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Week 11 Running Backs: Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

carlos-hyde-nfl-fantasy-football-running-back-sleepersHow is it that we are heading into Week 11? It seems like just yesterday that I was writing preseason articles, and now here we are. The fantasy playoffs are drawing near, and some of you are still in contention to bring home that fantasy title.

Let's try to help you find that waiver wire or sleeper running back who will lead your fantasy football team's victory parade or help you claw your way into the playoffs. Good luck in Week 11 RotoBallers.


Fantasy Football Running Backs (RB) - Week 11

C.J. Anderson (RB, DEN) - 4% owned on Fleaflicker

Man, Montee Ball really picked a bad week not to be able to come back. Ronnie Hillman went and got himself injured (just like all people who held onto Ball for this long were hoping). By the way, if you were holding onto Ball in a non-dynasty format may I ask why?

Anyways, in the absence of Hillman, C.J. Anderson really showed up for the Broncos. What do I mean by really showed up? Oh well, he just rushed 13 times for 90 yards and caught four receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. You know, no big deal.

Even if Hillman is able to go next week, I'd expect the Broncos to go with the hot hand in C.J. Anderson. The return of Montee Ball could make things a bit murkier, but Ball was not running effectively before his injury. Like Sims, C.J. Anderson is one of the backs I'd target more heavily on the waiver wire this week. He's worth a stash in 12 team leagues with deep benches, and all 14 team leagues.


Charles Sims (RB, TB) - 23% owned on Fleaflicker

Charles Sims is one of my top recommended running back pickups this week. The 6'0" 214 pound rookie has drawn comparisons to Matt Forte and DeMarco Murray, and for good reason.  He ranks in the 77th percentile for his 40 yard dash time, and ranks in the 86th percentile in his jumping ability according to He has serious athletic talent.

If you haven't heard about Sims until now, it's because he had been dealing with an ankle injury since the beginning of the season. He may not have overwhelmed you in his debut, rushing 8 times for only 23 yards while adding 2 catches for 17 yards for an rather unimpressive total. But, if you read between the lines, Sims out-touched Bobby Rainey who had become the lead back for the Bucs in lieu of Doug Martin. That's a very encouraging sign to see for the rookie in his first game back, and a sign the lead role in Tampa Bay is very much up for grabs. Add Sims in 12 team leagues in case he becomes the Bucs new favorite cannonball.


Carlos Hyde (RB, SF) - 47% owned on Fleaflicker

This past Sunday seemed to be one of the rare days where the 49ers remembered they had two very talented running backs to use. Both Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde got the opportunity to run today, and both scored touchdowns. Maybe this will make the Niners realize they need to run more often, or maybe Harbaugh will continue to run himself out of town.

The underutilized Hyde has not been fantasy relevant since week 5, but that changed when he rushed four times today for 36 yards and the touchdown. The tag team of Hyde and Gore, which sounds like something out of a horror movie, will continue to feature more Gore than Hyde. However, Gore has shown signs of slowing down the past few weeks and is on the older side of this platoon.

If Gore were to get injured or show he was ineffective, the Niners would turn to Hyde to carry the ball more. He's one of the most raved about running backs from this past draft class, and is the future for San Francisco's backfield. The 6'0" 230 pound back is owned in less than half your leagues, and that number should be higher after waivers run Tuesday night.


Anthony Dixon (RB, BUF) - 18% owned on Fleaflicker

Anthony Dixon has been featured in this article before, but this Sunday was arguably the best game he has had this season. He rushed 9 times for 62 yards, for an impressive 6.9 yards per carry against the Chiefs' stout run defense.

While Fred Jackson returned from an injury to the field of play after missing two weeks, he didn't look fully over his groin injury gaining only 10 yards on 3 attempts. But when Jackson is fully healthy, it will severely limit the potential of Dixon.

Based on the fumble on Sunday from Bryce Brown, I'd fully expect Dixon to be the lead back if Jackson gets reinjured. For that reason alone he is worth rostering in deeper leagues with deeper benches. Don't go crazy dropping other back-end players such as Travaris Cadet for him though, especially in PPR formats.


Damien Williams (RB, MIA) - 2% owned on Fleaflicker

Due to a shoulder injury, Lamar Miller was severely limited on Sunday rushing only 4 times for 10 yards. Even if he was healthy, I'm not sure it would have been reasonable to expect much against a Lions run defense that is always ready to pounce.

It seems someone forgot to give Miller's backup Damien Williams that memo about the Lions defense. Williams rushed 7 times for 34 yards, and added 3 receptions for 27 yards on the day. 60 all purpose yards against the Lions for a backup is an excellent day, and Williams may see even more time this Thursday against the Bills. Shoulder issues can linger and Miller is not healing as well as the Dolphins' coaching staff would like him to.

As with the Anthony Dixon situation, I wouldn't go breaking the bank on Williams. His remaining value will most likely come in this upcoming week, and it's a matchup where he faces the Bills' run defense. Maybe he'll forget to get the memo about how tough the Bills' run defense is, but I somewhat doubt it. Miller will get healthy eventually, and the Dolphins don't run the ball all that much in the first place, which limits Williams' value. Still if you're looking for speculative adds in deep leagues, you could do a lot worse.


Theo Riddick (RB, DET) - 11% owned on Fleaflicker

Have you noticed a theme yet this week? So far it seems to be all underutilized backs who are all backups to players who recently got injured. Granted, you may wonder why Riddick is on this list at all since he rushed for zero yards and only caught two passes for 2.5 yards. However, one of those catches was for a touchdown.

That's not the main reason I have Riddick reappearing on this list though. It's because Reggie Bush tweaked his ankle again during Week 10's game. Bush never officially checked out of the game, but he was incredibly limited after hurting his ankle. Also in the two games before this, Riddick caught receptions for 70+ yards and a TD.

Riddick has a role that is very similar to Bush, and with Bush questionable moving forward, Riddick makes for a good add. I'm actually somewhat surprised Riddick's ownership is only at 11%, because I'd imagine he'd be owned heavily in dynasty formats. The chronicles of Riddick are worth following in deeper leagues and in the majority of dynasty formats.


Joseph Randle (RB,DAL) - 8% owned on Fleaflicker

Yes, Joseph Randle makes another appearance on this list despite his questionable decision to shoplift underwear. Maybe he just really didn't want to do laundry that day. There hasn't been much action for Randle since I recommended him aside from his petty theft. On Sunday afternoon however, he decided to make people focus on football as opposed to his off the field issues.

Randle rushed 7 times for 56 yards and a touchdown against the Jags. I'll admit it, he was probably only getting touches because DeMarco Murray needed a breather, but 8.0 yards per carry on limited touches is nothing to scoff at. It also seems like Randle has jumped ahead of Lance Dunbar on the Cowboys' depth chart.

Why is that important? DeMarco Murray has seen his fair share of missed games due to injuries over the years. He's also the top rusher in the NFL this season, in large part thanks to a great offensive line. If he were to go down, Randle would have a golden opportunity to run behind that line. Randle makes for a solid add in either 12 team leagues with deep benches or 14 team leagues.


Christine Michael (RB, SEA) - 28% owned on Fleaflicker

Unless you play dynasty, Christine Michael may be unfamiliar to you. The 5' 10" 220 pound back was taken in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft by the Seahawks. He ranks over the 90th percentile in jumping ability, balance, and bench press so this is a very talented athlete we are talking about.

The Seahawks rushed all over the Giants this Sunday for a team record 350 yards and 5 touchdowns. Michael contributed 71 yards of that on 4 touches, one of which was an incredibly long run where he was stopped just short of the end zone. Coincidentally that was the play that made me unleash a tirade at the Giants defense that made me sound like I might be related to an Osbourne.

You can bet that Michael has moved up to the backup role behind Beast Mode, aka Marshawn Lynch, with this performance and Robert Turbin's fumble. That's important, because, as many of you know the Seahawks are running Beast Mode into the ground before his contract expires. If the ground manages to find a way to stop Lynch, which no professional NFL player can seem to do, then Michael would be the lead back in a high powered run first Seahawks offense. That's a guy worth stashing in deeper leagues.


Honorable Mentions & Other Running Back Pickups

*See last week's column