There was carnage at the running back position this week as Saquon Barkley is now done for the year and Christian McCaffrey is out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Cam Akers and Raheem Mostert also left their games and did not return. This is just from Week 2 alone. You are certainly going to be out looking for a running back this week. There is a chance Devonta Freeman signs with a team shortly as he is visiting the Eagles and the Giants. While I don’t believe there is much left in the tank for him especially behind a bad offensive line, those deeper leagues or for desperate owners might want to look at him as a stash.
Week 3 RB Waiver Wire Pickups
Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams
There were talks before the game that Darrell Henderson would have a bigger role against the Eagles. He ended up with over 100 yards all-purpose and had 14 touches with a touchdown. Cam Akers left the game and was immediately ruled out while Malcolm Brown out-touched Henderson, he also had a finger injury late. Now, this is coming off a week with Brown being a top option to add at the position and the thing is both are in play moving forward. The committee is here to stay but that is something we will have to deal with. The volume has been there each week for the backs as they still are running a ton of plays but have run the ball more.
Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers
While Tevin Coleman led the team in snaps on Sunday, Jerick McKinnon is the more interesting name here. Coleman has really struggled to be a consistent back and his athleticism looks rather average. McKinnon on the other hand has looked great and is more of a threat in the passing game, which bodes well for him. The 49ers have very few options in the offense right now and McKinnon is a guy I expect to be utilized more often. It is a favorable schedule for the 49ers over the next few weeks as they take on the Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins. Eagles might not jump off the page but they have struggled against the run over the first two matchups against Washington and Los Angeles.
Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers
Joshua Kelley had 25 touches in the Week 2 loss against the Chiefs. It is pretty clear he is going to have a valuable role each week, especially with how they played the Chiefs. Kelley is seeing a bit more stacked boxes in comparison to Austin Ekeler, which is why the YPC looks very pedestrian but he has broken off some big runs and also had a few big plays in the passing game. It is fair to say Kelley took this job very quickly from Justin Jackson while he was out and injured. Kelley also gets a great Week 3 matchup against Carolina, who have a bottom-five run defense. While there is some touchdown dependency here, those chances are quite higher in comparison to some of the other waiver wire backs.
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars offense is actually very fantasy football friendly, which might be surprising given the rep around them. This will be James Robinson’s last week here as the ownership will take another major on. He had a big week going for over 100 yards and a score but also had three receptions as well. I love the matchups over the next few weeks facing, Miami, Cincinnati, Houston, and Detroit. Robinson’s workload has been safe and there is no competition behind him to take anything away. Chris Thompson is in the same small receiving role he usually has been in throughout his career.
Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins
We are getting to an area where these names are just on bad teams and I don’t love the situation but understand you might need some bodies who are in line for volume. Myles Gaskin is sharing time with Matt Breida and Jordan Howard, but Gaskin has by far looked the best out of the three. He is getting work in the receiving game as well. He has a great Week 3 matchup against the Jaguars and has had 13 touches in each of the first two weeks. He has also had 11 targets over the first two weeks, and ten catches to go with it. Now Gaskin will need to get a stronger hold of the snaps and touches to jump a tier but if he keeps out-performing the others that should happen.
Dion Lewis – New York Giants
Last year we saw Saquon Barkley go down for a few weeks and everybody rushed out there to get Wayne Gallman. Now if you are simply looking for a body who will get 15+ touches, Lewis is fine. But this offensive line has struggled and the Giants schedule isn’t exactly appealing for running backs either. If Barkley was struggling behind this line, I am not expecting a ton of success from Lewis. I am still grabbing the names above first if they are out there and looking at Lewis as a secondary option. There is a likely chance the Giants also bring in someone from the outside, and as mentioned above it could be Devonta Freeman. Then Lewis would return to the free-agent pool.
Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers
With Christian McCaffrey out 4-6 weeks, Mike Davis is the name who will step in. Davis has been bouncing around the league for his career. With the eight catches for 74 yards, he is a great PPR add if he can add even half of that each week in addition to some average rushing yards. Davis has a tough Week 3 matchup against the Chargers but things get a bit easier with the Cardinals and Falcons in Weeks 4 and 5. With the Panthers defense in the shape that it is in, these trailing games where Davis can be used in the passing game will help his weekly floor in PPR leagues. I am not quite as high on him in standard-scoring leagues.
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