Prioritizing the Wire (Week 8): Which Running Backs Are The Top Names To Target?

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Already preparing to raid the Waiver Wire after Week 8? 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:

  1. Damien Harris – New England Patriots
  2. Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills
  3. JaMycal Hasty – San Francisco 49ers
  4. Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens
  5. Wayne Gallman – New York Giants
  6. J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens
  7. La’Mical Perine – New York Jets
  8. Jordan Wilkins – Indianapolis Colts
  9. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts

1) Damien Harris – New England Patriots

Harris began to take control of the New England backfield in Week 7, and in Week 8 he fully entrenched himself as “the man”. Just look at what he’s done in the three games (he’s played four) where he’s gotten 10+ carries:

  • at KC – 17 carries for 100 yards
  • vs. SF – 10 carries for 58 yards
  • at Buf – 16 carries for 102 yards and 1 TD

There’s little reason to think that the Patriots won’t continue to lean on Harris, especially as Cam Newton struggles. Harris is a true must add in all formats and should be a consistent RB2 the rest of the way.

2) Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills

As expected Moss’ role continues to grow for the Bills, as he shared the carries with Devin Singletary in Week 8:

  • Singletary – 14 carries for 86 yards
  • Moss – 14 carries for 81 yards and 2 TD

Moss clearly got the red zone work, scoring on TD runs of 4 and 8 yards. That’s going to hurt Singletary’s stock, while it obviously raises Moss’ significantly. As the weather gets colder it’s easy to envision Buffalo going even more run heavy, and with that Moss will only continue to gain value.

3) JaMycal Hasty – San Francisco 49ers

While Hasty wasn’t overly impressive, he operated as the backfield leader after Tevin Coleman went down with an injury. Hasty finished taking 12 carries for 29 yards and 1 TD, while he added a catch for 2 yards. Hasty’s long-term value is going to be dependent on the severity of Coleman’s injury, but with a Thursday night game he should at least hold value in Week 9.

The fact that the 49ers get the porous Green Bay Packers’ defense, who were obliterated by Dalvin Cook (163 rushing yards and 3 TD, as well as 63 receiving yards and 1 TD), only adds to his short-term appeal.

4) Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens

We all know that the Ravens like to run the football and he took advantage of it against the Steelers as he took 16 carries for 87 yards and 1 TD. He’s now scored in back-to-back games as he shared the workload with J.K. Dobbins in this one. Mark Ingram is expected to miss another week, but Edwards has been a factor in the run-heavy approach all season long.

Unfortunately his workload is going to be unpredictable on a weekly basis, but for at least another week he’s going to have potential value.

5) Wayne Gallman – New York Giants

We will have to wait and see how Gallman performs tonight for the Giants, but he should get the opportunity to emerge as “the man” the rest of the way. With Devonta Freeman sidelined Gallman should be given lead back duties, and he showed signs of emerging in Week 7 (10 carries for 34 yards and 1 TD, while adding 5 catches for 20 yards). He may never be a must start option, but he has FLEX potential.

6) J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens

The second round pick exploded against the Steelers, taking 15 carries for 113 yards as he shared the carries with Gus Edwards. The real question is what’s going to happen once Mark Ingram is ready to return? Dobbins hadn’t had more than 9 carries in a game prior to Week 8 and it’s not like Edwards wasn’t productive in his own right. That may make Dobbins nothing more than a short-term plugin as opposed to a trustworthy long-term play. That said, take advantage while the carries are available (and that may only last another week).

7) La’Mical Perine – New York Jets

We keep waiting for the Jets to see what Perine can provide, but instead they continue to utilize Frank Gore a significant amount of the time:

  • Frank Gore – 10 carries for 30 yards
  • La’Mical Perine – 8 carries for 27 yards

Of course Perine has averaged 3.7 yards/carry over 33 carries, so it’s hard to get excited even if the carries do come. If he becomes the lead back he’ll have FLEX value, but that’s about it until he shows otherwise.

8) Jordan Wilkins – Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis showed a willingness to ride the hot hand, as Wilkins dominated the carries instead of Jonathan Taylor:

  • Wilkins – 20 carries for 89 yards and 1 TD
  • Taylor – 11 carries for 22 yards

It was an impressive performance, but does anyone expect Wilkins to emerge as the top option? He showed get a few more carries moving forward, but he’s still going to be tough to trust.

9) Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts

Hines caught a pair of TD passes and with T.Y. Hilton going down with an injury he could continue to play a bigger role in the passing game. That said it’s hard to count on him, especially since he’ll be playing behind Jonathan Taylor and Jordan Wilkins.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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