There are a lot of running backs going down these days and some seem like they're just one misstep away from ending up on the injury report. Several backs have also been ineffective after either a solid career or a breakout 2012. This has been one of the more tumultuous years in the RB world and another bombshell hit last week with Arian Foster out for the year.
However, the good news is that some are coming back. Here's a look at five guys that should be given your consideration, even in shallow formats.
Andre Brown (owned in 49 percent of leagues)
The Giants decided to have Brown hit the ground running and throw him into the fire, or whatever other cliché you want to use. They used him a whopping 30 times on the ground and he accounted for 115 rushing yards and a score.
It’s not all good for Brown, though. Even after yesterday’s performance, the New York Giants still rank 29th in the league in rushing yards per game and ranked just 30th in yards per carry. One of the more interesting things about the ineptitude of the Giants is that Brandon Jacobs leads the team in rushing yards … with 154.
He’s an obvious add even in four-man leagues.
Rashad Jennings (owned in 49 percent of leagues)
For whatever reason, Jennings wasn’t added across the board last week. He did as expected in the Raiders’ game against the Giants, carrying the ball 20 times for 88 yards on the ground to go with two catches for 19 yards.
Darren McFadden is likely to sit out Week 11 since he didn't see the practice field at all last week. He’s sustained a hamstring strain to the same spot at least twice, so the aggravation suggests the Raiders will err on the side of caution.
Jennings and the Raiders will travel to the Houston Texans on Sunday, a team that has suddenly fallen apart. Jennings will be a nice RB2 as long as McFadden is out. Lastly, it's an early game, meaning fantasy owners won’t be left in the lurch wondering if DMC will play.
Shane Vereen (owned in 49 percent of leagues)
He's probably been added across the board already, but this is just a friendly reminder to go and check. The Patriots haven't solved anything at running back and Vereen has a chance to be the featured guy given the fluidity at the position while he was down. Find a way to stash him on your roster.
Dennis Johnson (owned in 21 percent of leagues)
This is a stash move here, but there aren’t many stashes better than Johnson. Arian Foster is out for the season with back surgery and Ben Tate hasn’t looked like his old self. Tate had just 3.7 yards per carry on Sunday against the Cardinals.
No other running back saw carries outside of Johnson’s four. He wasn’t very good with seven yards. The Texans have a great matchup against the leaky Raiders’ run defense. Johnson probably won’t have stand-alone value in that game, though.
Bernard Pierce (owned in 24 percent of leagues)
The Ravens have some serious issues on the ground. They rank dead last in the NFL in yards per carry at a laughable 2.8 and it might be because of Ravens either rest him or give Pierce a heavier workload.
They get a Chicago Bears team that lost their best defender with Charles Tillman expected to miss time. Yes, he plays in the secondary, but their scheme changes means the team won’t have the luxury of bringing the safety up to stop the run.
Pierce has 2.8 yards per carry, which beats Rice’s 2.5 on the year. He’s worth a look as a speculative add for any owner that wants to take a chance on a high-upside stash.