There may not be any byes this week, but because of underperforming players, there is never a shortage of fantasy owners looking for a good running back option. Luckily, there are several under-the-radar backs who have very advantageous matchups this weekend.
While it wouldn't be advisable to start any of these running backs over your studs, they are very capable RB2 or flex options if you're in dire straits. Here are three sleeper running backs who should be in for big performances in Week 10.
Maurice Morris - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions running back Maurice Morris hasn't been particularly explosive in the absence of the injured Jahvid Best, but he is a very serviceable runner that is capable of having a solid game. The Lions haven't given him a lot of carries, but that could change this week out of the Chicago Bears.
The numbers may say that Chicago's defense excels against the run, but Detroit exposed that aspect of Chicago's games a few weeks ago. Best dominated the Bears by using his incredible quickness on shotgun handoffs. Morris doesn't have that type of ability, but there should be some running room.
Chicago will probably be focused on stopping Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Detroit's passing game, and rightfully so, but Morris can certainly hurt the Bears if they sleep on him. I think the Lions will realize Chicago's focus and make Morris a big part of the offense this week.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis - New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are a pass-first team and they always will be as long as Tom Brady is under center, but running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has his moments. Green-Ellis doesn't often get more than 15 carries in a game, but he is a trusted player near the goal line, giving him extra value.
If "Law Firm" is ever going to be leaned on heavily, though, it is this week against the New York Jets. The Jets have really had a difficult time stopping the run this season and they were absolutely decimated by Green-Ellis and the New England running game about a month ago.
Green-Ellis carried the ball 27 times in that game and gained 136 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets will probably make some adjustments and Green-Ellis is unlikely to get that many touches again, but he should see an increased workload. New York's best chance to win is to focus on Brady and take its chances with Green-Ellis, so he will have his opportunities.
Chris Ogbonnaya - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya was a hot pickup prior to last week as both Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty were out with injuries. Despite that, Ogbonnaya disappointed with just 28 rushing yards on 13 attempts and one pass reception.
Both Hillis and Hardesty should be out again this week, though, so Ogbonnaya is Cleveland's only option. The fact that the Houston Texans have a very underrated defense should not be lost when considering Ogbonnaya's performance last week. Also, the Browns were playing from behind so Ogbonnaya couldn't get into a rhythm.
Things should be much easier in Week 10 as Ogbonnaya will face the St. Louis Rams' league-worst run defense. The Rams are giving up over 150 rushing yards per game, and while I wouldn't suggest that Ogbonnaya will eclipse that number, he should definitely be able to rack up over 100 yards on St. Louis' soft defense. Throw in a score and you get some very valuable production from Ogbonnaya.
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