Ready to Breakout?
Adrian Peterson is now in AZ, and that means he might just get starter carries moving forward. Arizona has some offensive line issues, and there is talk about him being limited to first- and second-down duties for now, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get 15+ carries per game. Curb expectations a bit, but I don’t think it’s out of the question to think he could show signs of RB2-type life down the stretch.
With Peterson in AZ, that opens the door for Alvin Kamara in New Orleans, where he’s already been close to starter touches. I think that ‘close’ turns into more of a for sure role and we start seeing consistent RB2 numbers (with splashes of more) moving forward. Mark Ingram also bounces back into RB3/flex relevance on a consistent basis.
Marlon Mack is one of the most exciting running backs in waiting in the entire NFL. He was one of our top pick-up recommendations for the last five-straight weeks, and after last week’s 90/1TD eruption, he’s not on waivers in most any leagues as of now… the question now is, do his current fantasy owners play him, or wait for consistency? I think that fully depends on your options, as a Doug Martin or even a DeMarco Murray still hold more ‘now’ value, but I’m starting Mack in several leagues as a flex play (over players like Martavis Bryant, Jarvis Landry and players in that RB3/WR3-4 range. I think his time is near, and we may see him erupt again in Week 6 off even somewhat less than starter touches. But, there seems to be a 50/50 shot that the Colts don’t yet shove him into the starter-type role. I cannot wait for him to be unleashed, though.
Deep Sleepers for Weeks 6-17.
James Conner still has that hidden type value for those that don’t even own LeVeon Bell. He is a must-own for all Bell owners, though, but for those just looking to own just Conner, he will either never be used (meaning Bell stays healthy all season), or he becomes a monster RB2 if ever called upon to start games for the Steelers. They seem to really like the kid, and he’s filled in solidly when spelling Bell on occasion. He should be owned in all larger leagues with the realization that he could never be used or would be huge if ever used… there really is no in between.
Elijah McGuire is maybe looking at starting this week with Bilal Powell hurt and questionable for Week 6. While he could share carries all year when Powell is healthy, it’s a nice gamble to take owning him because he has tons of talent and it may shine through enough to earn the first- and second-down role on the regular… D’Onta Foreman is the best back in HOU, by far, and this coming from someone that loved Lamar Miller over a year ago. Times change, players fade, and Foreman is a high-end RB2 in waiting, folks. Know that! I just hope that Houston coaching staff sees this. Rex Burkhead may or may not ever get a shot to start for the New England Patriots, but he has the situation, if starting, to thrive. New England is notorious for rotating running backs and making one a star one week, and another the focal point the next week. Burkhead was highly talked about by the Patriots heading into Week 1, then the hype simmered down quite a bit. Just know that he is equal parts capable of being a fantasy force and a fantasy dud down the stretch. He should be owned in leagues with large benches and monitored in smaller leagues.
Don’t Give Up On These Players!
Derrick Henry and Tevin Coleman both have RB1 upside if ever starting for their teams. While Coleman has more ‘now’ value right this second, even as a back-up in his offense (and he is a flex-like starter right this second), Henry has some quietly-good looking-forward value in that DeMarco Murray isn’t playing consistent football and the Titans might be looking for a spark. A few weeks back, almost everyone in fantasy predicted a Derrick Henry takeover, yet Murray bounced-back big-time that very next week. That made many that were stashing Henry as a secret weapon get letdown in such a way they have backed off the thought that he could be a RB1 in time this year. Keep the faith if you own the guy, and trade for him if you do not own him (especially if you are a Murray owner). Derrick Henry is still my #1 secret weapon of all of 2017, he and Tevin Coleman… owning either, or especially both, could win you your league in 2017 when all is said and done.
Jamison Crowder and Tarik Cohen both are being dropped in many leagues, which is madness on both counts. Both have hit a slow spot, but both have tremendous upside. Cohen could be hit in miss for a bit, but more consistent times could come shortly, and he is still flex-worthy in PPR (and that’s in his back-up role). If ever forced to start games (behind a Jordan Howard, who looks beat up this year), Cohen would explode… as for Crowder, he has WR2 appeal still, and I think we see his return to relevance this week in Week 6.