Missed out on Jason Snelling, Peyton Hillis or BenJarvus Green-Ellis? It’s OK, there are plenty of other backup Running Backs that may bust out. Consider stashing some of these guys:
- Correll Buckhalter (DEN) – If Knowshon Moreno continues to sit with a hamstring injury, expect Buckhalter to get more playing time because Laurence Maroney hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunity. I don’t expect much, but it’s an option to consider.
- LeGarrette Blount (TB) – If you haven’t heard, the Buccaneers are splitting carries among Carnell Williams, Kareem Huggins and LeGarrette Blount, with Blount getting a lot of carries. He’s still a large unknown, and hemight knock someone out any moment, but he’s worth a look in deep leagues.
- Chester Taylor (CHI) – Matt Forte has been awful on the ground this year, and I see a shift in workload approaching. The Bears are too good to wait on Forte to come around, so jump on Taylor if he’s available.
- Chris Ivory (NO) - With Pierre Thomas still hurt, Chris Ivory (right) will probably get another opportunity this week against Arizona. Ivory was efficient last week and had a good showing the preseason. He seems like a tough RB that could do damage if given the shot.
Now that we’ve looked over some players to pick up, let’s see who you should start in week 5:
|Mike Tolbert @ OAK
||You read right, Mike Tolbert. Not the 12th overall pick Ryan Mathews, or the reason LT was allowed to leave, Darren Sproles. No, Mike Tolbert, the 3rd year undrafted free agent from Coastal Carolina. Last week, it was Tolbert, not Mathews or Sproles, who netted 100 yards and a TD in a rout of Arizona.
This week, Tolbert and the ‘Bolts go up against Oakland and the 31st run defense. At the same time, the Raiders are 3rd against the pass, meaning the Chargers will be relying on the ground game, and Tolbert is the only one proven as an every-down back. Who knows how long he’ll last, but for now, start him and cash in.
|Ryan Torain vs. GB||The former Bronco castaway has been re-united with Mike Shanahan and has responded well. He now has a firm grip on the starting role as Clinton Portis moves to the background with an injury. This week, he faces the Green Bay defense, a unit that hasn’t been great against the run. The Packers like to rush the QB, meaning Torain will be asked to keep them honest with a heavy workload. He may not put up big fantasy points, but if you’re desperate, having a workhorse can’t hurt.|
|Cedric Benson vs. TB
|Cedric has been unimpressive thus far, never totaling more than 81 yards in a game. So if you’ve punished him with a benching, let the man free this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs just gave up 140 yards to Rashard Mendenhall in their first matchup against a capable opponent. If Benson doesn’t produce now, then when? Give him one more start before giving in.|
|Frank Gore vs. PHI||Frank Gore had a big game in Week 2 but has been inconsistent throughout the year. Interestingly enough, that week 2 performance was the only one to come at home. In the last 3 years, Gore has 7 more TDs at home in 2 fewer games. His YPC also goes up 1.4 at home. This week looks particularly good as Philly is 27th against the run. If Mike Singletary has any wits about him, he’ll run Gore hard as Alex Smith has been so inefficient. If you have any wits, you’ll start Gore in week 5.|
|Thomas Jones @ IND||The renewed vet received the bulk of the carries in weeks 2 and 3, and put up a solid game each time. This week, he should get another large workload, as the Chiefs attempt to keep the ball away from Peyton Manning and the Colts’ prolific offense. And he’ll likely be successful, as Indy has the 29th rushing defense this year, so start Thomas Jones.|
And here is who to sit in Week 5:
| Ahmad Bradshaw @ HOU
||Bradshaw had a good game last week, racking up 129 yards and a TD. However, he fumbled on a breakaway run, which may have hurt the G-men had they not hurt Jay Cutler. Still, the fumble won’t be looked upon lightly, and may cost Bradshaw some confidence from the coaching staff.
This week, Bradshaw will have to run against the Houston D, who have only given up 70 yards a game on the ground. The Giants will have to throw a lot to keep pace with Matt Schaub, and Bradshaw won’t do much on the ground
|DeAngelo Williams vs. CHI||Williams broke 65 yards for the first time this season against the Saints, but still only got 86 yards. He hasn’t looked great this year, and likely won’t against a stingy Chicago defense. The Bears will stack the box against Jimmy Clausen and his awful receiving corps, so lay off DeAngelo this week.|
|LaDainian Tomlinson vs MIN||LT returned to form against the Bills Sunday and busted out a huge game. All of the pundits are crying that he’s the old LT again, but not so fast. For me, he’ll have to prove it against a Minnesota defense that is in the top 10 against the run. He’s also at a disadvantage because, during his career, his numbers go down when he plays at night. I’m not saying to bench him at all costs, but start responsibly.|
|Marion Barber & Felix Jones vs. TEN||The running game for Big D has been out of sync thus far, and I don’t think the bye week will be enough to cure all ails, especially against a top 10 run-stop unit in Tennessee. Neither of these guys has asserted themselves as go-to players, so sit ‘em down this week.|