Week 1 is in the books and we were likely holding our breath with each carry our running backs took this weekend. Injuries had already been arising before the season started as David Montgomery ended up playing while Miles Sanders sat Week 1 out. Now the week did claim a few names to the injury report as Marlon Mack is likely out for the year with an Achilles injury. Le’Veon Bell pulled up with a hamstring injury and now we wait for more news. Outside of those two, it was a fairly clean week for running backs. However, we did get a first look at how some of these snaps and touches are going to go. For your Week 2 decision making, use our fantasy football rankings and projections.
Week 2 RB Waiver Wire Pickups
|Player||Team||Week 2 Opponent||Rostered %||FAAB%|
|Malcolm Brown||New York Jets||@BUF||10%||7%|
|Nyheim Hines||Indianapolis Colts||MIN||33%||20%|
|James Robinson||Jacksonville Jaguars||@TEN||29%||7%|
|Joshua Kelley||Los Angeles Chargers||KC||11%||5%|
|Peyton Barber||Washington Football Team||@AZ||1%||3%|
Malcolm Brown – Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had a lot of success on the ground in their meeting with the Cowboys. Sean McVay had talked about a three-man committee before the season started and it was everything but that in Week 1. Malcolm Brown had 60% of the snaps compared to Cam Akers at just 33% and Darrell Henderson at 7%. Akers was projected to run away with touches and snaps later in the year. In the meantime, Brown is worth a look as long as touches stay like this. Brown was effective with 100+ yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He was also a workhorse with 20+ touches.
Because the Rams backfield is still finding its shape and will likely be changing at some point throughout the season, I am not putting in a big bid for Brown. I know the Week 1 score is exciting, but there will be better options down the stretch. I will rather be buying large for who I know can have a heavy workload when it matters most. If you can manage to throw a small bid and get him to help over the next month or two, it will be worthwhile.
Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts
Nyheim Hines’ value took a hit when the Colts were expecting to use a three running back backfield. The same can be said for the others, but with Marlon Mack’s injury, this opens the door for consistent touches for both Hines and Jonathan Taylor. Mack’s injury is likely to keep him out for the year, as it is an Achilles injury that the Colts fear. Hines got off to a hot start against the Jaguars with two touchdowns and while he will still be more useful in PPR settings, he won’t have to battle it out with two other backs for touches. Hines ended up with 53% of the snaps which led all running backs on Sunday.
Hines is certainly going to be a popular pick up so if you are down on the waiver wire order, I would have other plans. In FAAB leagues he will be a bit pricier because he is in a popular offense and has been a part of a backfield that was talked about all offseason. I don’t mind ponying up a bit, but I wouldn’t go overboard. Up to about 20% is where I see myself stopping.
Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers
There was a key battle for the RB2 role behind Austin Ekeler this offseason and reports were pointing towards Joshua Kelley to grab a hold of it. With Justin Jackson banged up and not impressing during camp, Kelley came out in a big way for Week 1. He is poised to be a change of pace back because Ekeler still saw 68% of the touches to Kelley’s 25%. However, this is a role that is still interesting for fantasy purposes, especially if you are in need of running backs. Kelley had 12 carries for 16 yards and a score against the Bengals.
Kelley is going to be more of a deeper league guy that people will be after and I am still going small in the bidding. This is clearly Ekeler’s backfield and Kelley not having any receiving work hurts his upside. A small bid and a flyer on the waiver wire is worth a look if you are desperate for a back.
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
James Robinson was the one who made the most of the Leonard Fournette release, and the team certainly hyped him to be one of the reasons for his release as well. He had 90 total yards on 17 touches against the Colts. While he didn’t find the end zone, he did play 68% of the snaps out there. Chris Thompson played just 24% and you have to think as much as they have been talking this kid up, they are going to let him get in work. This Jags offense is not as bad as some made it seem to be.
Robinson is worth a little bit more than Kelley in terms of a bid, just because the snaps and workload were there for Robinson in Week 1. People have likely had their eye on him since the Fournette release, and the Week 1 workload will send people after him. Don’t overpay though, there will be more that opens up throughout the season.
Peyton Barber – Washington Football Team
The Washington backfield was not something I prepared to dive into for this week but here we are. J.D. McKissic played 44% of the snaps and was easily the worst back out of the three. Peyton Barber played 41% snaps, while Antonio Gibson played 26%. Gibson is the most intriguing because his work as a receiving back and he is far more athletic than both of the other names, but his Week 1 usage was a little weak. Gibson is still a name to keep an eye on but if Barber is getting a heavy dose of the carries and red zone work, he is the more intriguing fantasy name.
This is a desperation bid for anyone in a FAAB league and Barber is the definition of a flyer in waiver wire leagues. There is zero chance this usage and production hold up in the long run but we need to at least see how it plays out for the next few weeks.
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