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Deep Dynasty Stash: The Backup Running Back in the Volatile Backfield

An interesting name to emerge recently has been Isaiah Pead, a once highly drafted back for the Rams who now finds himself an Arian Foster soft-tissue injury and Jay Ajayi arthritic knee away from starter’s touches. From

When the Dolphins called him up in March, he called it a “blessing in disguise.”

He’s repaid them as best he can-by leading the team in rushing this preseason with 98 yards on 14 attempts, averaging seven yards per touch; Jay Ajayi and Arian Foster together have combined for 20 yards on 10 attempts, averaging two yards per. Suddenly, Pead finds himself in contention for the 53-man roster.

In my 10 bold predictions I said that Damien Williams would be the beneficiary of the volatile situation in MIA, although it looks like that person might be Pead. While Pead has fewer than 100 NFL carries to his name, you might look at his prospect profile to see that at one point he was probably fairly promising. He was highly drafted and had the requisite athleticism.


In STL, Pead started out as something of a “doesn’t get it” player although by the end of his tenure there he was also lauded at various times for committing to be a good special teams player. Considering that lots of RBs take a circuitous path to fantasy stardom, it’s always worth keeping your eye out for the next one. The components that make Pead worth claiming if you have the roster space are:

  • Two players in front of him who both have injury or performance question marks.
  • A coaching staff that seems legitimately on board with what Pead is doing in training camp.
  • Requisite athleticism to play in the NFL.
  • An offense that has previously produced startable fantasy running backs.

Whether you have the roster space is the real question mark. In one of my leagues the choices in terms of players I could drop for Pead are guys like Kenyan Drake and Khiry Robinson. It’s a fairly deep league. Since Robinson would probably be in a timeshare even if Matt Forte suffers an injury, he probably makes the most sense for me to drop if I can pick up Isaiah Pead. You would need to have a player with similarly low value in order to pick up Pead. In re-draft leagues Pead makes sense to keep an eye on as you may want to be a week early to the waiver wire, rather than waiting until the catalyst event has already taken place which would make Pead valuable.

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