Use these recommendations for a little last-minute pep in your fantasy football lineup or an investment for the future.
In this series, I’ll try to help find some fantasy football running back diamonds in the rough to help you for this week and beyond. Some will be better suited as bye week fill-ins, others will be wait-and-see bench stashes, and hopefully some will be stars in the making. I’m shooting for under 50 percent ownership in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues to make this column, but there will occasionally be exceptions. Here’s last week’s picks:
Week 6: 10. Alex Collins, 9. Jalen Richard, 8. Elijah McGuire, 7. Semaje Perine, 6. Wayne Gallman, 5. Thomas Rawls, 4. Shane Vereen, 3. Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden, 2. Marlon Mack, 1. Matt Breida
Now, there being only 32 teams and (at most) two fantasy options at running back on any given team, my goal here is to not give you the same player two weeks in a row unless there’s a significant breakthrough in their status. There’s one such guy this week, but let’s check in with the Pats first:
10. Rex Burkhead, New England
Ownership % — ESPN: 10%; Yahoo!: 8%
Role: Bye week filler
I’ll admit, Burkhead isn’t exactly a superstar in the making. But he got injured in week 2 right as he seemed to be capitalizing on some of the pass-catching promise that fantasy owners saw in him during the preseason, with two rushes for three yards, and three catches for 41 yards and this touchdown:
Here’s what we know about the Pats lately — Mike Gillislee lost a fumble last week, and seemingly made his way into Bill Belichick’s doghouse. As a result, Dion Lewis got a one-yard goal line carry in the second quarter, which is usually more Gillislee’s role (more on that later).
Burkhead is a burly 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, and is built like a goal-line back. So, if Belichick is really punishing Gillislee — and make no mistake, he is a petty man that punishes players — Burkhead might make a more sensible goal-line worker than Lewis going forward. Couple that with his pass-catching ability and he might not be perfect, but he should get you some points.