Week 14 Running Back Sleeper Report


Ball could have another big game at home this week agains the Titans

Through all of the injuries, bad games, tough breaks and missed opportunities, it’s nearing the end for on-the-field players as well as your fantasy squads. Hopefully you haven’t had to do extensive mixing and matching because of something aforementioned, however it’s understandable if that was the case for you at some point because of all the dynamics at play.

Even as we approach the finish line, there are still ways to find sleepers. Some players may have found a way to deserve more of a look for a team that hasn’t met expectations or just flat out stinks. Some players may be looked to more because injuries are piling up. And for running backs especially, someone may be a goal line touchdown away from helping you defeat your opponent.

Here are a few guys to keep an eye for Sunday.

Montee Ball (DEN)

Perhaps Ball isn’t as big of a sleeper as he was going into last week. He had a nice game against Kansas City with some big runs that helped the Broncos seal the win in the fourth quarter. However, if you had been stashing him for later, now is the time. Against New England a few weeks back, Denver’s starter, Knowshon Moreno, carried the ball 37 times.

The Broncos want to continue to establish the run, but they need someone to spell Moreno so he doesn’t have to carry it so much. What Ball hopefully proved going forward was that he can be the number two option because the Broncos trust him not to fumble. Ball’s fumbling issues had resurfaced against the Patriots.

So if Moreno’s load softens and Ball can avoid giving it away, he’ll get plenty of touches against the Tennessee Titans this week. They rank 17th against the run, while giving up more than 4 yards per carry. But more importantly, the high for the game in Denver is set for somewhere in the mid-teens. The Broncos will look to win the game by controlling the ball and keeping it on the ground.

Willis McGahee (CLE)

Before last week’s 57 yard effort that included a TD against the Jaguars, McGahee had not done much of anything for the Browns. Now, it’s possible the aging veteran could regress to providing peanuts Cleveland and fantasy teams. However, the Browns opponent this week is the New England Patriots.

On top of ranking 31st in run defense, the Patriots’ last two games have been telling. They allowed the previously mentioned Moreno to run for over 200 yards on his 37 carries (averaging 6.1 yards per carry), and last week against Houston they allowed Ben Tate to run for three TD’s (among 4 rushing TD’s overall).

Futhermore, the Browns have no idea who is going to start for them this week at QB. It’s possible it could be a guy who just signed with them (Caleb Hanie), one of the guys who was recently concussed (Jason Campbell/Brandon Weeden), or some guy who has never thrown a pass in the NFL (Alex Tanney).

Maybe the Browns will get blown off the field; but Vince Wilfork isn’t coming back, and the Patriots can’t stop the run. McGahee could redeem himself.




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