With less than two weeks left until the opening kickoff of the regular season, I figured now would be a good time to review some fantasy running back sleepers, that you should possibly take in your draft. If your draft is over, or if you think that some of these guys will be around after the draft is over, then put some thought into picking these guys up off waivers. Take a look at some of these players, and expect these relatively unknown running backs to help your fantasy team cruise to a title.
Vernand Morency (Houston Texans) – Coach Kubiak of the Texans is liking what he sees from Morency, so far in the preseason. Dominack Davis is having serious knee problems, and I highly doubt he will be as productive as he was in past years. Last week against the St. Louis Rams, Morency rushed for 99 yards and scored 2 TD’s, a possible hint of things to come in the regular season for Houston. One of the more overlooked aspects of the running back position is pass blocking, a department in which Morency has improved upon significantly in training camp and the preseason games. This edge in blocking just may give Morency the edge over Lundy Wali. We’ll find out more as we near closer to the regular season, but for now, Morency looks to have the backup position solidified.
Marion Barber III (Dallas Cowboys) – Lost amid the whole Terrell Owens controversy in Dallas, was news that the Cowboys would be turning to a 2-back running game. This may decrease the overall value of Julius Jones, but this news can only help Barber and his fantasy owners. Barber seems to be a favorite of Parcells, so expect Barber to repeat at least the same numbers as last year, which were 538 yards and 5 TD’s, in a limited role. Barber may not be the ideal second back in a league, but if you’re playing a league with 3 RB’s and possibly a utility player, having Barber on the bench will only help. Julius Jones is also injury prone, and at some point in the season, Barber may take on a majority of the carries for the Cowboys.
Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants) – Last year’s third round selection, the much hyped Brandon Jacobs arrived on the scene in New York last year with the Giants having hopes of converting every third and short situation. Well, that didn’t happen completely, but Jacobs was able to help a bit, especially in the red zone, where he piled up 7 TD’s. So far in training camp and preseason, Jacobs has improved upon his pass blocking, which was the main reason why Coach Coughlin did not leave Jacobs in for the length of a drive last season. With Tiki Barber getting older, and Jacobs maturing as a player, he’ll be bruising up defenders in the middle quarters and putting up TD’s in the red zones. Jacobs has the potential to be a huge sleeper for fantasy owners.
Travis Henry (Tennessee Titans) – Coming off a very dissapointing season, Henry is motivated to quiet the critics and show that he’s still got game. “I’m excited anytime I can go out there and get some good looks with the first unit,” Henry said. “I’ve already been getting some looks anyway playing the second quarter, but I’m excited.” Coach Fisher will possibly give Henry a start in the next preseason game, to get a taste of what it’s like to run behind the starting line. With a troubled Chris Brown ahead of him on the depth chart, and the infamous Lendale White behind him, Henry just may be the starting back at some point this year for the Titans.