’t automatically be written off this week.
In my entire time watching football, I’ve never seen a defense consistently fail so miserably at stopping the run. The Bears are utterly atrocious in that regard, getting absolutely steamrolled on a weekly basis by opposing running backs. They’ve allowed 100-yard rushing performances in their last six straight and although Ogbonnaya is no Adrian Peterson, he might just be good enough to keep that streak going. He’s averaged 5.33 YPC on 42 attempts this season, so with a big enough workload there’s definitely reason to believe he could turn in a solid performance. Not only is he likely to do damage between the tackles but the Browns like to use him in the passing game as well. He has 41 receptions for 291 yards and two touchdowns in limited action this season so he could be in for an especially large fantasy day in PPR-leagues.
For anyone in dire need of a running back this week, Ogbonnaya is your guy.