Fantasy Football: Owning RB handcuffs like Jennings critical
After seven weeks of NFL action, we're approaching the start of the playoff push for fantasy leagues. At this point in the year, one of the most important things you can do is to find greater consistency and upside from the running back position.
So far this year, it has been hard to find consistency beyond guys like Ray Rice (Ravens), Adrian Peterson (Vikings), Alfred Morris (Redskins) and Arian Foster (Texans). Foster in particular is in a league of his own and his remaining schedule includes soft matchups like the Bills, Jags, Titans and Colts (twice). As long as he stays healthy he could carry your fantasy team even if you are weaker at other spots.
Granted, staying healthy is easier said than done, as Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars) reminded us this past week. His sprained ankle makes backup Rashad Jennings a rare player who may be sitting in free agency but could instantly enter your starting lineup. Jennings may be a top 20 RB as long as MJD is out, considering the Jaguars' commitment to the run and the fact that they also play a number of weaker rushing defenses in the coming weeks.
While opportunities to acquire players like Jennings don't come along very often at this stage of the season, this is a great time to take a flyer on other backups such as Andre Brown (Giants), Bernard Pierce (Ravens), Kendall Hunter (49ers) and Ronnie Hillman (Broncos). If your starters have already gotten through their bye weeks, these players probably represent more value on your bench than players who start regularly in the NFL but not on your team.
Alex Case is amNY's fantasy football columnist.