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Running back is one of the most valuable positions in fantasy football. Acquiring a strong core of RB’s is one of the best things you can do for your fantasy football team. That being said, it is not always easy to find a talented group of running backs to roster. The position is susceptible to injury and a few disappointing weeks can lead to a huge loss in volume, and therefore value. A good running back on waivers is like a diamond in the rough, and I have always been willing to spend a good chunk of FAAB in order to ensure I get the RB I’m after. This article will take a look at some emerging RB’s who should be peaking owners interest.
Mostert has emerged as the potential RB to own in the 49ers backfield. Matt Breida has been dealing with a handful of injuries this season and despite his hot start to the season, he has cooled down, posting his worst game of the season in Week 7 against the Rams. Alfred Morris has also been a disappointment this year, allowing Mostert to get his shot to take over the lead role in the backfield. While Morris led the team with 9 carries against the Rams, it was Mostert who looked the most promising. Mostert provided 59 yards on seven carries and caught four passes for 19 yards. Over his past two games he has 19 carries for 146 yards. While he has yet to score, he is definitely a player worth picking up for his Week 8 matchup against the Cardinals. Arizona’s rush defense ranks dead last in the NFL, allowing 148.3 yards per game on the ground, as well as 12 touchdowns.
Doug Martin/Jalen Richard
With the news that Marshawn Lynch is going to be out for multiple weeks with a groin injury, this leaves a gaping hole in the Raiders backfield. The question stands to be, who will fill that hole? Doug Martin and Jalen Richard are the two obvious candidates, and based off of this season alone, Richard would be the likely add between the pair. Martin has yet to make much of his chances on the ground, and while Richard has maxed out at five carries this season, his talent in the pass game is far superior to Martin’s. While I expect the pair to split backfield duties for the time being, Richard will provide the most value, especially in PPR leagues. This is a backfield I’m not itching to get on board with, but if I’m in need of a RB, I’m leaning Richard.
Mack is the next big thing, as far as Hype Trains go. After dealing with injuries which kept him off the field for most of the first five games, Mack is back on the field and making up for lost time. He’s jumped right into a workhorse type role, racking up 31 carries over the past two games. In Week 7 he ran the ball 19 times for 126 yards and a touchdown, while also catching two passes for 33 yards and another score. If Mack is somehow available in your league, you need to burn whatever assets you can to land him. Whether that be 60-70% of your FAAB or your top waiver pick, Mack is the guy you need to own. It’s not just volume that is so appealing about Marlon Mack, the dude is insanely talented. He will have more upside than anyone on the waiver wire, if he hasn’t been snatched already, and those of you patient owners who held on to him will be reaping the benefits from here on out.
Lesean McCoy is once again banged up, this time dealing with a possible concussion. He left Week 7’s matchup after accumulating just a single rushing yard on two carries and was replaced by Chris Ivory. Ivory churned out a solid performance in McCoy’s stead, getting 16 carries for 81 yards and three receptions for 25 yards. While the Bills offense remains to be abysmal, Ivory is one of the few pieces who seems worthy of a roster spot, that is, if McCoy is sidelined. Ivory is not a safe play however, as he also picked up a lower leg injury in the loss to the Colts. Ivory takes on the Patriots in Week 8, who have been fairly average against the run this season. If you are dealing with a plethora of BYE weeks, Ivory could be a decent start.
Carlos Hyde/TJ Yeldon
The Jaguars are an example of another backfield with a huge question mark over its future. With Fournette sidelined, the Jags brought in Carlos Hyde to fortify their running game. While TJ Yeldon has looked great in recent weeks, it seems the Jaguars are hesitant to give him the bell-cow status. Much of Yeldon’s fantasy value has come through the air as he has been a reliable option for Bortles’ passing attack. He has never accumulated over 60 yards rushing, but has 19 receptions over his past four outings. Four of Yeldons’ five touchdowns have come via a pass this season. Hyde doesn’t offer much value in the pass attack, as he has failed to record three receptions in a single game this season. I am envisioning the pair splitting carries, with Yeldon being used in the pass game and Hyde being their ground and pound option. This hurts both of their fantasy values however, as both were the premier back on their teams up until this point. Keep your eyes open for any updates from the Jaguars on how the situation between the two is going to work, but it doesn’t look promising.
I finally dropped Henry after six weeks of him failing to produce, and what do I get in return? Henry scored his first touchdown of the season and posted his first double-digit fantasy outing of the year in Week 7 at Wembley Stadium. While he is still splitting carries with Dion Lewis, Henry is the clear goal-line option. However, the Titans prove that they may trust Mariota more than Henry when on the goal-line, as they opted to pass on a 2pt conversion for the win against the Chargers. They lost. Henry has far from been a stud this year, but he still holds value in his volume and last week could be a sign of an upward-trend for the young running back. Dion Lewis will continue to restrict Henry’s value but if the Titans utilize the run more in the red-zone, it will likely be Henry getting the scores due to his frame.