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Stash Running Backs the Right Way

For those who don't know, I am the #AllBenchRB guy and I will reiterate what that means if you didn't peep my primer last year. I believe that your bench should be filled with RBs. RBs are the most injury prone and RB depth charts the most variable providing you with the greatest opportunity to strike gold with one of those lotto tickets waiting on your bench.

What I am vehemently against is holding two TEs or QBs in place of an additional RB that can help your team in a major way. TE and QB are single-slot positions and therefore the easiest to replace, whereas finding a boom RB is much more challenging.

But, there is a right and wrong way to implement the #AllBenchRB strategy. I’m going to break it down in this article and give you some examples to help you get ready for Week 5 and beyond.

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AllBenchRB Done Wrong

The wrong way to fill your bench with RBs is to select single-purpose backs. I'm talking about running backs that are either going to be reserved to early-down or third-down work only. They will not give you the opportunity to boom should an injury to the main back occur. That would be like winning the lottery only to discover the jackpot was $500. So, to be as clear as possible you should not fill your bench with RBs that are satellite backs, change-of-pace backs, short-yardage or early-down grinders.

Here are some of the players to avoid:

Nyheim Hines
Tarik Cohen
Jeffery Wilson
Justice Hill
Darwin Thompson
Darren Sproles
Jalen Richard

For the Devil’s Advocates out there, of course there are exceptions to this rule. Maybe you are truly desperate at the position and need to spot start some of these players in good matchups like Nyheim Hines this week if Marlon Mack sits. But assuming you are ok at starting RB, there are better players to line your bench with.


AllBenchRB Done Right

To truly execute this strategy properly, you will want to fill your bench with RBs that are poised to explode if they get the call from the bullpen. Either these RBs have already proven that they can boom given the chance, they have an all-purpose skillset and size or they are in the perfect situation on an offense that makes it easy with a great line and passing attack. Some of these players may currently be completely irrelevant due to the starter succeeding, so you need to think about the pathway to success.

Who has a one or two-degree separation from prominence?  Here are my candidates:

Gus Edwards
Ito Smith
Jordan Howard
Chase Edmonds
Jamaal Williams
Malcolm Brown
Rashaad Penny
Giovani Bernard
Alexander Mattison
Tony Pollard
Ty Montgomery
Jay Ajayi

Did any of you watch the Giants game last week? Did you see what a mediocre talent like Wayne Gallman did when given the opportunity? Would you take that production for the rest of the season? It is ugly players like Gallman that show up on championship teams each and every year in fantasy because the running back position is absolutely brutal, and changes will inevitably take place.

Does anyone remember Damien Williams, C.J. Anderson or Gus Edwards last year? Should you have one of these guys already on your bench, you will instantly gain a starting RB and save a ton of FAAB that would need to claim that player on the waiver wire. In my primary league, Wayne Gallman went for over 60% of one team's FAAB! And if you happen to be lucky enough to already have three or four solid RBs, you could use the hype of your newly crowned starter as trade bait.

Now, I will warn you. The hardest part of this strategy is staying prudent while your opponents add much sexier wide receivers like Diontae Johnson or Auden Tate. And these players can be difference-makers for a few weeks, but their chances of booming and staying consistent are much lower than that of a starting RB. All we have to do is look at some of the sexy WR names from earlier this season like Deebo Samuel, John Ross, James Washington, Marquise Brown, Jamison Crowder, Devin Funchess... the list goes on. Look up any of those guys and see if you would have been happy starting them the last few weeks. Save your FAAB for streaming DST, TE and QB on bye weeks and fill your bench with RB lotto tickets!


Brett Mitchell (@Brettmitchellfb)


You can also catch Brett on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (channel Sirius 201, XM 87) with Real Talk Raph and Josh Hayes on Friday mornings at 6:30 am ET.

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