Already preparing to raid the Waiver Wire after Week 2? Let’s take a look at the running back options who may be available (owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues) and prioritize who you should be targeting and who is better left for someone else:
- Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins
- Carlos Hyde – Seattle Seahawks
- Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons
- Rex Burkhead – New England Patriots
- Sony Michel – New England Patriots
- Anthony McFarland – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Jeff Wilson – San Francisco 49ers
Gaskin didn’t necessarily put up huge numbers, but he was clearly “the man” in Miami’s victory over Jacksonville:
- Rushing – 22 carries for 66 yards
- Receiving – 5 catches for 29 yards
Matt Breida and Jordan Howard combined for 6 carries and 0 catches. While he’s likely going to continue losing goal line touches to Howard, Gaskin appears likely to get ample opportunities week in and week out.
Chris Carson left in the fourth quarter of Seattle’s win over the Dallas Cowboys with a leg injury, and if he’s forced to miss time Hyde should step into the lead role. Time will tell about the seriousness of Carson’s injury, but Hyde needs to be on radars off the wire.
It will be interesting to see if Hill can take more and more opportunities away from Todd Gurley, though both were impressive in Atlanta’s Week 3 loss:
- Todd Gurley – 14 carries for 80 yards (5.7 YPC) & 1 TD
- Brian Hill – 9 carries for 58 yards (6.4 YPC) & 1 TD
Hill’s TD came on a 35-yard run. It’s definitely interesting to see the increased workload, after he had 3 carries in each of the first two games. This is a situation to watch, and if you are eying a potential RB option for later in the season stashing Hill makes sense.
One thing we’ve all learned over the years is that it’s nearly impossible to trust that a New England running back will be productive each and every week. That is going to give us reason to be skeptical about Burkhead, despite his impressive Week 3 performance (6 carries for 49 yards and 2 TD, 7 receptions for 49 yards and 1 TD).
While it’s easy to get excited, keep in mind that he was actually third in terms of carries behind J.J. Taylor (11 carries for 43 yards) and Sony Michel (9 carries for 117 yards). While he’s worth owning for those in PPR formats, he’s not going to be a player to trust for most.
Michel is basically in the same boat as Burkhead, though he’s not a factor in the passing game. That, coupled with the uncertainty in carries, makes him really hard to trust.
Making his NFL debut, McFarland quickly made his presence felt as he took 6 carries for 42 yards (including a 20-yard run) and added a 7 yard reception. He clearly outplayed both Benny Snell (7 carries for 11 yards) and Jaylen Samuels (1 carry for 1 yard) and could quickly play his way into the primary backup role. Considering James Connor’s injury history, it’s a spot that could definitely yield fantasy relevance.
While McFarland is an ideal handcuff for Connor owners, he’s worth stashing for anyone in need of RB help.
Wilson was a big part of the offense, though he wasn’t impressive on the ground (12 carries for 15 yards and 1 TD). His bigger impact came through the air (3 catches for 54 yards and 1 TD), but it makes you wonder just how many touches will he be given each week once Raheem Mostert is healthy? There’s reason for optimism, but he’s going to be extremely hard to trust unless Mostert or Jerick McKinnon is sidelined.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN