Fantasy Football Draft Advice: Who Should Be Paired With Your No. 1 Running Back?

Aug 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) carries the ball against the New Orleans Saints during first quarter of their preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Who should you draft as your backup running backs to make sure you are covered on the bye weeks for your RB1 and RB2? Read on.

Today I will take a look at the bye week schedule for the Top 24 Running Backs, according to Mike Gallagher's Running Back Rankings for PPR leagues, and provide you with two running backs you might want to draft to "pair" with your RB1 and your RB2 picks later in your fantasy drafts.

Let's take a look at the two running backs I recommend pairing with your RB1 and RB2 for PPR leagues, along with their bye week opponents:

Name

Bye Week

Bye Week Sub

Bye Week Opponent

Arian Foster

Week 8

Michael Bush
Stevan Ridley

Carolina
St. Louis

Ray Rice

Week 8

Mark Ingram
Toby Gerhart

Denver
Tampa Bay

Lesean McCoy

Week 7

Mark Ingram
Ryan Williams

Tampa Bay
Minnesota

Darren McFadden

Week 5

Jacquizz Rodgers
Ryan Williams

Washington
St. Louis

Chris Johnson

Week 11

Shonn Greene
Ben Tate

St. Louis
Jacksonville

Demarco Murray

Week 5

Kendall Hunter
Cedric Benson

Buffalo
Indianapolis

Matt Forte

Week 6

Shonn Greene
Peyton Hillis

Indianapolis
Tampa Bay

Jamaal Charles

Week 7

Cedric Benson
Montario Hardesty

St. Louis
Indianapolis

Adrian Peterson

Week 11

Cedric Benson
DeAngelo Williams

Detroit
Tampa Bay

Steven Jackson

Week 9

Ben Tate
Benjarvis Green-Ellis

Buffalo
Denver

Reggie Bush

Week 7

Michael Bush
Rashad Jennings

Detroit
Oakland

Darren Sproles

Week 6

Michael Turner
Ryan Williams

Oakland
Buffalo

Ryan Matthews

Week 7

Mark Ingram
Cedric Benson

Tampa Bay
St. Louis

Maurice Jones-Drew

Week 6

Ben Tate
Daniel Thonas

Green Bay
St. Louis

Doug Martin

Week 5

Mark Ingram
Jacquizz Rodgers

San Diego
Washington

Trent Richardson

Week 10

Kevin Smith
Jacquizz Rodgers

Minnesota
New Orleans

Fred Jackson

Week 8

Peyton Hillis
Rashad Jennings

Oakland
Green Bay

Ahmad Bradshaw

Week 11

Daniel Thomas
Mark Ingram

Buffalo
Oakland

Marshawn Lynch

Week 11

Cedric Benson
Shonn Greene

Detroit
St. Louis

Donald Brown

Week 4

Michael Turner
Kevin Smith

Carolina
Minnesota

Willis McGahee

Week 7

Ryan Williams
Michael Bush

Minnesota
Detroit

Frank Gore

Week 9

Michael Bush
Ryan Williams

Tennessee
Green Bay

David Wilson

Week 11

Ben Tate
DeAngelo Williams

Jacksonville
Tampa Bay

Evan Royster

Week 10

Kendall Hunter
Stevan Ridley

St. Louis
Buffalo


This table can be useful on draft day when deciding what backup running backs you will draft in rounds 8-12 as your RB3, RB4 or RB5. I usually don't look at bye weeks when drafting backups, but it is important as you don't want to be left with guys on the waiver wire who won't be getting many targets in 2012.

What I did was look at the teams that gave up the most fantasy points to running backs in 2011, and selected running backs who will be playing against these teams during the bye weeks of the Top 24 Running Backs. I am making an assumption here that these defenses did not improve in the offseason and will, again, allow the most fantasy points to running backs in 2012.

A couple guys I like, and will probably target in my drafts are Bears backup running back Michael Bush, who could easily score 10+ touchdowns in 2012, as he will be the Bears goal-line back.

Another running back that I like is Texans back up running back Ben Tate. Tate is a must hand cuff for Arian Foster owners, or owners who think Foster may get injured again in 2012. Tate is a top 12 running back should Foster miss a few games again this season.

Chiefs back up running back Peyton Hillis is another must hand cuff in case Jamaal Charles gets hurt again. In addition, the Chiefs will more than likely run the ball quite a bit this season, as they invested in their offensive line in the offseason. Hillis could also be the Chiefs goal-line back, stealing TDs from Charles.

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