Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 9/20/13

Bernard Pierce is in for a big workload this week against the Houston Texans. He’s had a reasonable amount of work so far (28 carries to date, nine in week one) even with Rice healthy but with the veteran downgraded to doubtful it looks as if Pierce will make his first professional start. So far this year he’s averaging under 3 yards per carry but after posting a number near 5 in his rookie campaign you can expect that to turn around over time. With the Texans on the docket Pierce should be able to find a hole or two. The team grades in the bottom half of the league in run defense so far, according to Pro Football Focus data and while they haven’t given up a touchdown to an opposing RB on the ground yet both lead backs who have faced them posted double digit fantasy points (we’re rounding Chris Johnson’s 9.7 in standard leagues last week). Pierce doesn’t automatically assume Rice’s RB1 status, particularly against the Texans but he should factor into the game plan significantly this week. He could be looking at 18-22 touches with an opportunity to find the end zone. All of these guys can be found on the cheap in daily games, and on the waiver wire in some leagues. If you’re an owner looking for a one week fill in or a daily gamer looking to cash in (hit the Draft Street free roll below, by the way) you need look no further than the four backups with benefits listed here.

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