The season is never over in keeper and dynasty leagues. If you’re already out, it’s time to make some roster moves for next season. Below are 20 running backs worth stashing that could pay off for your 2018 fantasy team.
1. Duke Johnson, Cleveland
Isaiah Crowell is a free agent, so Johnson could finally get his chance to carry the load for the Browns next year. Johnson is a dual threat who’s averaged 6.5 yards per touch this season with five touchdowns to lead Cleveland. He has huge upside as a full time back.
2. Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia
Ajayi is slowly getting more playing time, and he’s under contract next year while LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles are not, so he gets first crack at the lead job. Ajayi has run well in his limited Philly touches and may get more run now that Carson Wentz is out.
3. Chris Carson, Seattle
Carson was terrific early and had just taken the reins when he went out for the season, so he might be long forgotten in your league. Seattle hasn’t forgotten him. In fact, Carson still leads Seahawks running backs in yards even though he hasn’t played for 10 games. It should be his job next season.
4. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis
Frank Gore is a free agent so this might be it for him in a Colts uniform. Mack is only getting eight touches a game but he’s been explosive, with eight plays of 20+ yards. If he gets a chance to start with Andrew Luck, he could be one of 2018’s biggest breakout fantasy players.
5. Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay
Barber was great in a recent start against the Packers, with 143 yards on 27 touches, but Tampa keeps burying him behind Doug Martin. But Martin can be cut this offseason without much penalty so if Barber keeps his late-season production up, he could steal the job.
6. Matt Breida, San Francisco
Carlos Hyde is a free agent, and rumblings out of San Francisco make it seem like the two may part ways. Breida is an undrafted free agent that just keeps defying expectations, and he’s been getting more work as the year has gone on. If he gets a chance to start in a Kyle Shanahan Year 2 offense, you’ll want him.
7. D’Onta Foreman, Houston
Foreman looked great in Houston before tearing his Achilles. He looked set to overtake Lamar Miller, but he’ll need to get healthy first.
8. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
Everything will be different in New York next year, but Gallman looks like the best bet to get a shot at the starting job. He’s averaging over four yards per carry and has decent hands out of the backfield.
9. James Conner, Pittsburgh
LeVeon Bell is a stud, but he’s also a free agent and will cost $15 million to franchise tag again. You’ll want the likely Pittsburgh starter in the event of a holdout or ugly divorce.
10. De’Angelo Henderson, Denver
C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker haven’t been too exciting, and Jamaal Charles is a free agent. Henderson was a preseason stud out of Coastal Carolina so maybe he’ll have a bigger 2018 role.
11. Jalen Richard or 12. DeAndre Washington, Oakland
Marshawn Lynch has quietly been pretty good since the bye, but you never know when he’ll retire again. One of these two could get a shot if he does, but which one is anyone’s guess.
13. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
14. Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams
These two L.A. backs are buried behind established starters Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley, but both have looked great in limited touches. They would be top 20 backs in case of a major injury.
15. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay
16. Mike Gillislee, New England
17. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Maybe a delayed breakout for three of this year’s busted sleepers. Montgomery was great when healthy, but he’ll have to fight Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones for touches. Gillislee scored TDs early before losing playing time, but Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead will be free agents. As for Powell? Maybe Matt Forte will finally retire.
18. Chris Thompson, Washington
19. Danny Woodhead, Baltimore
Must owns in PPR leagues.
20. David Johnson, Arizona
Check your waiver wire, just in case.