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Buy Low, Sell High: Week 12

A look at the best backup running backs to stash for the playoffs

This week’s buy low sell high will be completely devoted to the late season practice of stocking your bench with backup running backs. Seemingly every year as running backs break down at the end of a season, backups end up making the most of new opportunity and help fuel teams to a fantasy championship. Picking the right one can make or break your season.

Five factors help us sort out priorities when filling out that last bench spot or two with the final bye in sight:

1. The quality of the backup
2. The quality of the situation
3. The likelihood of the backup being needed
4. The clarity of the depth chart behind the backup
5. Flex or emergency value in current role

First Tier - Rosterable in short bench leagues

Spencer Ware, KC - The only missing link here is Kareem Hunt appears to be durable, and he’ll be rested with the late bye. Ware might be a starter again yet, the Chiefs offense is golden, and he’ll be the man if Hunt goes down

Malcolm Brown, LAR - Brown looks like a good all-around back when he gets touches and he’s in an incredible offense. Todd Gurley got dinged in the epic Monday night game to up Brown’s fantasy potential going forward, but John Kelly is an excellent back and would be rosterable if Gurley went down. He might perhaps even surpass Brown in value. He has desperation play potential in Weeks 13 and 16 in possible blowouts.

Rashaad Penny, SEA - Penny is an ascendant talent, the situation is great, and Chris Carson has missed time with two different injuries this year. Mike Davis complicates matters and should be among the third tier backs in priority, although not the primary back to target from this backfield for our bench.

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