Deep League Running Back Sleepers: Week 6

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Are you in a deep league and scraping the bottom of the barrel for a running back option this week?  Let’s take a look at two deep league options that are likely sitting on your waiver wire and could potentially make an impact:


The More Obvious
Javorius Allen – Baltimore Ravens

at San Francisco
Yahoo – 2%, ESPN – 1.5%

The potential injury to Justin Forsett, who was forced to miss overtime in Week 5, as well as Lorenzo Taliaferro being placed on injured reserve obviously puts Allen on the map for fantasy owners.  There’s always the potential that Forsett, even if he plays, has a setback and the matchup could yield enough opportunities for both backs to perform.  The 49ers have allowed the sixth most points per week to opposing running backs, including a total of 7 TD.

Allen is coming off his best game of the season, taking 8 carries for 58 yards.  Obviously a lot of those numbers came courtesy of one 44 yard romp and came against the Browns, but it’s a solid line all the same.  He can catch the football as well, which certainly helps, and after he was selected Mark Dulgerian of said:

Allen is an excellent fit for Marc Trestman’s offense as he is a one cut downhill runner who is also a proven receiver out of the backfield (see: Matt Forte’s 102 receptions in 2014 under Trestman).”

He’s a gamble, but one that could turn his situation into a solid performance in Week 6.


Deep League Sleepers
Zach Zenner – Detroit Lions

vs. Chicago
Yahoo – 1%, ESPN – 0.4%

Has Ameer Abdullah fumbled away his opportunity?  It’s not impossible, as we have already discussed (click here to view), and given the issues surrounding Joique Bell (though he is expected to return this week) it could open the door for Zenner.  A preseason darling, Zenner took 10 carries for 30 yards in Week 5 against a stout Cardinals defense.  The matchup this week is much more favorable, though, with the Bears being one of only seven teams to have allowed at least 500 yards on the ground.

Obviously it’s a major risk, considering the potential log jam ahead of him, but if you are desperate there is a potential opportunity thanks to injury/inability.


Juwan Thompson – Denver Broncos
at Cleveland
Yahoo – 0%, ESPN – 0.3%

Both Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson continue to struggle, so could the team look towards another option for a spark?  It’s highly unlikely, as Denver should instead look at this matchup (the Browns have allowed a league high 735 rushing yards) to get at least one of their top two backs going.  That said, if they once again get off to a slow start the time will come for a change.

Thompson did take 57 carries for 272 yards and 3 TD in 2014, averaging 5.0 YPC, so there certainly is potential.  It’s just a matter of getting a shot and, with the passing game not quite what it’s been, the Broncos certainly have a need to get their running game on track.


Sources – ESPN,

Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings:

Running Back Roundup: Eddie Lacy, Melvin Gordon & More
Thursday Night Start/Sit Decision: Is Leonard Hankerson A Viable Option?

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