Which backup running back will make an impact the rest of the way?

#ask the experts

Which backup running back will make an impact the rest of the way?

November 12, 2015

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Which backup running back will have the biggest impact the rest of the way?


James Starks takes over No. 1 duties for groin impaired Eddie Lacy. Jeremy Langford and Karlos Williams should greatly benefit if they continue to get snaps and targets. Duke Johnson and Knile Davis need to have some more intelligent play calling before becoming the next Danny Woodhead. Perhaps throw Matt Jones in the mix, too, provided he heals his fumble-itis.

With two perfect seasons to his credit, Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football. featuring LIVE Talk Text Consulting Advice. He was the 2011 winner of Fantasy Index’s Experts Auction league, as well as the winner of the 2012 Experts Poll. In 2013, he finished 2nd in the Auction and 3rd in the Draft league; in 2014, 3rd in the Auction league.


James Starks is the obvious choice. Eddie Lacy is a mess and now he is hurt. Starks can easily take this job and run with it. Another long shot would be Charles Sims. Sims is one more Doug Martin fumble away from the starting role in TB. He has proven himself before and had flashes of greatness this season too.

Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com. at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 20-plus year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com .


James Starks and James White are already been promoted, so I don’t consider them to be backups anymore. Of the current No. 2 backs, I consider Ryan Mathews and Karlos Williams to be at the top of the heap. They’re productive in backup roles, and they’ll really be special if an injury occurs. If you’re looking more at handcuff-type guys, then my four favorites would be Javorius Allen, Jordan Todman, Christine Michael and Tevin Coleman. With all of those guys, they’re just an injury away from being really good fantasy options.

Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index. He’s been in that role since 1987, generating most of the player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine, and also at www.fantasyindex.com.


The easy answer is Karlos Williams but scoring a touchdown in every game so far kinda means he’s not just a #2 back for the Bills. If I had to grab one back that is a clear #2 and yet has primary back talent and potential, it would be the Browns Duke Johnson who has already excelled as a receiving back despite getting such a lower volume of carries than Isaiah Crowell. The ex-Miami back has the speed to make a difference as the starting running back and Crowell is nothing special. The Browns are likely to turn to Johnny Manziel soon because the season is over and might as well try the younger guy to see what he might hold for 2016. Same thing could happen with Johnson over Crowell.

Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.


James Starks seems like a lay-up, but he has out-produced Eddie Lacy by a mile. I think the Green Bay offense improves down the stretch and Starks will be even better in the second half of the season than he was the first half. You can’t predict injuries, but if anything were to happen to Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman would instantly produce Top 10 running back numbers. I also like Karlos Williams a ton (amazingly he has scored a touchdown in every NFL game he’s played in) — if McCoy misses more time (which feels likely), Williams has the potential to be a fantasy star.

Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for Dynasty Football Warehouse. DFW is comprehensive site covering dynasty, redraft, IDP and Daily formats. DFW has a large writing crew with many people from the DFW community contributing to the insights and discussion. Alan is also the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast.


Can I vote for Ameer Abdullah? Not giving up yet! But in all seriousness, it’s probably Ryan Mathews. The Eagles are really running the ball well, and they’ve got some appealing matchups the rest of the way. Watching Karlos Williams run for the Bills, he looks like a guy who simply needs to play more, whether LeSean McCoy is healthy or not. Last but not least, I have some interest in David Cobb in Tennessee. Antonio Andrews looks like a guy who needs to handle the ball a lot less.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine’s annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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