Prioritizing the Wire: Top 10 Running Back Targets: Short-Term Grabs (Jonathan Williams), Long-Term Stashes (Qadree Ollison) & More


Looking for some help at running back off the waiver wire?  The pickings are generally slim, though there are some potentially intriguing names coming out of Week 11.  Who should be your top target?  Who is the long-term stash that could make a significant impact?  Let’s look at the potential options and rank who the best targets are heading into Week 12:

  1. Derrius Guice (Washington Redskins) – He returned in Week 11, sharing the backfield with Adrian Peterson and underwhelming in the process (7 carries for 24 yards; 1 reception for 45 yards and 1 TD). Of any running back on this list Guice has the best opportunity to seize the lead back duties for the rest of the season, and that makes him the top priority off the wire if he’s available.
  2. Jonathan Williams (Indianapolis Colts) – Marlon Mack is going to miss Thursday’s game, with a longer absence likely as he had a procedure done for his broken hand.  While it’s not a guarantee that Williams steps in to carry the load, you would think he earned the opportunity after taking over for Mack in Week 11 (116 yards on 13 carries).  The Texans, also with a quick turnaround, allowed 178 rushing yards and 1 TD to opposing running backs in Week 11 so there is reason for optimism.  Long-term Williams may be more of a week-to-week FLEX play, but if you need a fill-in for the coming week he’ll be worth the waiver grab.
  3. Bo Scarbrough (Detroit Lions) – Does anyone really want to trust the Lions’ backfield at this point?  They continue to zig and zag, making it a situation almost like New England (which makes sense considering their head coach came from the Patriots) where you don’t want to trust anyone on a weekly basis.  Despite Ty Johnson being active for the game it was Scarbrough, who was a seventh round draft pick in 2018 before bouncing around a few practice squads, who ultimately carried the load.  Is anyone willing to bet that he’s the lead back once again?  Could this be a committee approach?  The upside is there, but it’s easy to envision this changing on a weekly basis, making a pickup of Scarbrough more of a depth grab.
  4. Trey Edmunds (Pittsburgh Steelers) – James Conner is injured again, and if he’s unable to go on Sunday against the Bengals both Jaylen Samuels and Edmunds should have value.  Obviously Samuels it the primary backup, but Cincinnati has been terrible at stopping the run this season and the team has given Edmunds touches before in Conner’s absence.  He could become a desperation play, at least for one week. 
  5. Nyheim Hines (Indianapolis Colts) – He didn’t see his carries increase after Mack’s injury, but he does have 7 catches for 54 yards over the past two games.  Could the Colts take a more pass heavy approach moving forward?  Hines was always on the PPR radar, but his value could increase significantly making him worth stashing.
  6. J.D. McKissic (Detroit Lions) – As we said there are questions surrounding Detroit’s backfield, but the one constant is McKissic and his upside in the passing game (22 receptions in 10 games).  Of course he’s only been given 33 carries and if the team wanted to test him out as a lead back they’ve had the opportunity already.  He’s solely a PPR grab, and not one to go crazy to target.
  7. Qadree Ollison (Atlanta Falcons) – Brian Hill fell flat in his first chance to emerge as the lead back in Devonta Freeman’s absence (30 yards on 15 carries).  Ollison didn’t get many touches, but he did vulture a TD and you have to wonder if he could start to see more carries if Hill can’t turn it around.  Ollison was a fifth round pick after all, and was more than just a short yardage battering ram in his senior season at Pittsburgh (1,213 yards on 194 carries).  He’s an intriguing stash who could emerge as a viable option if the opportunity presents itself down the stretch, though with Devonta Freeman potentially returning for Week 12 his upside may be more as a handcuff (if that).
  8. Patrick Laird/Myles Gaskin (Miami Dolphins) – It was another pitiful day for Kalen Ballage and you have to think both Laird and Gaskin will see an increased role over the next two weeks.  Of course they could simply be keeping the seat warm until Mark Walton returns from suspension and even in Ballage’s struggles they have yet to carve out a role.
  9. Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles) – We’ve been waiting for Ajayi to sign, though landing with the Eagles isn’t ideal.  When everyone is healthy he’s going to play behind Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders so how much upside value does he really have?

Sources – ESPN,

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


  1. Good afternoon, Professor! 14 Team, 1/2 PPR.

    1. Need to replace Kelce this week…Jacob Hollister, Delanie Walker (currently say questionable, haven’t seen any updates?), Vance McDonald, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert or Ryan Griffin? Can you prioritize 2 or 3 options, please?

    2. WR’s are Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley & Golden Tate and RB’s are Nick Chubb, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II & Jamaal Williams. To make room for #1, ditch Chris Conley, Corey Davis or Rasheem Mostert ?


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