Most fantasy football leagues are won and lost at the running back position.
The first two running backs you select will most likely turn out to be your most important selections, but there's no guaranteeing that. With all the wear and tear on the NFL's RBs, who knows who will stay healthy for a whole season. And there's always contract issues to worry about.
So, after you've done your draft, you're not done scouting out running backs. Just like an NFL scout, you have to keep your eyes open for someone ready to break through if an injury were to occur.
For those of you too busy, or just too lazy, to do the research, here's a look at five backup running backs to consider dropping your backup kicker for.
With Derrick Ward likely out for Week 2 and Arian Foster lingering as an injury concern, Ben Tate looks valuable again. In Week 1, Tate rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown, as Arian Foster was out with injury.
Tate may already be gone in your league, but it's definitely worth checking because he could put up starter numbers for the second week in a row.
Karim went for 72 yards in Jacksonville's 16-14 win over the Tennessee Titans. More importantly, he potentially created a role for himself in the offense. He showed promise catching the ball out the backfield, and beating defenders.
Maurice Jones-Drew is clearly the feature back, but he's also an injury risk. Karim is a good person to have on your roster.
Brown used to be one of the top five backs in the NFL. It's surprising how willing he was to accept a role on the Eagles as a backup to LeSean McCoy, but maybe he's taking the LaDainian Tomlinson approach to saving your legs.
Brown will be a red-zone threat for the Eagles, as he's better between the tackles. Like MJD, McCoy is an injury risk because of his size, so Brown is as appealing a backup as any.
Barber is an absolute animal. Once considered the best fourth-quarter running back in the league, he's reduced to being a backup in Chicago. Like Brown, Barber is fully capable of taking on the starting duty if Matt Forte were injured.
Even if Forte stays healthy, these two may split carries in Chicago, with red-zone touches leaning in Barber's favor. If he's in your league's free agency, change that.
McCluster may be the most exciting backup on this list. He's one of the quickest players in the league, and he doesn't play with any fear. He's the type of player that will reverse the field and run 10 yards backwards if he thinks he can score.
Maybe he's not a safe pick, but is anyone looking for a steady backup? Add McCluster if you're in a bind and you want to take a chance on a hit-or-miss player.
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