There is some sneaky running back value in rounds ten to twelve in your My Fantasy League MFL10s this year. Once you get to the double-digit rounds (rounds 10 plus for you math majors), Reggie Bush, Darren Sproles, Roy Helu, and Danny Woodhead are just waiting to help you win the league.
For rounds ten to fifteen, I look for guys that will give me five or six nice games. I prefer guys that will hand in a few good scores and raise the floor of my running back group, over taking big swings at a long-shot starter. The beauty of guys like this, in a best ball format, is that you cash in on those big weeks, but don't go crazy trying to guess which weeks they'll fall flat.
I break down 4 of my favorite targets for this part of the draft below.
(ADP data from My Fantasy League MFL10 ADP from June 1st to June 25th).
Roy Helu, Oakland - RB51, ADP: 142
The Raiders signed Helu this offseason, presumably for 3rd down work (why Marcel Reece continues to be ignored is baffling). Last year in Washington, on an offense that finished 26th in scoring, Roy had five games with ten or more points, two games of fifteen or more.
Helu will presumably start the season behind Latavius Murray. Even if the Raiders take a big step forward this year, they'll likely be playing from behind quite a bit. If you put a 3rd down back with a nice history together with a second year quarterback with a penchant for the dump off, you could end up with great production from a late round pick. I also think that the Raiders will take a step forward this year with the additions of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. The Raiders can't possibly be as bad as they were last year... right?
Danny Woodhead, San Diego - RB47, ADP: 115
Danny Woodhead is one of my favorite NFL players. Woodhead checks in at 5'8", 200 (info via RotoWorld.com). You know guys that are 5'8" and 200. You probably work with a couple of them. They're the short guys that are pretty rocked up. Imagine that guy playing one of the most violent sports on earth against men that average maybe 6'2 250. The small man could not survive that, certainly not thrive. But, I digress.
Before his injury in 2014, Woodhead was one of Rivers' favorite targets. Danny posted six, ten plus point games. He ended up with over a thousand combined rushing and receiving yards with seventy six receptions. He scored eight touchdowns that year.
Unlike the ‘offensive weapon' du-jour, Woodhead is no wilting lily. Last year was the first year he missed significant time with injuries, but he should be fully recovered from his broken leg by the time the pads come on. Still, he'll be splitting time with rookie Melvin Gordon. Rivers certainly has his favorites, and if things break out how they did the last time we saw a healthy Woodhead, we can expect to see Danny haul in another seventy five passes with maybe five hundred rushing yards or so. While he does not have lead-back potential, when you're taking shots this late, Woodhead is about as reliable as its going to get.
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia - RB49, ADP: 137
Sproles is an exceptionally versatile athlete. Last year, he got off to a hot start, and then faded a bit. There are reports that Chip Kelly was concerned about depth, and so had to pull back the reins on Sproles usage. This year, Demarco Murray and Ryan Matthews should have the heavy-lifting roles covered, allowing Kelly to use Sproles more freely.
I expect to see an improvement over his five, ten plus point outings from last year. His targets and receptions dropped to levels we hadn't seen out of Darren since his '09 campaign. The Eagles have a lot of young guys in their receiving corps, and a salty vet like Sproles provides a reliable option for either Sanchez or Bradford. Sproles will flirt with a hundred targets again this year, and he'll provide some very solid weeks for you this season.
Reggie Bush, San Francisco - RB45, ADP: 112
My favorite of this group is Reggie Bush, simply because he is not too far removed from being ‘the guy'. In eleven regular season games last year, Bush had four, ten plus point performances. He ended up missing some time with nagging injuries, and the Lions, as a whole, looked pedestrian with Calvin Johnson banged up.
Reggie joins the 49ers and will play for first year NFL Head Coach Jim Tomsula. Bush could bring a veteran presence to a locker that is still not completely bare of talent. San Francisco's bizarre offseason has been well documented, so their outlook is hazy but a little grim. A good performance from a veteran free agent could do wonders for the Niner's season.
There is some debate about who will get the nod to start, first, but Carlos Hyde will be Bush's main competition. In his rookie campaign, Hyde looked like he belonged in the NFL, but did he show enough to relegate Bush to passing downs work? I don't think he did, and with his return to a natural turf, Bush may have one more, big year left in him. If not, Bush will be a solid 3rd down back like we'This is one of the safest, highest upside shots you can take this late in your draft.