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Photo of football great LaDainian Tomlinson

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As mentioned in my earlier article with the NFL season looking closer to being resolved by mid July, it is time to get your shovels out to start digging for dynasty gold.  I am discussing five RBs that could be on your waiver wire (maybe not likely depending on league) or available for a cheap trade (very likely) that can help you improve your dynasty team’s depth.  Full confession is that I own four of the five RBs discussed in at least one dynasty league.

Let’s start with my favorite old RB LaDainian Tomlinson.  He likes going to AFC Championship games and was willing to come back to the Jets as a third down back this year.  Last year, Tomlinson put up 914 yards on 219 carries with 6 TDs while catching 52 passes for 368 yards finishing as the 15th RB in PPR scoring.  LT has been drafted late in drafts for example, he was selected with the last pick in the 35 round dynasty draft that I was in this May (pick 35.12).  Just like TO in my WR buy low article, I fully expect LT’s skills to drop off by the end of this season; however, LT will be a great stop-gap player to have while you are waiting on a rookie or committee back to step up (like any of my next four RBs).  According to myfantasyleague.com ADP, he is the 81st RB taken after RBs such as Darren Sproles and Joe McKnight.

Another place to look for certainty at RB is where a player has carved out a unique role.  NE RB Danny Woodhead, after spending part of the year on the NY Jets taxi squad in 2009, became a fantasy factor in 2010.  In 2010, Woodhead had 97 carries for 547 yards (5.63 yards per carry) with 5 TDs and added 34 catches for 379 yards (11.14 yards per reception) with a TD.  Of course, rookies Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley will try to carve out a spot in the Patriots backfield, but Woodhead is the best pass catcher and is a good pass protector for Brady.  I would expect him to also occasionally line up in the slot.  Danny Woodhead is the 68th RB taken with current keeper ADP, which would make him a #6 or #7 RB on your team (picked at 14.12 in the May start-up dynasty).

A running back that may find himself in a better situation due to a new CBA is Mike Goodson.  If DeAngelo Williams is out the door, Goodson makes a good change of pace RB to complement Jonathan Stewart.  Last year, Goodson ending up filling in for D-Will and J-Stew, while they were injured, by starting three games and had at least 110 yards combined in each.  Goodson’s numbers weren’t overly impressive if you look at them as a whole: 103 carries for 452 yards with 3 TDs and 40 receptions for 310 yards.  Please remember that Jimmy Clausen was the QB for most of 2010, and now with Cam Newton in Carolina, a third down/scat back will have value to a young play making QB like Newton.  As the 65th RB taken with current ADP, Mike Goodson offers great value (was selected at 19.07 in same start-up dynasty).

If you want to talk about beneficiaries of a potential CBA granting players with at least 4 years of service free agency, please look at Michael Bush.  He was a bit of a factor in 2009 with 123 carries for 589 yards and 3 TDs with 17 receptions for 105 yards.  Bush was even more productive last year with 158 carries 655 yards and 8 TDs while adding 18 receptions for 194 yards.  Darren McFadden was a beast last year with 223 carries for 1157 yards and 7 TDs with 47 receptions for 507 yards and 3 TDs.  So unless D-Mac gets hurt, Michael Bush is a backup waiting in the wings if the new CBA granting free agency for 4 years of service isn’t passed.  However if it does pass, Bush might get the opportunity to start for a team such as Washington or Miami.  The 61st RB off the board, Michael Bush, could be a promising lottery ticket.

My last suggestion of a dynasty RB to acquire is rookie Bilal Powell.  As he is a rookie, Powell could be harder to acquire than most.   According to the myfantasyleague.com keeper league setting ADP, he is the 31st RB off the board.  This is greatly skewed by the completed rookie drafts this year.  In those rookie only drafts, Powell is the 31st rookie taken per rookie draft ADP.  This has a lot to do with the Jets RBs now in front of him: Shonn Greene, the before mentioned LT, and Joe McKnight.  Powell only started a year at Louisville, but has shown the skill set in workouts and all-star games that he could be a factor for both the running and passing game.  I would suggest acquiring Powell and either LT or McKnight in a dynasty league as Shonn Greene had two years with unsuccessful attempts to unseat fading vets in Thomas Jones and Tomlinson.

Good luck and happy hunting/drafting/trading!

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