If there's one fantasy football mantra I follow religiously, it's that "you can never have too many running backs." The reasoning behind that mantra became clarified yet again in Week 11.
Fantasy owners of both Willis McGahee of the Denver Broncos and LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles were dealt a serious blow as both players suffered significant injuries. Owners of these players who were gearing up for the last leg of the playoff were left to scour the waiver wire for potential replacements.
Luckily for them, there are a few options available.
Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
A 2012 season that's been an unmitigated disaster got even worse for the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago, as not only was the team throttled by the Washington Redskins, but star tailback LeSean McCoy was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a concussion.
Given the severity of the shot McCoy took, it's unlikely that he'll gain medical clearance to play in advance of the Eagles game against the Carolina Panthers Monday night. That means rookie Bryce Brown will draw the start in the Philadelphia backfield. Brown recently told Alex Lee of The Philadelphia Daily News all he's been waiting for is a chance to show what he can do:
"For me, or any running back, it is just about getting a feel for the game," Brown said. "The more carries I get, the better feel I get. I haven't been in there too much, but my thing is, I am just being patient and waiting my turn."
It appears that turn will be coming this week.
Brown may just be worth a turn in fantasy lineups given that the Panthers have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs this year.
Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos
Things went even worse in Week 11 for McGahee, who suffered a torn MCL and leg fracture that will sideline the veteran for at least six weeks and effectively destroy his fantasy value for the remainder of the season.
That injury will force the Broncos to turn to a group of youngsters in the backfield, among them rookie Ronnie Hillman, who told the Associated Press via Fox Sports that he's ready to step up and carry the ball 20 times a game, if called upon to do so:
''We've all got to step up and do our part,'' Hillman said. ''Anyone can be an option. If it happens, it happens. If not, I'll just come in and play my role,'' he said.
Hillman will probably split carries with Lance Ball for the Broncos. But after picking up 59 total yards on 14 total touches last week against the San Diego Chargers, Hillman is the more preferable fantasy option heading into a top-10 fantasy matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jalen Parmele, Jacksonville Jaguars
It wasn't injury but poor performance that thrust Jalen Parmele into the starting lineup for the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, as the third-year pro took over for an ineffective Rashad Jennings in the matchup against the Houston Texans.
Parmele ran hard against a formidable Texans defense, picking up 80 yards on 24 carries, and head coach Mike Mularkey saw enough from Parmele in the game to tell the team's website that he would stick with Parmele this week against the Tennessee Titans:
Mularkey said he will stick with Jalen Parmele at running back and will work Rashad Jennings in the rotation.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) November 19, 2012
The Jaguars follow this week's Titan's game with a tilt against the Buffalo Bills. Both those teams rank in the top-five in fantasy points allowed to running backs, making Parmele a very attractive waiver target this week for fantasy owners in a backfield bind.