Darren Sproles was a breakthrough change-of-pace running back for the San Diego Chargers. Now, another number 43 is changing the running dynamic of the San Diego offense. Branden Oliver, an undrafted rookie from Buffalo, gained 182 yards last week, just 15 shy of a single-game record set by none other than LaDainian Tomlinson.
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Oliver attributes his speed and intensity to having to compete with his older brothers as kids. “I’ve been running like that my whole life. They [his brothers] ’ve always been faster than me, so I’ve had to cut back in different ways and in certain situations", said the rookie.
That intensity shows up on each and every play. He can turn even a dumpoff pass behind the line of scrimmage nets yards.
If you take a look at what he did in college, you'll see an elusive yet strong back that can break through arm tackles and make defenders miss. It's not often that these kinds of players fall undrafted.
This week, he has amassed 101 yards rushing on 26 carries, along with 23 yards receiving on four catches. On his last run he punched in a one-yard TD to win the game for San Diego.
He was already drawing praise from quarterback Phillip Rivers and safety Eric Weddle, and soon will draw praise from many fantasy owners.