DENVER (AP) Minnesota fullback Zach Line with a short touchdown over Adrian Peterson? Now that's infuriating for fantasy owners.
Same with Kansas City's Knile Davis scoring last week instead of Jamaal Charles. Or New Orleans' Austin Johnson over Mark Ingram.
These players are fantasy vultures, swooping in to deny your guy points. But they don't have to be. There's a scenario where they could actually be a valuable asset.
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Maybe it's time to change fantasy leagues so that running backs are drafted as a unit. Something like this: Instead of picking just Jeremy Hill, you get Cincy's backfield, complete with Hill AND Giovani Bernard. Or Minnesota's running backs, including Peterson AND Line, along with whoever else carries the ball for the Vikings with a RB/FB designation.
That way, there's less groaning when Line scores over Peterson. Or when Hill fumbles twice and is taken out, you still have Bernard to gain points.
It's the perfect handcuff. After all, aren't you tired of seeing players that no one drafts score TDs each week? Or your running back leaving in the first half with an injury and knowing your day is spoiled?
This sort of system could work well for QBs, too, so you weren't in trouble when Tony Romo or Jay Cutler got hurt and left early. And you wouldn't be sweating this week over the rib injury of Detroit's Matthew Stafford.
You'd be covered, no matter what.
If running backs were drafted as a unit, here are some scenarios where it would really come in handy:
Pittsburgh: You'd be in nirvana right now with DeAngelo Williams productively holding down the fort the first two weeks until Le'Veon Bell's return Sunday.
Green Bay: You wouldn't have to stress about Eddie Lacy's ankle injury all week, because you'd already have James Starks.
New England: Dion Lewis and whoever else Bill Belichick uncovers to carry the ball.
Denver: C.J. Anderson can't seem to get on track - costly since you probably took him early. What if Ronnie Hillman gets his job? No worries, you'd have them both.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMM
After committing six turnovers this season, Indy's Andrew Luck - a high pick in most drafts - was traded 164 times in various Yahoo leagues.
The most-dealt QB? Arizona's Carson Palmer - 486 times.
Hoping to tweak your lineup? Here are some possible waiver additions to consider:
- Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor (owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues) could be an attractive backup plan if you had If you had Cutler or Romo go down. Taylor threw three TD passes and ran for another against New England.
- Brandon Weeden (4 percent owned in Yahoo) is expected to start for Romo at home against Arizona.
- Oakland's Derek Carr (21 percent owned in Yahoo) threw for 351 yards and three TDs versus Baltimore.
- In a pinch, Baltimore's Lorenzo Taliaferro (6 percent owned in Yahoo) could pan out. He receives goal-line carries for the Ravens.
- Just saying: Bilal Powell of the New York Jets has 24 carries this season. He is owned by 5.6 percent in ESPN.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey of Pittsburgh (3 percent owned in Yahoo) had four catches for 77 yards and one score last weekend. Value goes down with return of Martavis Bryant after his four-week suspension.
- Cleveland's Travis Benjamin would be a nice addition - if he's still around. He was in high demand after catching three passes for 115 yards and two scores.
- Detroit's Eric Ebron (33.9 percent owned in ESPN) has caught a TD pass in both games.
WHAT WE LEARNED THURSDAY NIGHT
Eli Manning dispersed the ball equitably to his receivers, connecting with Odell Beckham Jr. for a 30-yard TD catch and Rueben Randle on a 41-yarder.
The Redskins were sloppy on offense, including Matt Jones fumbling on his way into the end zone.
Pat Graham is an Associated Press sports writer based in Denver. He's in his 12th season of playing NFL fantasy football, while also dabbling in college fantasy football, where the league once drafted units of players according to position - like Michigan State RBs or Texas Tech's QBs. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pgraham34 .
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL