Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Committee Running Backs Worth Drafting

Want to see me say some dirty words on this website? Alright, here we go: Running. Back. Committee.

Please don't go report me to my editors! I'm sorry! But while we're here and we're talking about all these dirty things, let's talk about running back committees. Are they good for fantasy owners? Nah. Are they a death sentence for fantasy owners? Also nah.

Committees are an unavoidable part of the modern NFL landscape and we have to learn to deal with that. Let's look at some running backs who are stuck in committees this season but who shouldn't be forgotten in redraft leagues.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins

Washington's backfield is chock full of guys who'll probably miss time with injuries, from Derrius Guice (who tore an ACL last preseason) to Adrian Peterson (who is approximately 56 years old). Chris Thompson isn't really a beacon of health either, having played in just 20 games over the past two seasons, but it seems like everyone just thinks he's going to be hurt again and miss time based on how low they are on him.

Thompson is a good receiving back, something that Guice and Peterson won't really provide for rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. If we look back at 2017, Thompson caught 39 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns and was a dynamic piece for Washington. He's capable of busting off big plays.

Last year, Ohio State's running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber combined for 47 receptions, so Haskins is clearly a guy who is willing to get his running backs involved offensively. That's good news for Thompson, who can serve as a safety valve for the rookie.

Thompson will be a guy who goes way later in fantasy drafts than he should. Strike at the right moment and grab him.


Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos

Freeman was supposed to be The Dude last year in Denver, but then Phillip Lindsay happened, and now Freeman's playing second fiddle to the former undrafted free agent.

And that's fine. Lindsay earned his role. But Freeman shouldn't just be thrown aside by fantasy owners at this point, as he's still a really valuable young back.

Freeman's rookie campaign can be summed up as "meh." Among running backs with 100 yards, Freeman ranked 31st in defense-adjusted yards above replacement. He was the last running back with a positive result in that metric and was, essentially, exactly a replacement-level running back. Not great!

Freeman's got to be better than that to be valuable, but as long as the Broncos can move the ball well, he doesn't have to be that much better, because where Freeman can make his mark is with red zone opportunities. Last year, Freeman rushed up the middle 40 times on first or second down. Nine of those came in the red zone. Opportunity is everything, and I expect Freeman to get enough chances to do what he does best to make him a fantasy value.


Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry took control of this backfield with a 238 yard, four-touchdown performance against the Jaguars and he followed that up with 170 yards and two scores against the Giants. So, it stands to reason that he took this backfield from committee to not committee, right?

Well, the week after that Giants game, he was on the field for 62.5 percent of his team's snaps, but the next week that number was back down to 53.1 percent. Lewis played 49 percent of snaps in that Week 17 contest, and the Titans were right back to a committee-style approach.

Henry's a big, powerful runner, but that kind of runner can't just be on the field every play. You've got to get the smaller, quicker guy in sometimes, the guy who can catch 59 passes. That's Lewis, and as long as Henry isn't a major receiving threat, Lewis has a place on this team.

Lewis struggled as a pure runner last year, finishing last among backs with 100 carries in success rate and 43rd out of 47th in DYAR. But he had the second-highest catch rate among running backs with 25 catches and evaded the 10th-most tackles among backs. In PPR leagues, Lewis' ability to be a crafty receiver makes him worth a later round draft pick, just as he was worth one all the other years of the Derrick Henry pairing.


Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints

We can call the Saints a running back committee, right? The Alvin Kamara/Mark Ingram duo was so good that people really eschewed that phrase, but I'm not sure what else to call it. Head coach Sean Payton "rode the hot hand" and mixed the two in and out of the lineup to help produce the best results for New Orleans.

Now, Ingram is in Baltimore as the head of a committee that just missed being featured in this article (I like Justice Hill, by the way), and former Vikings back Latavius Murray has taken Ingram's role.

And people have...well, they've just seemed to ignore Murray all offseason, despite the fact that all of the worries about Alvin Kamara seeing a full workload and the Saints needing to save him to help him be more efficient are still worries. They're still worries, people! Do we think Sean Payton is really going to just run Kamara into the ground all of a sudden?

You can argue that Murray's not as good as Ingram, but situation and opportunity still matter a ton. Ingram had 159 touches in 12 games last year, so let's estimate that Murray ends up at 200 touches over 16 games. Murray with that level of touches is a top-25 fantasy back with the upside of being somewhere in the high range of RB2s. Last year, he finished as the RB35 in standard scoring, but he had just 162 touches. When he's had at least 200, he's never finished worse than RB20 in standard. Last year was a down year for Murray, but the level of usage and the offensive scheme in New Orleans is going to get him numbers.

More ADP Values and Sleepers

More Recent Articles


Week 10 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

We got a good one on Monday night folks. Both for the NFC West division and, more importantly, for fantasy. Two of the top teams in the NFL matchup at Levi's Stadium. We can finally find out if the 49ers are for real, or if they were just beating up on bad teams all season.... Read More

Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's crunch time, with precious few games left before the fantasy regular season ends. There aren't many new names emerging on the waiver wire at this juncture but the RB situations in Atlanta and Detroit bear watching, while the Jets passing game has shown signs of life. No, really. Each week, we will advise you... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 11 Lightning Round

With 10 weeks down and only a few more weeks of the fantasy regular season to go, your vision for the playoffs should be coming into focus. The Giants, Packers, Seahawks and Titans are on bye -- with the Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings in Week 12 to round out the weekly vacations. To help... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 11. Some of you are in the favorable position of only needing slight modifications to rosters that are destined to enter the fantasy playoffs. But many of you are still searching for the most effective... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

Did you survive the terrible, no good, very bad six-team bye week? If so, welcome to the other side, when roster building gets slightly easier going forward. If not, I'm sorry, but you still have time to get things back on the right path. Let's talk about some wide receivers who might be able to... Read More

Week 11 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football squad is still in the playoff hunt heading into Week 11, then congratulations on not being the Pat Shurmur or Freddie Kitchens of your league. Fantasy football players will have to live without New York’s Evan Engram, Green Bay’s Jimmy Graham and Tennessee’s Jonnu Smith as their teams are on bye.... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 11

We've got plenty to unpack at the quarterback position following an exciting Week 10. While no major injuries occurred in game, the revelation of Matthew Stafford's back injury was quite a surprise and left some owners scrambling just before lineups locked. So the year of the backup continued this week, as 16 of the 32... Read More

Week 10 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 10 Matthew Stafford has been ruled out with fractured bones in his back. Patrick Mahomes will make his return in... Read More

Week 10 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 10... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Updated Week 10 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 10 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 10 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: LeSean McCoy is a healthy scratch for Week 10. Matthew Stafford has been ruled out with fractured bones in his back. Patrick Mahomes will make his return in... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 10

Welcome to our Week 10 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Week 10 Wide Receiver / Cornerback Matchups To Target in Week 10

In Week 9, the Seahawks defeated the Buccaneers 40-34 and, as expected, provided some offensive fireworks. The high-scoring contest resulted in Tyler Lockett, Mike Evans, and D.K. Metcalf all finishing in the top-three of fantasy scoring at the wide receiver position. Tyreek Hill proved to be too fast for the Vikings secondary, finishing as the... Read More

The King's Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 10

Welcome to Week 10, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football season. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More