Week Six RB Sleepers – Penny, Wise?

Rashaad Penny Seattle Seahawks

I know that bye weeks have started to roll around because the running back free agency pool turns to ash. All the good players have gotten hurt, and the ones that aren’t hurt are on bye. The ones that aren’t hurt or on bye have their backups picked up already. In short, around week six every season, the fantasy football free agency running back list turns into a complete mess. This week, I’ve focused on guys who have sub-50% ownership, and I even found a guy at sub-10% ownership. However, I focused on guys in short sides of platoons whose matchups might provide for an upside play this weekend in your fantasy football leagues. As always, please check Waleed’s Waiver Wire Cheat Sheet before checking out the week six running back sleepers.

Week Six RB Sleeper:
Rashaad Penny at Cleveland (50% Owned)

Tlast time we saw a fully healthy and utilized Rashaad Penny was week two when Seattle traveled to Pittsburgh. Chris Carson firmly grabbed ahold of the running back position after that game, and Penny missed last week with a hammy injury. Penny received only six carries last week but totaled 49 yards thanks to two catches that boosted his overall output. Chris Carson is likely still the lead back there, but Penny will prove to have some standalone value this week. Cleveland gives up the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs, and have allowed four running backs to reach 15 fantasy points in half-PPR in the first five weeks of the season.

Week Six RB Sleeper:
Ito Smith at Arizona (19% Owned)

We drafted Ito Smith going into the season anticipating him getting a Tevin Coleman’s share of the workload. While that didn’t really come to pass in the first four weeks of the season, there seems to be a creeping increase in his workload. Smith had five carries and six catches last week, totaling 64 yards in a 9.4 point half-PPR effort. The exciting part is not the eleven touches, it’s his increased snap count. He’s still the short side of the platoon, getting 47% of the snaps to Devonta Freeman’s 54%. However, the 35 snaps are his most since week one, and getting a touch on 31% of his snaps certainly bodes well for a base of production.

This week, Ito gets a team that is bad against running backs for fantasy football scoring on paper. However, a lot of that standing for the Cardinals came in weeks one and two. They’ve gotten smashed recently, with three different running backs going for over 100 yards against them in the last three games. While Ito Smith, in the short side of a platoon, is no Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson or Joe Mixon, they do show that there is fertile ground for running back fantasy football production against this defense.

Week Six RB Sleeper:
Mark Walton versus Washington (2% Owned)

Word is that Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores put Mark Walton in front of Kalen Ballage, and told Ballage that if he could get around Walton, he could keep his job. So here we are, with reports that Walton’s jumped Kalen Ballage on the depth chart. Freaking finally, this will save the Dolphins season. Mark Walton hasn’t had a ton of opportunity to produce in the NFL since the Bengals drafted him to replace Giovani Bernard (and Walton promptly got hurt, drove drunk, and got cut).

Now, he’s poised to likely get double-digit touches in the Shrug Bowl between Washington and the Dolphins this weekend. Against a defense that’s allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs, including four backs having double-digit fantasy football days (half-PPR) in the last two weeks. Neither team can play a lick of defense, so this should be a high-scoring affair (as long as both teams forget they can’t play a lick of offense).

And that “get around Walton” thing was a joke, dorks. Don’t have an aneurysm.

About Jeff Krisko

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