Already preparing to raid the Waiver Wire after Week 7? Let’s take a look at the running back options who may be available (owned in less than 60% of ESPN leagues) and prioritize who you should be targeting and who is better left for someone else:
- Damien Harris – New England Patriots
- La’Mical Perine – New York Jets
- Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills
- JaMycal Hasty – San Francisco 49ers
- Wayne Gallman – New York Giants
- Carlos Hyde – Seattle Seahawks
- Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers
- Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals
1) Damien Harris (NE)
It’s always going to be tough to trust a New England running back, but Harris appeared to entrench himself as the team’s best option in Week 7 (at least until Sony Michel returns) as he took 10 carries for 58 yards (5.8 YPC). The third round pick now has 119 yards on 23 carries across three games, and he’s averaged at least 5.8 YPC in the two games that he’s been given 10+ carries.
With Cam Newton getting benched, is it possible that they begin leaning on the running game even more? Regardless Harris has clearly emerged as the team’s top runner and could emerge as a viable RB2 quickly.
2) La’Mical Perine (NYJ)
With Adam Gase coaching for his job it’s not a complete surprise that he’s continuing to utilize Frank Gore as the early down back. That said, Perine saw a much bigger role this week against the Bills:
- Frank Gore – 11 carries for 60 yards (5.5 YPC)
- La’Mical Perine – 11 carries for 39 yards (3.5 YPC) and 1 TD
Perine also caught two passes for 16 yards, so he actually out-touched the veteran. There has been talk about Perine’s role continuing to grow, as it should, and it may not be long before he’s working as the lead back. That makes him a good stash, with opportunity always being the key.null
3) Zack Moss (BUF)
While Moss had fewer carries than Devin Singletary, it was obvious who the more impressive runner was:
- Devin Singletary – 8 carries for 29 yards (3.6 YPC)
- Zack Moss – 7 carries for 47 yards (6.7 YPC)
Moss also reeled in all 3 of his targets for 25 yards. Singletary owners had to be concerned that Moss would ultimately overtake him for lead back duties, and this very well could represent the changing of the guard. A third round rookie, Walter Football compared him to Carlos Hyde prior to the draft saying:
“Moss reminds me of Hyde. Both had a mix of power, quickness, and the bell-cow ability to handle a big work load. I think Moss could be a better version of Hyde in the NFL.”
4) JaMycal Hasty (SF)
While there had been hope that Hasty would take on a significant role with Raheem Mostert sidelined, instead it was Jeff Wilson who was the dominant runner:
- Jeff Wilson – 17 carries for 112 yards and 3 TD
- JaMycal Hasty – 9 carries for 57 yards
- Jerick McKinnon – 3 carries for -1 yards
Of course Hasty was impressive himself, averaging 6.3 YPC, and with Mostert and now Wilson injured it would appear he’s headed for a much bigger role. That said there is a chance that Tevin Coleman returns for Week 8, though could he be eased back into the mix?
5) Wayne Gallman (NYG)
Gallman has been around the Giants for the past few years, but the team never seems to be willing to give him an opportunity to carry the load. However you have to wonder if that’s about to change, after he looked fairly impressive on Thursday night as he ran for 34 yards and 1 TD on 10 carries.
Devonta Freeman suffered an ankle injury, and if he’s forced to miss time then it’s obvious that Gallman gets the call. However you can argue that Gallman is the better runner regardless, with Freeman averaging a miserable 3.2 YPC on 54 carries this season.
6) Carlos Hyde (SEA)
Hyde appeared to overtake Chris Carson for the Seahawks’ lead back duties in Week 7 after Carson was forced from the game with an injury.:
- Carlos Hyde – 15 carries for 68 yards and 1 TD
- Chris Carson – 5 carries for 34 yards
Considering that the offensive focus will continue to be with Russell Wilson and the passing game regardless, and a committee approach could cap either running backs’ upside given a 10-12 touch expectation. If Carson is forced to miss time Hyde could be viewed as a better option in the short-term, but long-term there are going to be questions.
Keep that in mind before going all in.
7) Tevin Coleman (SF)
As noted above there’s a chance Coleman returns this week, though it remains to be seen if he’s healthy enough after his knee injury a few weeks back. Even if he does return, is it a slam dunk that he’s immediately slotted right into the top of the committee?
8) Boston Scott (PHI)
Scott may have more upside than someone like Gallman or Coleman, but just how many opportunities is he going to get long-term? Miles Sanders isn’t expected to be sidelined for long, so Scott will fall back into a complimentary role sooner rather than later.
9) Giovani Bernard (CIN)
As expected Bernard was the lead back with Joe Mixon sidelined, though much of his damage came through the air against the Browns:
- Rushing – 13 carries for 37 yards
- Receiving – 5 catches for 59 yards and 1 TD
You have to wonder if his struggles running the football could lead to more carries for Samaje Perine and/or Trayveon Williams moving forward. Regardless Bernard’s value is tied to when Mixon is able to return, so he’s not a potential long-term solution.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com