Late Round Best Ball Running Backs

Running backs taken late are nothing to write home about. You’re begging for an injury to a starter or for a rookie to overtake the incumbent veteran. Maybe you’ve heard about an undrafted rookie who was signed as a free agent that has turned heads in training camp. Expect little and hope for a miracle with these five backs.

Rhamondre Stevenson
One domino has fallen already for the Oklahoma Sooner Rhamondre Stevenson to get onto the field. Sony Michel was traded to the Rams leaving Damien Harris to take full control of the backfield. Except if you look at when the Patriots’ running game has been at its best, the feature back is a power runner who can take care of the ball. Legarrette Blount? Corey Dillon? Stevenson could be the next. If the Patriots need that grinder in the red zone, Stevenson is a better fit for that role. Usually, Bill Belichick/Josh McDaniels’ offenses evolve so whatever you see in Week 1 could look different by Week 8, but Stevenson is everything the Patriots love.

Handcuffs: Tony Pollard, Alexander Mattison, Chubba Hubbard, Devontae Booker
Normally I’m against handcuffing an elite back with their backup but it is essential in Best Ball. You must prepare for a brutal injury that could upend your season and Pollard, Mattison, Hubbard and Booker would be able to step in and some of that production back. Hopefully you’ll never have to know what would happen if Zeke Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, and Saquon Barkley goes down, but each of these four backs have missed extended time in the past, so it’s just smart to protect your biggest asset.

Trey Sermon
Out of all the rookie running backs, Sermon is the one who could snatch a starting spot before too long. Raheem Mostert is that power back that Kyle Shanahan likes, and has earned his starting spot, but he has had trouble staying healthy. Sermon though just looks the part. The rookie is hardly a sleeper at this point but if you’re willing to reach a little and grab him as your RB3, Sermon could be that Nick Chubb-type back who could easily be a future bell cow, and anytime you can get a back built like that as your RB3 or RB4, you are ahead of the game.

Michael Carter, New York Jets
Unlike Sermon who could eventually be tough to keep on the sidelines, Carter should seize the moments immediately. Carter is expected to start in Week 1, like teammate Zach Wilson. Competing with players like Ty Johnson, Tevin Coleman, and La’Michal Perine, is there any doubt Carter will secure the starting role out of the gate? Carter is also a dual threat and so he’s a legit RB3 with RB2 potential, but at the end of the day, he’s a Jet, and they don’t get the respect that winning teams’ players get in fantasy.

Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams
A late addition to the list, Michel was traded from the Patriots to the Rams this week for a couple of late round draft picks. Classic Belichick move. That’s not much for a former first-round pick but maybe Michel uses that as motivation. The Rams are starving for running back help and while Darrell Henderson will start the season, Michel should get a healthy share of the touches. Sean McVay’s offense is built around the run so even though Michel wasn’t thought of as a starter for New England, he could be with the Rams.