Normally, I'm all about keeping marital drama in-house. Your business with your spouse is your business with your house.
It all started back ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. I was watching tape, making notes on prospects and the potential traits that would make or break our fantasy teams in the years to come. That's when I saw him.
Zack Moss: running back, Utah. 😍 A tough runner whose prowess for yards after contact had me mesmerized from the jump. I was sold then and there — Moss would most certainly be the most underrated running back in the 2020 class. Nevermind his unfortunate 4.65-second 40-yard dash. He was managing an injury through the combine, I swear! His game speed exceeds his testing, I swear!
Moss went on to be drafted by the Buffalo Bills — a team already near and dear to our hearts despite the fact that we're a Steelers household, thanks to a certain affinity my wife has for her home of upstate New York — in the third round. We stanned Zack Moss. We bought his jersey. We bought a t-shirt with a cartoon of his face on it. His name became synonymous with our personalities on Twitter.
It turns out, that wasn't a great thing. Moss never won the starting job in Buffalo. I'm not sure it would have mattered if he did, to be honest. Since he was drafted, there hasn't been a single team to have fewer rush attempts made by a running back in the entire NFL. Moss finally eclipsed 1,000 career rush yards just last week, in fact, a testament to just how slowly this ball has been rolling for the third-year back.
Regardless, Moss got a fresh start this year, when he was traded to the Colts along with a conditional 2023 sixth-round draft pick in exchange for Nyheim Hines. He was in line for a backup role, certainly, considering his position behind Jonathan Taylor on the depth chart. But, it's been a less-than-perfect year for him, too.
Jonathan Taylor suffered an ankle injury in Week 15 that landed him on injured reserve, now out for the season. Fantasy football managers panicked. Taylor was a consensus first-round pick in our leagues, after all.
So, as my wife and I face off against one another in the semifinals of one of our fantasy football leagues, my path became clear. ADD ZACK MOSS OFF OF WAIVERS AND DEFEAT YOUR WIFE TO HEAD TO THE FANTASY SUPER BOWL.
Oddly enough, she had a similar thought. Our wavelengths were just a little crossed.
It turns out that while I was busy submitting a claim on Zack Moss, she was busy betraying our fandom by submitting a claim on his teammate, fellow backup RB Deon Jackson. Very rude.
Our fantasy football semifinals will be going down to the wire on Monday Night Football — all boiling down to Zack Moss and Deon Jackson. Will Moss vindicate my fandom once and for all to crush my wife's hopes and dreams, or will he be my downfall?
The good news (not for Jonathan Taylor managers, but for the rest of us) is we had nearly a full game sample size to see how the coaching staff would respond to the injury. Moss played 67% of the team's offensive snaps, finishing the game with 24 carries for 81 rushing yards. Not stellar, but the takeaway is simple — he saw significantly more work than Jackson (14 total touches on 32% of offensive snaps).
What makes it all the more interesting is that Jackson has been with the Colts much longer. He signed with the team as an undrafted free agent ahead of the 2020 season. They know him. He knows them. He surely knows the offense better than the guy who's been there six weeks, no? Maybe not, if we're deducing anything from the usage we saw in Week 15.
Though Moss was inefficient against the Vikings, it's worth noting that their run defense has been stout this year, allowing the third-lowest yards per carry among NFL teams. In Week 16? They face the Chargers... currently allowing a league-high 5.49 yards per carry and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs.
Simply put, Deon Jackson is probably (though it pains me to admit it) the better running back.
May the fantasy football gods be ever in my favor. It's not like my marriage hangs in the balance or anything.
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