Earlier in the season, running backs were dropping like flies. Hamstrings, concussions, broken bones took out some of the games top running backs at one time or another. This week, there isn’t much to worry about, which forced me to dig a little deeper into the running back pool.
Steven Jackson has already been ruled out, while DeMarco Murray is listed as doubtful, but very unlikely to play. Joseph Randle could be a nice one-week pickup in deeper leagues. Joique Bell is questionable, but his role has drastically diminished. Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas are on bye, which could impact some teams.
Here are the star running backs worth keeping tabs on for Week 7.
Adrian Peterson: Unless he is ruled out, there’s no way you would bench Peterson. Even then, he still might score more points than your other options. All joking aside, Peterson was limited on Thursday and sat out Friday with hamstring tightness. However, Head Coach Leslie Frazier said he should practice Saturday.
With the Minnesota Vikings not playing until Monday night, this could affect a lot of Fantasy teams. Just to be on the safe side, check back to see if Peterson did practice Saturday or if he suffered a setback. If he does play, expect a lot out of him as the team adjusts to Josh Freeman.
Prognosis: Check reports, but should be starting.
Willis McGahee: The newest Cleveland Browns running back has been mediocre. He averages 2.78 yards per carry and not the best option for Week 7, despite being listed as probable. He sat out Thursday’s practice to rest his knees, but came back on Friday and was a full participant.
McGahee goes against the Green Bay Packers and their tough rush defense. They allow just 78.2 rushing yards per game. The Browns play at 4:25 p.m., so replacing him could be difficult if you wait to start him. Even with McGahee’s clean bill of health, I would look elsewhere for an RB2.
Prognosis: Healthy to start, but sit if possible.
Brandon Bolden: The No. 3 running back was called upon earlier when Stevan Ridley went down with an injury. He had 11 touches for 64 yards in Week 5. Ridley is back to full health and now Bolden is down. With the New England Patriots, it’s hard to get a full injury report, but Bolden is listed as questionable.
He was limited in Wednesday’s practice and was seen on a stationary bike on Friday. If healthy, Bolden will be the change-of-pace back. However, with Ridley and LeGarrette Blount ready to go, Bolden may not see the field that much. Unless you’re in a deep or PPR league, Bolden sits.
Prognosis: Check back Sunday morning for inactives report