Just like any year in fantasy football or any competitive team sport for that matter, depth is key for your team to go further. Perhaps the most key, and arguably the most critical position for any fantasy football team is the backfield.
Certainly a big arm can make a huge world of difference, but while some fantasy owners try to ride the bandwagons of Brady and Brees in 2009, there will be those that stock up talent and depth in the backfield leaving the rest to scrounge for the bottom of the barrel.
Not to fear my fantastically football challenged. While the talent pool may quickly seem watered down once you get through the perennial starters in the league, there are a great number of back-ups that are worth taking note. These are in some cases the hidden gems that may possibly serve as football gladiator saviors for the upcoming fantasy season.
The most heralded of this year’s non-starter without question is the Saints' Reggie Bush. While he is not the starter, he is less likely a back-up and in many circles considered a starter off the bench. With Pierre Thomas filling the McAllister role, the dynamic Bush will more than likely play the more versatile role we saw his first couple of seasons.
Aside from the dynamic Mr. Electric, there are a handful of running backs in the league that will sit far enough down the depth charts and could be overlooked. There are going to be quite a few hidden gems that on surface may lack shine and could get passed over. Fantasy owners should take note to these players.
The running back by committee trend is still alive and well and finding those places where the wealth is spread generously may not be elusive as first thought. In 2008 the Ravens, Falcons, Patriots, Panthers, and Giants all ran the ball over 500 times. And while the Broncos, Chiefs, and the Jets did not have as many carries, they did move the ball well on the ground averaging over four-and-a-half yards per carry.
If you are looking for added depth and can’t grab Bush as your late running back pick in your fantasy draft, here are the next best picks to follow that will surely add that needed dimension to carry your team further;
2009 Best of the “Runner-ups to Reggie”
- Jonathan Stewart (Car)—With 10 touchdowns in 2008, he won’t be overlooked.
- Derrick Ward (TB)—Could emerge as the starter at some point.
- Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG)—Should see lots of work behind Jacobs.
- Leon Washington (NYJ)—With an aging Jones, he will see more action.
- Felix Jones (Dal)—Could play much bigger role in offense this season.
- Kevin Faulk (NE)—Almost 1,000-yards of offense in 2008.
- Ladell Betts (NO)—Had a big 2008, but will step down behind Portis.
- LeRon McClain (Bal)—Could see enough red-zone to be relevant in 2009.
- Fred Jackson (Buf)—Early opportunity could open door down the road.
- Peyton Hillis (Den)—Quietly becoming a fave in Denver, could be a huge sleeper.
Darren Sproles (SD)—If LT breaks down, could play a much larger role.
Chris Wells (Ari)—Has big upside, expected to be eventual starter.
TJ Duckett (Sea)—Could play similar role as McClain in Baltimore.
Jamaal Charles (KC)—A better fit in the spread offense, could do very well.
Jerious Norwood (Atl)—Expected to see more work in 2009.
Tashard Choice (Dal)—Needs an ooportunity, too much talent in front.
Michael Bush (Oak)—If he gets the chance, could prove to be a deep sleeper.
Just My Take