NFL Fantasy: Week 9 sleeper running backs

Who needs Ezekiel Elliott when these guys are going to steal the show in Week 9?

When the dust clears in Week 9, some of the usual names will emerge as the NFL Fantasy leaders. But scattered among the McCoy, Fournette, and Miller, you will see why I am calling this “the Week of the Receiving Halfback.” Here are the sleeper running backs we’ll be talking about on Monday: 

Best Bet: Ty Montgomery, GB vs DET

Mike McCarthy isn’t the type of guy to callously cast away a valuable contributor just because some new kid can run for 100 yards each week. Instead, Ty Montgomery reprises his 2016 role when he used to share the backfield with another running back. Aaron Jones might get 100 rushing yards, but Montgomery piles on the all-purpose yards as his versatility helps rookie Brett Hundley capture his first win. 

Put Ty Montgomery down as the RB-3 for the week with 160 total yards and a touchdown. 

Good Bet: Damien Williams, MIA vs OAK

All eyes are on Kenyan Drake in the starting role, but a pass-heavy attack puts Damien Williams on the field for more opportunities. He comes through with a series of draws and dump-offs, including a goal-line shuffle pass for a touchdown. No one misses Jay Ajayi as the Dolphins pull off the victory, thanks in part to 40 yards rushing, 70 yards receiving and the touchdown from Damien Williams. 

Not a bad bet: Wayne Gallman, NYG vs LAR

Orleans Darkwa remains the starting running back in New York, but Gallman leaves the fans wondering why the Giants did not trade Shane Vereen at the deadline as the rookie takes over on passing downs and in the red zone. Gallman’s seven catches for 50 yards, 20 rushing yards, and a goal-line touchdown run spells the end of Vereen and Paul Perkins’ 2017 contributions to the Giants’ offense in a valiant effort against the Rams.

Darkwa contributes 80 yards on 16 carries, leaving him in next week’s waiver and sleeper conversations.

I’d bet your money: Andre Ellington, AZ at SF 

Assuming Andre Ellington comes back from his quad injury this week, Arizona will enter the post-bye phase of their season with well-defined roles for Adrian Peterson and Ellington. Peterson should be something between his debut monster performance and his London lullaby against the 49ers’ defense. Ellington will remain the PPR powerhouse with multiple catches and modest yardage. The difference is that some of Ellington’s passes this week will be in the red zone. He is always a touchdown away from standard fantasy relevance. This week, Ellington crosses the line for the Cards. 

Not enough? Okay… Christian McCaffrey catches a bunch of passes for Carolina this week as usual, but his first touchdown will have everyone buzzing about him next week. Meanwhile, Charcandrick West will take a screen pass in for one of six touchdowns the Chiefs score this week in Dallas.

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Pat Opperman


Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.