Good fantasy managers are always looking for ways to improve their teams. Below are running backs who played well in Week Four, despite being owned in fewer than 25% of Yahoo fantasy leagues when the week began.
1. Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots
Trying to predict the fantasy value of Patriots running backs from week to week is always an adventure. However, sometimes the team scores 52 points and has several productive rushers, which is exactly what happened in Week Three against the Buffalo Bills. Starter Stevan Ridley gained 106 yards and scored twice, but Bolden, a rookie, led the team with 137 yards and scored a touchdown himself. Of course we never know if his roll will now be increased this season, or if this was more about exploiting something in Buffalo's defense. But Bolden is available in 91% of leagues, and he is worth a roster spot in deeper leagues and certainly in keeper formats.
2. Jackie Battle, San Diego Chargers
Battle's ownership continues to climb, but he is still available in 78% of leagues, despite scoring twice and gaining 81 total yards in Week Four. Ryan Mathews is the starter, but until he is completely healthy, there is no reason to believe Battle will not get work. Furthermore, Mathews has not proven to have the ability to be an elite running back for a full season. Battle is a great add for Mathews owners and anyone looking for potential depth.
3. James Casey, Houston Texans
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub completed passes to seven different players, which will be typical in his offense and makes it difficult to trust any receivers other than Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. Still, Casey continues to improve and was targeted more in Week Four. He responded by catching five passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. Casey is listed as a running back on Yahoo, where is available in nearly 100% of leagues. In other formats, he may qualify as a tight end, running back or both. He is only worth an add in really deep leagues at this point, but he could have more value as the season progresses.
4. Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers
Hunter is available in 84% of leagues, and many believe it is only a matter of time before he is the featured back in San Francisco. In a 34-0 blowout over the Jets, Hunter rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Frank Gore owners should likely handcuff Hunter, but the 49ers backfield is crowded. Barring a Gore injury, this is likely not the year for Hunter to become a consistent fantasy running back. If you have a roster spot available in a dynasty league, Hunter could be a good add.
Mike Patton is a co-host on the Deep Sleeper Fantasy Football Podcast. He has been a fantasy enthusiast since 1997 and has won championships in baseball, football, basketball, hockey and pick 'em leagues.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Jackie Battle
- New England Patriots
- Brandon Bolden
- Ryan Mathews