It hasn’t been a good start to the year for running backs. None of the running backs drafted in the top 3 of Apex leagues are even in the top 25 of fantasy points scored. Only 4 backs drafted in the top 10 are actually top 10 in fantasy points scored. 9 backs drafted in the top 24 don’t even show up on the first page of MyFantasyLeague Player Stats. Add the rash of running back injuries that occurred in Week 5, and owners are scrambling at the position. Luckily there are some options available, but with fierce competition to fill the RB slot and deep Apex rosters, owners should be prepared to spend a good chunk of their blind bid dollars.
Suggested blind bid values, customized for Apex leagues are shown in parentheses.
Andre Williams, NYG ($200)
Rashad Jennings has a sprained MCL and at the moment there is no time table for Jennings’ return. Jennings is 29 years old and before the season even started there were whispers that Andre Williams could steal the starting job. Before getting injured, Rashad Jennings was near the top of the league among running backs in touches, receptions, and goal line opportunities. After receiving 22 total touches, including a carry inside the 5 yard line that he converted for a score, Williams appears to be capable of shouldering the full load at running back for the Giants. Just the chance that Jennings could be out for an extended period of time makes Andre Williams worth a hefty portion of your free agent budget, especially for Jennings owners.
Branden Oliver, SD ($100)
After Donald Brown suffered a concussion on Sunday, the Chargers turned to their 4th different starting running back of the season. Despite facing one of the toughest run defenses in the league, Branden Oliver gashed the Jets for 182 total yards and 2 scores on 23 touches. This week San Diego travels to Oakland to face a Raiders team that has allowed 163 total yards per game to opposing running backs and give up the 4th most PPR fantasy points per game to the position. The Chargers run on 49% of their plays and their running backs account for 24% of all team catches, giving San Diego the 5th highest running back usage in the league. With Donald Brown and Ryan Mathews likely to return shortly, Oliver probably doesn’t have much long term value, but he could win fantasy owners a game or two.
Ronnie Hillman ($75)
Montee Ball was another running back to suffer a possible lingering injury in Week 5, when he hurt his groin. Ball has been one of the bigger disappointments for fantasy owners this season, ranking 43rd among running backs in PPR fantasy points scored per game. Ronnie Hillman was serviceable in relief of Ball last week, averaging 4.3 yards per carry on 15 attempts, but didn’t catch a pass. If CJ Anderson returns he could split work with Hillman in a backfield that has already been ineffective to date.