The year of backup RBs saw fantasy football managers reap rewards

Every year in fantasy football there are a few injuries to the main running backs. Managers who own or collect these important saves tend to be league winners. 2021 is different. This has exacerbated this problem to an extent rarely seen, but in a different way. There weren’t many star injuries at the end of the season, but many missed a few weeks here, a few weeks there. This has allowed fantasy owners who are active in waivers and in-season management to dominate.

As Week 11 of the NFL season approached, there was more massive fantasy news that sent fantasy football managers scrambling to see if anyone is available. This week, Alvin Kamara was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now, obviously, Mark Ingram is already inmate in just about every fantasy football league. He replaced Kamara last week and crushed him, posting over 100 yards of scrum with four catches and a rushed touchdown. No reason to think he won’t do it again this week.

What about the San Francisco 49ers? Starting half Raheem Mostert suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. It opened the door for rookie Elijah Mitchell. The people who ripped it were very happy because they won an RB2 for nothing. Well, he just got a dubious entry for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars after breaking a finger.

Unlike Ingram, Jeff Wilson Jr. is available in the vast majority of leagues. Fortunately, I heard about the finger problem on Monday night and claimed it a few days ago in three leagues. He could very well be a winner of the week.

Also earlier Friday, the Seattle Seahawks announced that Chris Carson was finished for the year. Those who picked up Alex Collins several weeks ago are smiling. Collins hasn’t been great at all, but he’s a volume game and a low-end RB2 / Flex game for the rest of the season.

Stars like Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley have missed long stretches this season. Chuba Hubbard, as he replaced McCaffrey, was a borderline RB1 for nearly a month.

Meanwhile, Devontae Booker joined it as an autoplay from Weeks Five through Nine. Meanwhile, Booker has averaged 16 fantastic points per game in the PPR leagues.

Last week, Aaron Jones suffered a slight sprain from the MCL. He’s been away for a week or two. Enter AJ Dillon, who easily slips in as RB1 while Jones is away.

When David Montgomery fell in Week 5 for the Bears, substitute Khalil Herbert racked up 20 PPR fantasy points over the next two weeks. No more RB1 numbers. Kansas City Chiefs hooker Clyde Edwards-Helaire was injured in Week 5 and Darrell Williams provided RB2 numbers on a weekly basis.

Who can forget the best of all, Mr. D’Ernest Johnson. He started the season third on the Browns’ depth chart. But injuries to Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb pushed him into action in Week 7 against the Broncos. He obliterated Denver for 146 rushing yards, en route to a fantastic 24 points.

He returned to the bench for a few weeks when Chubb returned. Then Chubb caught COVID-19, giving him another start in Week 10 against New England. Fantasy managers who let him go in the previous two weeks were kicking each other like he did again, registering 23 Fantasy points.

The list goes on and on this season. There are many more that have been single week replacements that have made a difference. Rhamondre Stevenson, Boston Scott, Boston teammate Scott Jordan Howard, etc. In reality, this season is less about the league winners than about the week winners.

Fantasy Football managers who have been alert, active and attentive have reaped the rewards all season. At first glance, this will continue until the playoffs.

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