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Ask the Experts

Which No. 2 running back do you want most?

Ballage, Penny and others to Hunt down

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Which No. 2 running back do you most want to have on your roster?

MICHAEL NAZAREK

Not sure who will start in Miami, but Kalen Ballage intrigues me. I have drafted him as my No. 4 running back on more than one roster this summer. I see a lot of potential if he starts or has a full committee share in 2019.

Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its mobile-friendly web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won in excess of $20K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at miken@ffmastermind.com.

JUSTIN ELEFF

Everyone agrees on the four guys at the top of every draft, but what if there were a fifth surefire elite running back and no one knew it? That’s what I think we’re looking at; you just have to time it correctly, grabbing Nick Chubb in Round 2 and then coming back for Kareem Hunt in mid-draft. Mind you, there is a truly lousy worst-case scenario here (even ignoring the off-field ugliness): if both Chubb and Hunt are healthy once the latter returns, you may have spent two picks to own a strict timeshare, in which neither guy is great. But I think it’s far more likely that you’re using the picks to lock in one season-long elite back, and in an offense that figures to work a lot better than, say, Saquon Barkley’s. I suppose I have cheated in answering the question, as I don’t actually want Hunt at all if I haven’t already landed Chubb. But whatever. Take the pair.

Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.

DAVID DOREY

The No. 2 running back I most want – and am getting – is Kareem Hunt. Yes, he is suspended until Week 9 and there is no guarantee that he will do anything once he is available. But he is more talented than any other No. 2 and he is playing on a one-year contract knowing that if he can do anything in Cleveland, it plays out better for 2020 and wherever he may end up. And with the trading of Duke Johnson, Nick Chubb is assured of a heavy load for the first half of the season. What if he gets injured? What would Hunt do in that offense as the replacement back? Granted – waiting eight weeks on a guy is an eternity in fantasy football, but I am sticking Hunt in my depth on every team I can.

Dorey has been dealing out all the rankings and projections for The Huddle since 1997 and wrote up a preview of every game for the last 21 years. His specialty is schedule strength and he’s been in countless magazines, podcasts, and radio shows. He is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level.

ALAN SATTERLEE

The No. 2 back I’d most like to have is Rashaad Penny. He’s not merely a handcuff to Chris Carson, as Penny should also be plenty busy on a Seahawks team that led the NFL with 2,560 rushing yards last season. Later in drafts, I like Buffalo’s Devin Singletary. Like with Penny, Singletary is in a good spot in terms of being on a team that wants to emphasize the run. Both Penny and Singletary have strong handcuff appeal and they have value in the meantime as backs who should get liberally mixed in.

Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.

SCOTT SACHS

I hope to have a well-rested and rehabilitated Kareem Hunt stashed on my various rosters until he becomes reinstated in November. Cleveland's second-half schedule looks easier than the first half, and his fresh legs during the Browns' playoff push should translate into plenty of touches and fantasy points, especially in PPR leagues. Hunt will share the load with the excellent Nick Chubb, and should be a key contributor down the stretch with an eye on goal line duties -- all of which should benefit his owners in their playoff pushes.

Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, offering LIVE Talk & Text consulting. He has multiple league championships including two perfect seasons. Sachs is a past winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll and a 2-time winner of the Experts Auction League.

SAM HENDRICKS

Derrius Guice. Washington's backfield is a mess. AP, Guice and Chris Thompson all look to share some of the load. And Guice is recovering from injury and missing all of 2018. But he will have a chip on his shoulder to prove to everyone that he can make it in the NFL. He should displace AP sooner rather than later and take over the bulk of the running. He could be the bright spot in a rather dismal Washington season. Another candidate I like is Duke Johnson in Houston. Same story: chip on his shoulder but now playing behind an injury-prone Lamar Miller in a powerful offense. In PPR leagues Johnson will rock.

Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.

ANDY RICHARDSON

I'm tempted to say Ty Montgomery with the Jets. After a year away from the game, will anyone be surprised if LeVeon Bell picks up an early hamstring injury that sidelines him for a chunk of time? Another one is Matt Breida, who will likely be the No. 2 behind Tevin Coleman, but he's been discussed at length elsewhere. But I'm going to go with Nyheim Hines. I realize he's basically just a passing downs back, and wouldn't play full-time if Marlon Mack gets hurt. But since Indianapolis has only marginal, uninspiring guys on the roster to fill the Mack role, I think we'd see the team increasing Hines' role in that committee, and he'd have some 7-8 catch games and get a few extra carries.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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