After being a quarter of the way through the season, owners are trying to find the next diamond in the rough to help them keep pace for the season. We look at two running backs outside the top-30 that are hot commodities right now. With upside for week 5 and the rest of the season, you better work quick if you want to get these guys.
Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts (@ Kansas City)
Hines had his best game of the season last week against the Raiders. While his rushing stats weren’t noteworthy (6 yards on 3 carries), he shined in the passing game. He hauled in all 6 of his targets for 39 yards. He looks to continue being a PPR asset against the offensive-minded Chiefs for week 5. Last week the Colts saw Marlon Mack go down with an ankle injury, but Hines has value regardless.
The Colts will likely be fighting an uphill battle and be down early against Kansas City. If that is the case, then the Colts will look to incorporate Hines into their passing attack once again. Hines does share the backup role with Jordan Wilkins (who could also have a big week if Mack is unable to go), but Hines is more of a homerun threat. Wilkins figures to fill in for some hard-nosed running but Hines has more upside in this contest. Assuming you are in a PPR league, Hines could be a solid play even if Mack suits up.
Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ New Orleans)
RoJo was under a microscope this offseason after a disappointing rookie year, but he has exceeded expectations and is a must-add as we move into October. In the three games he has been healthy, he’s averaging 16 touches and more than 90 total yards per game. While Peyton Barber is still the “starter”, Jones has been much more effective this season. It doesn’t seem like a question of “if” but “when” RoJo will step-in to become the official starter. While he has had the hot hand, he is also facing a New Orleans defense that has been tough to read this season.
After Brees went down the Saints seemed to have tightened it up on the defensive side, especially against the run. Last week, they shut down Ezekiel Elliot, but have also given up a viable 4.3 yards per carry in 2019. Regardless of if the Saints can replicate their week 4 performance, Jones is still a hot commodity. It seems like he and the Buccaneers just keep getting better every week and it will be interesting to see if they continue that trend.
Honorable Mention: Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers (vs. Denver)
It is hard for me to call Gordon a sleeper and at his best he is definitely within the top-30, but this week will be interesting for Gordon owners. They are all itching to play him, but there are still a lot of questions. Even though he was active last week, he didn’t see the field. The thought is that he and Ekeler will share touches until Gordon is up to speed. Even if Ekeler gets more work, Gordon still has a great chance to be effective in his debut against the Broncos. Last week they were shredded by Leonard Fournette and are allowing an average of 5.1 yards per carry. The Broncos will struggle to stop both Eckler and Gordon on Sunday as both could have big games.