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2013 Fantasy Football: 7 Running Back Replacements

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2013 Fantasy Football: Seven Running Back Replacements

2013 Fantasy Football: Seven Running Back Replacements
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Week two in fantasy football was tough. There were some big names that put up some really bad statistical games, like Frank Gore, Colin Kaepernick and Reggie Bush. To make matters worse, some of the top running backs for their respective teams got injured, leaving both their game and some fantasy owners with disappointing results.

I’ve written before about having your handcuffs ready. I’ve mentioned that it is always going to be a matter of when, not if, a star player gets injured. Don’t think that the fantasy gods have anything against you personally, it happens to all of us.

If you took my advice and have your handcuffs already on your fantasy bench ready to roll, then good for you. You won’t need to rush out and burn a waiver wire pick and worry about getting outbid. If you have real depth at running back, your backups and handcuffs trade value just went up. If you have that depth, now might be a perfect time to sell high and get a better asset in return. Remember, your team can always get better.

Well if you didn’t take my advice on having your handcuffs ready, don’t worry. You might have to pull a trade, you might be able to work the wire. In any case if you are now scrambling to find a replacement the way Terrell Pryor has been scrambling around the pocket, I have a list of seven running backs who you need to take a run at obtaining.

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Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Bilal Powell has played almost twice as many snaps as Chris Ivory. That trend will continue as Powell is better at pass protection, and already has the majority of third down duties, something the New York Jets are sure to see plenty of. He runs with power, and should eventually become the main back. Rookie Geno Smith has been inconsistent, but has been able to move the chains somewhat. The Jets have a tough matchup against the Buffalo Bills this week, but Powell should see the goal line looks.

Currently owned in 41 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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Brandon Jacobs

Brandon Jacobs
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

David Wilson is going to get better at some point, right? Wilson ran better than Brandon Jacobs did getting 17 yards out of his seven carried compared to four yards on seven attempts by Jacobs. However, Jacobs had three of his four rushing attempts inside the red zone, and one from just outside of it, which is promising. The New York Giants have mentioned that they need Wilson, but if he continues to struggle, Jacobs role could increase.

Currently owned in 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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James Starks

James Starks
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Starks is going to be the biggest boom or bust name on this list. Clearly, the Green Bay Packers are in a different class than the Cincinnati Bengals. If Aaron Rodgers continues to play like he is in Madden, Starks will have plenty of chances to tote the rock as the Packers could try to run after building a lead. On the downside, I’ve mentioned a few times in this space that the Bengals front is one of the best in the NFL, and offer a tough matchup. Long term there isn’t as much value as the next few names on this list, but this week he could find the end zone, as the Packers certainly will have plenty of red zone chances.

Currently owned in 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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Joique Bell

Joique Bell
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Joique Bell is a must own for any Reggie Bush owners out there. Bell has received ample touches so far this season, even before Bush banged up his knee in week two. Bush now has three separate injuries in two weeks, which is why Bell is an essential handcuff. Bell is an adequate flex play, even with Bush healthy, given the right matchup. If Bush misses any time, Bell could flirt with RB1 numbers in the high flying offense of the Detroit Lions.

Currently owned in 79 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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Fred Jackson

Fred Jackson
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson is almost even in rushing attempts with C.J. Spiller through the first two games of the season. Spiller will continue to get the majority of touches, but not by a wide margin. He has stand alone value regardless if Spiller plays or not.

Currently owned in 62 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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Bernard Pierce

Bernard Pierce
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I called him out in the preseason as one of the top handcuffs to own. Bernard Pierce already had fantasy value before Ray Rice got injured, well that went through the roof when Rice injured his left hip flexor. Pierce had a tough matchup this week against a tough Houston Texans defense, but is still in line for a heavy touch game.

Currently owned in 56 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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Knowshon Moreno

Knowshon Moreno
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

All preseason, it appeared that Montee Ball was the leading candidate to be the Denver Broncos main running back. I wrote after their season opener that Knowshon Moreno could be the one to take over that post as he is superior in pass protection. Not only has Moreno taken over the lead role, but he had a very solid game in week two racking up 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Currently owned in 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues.