Samuel Johnson once said, “running backs, like gold and diamonds, owe their fantasy football value only to their scarcity.” Well, sort of. I don’t know who Samuel Johnson is, but that quote came from the google result for “quotes about scarcity,” and I worked my magic on it.
Once again, running backs are absolutely bleak this week. We lost Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson for the season this week and Ty Montgomery for at least a week. Woo. Fantasy football is fun guys, right? If you’re afflicted with acute onset loss-of-running-back, or you are sick and tired of watching DeMarco Murray suck, we are here to help. Below are running backs available in 50% or more of Yahoo! leagues who could prove useful to you this week, or are a good stash for down the line. For the deepest of leagues, the final back exists on the waiver wire in 90% of leagues.
Eddie Lacy (43% owned) & Thomas Rawls (37% owned) at Los Angeles Rams
Well the Seahawks find themselves in quite a mess. After Rawls and C.J. Prosise proved too fragile last season, they signed Eddie Lacy and drafted Chris Carson. After Lacy proved too bad and fragile, and Rawls remained bad and fragile, they turned to Chris Carson. He proved to be too fragile and broke his leg. C.J. Prosise is also hurt and oh my god that offensive line. Still, Pete Carroll promised to give both Rawls and Lacy loads this weekend against the Rams.
The Rams allow literally the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, so maybe start them both? Or start Lacy? Or Rawls? Maybe just flip a coin. Rawls disappointed us most recently, so go with Lacy. Stash them both and see which hurts themselves Sunday. Then play the other one next week, then drop him after he gets hurt and D.J. McKissic becomes the starting running back.
Wayne Gallman (28% owned) versus Los Angeles Chargers
Funny story about Gallman; someone tried to tell me this offseason that he was the back to own for the Giants. I laughed at him and called him crazy. Gallman proved to be a competent NFL running back, which makes him more enticing than Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen combined. The Giants offensive line is hot, wet garbage, so temper expectations if you add Gallman. There’s still room for hope this weekend, as the Chargers defense didn’t make the trip up to Los Angeles. The Bolts allow the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs. After stopping C.J. Anderson in week one, they’ve allowed at least 12.6 fantasy points to four running backs in the last three weeks.
Elijah McGuire (10% owned) at Cleveland
Cleveland has a surprisingly stout run defense this year when it comes to stopping opposing fantasy football running backs… or so it seems. Cleveland faced Le’Veon Bell literally days after he reported to camp, and stopped a guy who hadn’t seen meaningful NFL action in nine months. Then the scorching hot one-two punch (a modern-day Thunder and Lightning) of Javorius Allen and Terrance West both dropped double-digit fantasy games on them. So did Frank Gore. So did Joe Mixon. The Browns still stink, but stopping LVB created a mirage. We already saw what McGuire could do last week when he ripped off huge runs against the Jags. The Jets’ future is with neither Matt Forte nor Bilal Powell. It’s time to pass the baton to McGuire, and he’s a smart add as a stash, at least.