Fantasy Football 2012: 6 Mid-Late Round Running Backs You Need to Acquire
Looking for a fantasy football running back to help replace Fred Jackson?
Starting to get worried that Chris Johnson is never going to get out of his rushing slump?
After Week 1, there was a surplus of sleeper running backs that made huge fantasy football impacts.
Whether you have to trade for them or pick them up in your fantasy league's free agency, here are six mid-late round draft pick running backs that you must acquire for the rest of your 2012 season.
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
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Nobody knew who was going to be the starting running back for the Washington Redskins this season, so fantasy football owners were taking flyers on all of them.
Whether it was Evan Royster, Roy Helu or Alfred Morris.
After Week 1, Morris made it clear that he was going to be the go-to guy out of the Redskins' backfield. Morris finished the game with 28 carries, 96 yards and two touchdowns.
How many did carries did Royster and Helu get?
Both of them only ran the ball twice.
Morris is available in most fantasy football league's free agency, so you need to go out and pick him up right away. He did not disappoint Week 1, so you can bet that the Redskins are going to continue to feed him the rock.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
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In most fantasy football drafts, owners were skeptical of taking Stevan Ridley within the first five rounds because he was a New England Patriots running back.
Ridley showed us that he is going to be a key component in the Patriots offense, running for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans.
What was even more impressive was that Ridley had over 20 carries in the game.
If Ridley is going to get at least 15-20 touches every week in the Patriots offense, he has a legit shot of becoming a top-15 fantasy running back by the end of the season.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
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Though Donald Brown only got nine carries in the Indianapolis Colts first game, he still managed to score 10 fantasy points (48 rushing yards, one touchdown).
Do not be worried that Brown is only going to be getting 10 carries a game. The Colts were getting blown out for a majority of the game so they were letting Andrew Luck air the ball out.
Brown is going to play a major role in the Colts offense this season and he will make a great No.2/FLEX fantasy running back.
Not every week are the Colts going to be playing teams like the Chicago Bears where they get blown out. This week they play the Minnesota Vikings, which should be a more even matchup.
Expect Brown to get a significant amount of touches this week.
Michael Bush, Chicago Bears
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Bush finished the game with 12 carries for 42 yards, but where he had a huge impact was when the Chicago Bears was on the goal line.
Bush took away the goal line carries from Forte and scored twice.
He may not be a legit No. 2 fantasy running back because of his limited amount of touches, but fantasy football owners should look to acquire Bush as a FLEX player. The Bears offense is significantly better with the addition of Brandon Marshall, so I would expect it to be around the goal line often.
Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions
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Does anyone even remember Jahvid Best or Mikel Leshoure anymore?
Ever since Kevin Smith re-joined the Detroit Lions last season, all he has done is produce. Last week, Smith continued his steady play, scoring two touchdowns while getting 17 touches (13 carries, four receptions).
Smith has terrific value in PPR leagues because he is a part of the Lions' pass-heavy offense. Smith finished the first game with six targets, including the game-winning touchdown reception.
I would not be too worried about Best or Leshoure taking away Smith's touches when they return.
Neither of them have shown that they are as reliable as Smith, whether they are getting injured or arrested.
C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
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C.J. Spiller was going late in fantasy football drafts because of Fred Jackson's presence in the backfield. Spiller did a solid job filling in for Jackson last season, but he was still going to be the backup whenever Jackson returned.
Well, fantasy football owners, Jackson's return was short-lived.
In his first game back, Jackson went down with an injury in the first half, and it looks like he is going to miss a significant amount of time.
Spiller ended up having the best game of his career, finishing with 169 rushing yards and a touchdown. Spiller is going to be one of the best PPR running backs in fantasy leagues.
He is one of the most versatile players in the NFL, whether he is getting carries out of the backfield or lining up as a wide receiver.
I would not expect Spiller to run for over 160 yards every week, but with his ability to run and catch the ball, he has a great chance of recording 150 total yards each game.