Tuesday - May 21, 2019

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Grinders and Gambles: Offseason Running Backs

For many of us football has started again as dynasty leagues open their wires and prepare for their drafts. Over the next few weeks many leagues will have players cut to free up roster space and league owners will be replaced as members drop out. Now is the time to go shopping for some bargains to patch holes or snag a few lottery tickets.

Drafts are also starting now, MFL10s have started, and some of these guys can come to you in later rounds for real value.

The Gamble section is going to be much deeper as the NFL is still in flux right now.


Charles SimsDoug Martin is the starter but Sims got enough relief work last year to put points on the board weekly, particularly in PPR. With Martin’s new contract, Sims isn’t valued particularly high and could even be cut in smaller leagues.

Karlos Williams – Probably too pricey for this list but worth shopping for while you can still buy with a lower price tag. He was a solid grinder as a backup last year. If you have McCoy, you obviously want to burn that pick or make the trade and get Williams to handcuff McCoy.

Eddie Lacy – I know, I know, why is Eddie Lacy sitting here? This is a column for deeper leagues or deeper picks. Eddie is here because James Starks outscored him last year and he is still feeling the hate. Maybe someone in your league or the people you are drafting against did not see the new Eddie Lacy photos. He will climb in drafts and his trade value will climb as people see how buff he is. Snag him while you can.

Jonathan Stewart – Yes, you will need to own his handcuff because the guy is like Calamity Coyote. With that said, not enough love for the man.

Theo Riddick – Zenner and Abdullah are here and they could draft someone, but Riddick was a great grinder last year.

Chris Johnson – With David Johnson getting all the accolades, Chris is an afterthought for many fantasy players. He decided to say no to the Dolphins and stay in Arizona. David Johnson should win the starter spot but I doubt Arians signed Chris Johnson to leave him in the cold. With an injury prone backfield, Chris Johnson should get enough carries to be a grinder with upside.

Matt Jones – All anyone talked about last year was how Jones was taking the starting spot from Morris and yet he is still cheap enough to be sitting here.  Yes, there are variables: durability, proving he can take the full load, Chris Thompson vulturing points, the potential of additional running backs from the draft snatching the spot. At the same time, he is looking to be a nice little buy.

About Lisa London

I suffer from an undying obsession with fantasy football. Former Lee Evans owner, I am not proud. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, I would get to the second one but I have lineups to set. Follow me on Twitter @leedoglaw