Fantasy Football: Late Round Running Backs To Consider

Jun 30 12:03pm

The running back position is extremely volatile and finding the right late round guys is often key to winning your league. Right now we are still waiting for a labor agreement so we can get free agency going so we have to do a lot of speculation here, but that’s pretty much what writing about fantasy is anyway!

Delone Carter: I’m not one to draft rookies in fantasy that often, but if they can be had at value, running backs are the way to go. With Joseph Addai and Donald brown both not living up to expectations and both not being all that effective running between the tackles Carter looks like he should really be able to fill a niche in Indianapolis that will allow him to score a whole bunch of touchdowns! His ADP is in kicker range right now, but I think as word gets out on him it will rise fast.

Michael Bush: The Raiders would like to keep Bush, and if they do his fantasy upside is limited as long as Run DMC can stay healthy, but there is a decent chance he ends up on a new team that will use him in early downs. He had some pretty nice games last season when he was the go to guy and in the right situation could be a beast.

Roy Helu: Ryan Torain in all fairness is not that good and Mike Shanahan knows it and he’s very hopeful that Mr. Helu can step up fast. So unless the Redskins make a move in free agency it is Helu’s job to lose. We know that Shanny can make average backs into fantasy gold, but can also throw some fool’s gold your way as well! Helu isn’t going to break the bank on draft day, so I’m not too worried about getting fooled again.

James Starks: Starks is an interesting case. His play in the playoffs was outstanding and he flashed real ability, but Ryan Grant will be back. Does Starks get a shot to compete for the #1 slot? Sure. Will he get it? Probably not. I’m not going to spit in your eye and tell you its raining. Grant is the workhorse in Green Bay if he is healthy. Starks has done enough to get his work in as well. I see him as a third down back unless injuries warrant otherwise. He is going in the 8th round right now which isn’t horrible value if you don’t believe in Grant, but I’m going to stay away from both unless the situation clears up.

Rashad Jennings: We’ve all heard plenty of talk about Maurice Jones-Drew‘s knee, but here is some more. Could he play all 16 games this season and be just fine? Sure. But would I bet my own money on that happening? I would not. I’m no psychic doctor, so I’m not going to tell you that his knee won’t hold up, but we’ve already heard conflicting reports on when he was able to resume running and the “bone on bone” report scares the bejeebus out of me. Jennings is next in line. If MJD is on your team (he won’t be on mine) you are going to have to grab Jennings before others because there will be more interest in him than your run of the mill backup.

Beanie Wells: Wells has been a huge disappointment so far. Last season was his to run with and instead he fumbled it away. The Cardinals drafted Ryan Williams and still have Tim Hightower so the competition for touches is growing. Amazingly I still believe in Wells’ talent. Not enough to invest a high pick in him, but enough to take on a little risk in the 8th or 9th rounds. This is a make or break season for him and he knows it.

Ronnie Brown: Yet another free agent whose landing spot will play a lot into his possible fantasy value. Of course his injury history is also a sore spot you don’t want to rub too hard. Brown has elite talent, or at least “had” elite talent. He’s a guy like Wells that I feel has a lot of upside if he can stay healthy and live up to his ability. His ADP is all over the place. I’ve seen it from the 9th to 12th rounds. I’m ok with taking a risk on him in the 9th, but would much rather take a flier on him in the 12th.

Besides, Chet has written for the N.Y. Times: Fifth Down Blog,, and his own sites Razzball and Third Coast Sports. He is extremely/obsessively active on Twitter and will answer your questions as best he can if you throw them @ChetRazzball.

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