Maurice Jones-Drew and Matt Forte are heading into their respective bye weeks, leaving fantasy owners with a gaping vacancy in the starting lineup.
Ideally, fantasy owners are stockpiled with depth at running back, making the bye weeks a seamless transition. But fantasy football rarely provides ideal circumstances, so MJD and Forte owners could be scrambling to the waiver wire this week to find a cure for their bye week blues.
The waiver-wire pickings are slim heading into Week 6, but a few running backs present some upside for fantasy owners willing to take a flier. Here are the best options of the bunch.
Bye Week Plug-Ins
1. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Bilal Powell has slowly earned a bigger and bigger role in the New York Jets' offense. He's more talented than Shonn Greene, who displays little burst and can't make defenders miss. The matchups have not been kind to Powell, but in Week 6 the Jets face the Indianapolis Colts, a team allowing 4.7 yards per carry this season on the ground. Maybe Powell will finally have his breakout game.
2. William Powell, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals' running back depth chart has gotten thin in a hurry. Both Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells have long-term injuries, opening the door for William Powell to get a chance at some carries. LaRod Stephens-Howling may seem like the logical choice to step into the starting lineup, but he is also nursing a minor injury, leaving Powell as the top dog. Given the Cardinals' matchup against a soft Bills defense, he's worth a shot.
1. Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots
Brandon Bolden continues to eat into Stevan Ridley's workload. The Patriots have a crowded backfield, but Bill Belichick seems determined to give Bolden a role in that backfield. New England has a tough matchup against the Seahawks next week, so Bolden won't be worth taking a chance on, but he's worth stashing on the bench in deeper leagues.
2. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions
Jahvid Best is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list after Week 6. He is still a huge unknown due to his head injury, but his fantasy upside is obvious to anyone who has owned him in the past. Best is an incredible talent, and the Lions will undoubtedly feed him the rock if he is able to return to full strength. He's worth finding room for on the bench.
3. Alex Green, Green Bay Packers
With Cedric Benson out for eight weeks with a foot injury, Alex Green is the next guy in the line to handle running back duties for the Packers. There is definitely a possibility the team will bring in another option but, for now, it's Green's job to lose. The Packers have a tough matchup against the Texans next week, but Green is a decent add with an eye for the long term.