The Running back ranks are stretched thin this week due to injuries, six teams on bye weeks, and general attrition across the league. In fantasy football, it’s going to be tough to fill all your slots in every league, but there are some players that I think will step up even though they’re not locked in as week-in and week-out starters. Here are my top 5 sleepers for week 9 that I think have a good chance to exceed expectations:
1. Zac Stacy-St. Louis Rams
Stacy has been putting together solid numbers for the last several weeks but finally drew national attention with a big Monday Night Football game against the Seahawks rushing for 134 yards against the solid Seahawks defense. He doesn’t have a rushing TD yet this season, but he does have a receiving TD as he ‘s become a bigger part of the Rams passing game. Stacy is getting a solid lead-back’s workload and has done decently against tough matchups since taking over. He’ll finally get an easier matchup as he faces the Titans this week although he’ll have to do it while battling an ankle sprain from last week’s game.
2. Trent Richardson-Indianapolis Colts
Richardson has had a rough start with the Colts, but coming off the bye against a Texans susceptible defense he makes a decent start Sunday night. Richardson is especially a nice start if you have Arian Foster who’s a gametime decision since it allows you to swap in T-Rich if Foster is a no-go. Richradson has the potential but hasn’t adjusted yet to his new team. I think he will by then end of the season, so don’t shy away if there’s a way to add him to your roster.
3. Chris Ivory-New York Jets
Ivory faces his former team the Saints and should get more carries than he got last week against the Bengals in the Jets blowout loss. He only got six carries last week after 34 against New England when he rushed for 104 yards. He splits time with Bilal Powell, so there’s always risk involved with starting him. However, he should be in a better place to succeed this week since he’s the goal-line back for the Jets making him a flex option for fantasy owners this week.
4. Ben Tate-Houston Texans
Tate is a risky play for a number of reasons this week, but he could pay off big time if circumstances go his way. He and the Texans don’t play until Sunday Night Football, but it looks like Tate will be able to take the field despite four broken ribs. He has run well against the Colts in the past, but Indy’s defense has played well this year. The main thing that will affect Tate’s value, though, is the availability of Arian Foster who will be a gametime decision. If you need a flier pick for this week, Tate definitely has upside if you can accept the risk involved.
5. Jonathan Stewart-Carolina Panthers
Stewart is expected to return to a crowded Carolina backfield this week and should get 6-10 touches against the Falcons. How effective he’ll be is still a big unknown, but he does have the potential bo th this Sunday and going forward to be a fantasy factor as he has been in the past.
If you have any questions about who I’d start/sit for week 9, you can find me on twitter @ZT_Sports or drop the question in the comments at the bottom of the page. For information on other positions, starter rankings, waiver wire pickups, and plenty of fantasy football insight, check out our Fansided fantasy football page.