What a week for the backup running back holders. Chuba Hubbard gets a few more weeks as the starter, the Bears go down to their 3rd string back, and the Browns lose both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt for Week 7. Oh yeah, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Saquon Barkley are out as well. Getting ahead of these injuries — by holding backups who aren’t currently starting, is always going to be valuable. While we can’t predict injuries, we can predict which players (Hubbard) will be valuable in their new role, and which (Devontae Booker) will be mediocre. Let’s focus on the former.
As always, all rostership levels are based on Yahoo leagues. Your mileage may vary depending on your provider and league settings.
D’Ernest Johnson (3%) and Demetric Felton (9%) RBs Cleveland Browns
I think Johnson will be the more highly sought-after of the Browns replacement backs this week. He has three carries, to Felton’s zero, on the year. However, the Browns have split backfield work since Kareem Hunt’s arrival, and I don’t think that changes here. Felton has nine targets on the year and was drafted as a wide receiver. I’m expecting him to play more of the Hunt role in Week 7, with Johnson being the more traditional running back.
I’d still prefer Johnson, who could also see some pass-game work. However, if you’re lower on the waiver priority list, or low on FAAB, Felton should post a serviceable score this week. He also could have more long-term value, Chubb may return this week (although it’s doubtful) but should be back by Week 8 at the latest — Hunt will be out at least a few. if Felton takes over Hunt’s role, we’ll have a few good weeks from him. Felton is also eligible at both running back and wide receiver, at least on Yahoo.
Daniel Jones, QB New York Giants (33%)
With it being bye week season, QB is getting increasingly thin. Many fantasy teams are holding two right now, in anticipation of their starter being out. 19 quarterbacks are rostered in at least 50% of Yahoo leagues. (Side note, I have no clue if those numbers are adjusted for league size. Ideally, it would only display the level for your league size. If anyone at Yahoo is reading this, give me a shout.) Anyway, Jones is the best option for those that remain. The offense has struggled the last two weeks, but they had tough matchups against Dallas and the Rams. It’s one more tough week against the Panthers, but then Jones draws the Raiders and Chiefs, which should be better spots for him. If you have a quarterback with a Week 8 or 9 bye, it might be worth it to snag Jones now.
JD McKissic, RB Washington Football Team (42%)
McKissic is mostly a PPR league consideration as he has 28 targets on the season. Even so, starter Antonio Gibson has been banged up with shin injuries — he missed the last couple of drives in Week 6. McKissic would still likely be used more heavily in the passing game, but he’d certainly see more carries as well. Washington is a 9.5 point underdog in Week 7, so there will likely be a lot of passing and hurry-up offense. McKissic is usable regardless of Gibson’s status but gets a big boost without Gibson.
Michael Gallup, WR Dallas Cowboys (43%) and Will Fuller, WR Miami Dolphins (34%)
These two have been dropped more than added since I wrote them up last week. Gallup has a bye for Week 7, and Fuller isn’t likely to come back until Week 8. However, both players have huge upside when they make it to the field. If you can spare the roster spot (or even better, play in a league with IR spots) get on them now.
Rashod Bateman, WR Baltimore Ravens (27%)
The rookie came off of the injured reserve in Week 6 and immediately saw six targets. In a game in which Lamar Jackson threw only 27 passes, he’s clearly part of their offensive plans. Bateman should be even more involved as he gets up to game speed. Even if his role remains the same, Jackson is averaging almost 33 attempts per game. That translates to just over seven targets at his Week 6 rate. Bateman has 4.4 speed, so those targets could easily turn into big gains.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE Washington Football Team (31%)
RSJ has seen 15 targets in two games with Logan Thomas sidelined. Only four tight ends came into Week 6 averaging more than his 7.5 per game. We should have at least one more week without Thomas, so RSJ is the top streaming option. The position is thin overall, but he’s a clear starter that can be had for nothing in most leagues.