In 2010 you should consider yourself lucky if you can draft a feature back to your fantasy football team. What about those guys in the back end of the first round? They are likely going to be looking at some WRs and QBs while they build a Running Back by Committee themselves.
With the emergence of players like Andre Johnson and Aaron Rodgers, as well as some others at their positions, some owners may find themselves missing out on some RBs when they use a top pick on the other positions too. In fact, Johnson, Rodgers, and Randy Moss all have an Average Draft Position in the first round. Reggie Wayne, Drew Brees, and Calvin Johnson are right there at the top of the second. The owners going with those guys are going to have to do their homework on Running Backs later in the draft.
Today we are going to look at the Top Five Running Backs to own that are not considered the starter on their teams. It is important to be aware of these guys as they will still be getting you fantasy points on a weekly basis and they are a twisted ankle by the starter away from a great sleeper position. If you use an early pick on QB or WR, keep a look out for these guys later on.
Jonathan Stewart (ADP-Rd 4, pick 10): Stewart is in a unique situation in Carolina. He is considered the #2 RB, but he still gets more touches than a first stringer on some teams, as reflected in his 221 rushes for 1133 yards and five TDs in 2009. For owners that don’t go with two running backs in the first three rounds, Stewart is just about the best RB2 that you can get in your lineup.
Felix Jones(ADP-Rd 6, pick 2): If Jones can stay healthy himself, he can find himself in a situation where he is the lead back in Dallas. The Cowboys are not ready to give up on Marion Barber yet, but if he can’t stay on the field they will not have a choice but to give way to Jones. While they would have Tashard Choice in there, Jones gets more touches that can very easily turn into home runs. even with Barber in there, the split will keep him alive in games. If you go RB, WR, QB, or a combination of those, Jones can still make a decent #2RB.
Brandon Jacobs (ADP-Rd 6, Pick 12): The Giants are ready to get back to some smash mouth football in New York. It appears they have taken the corner to Ahmad Bradshaw as the starting tailback, but Jacobs is still around…and not happy about it. Since Jacobs has not made a full season since his rookie year in 2005, it may keep him healthy. we see Jacobs as a decent later pick up as a RB3 for your bye week filler with the potential to do more depnding on the carry split and the health of Bradshaw.
Reggie Bush (ADP-Rd 6, pick 8): “I wouldn’t draft Reggie Bush unless it was a PPR league.” That is what you will hear by many owners, yet he goes on average in the later half of the sixth round. The important thing with Bush is to play your match ups. Pay attention to who else is out on the Saints in the Running and Passing game. Pay attention to who they are playing. Reggie will score big some weeks, not so much others. If Pierre Thomas goes down, you will see more Reggie Bush. Fact. Did we mention that he is worth a little more in PPR?
Ricky Williams (ADP-Rd 7, pick 7): Ricky Williams is often forgot about. His numbers in 2009 were very similar to Jonathan Stewart (241 carries, 1121 yards, four TDs) with Ronnie Brown going down. In fact, it is important to note that Ronnie Brown has only completed one sixteen game season in his career. While other owners in your league think about how Ricky is getting old and Ronnie is the Wildcat guy for the offense, you pick up a solid #3RB with an upside that shoots up if Brown goes down. Keep in mind that the Fins should even have a bit of help from the passing game taking pressure off the run.
Check out our Redraft Running Back Rankings with Average Draft Position from three sources for more later round sleeper possibilities.