The fantasy football waiver wire is pretty bare for reliably productive running backs. So maybe you need to look at some sleepers. Roy Helu, Marion Barber and Joe McNight head that list.
All of these sleepers are available in at least 65 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Joe McNight is the most available at 96 percent.
They are available for a reason, but maybe one or two of these can be more productive over the next few weeks than a running back riding your bench. Take a look.
Since I am a numbers guy, I like trends. Maybe you will like this trend. In the last three games, Maurice Morris of the Detroit Lions has seen his number of carries increase from five to nine to 13. During the same period, his rushing yards have increased from 20 to 50 to 58.
The team released Eldra Buckley. Furthermore, Jahvid Best's health is an issue due to his two concussions this year. Even the Lions have to run the ball every once in a while, even if it is just to protect a lead.
So if you need a running back, Morris deserves a look.
The Washington Redskins have figured out how to get John Beck to complete passes. He just needs to make short throws to his running back Roy Helu.
The combination worked well this week as Helu caught 14 passes. With the scarcity of productive running backs available, you should snatch up Helu now, if it is not too late in your league.
Marion Barber of the Chicago Bears has become the short-yardage specialist. He has scored a touchdown in four of the last five games.
Matt Forte has been carrying a heavy load for the Bears. So he might need to scale back his number of carries in the second half of the season.
Put this all together, and Barber is a sleeper worth your attention.
I have always thought that someone who can return kickoffs as well as McNight should be helpful from scrimmage as well. This could be his time to demonstrate his versatility. If so, you want to be there to take advantage of it.
Kendall Hunter of the San Francisco 49ers would be a good pickup.
He can generate points by rushing, pass receiving and kick returns.
With the heavy load that Frank Gore carries, it is possible that he could get a little worn down. He did suffer an ankle injury during the game against the Washington Redskins this week.
If the 49ers clinch a good playoff berth early, they might want to keep Gore fresh for the playoffs. This would result in more touches for Hunter during your league's playoff weeks.