Fantasy Football Sleepers: 3 Backup RBs You Need to Draft
The key to building a good fantasy football team is finding as many productive running backs as you possibly can. Quarterbacks and receivers are great, but running backs are the lifeblood of any fantasy team. A great stable of backs is guaranteed to make you a contender, but a bad stable will ruin your season.
We know the star running backs and they would make nice additions to any team. But there are only so many elite running backs, and when they are gone you have to be able to find the diamonds in the rough.
Those running backs that are going to produce far more than anyone believes that they will are going to take your team from possible playoff contender to surefire champion.
Here are three backup running backs that you need to take a chance on late in the draft.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans
The Saints will have Pierre Thomas listed as the starter, but in reality this team will feature at least three running backs - Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles.
Thomas is best served as a receiver and blocker out of the backfield because he is not a pure running back. Sproles is a change of pace back who will be used when the team wants to rush off the edges.
That leaves Ingram as the tough, smash mouth running back who will get yards in between the tackles, and he can catch passes out of the backfield when he has to. It will take a few weeks for him to get fully integrated into the offense, but when he does he will be getting more carries than Thomas and Sproles.
Jerome Harrison, Detroit Lions
Jahvid Best is going to be the starter, at least at the start of the season, but Jerome Harrison should supplant him as the top running back in the high-octane Lions offense when it becomes abundantly clear that Best doesn't have what it takes to run behind this offensive line.
Best is a speed back and he needs the line to open big holes for him to run through. Harrison, on the other hand, is built on power with a little bit of speed. He can break tackles that Best just isn't able to, and the Lions will give him the chance to be the every down back when he gets more acclimated with the offensive system.
Ryan Torain, Washington Redskins
I am on record as saying that Tim Hightower is going to have a big year in Washington. But given the success that Ryan Torain had last season after taking over for Clinton Portis, it would be surprising if he was not given his fair share of carries.
The Redskins offense is going to rely heavily on the running game with Rex Grossman acting as staring quarterback for the team right now. Torain might only get 150 carries this season, but if he averages 4.5 yards per carry like he did last season he will get you 675 yards and five or six touchdowns.
Torain, one way or another, will get his share of carries this season with Mike Shanahan needing to feature the running game for this offense to have any chance at success in 2011.
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