The following group of players should be high on your radar and are worthy of being added immediately to your fantasy football team.
Deuce McAllister, Running Back, New Orleans Saints
McAllister is available in about 55 percent of leagues polled.
In Week 4, he rushed 20 times for 73 yards and a touchdown. He also had one reception for another 10 yards.
After seeing spot duty during the first three weeks, McAllister was a big factor in Week 4 and showed some signs of the McAllister of old. While his knees may never be the same, he was utilized 21 times, including seven plays within the red zone.
Le’Ron McClain, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens
McClain is available in about 56 percent of leagues polled.
Entering Monday night, McClain, a fullback, is seeing an average of 18 rushing attempts per game so far this year. He is averaging 76 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 1.5 receptions and 14 receiving yards per game through two games.
McClain’s 260-pound frame is a load to bring down, and he figures to be a weekly element within their conservative offense. The run-first mentality used to protect rookie quarterback Joe Flacco works in his favor for weekly touches.
Michael Bush, Running Back, Oakland Raiders
Bush is available in 55 percent of leagues polled. However, keep in mind the Raiders have Week 5 off.
In three games, Bush is averaging 14.7 rushing attempts, 64.3 rushing yards, 0.33 rushing touchdowns, 2.67 receptions and 28.3 receiving yards per game.
This one is a bit volatile, as running back Justin Fargas (groin) missed the last two games with a groin injury and could be back after the team’s Week 5 bye. Rookie Darren McFadden (toe) has also been limited the past two weeks due to a toe injury.
The Raiders are a run-first team, though, so Bush could still be involved enough for someone who needs backfield depth.
Tim Hightower, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals
Hightower actually gave way to starter Edgerrin James for two touchdowns inside the 5 last week but still plunged into the end zone from one yard out. He has found paydirt in three of his four games this season.
The rookie is still averaging 1.25 plays per game inside the 5 – a more consistent pace than James’ average of 0.50.
The goal line threat would be a capable bye week substitute. He’s available in only 29 percent of polled leagues.
Rudi Johnson, Running Back, Detroit Lions
In Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers he rushed for 83 yards and caught three passes for 48 yards, with a score, as the Lions rode the hot hand.
The Lions were not afraid to use Rudi exclusively when he was performing well, even with apt rookie Kevin Smith in tow. Johnson looks to be back in playing shape and picking up the Lions’ playbook.
Even if he splits time with Smith, the Lions are aiming to go back to a run-first philosophy to try to be competitive early in games, meaning Johnson could see a legitimate number of touches.
Johnson is coming off a bye, so be sure to look for his name on the waiver wire. The vet is available in 24 percent of leagues polled.