As the fantasy season winds down, its never too early to start thinking about 2018. In Dynasty leagues, looking for the next breakout player is key, especially in deeper leagues. Finding the second-year breakouts starts with cutting dead-weight, and rostering some upside players.
This article covers four running backs that you should keep an eye on. Check your leagues, and see if these players are still owned. There is a good chance that they are not. Each one is under-owned, has upside, and might be worth a stash in your league.
Dynasty Running Backs to Stash for 2018
Be sure to check out the Wide Receivers and Tight Ends to stash for 2018.
Tion Green, RB, Detroit Lions
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Detroit has had trouble running the ball since... well, Barry Sanders was around. This was supposed to change with the drafting of Ameer Abdullah in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Abdullah experiment, though, has not gone nearly as well as planned. This season the Lions have attempted to get the running game going, giving Abdullah over 14 carries a game through the first 10 weeks.
But after another abysmal showing, the Lions may be ready to move on from Abdullah as a featured runner. Pass- catching back Theo Riddick will maintain his role, but the early down role could be up for grabs. Enter Tion Green. The undrafted rookie carries a better size with a 6 foot, 220 lbs frame. Going forward, it wouldn't be surprising to see Green get a shot at a featured role in Detroit. He needs to be owned.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams
For Todd Gurley owners, this should have been a no-brainer all season. For everyone else, you need to check the waiver wire. Gurley is a monster, and health provided, will leave no room for Brown in this offense once again next season.
However, the history of running backs going down with an injury after a season with a heavy workload is well documented. And if Gurley were to go down in 2018, Brown could be a star. Sure, the Rams have Lance Dunbar, but he has been out of the picture all season. Brown has impressed in his clean up role all season, and has a frame (5'11", 225lbs) to carry a workload if presented with one. If you can, go grab him.
Donnel Pumphrey, RB. Philadelphia Eagles
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Entering the 2017 season, the 4th round pick was hopeful to earn a Darren Sproles-like role in the Eagles offense. Pumphrey, however, was a healthy scratch and eventually placed on I.R after a poor preseason and a hamstring injury. However, the same opportunity should present itself in 2018.
Third-down specialist Darren Sproles is entering free agency, as is rumbler LeGarrette Blount. And Wendell Smallwood has proven his inability to crack the starting lineup. This leaves the backup role wide open behind Jay Ajayi entering 2017. If Pumphrey is able to again reach the hype he had coming into the 2017 season, he may not be around very long. He could prove a good add in a strong offense once again in 2018.
Jeremy McNichols, RB, San Francisco 49ers
After his fifth-round selection by the Buccaneers, McNichols was cut after a poor offseason showing. Before being cut, McNichols was touted for having great hands and superb pass-protection skills. He showed off these skills with two-monster years at Boise State, hence his fifth-round selection.
This skillset sets up perfectly for a role in what should be a better 49ers offense in 2018. Running Back Carlos Hyde will likely be gone, leaving McNichols to compete with fellow second-year backs Matt Breida and Joe Williams. While Williams and Breida are probably owned in all dynasty leagues, McNichols is almost certainly not, and has an equal chance to be an impact player in 2018.
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