Every NFL team has three sometimes four running backs on their roster. It used to be that when it came to fantasy football, only one of those would be worth owning in a league. Times have changed.
There are several teams in the league that use the "running back by commitee" system and dozens of others that give their back up 10-15 touches a game. By lowering the work load of their primary back these teams have helped preserve the health of their studs much longer into the year.
By giving these other guys a chance they have also given them ample time to become legitimate big league running backs.
This change of heart among NFL coaching staffs has opened up the pool of RBs that are worth owning in fantasy to around 50 rather than the old school pool of no more than 30.
There are tons of guys who will get you around 10 points a week by making the most out of their limited touches. When you throw in the guys that also catch passes and return kicks you have a group of late round sleepers that can end the year with as many points as your early round studs having a down year.
The other way a back up can have value is if his starter gets injured and he is plugged into the situation full time. This makes the backups for injury prone guys more valuable than the RBs stuck behind iron men on the depth chart.
The following list is compiled of ten guys who have a very good chance of helping your fantasy team even though they are classified as a "backup" and should go late in fantasy drafts.
NOTE: I recently wrote a column on the top ten steals in the later rounds in fantasy and in that column I talked about Leon Washington, Ahmad Bradshaw and Peyton Hillis.
All those guys deserve to be on this list as well, but in an effort to not be redundant with information, I have kept them all off this list. However, know that all three are great fantasy options this year as third running backs even though they are technically backups. Enjoy...