Unsung heroes sometimes help deliver league titles for fantasy football owners, and Dolphins running back Patrick Laird is lined up to be one such guy this year.
The long grind of a fantasy football season is nearly over for 2019. Those who wind up winning their leagues certainly will have a few bankable studs, but it’s under the radar players who often provide a push over the top. On that latter note, I present Miami Dolphins running back Patrick Laird.
The Dolphins have gone through a few lead backs already this year, with Kenyan Drake traded away, Mark Walton suspended then cut and Kalen Ballage now on IR. Some were on the Ballage fantasy bandwagon, despite his patent and glaring lack of explosiveness, and his injury removed that sub-2.0 yards per carry misery.
Against the New York jets in Week 14, Laird had 15 carries for 48 yards along with four catches for 38 yards as he played 82 percent of Miami’s offensive snaps. He has double-digit carries in back-to-back games, along with eight catches on 10 targets over that span as he has at least five targets in three of his last four games.
In Week 15, Laird gets a decent matchup against the New York Giants, who are in the bottom half of the league against running backs and have allowed the third-most carries per game to the position (24.7). So it looks like a gettable matchup, particularly with Laird in line for 15-20 touches.
Then in Week 16, it gets pretty good for Laird. The Cincinnati Bengals have improved lately, but they still enter Week 15 allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this year (Yahoo! 0.5-point PPR). They are also allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per game to the position (115.6).
Laird is not going to be an exciting player to own in fantasy. But if you’ve been hit by injuries or underachievement at running back, he’s widely available (21 percent owned on Yahoo!, 10.8 percent owned on ESPN) and a solid waiver wire add to make this week. With some lean toward PPR formats, the Dolphins’ new lead back looks like no less than a flex option with a solid, volume based floor in both Week 15 and Week 16.