Written by Matt Prandoni
When getting ready for that fantasy championship push, it is vital to have a strong running back room. With the number of injuries that we’ve seen in the past, we know that it is important to have depth at this shallow position in fantasy. Here, we will be discussing five running backs who can be solid buy-low options that can make an impact in your starting lineups.
Leonard Fournette (Free Agent)
Leonard Fournette finished as the RB6 in fantasy last season. Over the past couple of weeks, he has seemingly been on the way out of Tampa Bay. However, now that Tom Brady is returning, I have a hard time imagining that Fournette is actually leaving. Sure, he’s an older running back, but he should have another great season in him. If you need a top RB option for a team with a championship window, this would be my top guy to try to acquire before he re-signs with Tampa Bay. Tampa is going all in again next year and getting Uncle Lenny to lead your running back room would be one hell of a move to make.
Melvin Gordon (Free Agent)
Melvin Gordon had started his career as an inefficient runner with a big workload but was able to become one of the more efficient runners in the NFL, as Gordon has surpassed 1,100 yards total in each of the last two seasons. If he returns to the Broncos and continues to get half the workload, he could easily become a top 20-RB for fantasy again. If you are a contending team, Gordon should be worth buying for that mid-to-late 2022 second round pick. While he is a good potential buy-low, his production beyond the 2022 season will become questionable and will be hard to be too excited about after the upcoming season. His upside will be capped due to Javonte Williams, but he offers a very solid floor for those going for a championship in 2022.
Kareem Hunt (Cleveland)
Kareem Hunt is in similar situation to Melvin Gordon: he’s on one of the most RB friendly offenses in the NFL. Regardless of name, having a running back from this team (Cleveland) has some level of value. Nick Chubb is the top RB in the offense, but Hunt isn’t all that far behind. Hunt is also the RB who gets the pass work in this offense which offers him a safe floor in PPR formats. Before got hurt, he had touched the ball 7, 14, 16, 16, 17, and 17 times to start the year (from week 1 though 6). Unfortunately, after he got injured, he was never fully healthy again during the season and only appeared in two more games. It is worth noting that outside of that week 6 game, all of those games were with Chubb in the backfield as well, which leads me to believe that Hunt should still have a big role carved out for him in this offense. If he gets close to that week 1-6 workload, he could be a very good option to have in your RB room.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Kansas City)
In my opinion, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is one of the best values you can get at running back. He’s not going to win you your league, but he should be able to be a solid option for your roster when one of your top RBs goes down with an injury. Darrell Williams and Jerick Mckinnon were the biggest threats to Edwards-Helaire’s workload but are both looking to be on the way out of town. Edwards-Helaire is only 22 years old and will be 23 when the season starts. His workload has been light during his first two seasons, which means that he should have plenty of juice in the tank for the upcoming campaign. At the end of the day, Edwards-Helaire is still tied to one of the top offenses in the NFL and will continue to see a good amount of work in that backfield.
Miles Sanders (Philadelphia)
Miles Sanders is another efficient runner that has one of those smaller workloads, though it is worth noting that that workload could become bigger next season. From week 11 to week 15, before getting hurt in week 16, he had 17, 10, 27, and 20 touches in those games. Although that 10-touch game sounds gross, we were starting to see the Eagles get him the ball more often at that point. Not only was he getting the ball more often, but he was also showing great efficiency, and was averaging over 5 YPC in each of those games. I do think that the expanded workload is the kind of thing we could expect for Sanders next season. Another statistic that is worth mentioning is that he had received 10 touches against the Buccaneers in the playoffs. This number may not jump off of the page, but when you factor in the negative game script and the fact that both Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell had only one carry each… well, that shows a lot of confidence in Sanders as the lead back moving forward. Sanders very well could be a great buy-low option this off-season.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with our latest articles, rankings and posts. Feel free to tweet at us or send us a direct message for any of those tough dynasty decisions and we’ll be more than happy to lend a helping hand. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next time!