There is one thing that will never change in fantasy football and that’s trying to pick the next running that’s about to blow up. Remember Alvin Kamara last year? Sure he had 7 catches for 70 yards through his first two games, but he was widely available on waiver wires as he had just 21 yards on the ground and no touchdowns in those opening games. He then proceeded to dominate the rest of the year and finished with 81 catches over 800 yards, over 700 yards on the ground and 13 combined touchdowns. Umm ya.. that’ll do! I don’t think we’re going to be finding any Alvin Kamara’s this year, but here’s a look at 3 running backs that I think could be every week fantasy starters this year for the second half of the year.
Nyheim Hines – Colts
I list Hines first simply because I used Kamara as an example of a pass catching back being a huge commodity in fantasy football. Hines is a 4th round draft pick out of NC State where he had more catches (63) than rushing attempts (61) in his first 2 years of school. He finally got to be a feature back his junior year and ran for over 1100 yards and 12 TD’s. He also ran track at NC State competing in the 4X100, running a best 10.42 100M so you know he has jets.
After a horrific preseason Hines took advantage of increased week 1 playing time with Marlon Mack out and had 7 catches on 9 targets for 33 yards, adding 19 yards on the ground. It’s not a breakout performance by any stretch, but the high volume targets is very encouraging and the way the Colts look to be game planning, they’re looking to get the ball out of Andrew Luck’s hands as quickly as possible. The colts have one of the worst defenses in the league and are going to be trailing a lot this year, which should play into a lot of hurry up offense where Hines could shine. Owned in just 7% of Yahoo leagues Nyheim Hines is worth a stash.
Kerryon Johnson – Lions
Kerryon was a favorite sleeper coming into this year as a 2nd round draft pick out of Auburn and he had a nice preseason to back it up. Week 1 was a shitshow for the Lions – they got blown out by the Jets and Matt Patricia looked like he had literally no idea how to coach a football team. Kerryon led the Lions in carries – only 5 though because the Lions were thoroughly getting their asses kicked. The problem Kerryon faces now is a 3-man rotation in Detroit, but he’s shown flashes of being the most talented back in their rotation. The Lions would be wise to lean on Johnson going forward as he has shown big play potential and nasty catches like this:
He’s owned in 80% of Yahoo leagues, which isn’t really a sleeper, but look for a desperate owner who will sell low or even drop Kerryon to patch up another position due to injury.
Aaron Jones – Packers
Suspended the first 2 games of the year Jones is more of a stash guy as we need to see what his role is when he comes back. There’s no denying Jones’ explosiveness as he ran for 15+ yards on nearly 10% of runs last year, according to Pro Football Focus:
Jamaal Williams continues to underwhelm, as the Packers backfield looks primed for the taking. Available in 60% of Yahoo leagues get Aaron Jones if you still can.