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Fantasy Football Stock Watch: 2013 NFL Week 5, Top Buy Low Running Backs

Jason's Fantasy Football Analysis: Top Buy Low Running Backs

October 3, 2013

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Stock Watch - Low Values to Buy

The fantasy football running back market was extremely volatile over the first quarter of the season, but it should begin to stabilize over the second quarter.  Some teams are starting to figure out they need to run in order to win, others are gaining more trust in their youngsters, and the injury bug will hopefully take a vacation.  Here are the top underperforming running backs that have the best chance to rebound over the course of the season.


Fantasy Football Stock Watch: 2013 NFL Week 5, Top Buy Low Running Backs

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ray Rice - Ray Rice has thrown fantasy owners for loop this year.  Rice has been one of the most consistent running backs in the league, and his slow start was not anticipated.  There were offseason rumors of Peirce would take some of Rice's carries, but Rice's drop off has been completely ridiculous.  Granted, an injury is to blame for some lost production, but Rice has not been himself this season.  Well, perhaps its better to say that the Ravens have not been themselves this season.  And according to the Ravens head coach, Jim Harbaugh, that is going to change and the Ravens will be returning to old school physical football.

Rice is the Ravens best offensive weapon, but for some reason, it took the Ravens' coaching staff 4 weeks to figure that out.  It has been a rough patch for Rice so far, but that is about to change.  The Ray Rice Blue Light Special Sale is about to end, so try to grab him on the cheap while you still can.  The Ravens know they have to let Rice be the catalyst that keeps their offense moving, and his value is about soar.


2. Eddie Lacy - When the season started, Lacy seemed to have the clearest path to becoming the top rookie running back.  Lacy was set to breakout in week 2 when he was going up against the terrible Redskins defense.  A helmet-to-helmet hit cut Lacy's day short and now its been nearly a month since fantasy owners have seen Lacy on the field.  To make the situation even more frustrating, Starks and Franklin came in and played very well in place of Lacy, and now fantasy owners are worried that their will be an RB committee in Green Bay.

As quickly as the Green Bay running back scenario become muddled, it has cleared up.  Starks has not been able to practice this week, and he most likely won't play this weekend.  So now Lacy has a chance to regain the lead role in the Green Bay backfield.  There is still a chance that Franklin will cut into Lacy's carries, but Lacy is the most powerful runner in Green Bay and he should be able to reassert himself as the Packers' top running back.


3. David Wilson - The time to buy low on Wilson is also coming to an end.  There are two distinct reasons to believe Wilson is on the verge of a major rebound.  The first reason is that the Giants released Da'Rel Scott, which shows the Giants must be regaining their confidence in Wilson.  The second reason was Wilson's performance against the Chief's last week.  Wilson had 55 yards on 13 carries in Kansas City which is becoming one of the toughest places to play this year.  It was a solid performance against a very good defense.  Now the Giants get to play the Eagles who have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.  Its time to make those last ditch efforts to acquire Wilson on the cheap, because he is about to have a breakout game against Philadelphia and his value will skyrocket.


4. Steven Jackson - Jackson is in a good situation to regain his old fantasy status.  Jackson's value has declined because of an injury, and not a lack of production.  So when Jackson is healthy, he should pick up where he left off.  However, that is the concern that is keeping his value low.  Jackson is an older running back with a lot of miles on his shoes, and health is a risk with him.  Jackson is a very tough football player though, and he plays on a team with an extremely explosive offense.  Jackson should have enough left in his tank for another solid season and he makes for a nice buy low option.


5. Doug Martin - Martin is a strange case because he is performing decently and it was a bit of a stretch to assume he would perform like a top 5 running back.  The reason fantasy owners are upset with Martin is they expected him to perform in similar fashion to AP, and this assumption was based on the fact he finished as a top 5 running back last year.  Martin had two of the biggest games by a running back last season, and if you discount the stats from those two games, Martin is performing at a very similar level to his other 14 games from last year.  The only real concern for Martin is his new quarterback, but even then, Martin has great hands and he is a great check down option.  Martin should continue to produce like a top 20 running back despite the quarterback change in Tampa Bay, and savvy fantasy owners should take advantage of frustrated fantasy owners that had inflated expectations for Doug martin.


For Fantasy Football Updates and Insights Follow Jason on Twitter @TheSuperCommish

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