With Halloween just around the corner, I had a couple thoughts run through my brain: I’m about to be dedicating quite a few hours to Pokémon GO with everything giving double candy for the next few days, and I wonder what most people think the scariest part of fantasy football is. Without a doubt it’s got to be injuries, as there truly is nothing like having to pick up the pieces when your top running back goes down for the year. Eddie Lacy owners have a slightly more cringe worthy injury on their hands since his ankle most likely just snapped under the pressure of all that weight. Is it too late for Tony Horton to make Lacy put down all the Halloween candy? Unfortunately it is, and with quite a few backs out with injuries and bye weeks, this seems to be a particularly brutal week. Luckily, there are quite a few running backs worth a look that can be had on waivers. Devontae Booker leads the charge in what I like to call “The Week of the Handcuff”… it’s only fitting his team colors include Halloween orange.
Devontae Booker – The rookie has come a long way from his first career carry (a lost fumble), as he steps right into the starting role. He’s in line for bell-cow duties, and can easily slip right into C.J. Anderson’s old spot in the rankings on a weekly basis. Booker has a shot to be even more valuable than Anderson, as he’s actually been more efficient in both rushing and receiving. Plus, it’s not looking like any other back on Denver’s roster has enough talent to push him for touches. If you had him as a handcuff or snagged him on the waiver wire this week, enjoy your winning lotto ticket for weeks to come.
Chris Thompson – His running back counterpart, Matt Jones, has a checkerboard of dreadful games (7 fantasy points or less) and solid games (12 points or more) with a few fumbles sprinkled in for fun. Thompson, although unproductive in fantasy, has looked excellent in the passing game and plenty capable running the ball when he’s gotten the call. Jay Gruden seems to be fed up with Jones’ fumbling issues, and I think Thompson will be given a shot to this week to show he can handle a larger work load. Don’t be scared to plug Thompson in confidently as an RB2 in PPR formats and a FLEX in standard leagues. Keep an eye on Jones’ knee injury too, as his absence would make Thompson a must start in all formats.
Matt Asiata – Speaking of Washington’s backfield, we have the Vikings in an eerily similar situation. The starter Jerick McKinnon has been woefully ineffective as the starter, so much so that the pass catching back, Asiata, has more yards per carry. Minnesota’s backfield would normally be a situation to avoid, but with so many backs unavailable this week and their decent matchup against the Bears, Asiata is worth FLEX consideration. McKinnon is nursing an ankle injury as well, and just like above with Chris Thompson, Asiata would be a must start in all formats if he becomes the de facto starter.
Mike Gillislee – I was probably just a tad early with talking about Gillislee in week 7, as he logged just 5 touches for the entire game against Miami. On the bright side though, it took him literally one carry to put up more rush yards than Lesean McCoy accumulated in the first half. If that doesn’t show Rex Ryan that McCoy was severely limited, I really don’t know what will. If McCoy sits this week (which Rex would be a moron to not do), Gillislee belongs in your lineup against the Patriots. Although the Pats run defense looks stout in the rankings since they’ve been good at stopping rushing touchdowns, they’ve given away a large amount of yards to opposing running backs. Gillislee is on the RB2/FLEX boarder if/when he starts.
Ty Montgomery – I’ve been throwing out names to look out for, but here’s one to avoid that some people may be counting on. The Packers backfield is a complete mess, and their desperation was shown when they traded for career back up, Knile Davis. Although Montgomery was quite efficient against the Bears running the ball, Green Bay only ended up rushing the ball 11 times. I expect that trend to continue since I’m pretty sure the Packers would rather put the ball in Aaron Rodgers’ hands than Davis, Montgomery, or Don Jackson’s. Sure, Montgomery has 32 touches in the past two games, but with the others looming in the backfield and few rushes to go around, this is a situation to completely avoid in your starting lineup. Montgomery should be viewed as a desperation play at best, as I don’t think he’ll be on the field enough to touch the ball nearly as much as he has. Thanks for joining again this week, and as always, hit me up with any questions you have.