It’s the time of the year, with the fantasy playoffs now in swing, to find the running backs taking on larger roles because of injuries to the players ahead of them. Here are a few names to take a look at for your fantasy teams along with some other suggestions of players in case these are not available.
Jaylen Samuels – owned in 3.4% of ESPN leagues
Samuels was much lower on this list coming into this morning before the announcement that James Conner has already been ruled out for week 14 by the Steelers. While I do not expect Samuels to put up near the same kind of production that Conner did, I can see the rookie putting up decent enough numbers 4 Flex appeal and possibly running back to upside against the Oakland Raiders. My main fear with Jaylen Samuels is that the Steelers will spend more time passing the ball and simply ignore the Run game like they have done multiple times even when Conner is healthy.
Theo Riddick – owned in 39.9% of leagues
Riddick has been the main beneficiary of Golden Tate‘s absence in the last few weeks. That being said his value really only lies in PPR leagues. He has averaged over 10 fantasy points per game over the last 5 weeks and has a decent matchups these next two weeks against the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills who are both among worst teams in the league had giving up fantasy points the running back position. We still have not heard any reports about whether or not Kerryon Johnson will be back this week, but even if he is, figure on Riddick at least having a possible Flex worthy roll, especially in deeper PPR leagues.
Rashaad Penny – owned in 21.5% of leagues
Penny is finally starting to show the reasons why the Seahawks wanted him in the first round of the 2018 draft. With the news that Chris Carson dislocated his finger and Sunday’s game against the 49ers, this opens the door for the first round rookie to get a lot more playing time. Penny has seemingly passed Mike Davis on the RB depth chart for Seattle, giving him first crack at carries if Carson misses time. Penny finished with 7 carries for 65 yd and a TD against an inferior 49ers defense. This next week will be a tough test against a MIN defense that is top 5 against fantasy RBs.
Ty Montgomery – owned in 13.1% of leagues
While Montgomery is the better option to pickup of the available RBs in the Baltimore backfield, Dixon did find himself getting used this past week against the Falcons. Montgomery finished Sundays game with only 3 carries for 13 yds but was used mainly in the pass game with 7 catches for 42 yards. Lamar Jackson looked to Montgomery’s way for dump off passes when he needed a passing outlet. Gus Edwards is mainly being used as a “bull in a china shop” type of role and not used in the passing game, leaving plenty PPR production for the former WR who has taken over Buck Allen‘s place in the Ravens’ offense.
Other names to consider:
Kenneth Dixon – 3.4% owned: Now healthy, could step into either RB role should someone get injured.
Justin Jackson – 12.1% owned: Was more effective against the Steelers than Ekeler, and may get more carries going forward.
Jalen Richard – 48.8% owned: had a phenomenal game against the Chiefs, but his skillset (pass catching) has been what the Steelers DST has excelled in stopping – *holding running backs to fewer than 50 receptions and 350 receiving yards in 2018 (top five in both categories) – via ESPN
Charcandrick West – 0.1% owned: Is familiar with the Chiefs playbook, can be productive if Ware falls to injury.
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