With Marshawn Lynch sidelined (hamstring) and Fred Jackson (high ankle sprain) questionable, look for Thomas Rawls to once again get the bulk of the carries this week for the Seattle Seahawks.
So is he worth a fantasy play?
In an era when there are so many offenses splitting up carries, Rawls has an edge. He's averaged 16.5 carries over the past two weeks. To put that into perspective, only seven running backs have averaged more through the first four games of the season. The Seahawks are going to try to run the ball, as they do every week, and Rawls is a virtual lock to get at least 15 carries.
The Seahawks' run blocking has not been good. Rawls averaged 1.0 yards before contact last week, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That ranked 40th out of 45 qualifying players. He just didn't have much room to operate. And that could certainly be an issue against the Bengals. The Seahawks might replace starting center Drew Nowak with Patrick Lewis, but that will hardly solve all their problems.
The other issue from a fantasy perspective is that Rawls doesn't provide anything as a receiver. He has one catch for -1 yards this season. If Jackson plays, he'll fill the receiving role. The Seahawks could also use fullback Derrick Coleman in passing situations.
Our fantasy crew has Rawls ranked 31st among running backs. Because he's guaranteed to get touches, I'd probably bump him up three or four spots. Think something like 15 carries for 60 yards. Touchdowns are impossible to predict, but the Bengals haven't allowed a rushing TD this season, and the Seahawks do not have a ground score through four games.