The fallout from the Ray Rice controversy has fantasy football owners scrambling for his replacement provided they didn’t spend a high round pick on him.
Provided Rice isn’t banned from the league from his latest revelations surrounding his domestic transgression, he is currently teamless as the Baltimore Ravens promptly released him following the report from TMZ. Here are a few running backs who may help fill the void this week.
Justin Forsett – Baltimore Ravens
Let’s start with the obvious. Forsett was the most productive filling in for (then two-game suspended) Rice last week against the Cincinnati Bengals rushing for 70 yards in 11 carries with a touchdown. He also caught five balls for 14 yards. If he holds up against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday, expect him to be at least a decent regular second running back or flex choice.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Indianapolis Colts
The Colts’ investment in Trent Richardson has not bore as much fruit as he should as a first rounder. Since being traded from the Cleveland Browns in 2013, Richardson’s only produced 478 rushing yards in 163 carries and three touchdowns through 15 games. He also caught 31 balls for 296 yards and one touchdown.
Bradshaw, who was also brought in 2013, has 201 yards of rushing through 44 carries and two touchdowns through four games. He also caught 12 balls for 112 yards through the air. Bradshaw appears to have recovered from his injury. He’s worthy at least a look before a consideration as a flex option if he can recreate the success he had with the New York Giants. See how he does next week before starting him.
Terrance West – Cleveland Browns
West is a viable choice because he’s replacing the often-injured Ben Tate and he did produce 100 yards on 16 carries. West is likely going to see increased action against the New Orleans Saints in an effort to take the ball out of the hands quarterback Drew Brees. West could be a decent flex option in deeper leagues.
Bobby Rainey – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rainey is a proven back given his 2013 finish with the team with 532 rushing yards and five TDs through nine games. The running game’s lone highlight against the Carolina Panthers Sunday was fullback Jorvorskie Lane‘s 54-yard run, which you really shouldn’t expect that to happen again. As the coaching staff monitor’s Doug Martin‘s progress, you can expect to see a running back by committee to ease him back. Rainey’s worth a pick up at least as bench fodder provided the returning Jeff Tedford sticks to the running game against the St. Louis Rams. Like Bradshaw, wait to see what the Bucs do before starting him.