Oct 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) reacts after he scored a touchdown during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football Week 9 waiver wire pick ups: Top 6 Running Backs

Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens (10) hands the ball off to St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at Edward Jones Dome. The Seahawks defeat the Rams 14-9. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Running back carousel continues to spin as injuries, bye-weeks and rotations shift and move as the season progresses. If you need a boost at the most important and shallowest position in fantasy football, here are the 6 options I like the most ho are available in mover half or ESPN leagues.

1. Zac Stacy-St. Louis Rams (21.7%)

Stacy is by far the best pickup option at running back assuming his ankle injury doesn’t cost him any time. Stacy had a breakout game Monday Night finishing with 134 yards on the ground against the tough Seahawks defense, but he’s been on the fantasy radar since taking over as Rams starter three weeks ago. In his four games since then, he’s had at least 75 all-purpose yards in each game and continues to be a huge part of the Rams offense. He plays the snaps and gets the touches of a feature-back which is why I’m shocked he’s still available in almost 80% of ESPN leagues. After some tough matchups, this week he faces the Titans who allow the eighth most fantasy points to opposing RB’s in ESPN standard scoring.

2. Andre Ellington-Arizona Cardinals (21.1%)

Oct 27, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) carries the ball during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Ellington also had a huge week rushing for 154 yards on 15 carries including an electric 80-yard touchdown. He got the start with Rashard Mendenhall sidelined and has earned a bigger role going forward. It doesn’t look like Coach Bruce Arians wants to make him a feature-back, but he needs to get his touches since his potential is so huge as he showed against Atlanta this week. The Cardinals are on a bye this week, but if you need a RB going forward week 10 through the end of the season, Ellington makes a great pickup.

3. Mike James-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14.3%)

James didn’t look great Thursday night against the Panthers but remember he was on a short week, had just found out he was starter, and faced a tough Carolina run defense. The team as a whole is struggling and James is no Doug Martin. However, he will get enough touches and carries to make him ownable in most formats and startable as a flex play once he gets past this week’s dreadful matchup on the road in Seattle.

4. James Starks-Green Bay Packers (14.5%)

A hot pickup earlier this season before his own injury, Starks returned this week for Green Bay ad had seven carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. While the Packers definitely want to go with Eddie Lacy as their top backfield option, Starks will work into the rotation enough to be deep-league material and has shown he can contribute  when the touches do come his way.

5.Mike Tolbert-Carolina Panthers (17.3%)

Another running back in a hard-to-read rotation situation is Mike Tolbert who hasn’t gotten tons of carries but continues to find the end zone. He’s scored five times the past seven weeks and is involved in the passing game as well as taking goal line carries. He’s a low-end flex option since he does find the end zone so often, but he’s in a tough matchup this week against Atlanta.

6. Brandon Bolden-New England Patriots (3.7%)

If you play in a PPR league and need a deep flex play, check on Bolden’s availability as he continues to earn a share of the Patriots backfield time. Bolden is the Patriots passing down back but he also does some goalline work and has rushing touchdowns in back to back weeks against Miami and New York. This week the Patriots host Pittsburgh who have been tough against the run, but who could also force Brady to checkdown options like Bolden with their pass rush and solid coverages.


This list of RB’s is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top waiver targets at each of the following positions: QBWRTED/ST

Tags: Arizona Cardinals Carolina Panthers Fantasy Football Fantasy Football RB Green Bay Packers New England Patriots NFL Week 9 St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Waiver Wire Pickups

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