With ten weeks in the books, we are in the homestretch of the fantasy football regular season In most leagues. There are just a handful of weeks left before the playoffs (and in some, it starts in just a couple). With byes dying out, it should get easier to stream. However, the attrition of the NFL season is starting to wear away at our top options, and underappreciated players are starting to become appreciated. An alarming number of under 50% ownership RBs are this way due to injury.
Still, at this point last year, David Johnson was borderline waiver wire fodder due to his disappointing start. It’s not too late to snag the next new hotness, and we are here to help. Here are three sleeper running backs (owned in 50% of leagues or fewer for two, and in fewer than 10% for the third, for you deep divers). All figures are based on Yahoo! ownership percentages as of Saturday.
Kenneth Dixon (27% owned) at Dallas
While Dixon may not perform Sunday against Big D, this is a play to get ahead of the next big situation to change hands in the NFL. Over the last handful of games, Terrance West has gone for a robust 2.18 yards per carry (that’s sarcasm) while struggling in the passing game, as well. In the same timeframe, Dixon has gone for 3.19 yards per carry, which isn’t good, but it’s better.
Last week, however, he had 10 fewer opportunities than West (13 to West’s 23), but outgained him by three yards. The writing is on the wall that Dixon is the back to own in Baltimore. You can go snatch him, for free, right now, in over 70% of leagues. This weekend will be a rough go, however, as Le’Veon Bell last week was just the fourth back to get into double digit points against the Cowboys’ defense.
Mike Gillislee (24% owned) at Cincinnati
This is snagging the lesser-owned half of a platoon and plugging him in to hope he gets a goal-line carry or two. Gillislee can hit on a long run to take it to the house on any given play. The Bills will rotate him in and get him around ten opportunities, which he has averaged over the last couple of weeks.
He turned that into 117 yards and two scores over the last couple of games, which makes him a viable RB2 when the week was all over. If you’re desperate, you’re going to gamble on that trend continuing this weekend. His ownership is incredibly low, given Shady’s ability to go down at any time.
Dwayne Washington (3% owned) versus Jacksonville
The sub-10% owned running back group is a bleak set of options in week eleven. Despite the hodgepodge of backs in the Lions backfield, Washington was able to get ten carries in the last Lions’ game. The Lions have to keep giving Theo Riddick ample opportunity to carry the rock, but that should change with a potential rejiggering of the offense this week. Washington is a desperation play, and a hop for a goal-line stand all to himself. He has everything he needs to take over the job, he just needs to grab it.