Running Backs Waiver Wire - Week 8 Pickups and Adds

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The waiver wire gets thinner each week, as you will soon find out. There are some retreads here that have been added and dropped twice over, but still could prove valuable as we enter the middle portion of the fantasy regular season. With a staggering six teams on bye in Week 8, the best you can do at the RB position is a pair of Raiders and an ex-Raider that have all been irrelevant up until this point.

As usual, this article will aim to highlight Week 8 waiver wire adds for running backs, players that you should consider targeting on your league's waiver wire if available. Running backs will be split up into three tiers - from most desirable, to most desperate.

I will also include RBs at the bottom of this list that you might consider cutting in order to make room for your new additions and a suggested percentage of your FAAB to spend on each player.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Frontrunners for Week 8 - Waiver Wire Running Backs

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings - 40% owned (10% FAAB)

Look familiar? When Dalvin Cook went down for the season, Murray was speculated to be the top RB option in Minnesota. Instead, it's been Jerick McKinnon providing all the value while Murray has rushed for a total of 80 yards in the last three games combined. Of course, he busts out with 113 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Ravens when nobody was starting him. Even though next week's opponent, the Cleveland Browns, have a tough run defense and the Vikings are on bye the following week, Murray showed he still has something in the tank and will get the red zone carries for a team that is now 5-2. If nothing else, stash him for the second half.

Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders - 11% owned (8% FAAB)

It looks like Richard has become the starting RB in Oakland, at least for one week. He ran for 31 yards and caught four passes for 45 yards in Week 7, but this isn't so much about what he did as what his teammate, Marshawn Lynch, did. Beast Mode was in effect for the wrong reason, as Lynch got tossed out of the game during an altercation in which he pushed an official. Lynch has been disappointing in his return to the league, averaging 3.7 Y/A and failing to surpass 80 yards in a game so far. With a one-game suspension of tap, Richard gets a chance to shine and could carve out a role beyond this week if he impresses.

DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders3% owned (8% FAAB)

Washington saw a season-high nine carries and scored his first touchdown of the year on Thursday night. As mentioned above, Washington will be a bigger part of the offense in Week 8 due to Lynch's suspension and should sustain some PPR value as a pass-catching threat. He has breakaway ability, but hasn't gotten the chance to showcase his skills yet. The Bills have been tough against running backs this year, so neither Oakland RB is a must-start this week, but with such a high number of players on bye, they could serve as a flex play to get you along.

 

In The Running - Week 8 Waiver Wire Running Backs

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots - 28% owned (5% FAAB)

The pickings are so slim, I'm resorting to Pats running backs now. Lewis did technically serve as the lead runner for New England in Sunday night's Super Bowl rematch. He looked good, racking up 76 yards on 13 carries. He only caught one pass, however, and with Rex Burkhead back, this is once again a four-man RBBC. If you're in a pinch and don't have better options, you can at least hang your hat on the fact that their Week 8 opponent, the Chargers, have allowed the second-most rushing yards in the league this season.

Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles - 21% owned (2% FAAB)

As of this writing, Monday night's game has yet to be played. Smallwood should resume his new role as the pass-catching back and understudy to LeGarrette Blount. There isn't much upside in standard leagues, but PPR owners could use Smallwood this week. The Eagles are at home against the 49ers, who not only have the worst run defense in the league, they also allow the most receiving yards to RB as well. He could be one of the sneakier plays available on the wire.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts - 40% owned (1% FAAB)

Well, I was definitely wrong about the Mack breakout this week. Mack himself looked good in his limited time on the field; he averaged over five yards a carry on five attempts and took a screen pass 35 yards down the sideline. The Colts just flat-out played horrible and were behind from the beginning, forcing them to go to pass-only mode early on. Don't blame Mack for his team's ineptitude. They'll face a slightly easier defense in Cincinnati this coming week.

Honorable Mentions: Matt Forte (30% owned), D'onta Foreman (18% owned)

 

Dark Horses - Week 8 Running Backs Waiver Wire

Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks - 23% owned (1% FAAB)

I'm getting the sneaky suspicion that Rawls will be in this category the rest of the season. You could take the optimistic approach and see that he tied for a team-high 12 rush attempts and even got a shot near the goal line to run in a touchdown (he didn't), while seeing most of the second-half carries. The downside is that Eddie Lacy was the official starter at RB, got just as many carries, and didn't fumble it like Rawls. With four backs seeing the field off and on, this still feels like a situation to avoid unless you have no other options or are looking for a bench stash with upside.

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers - 1% owned (0% FAAB)

Pass-catching back Branden Oliver was supposed to be back this week, but the team opted to keep him sidelined in favor of UDFA Austin Ekeler. The rookie rewarded them with a touchdown catch near the goal line and actually outrushed Melvin Gordon on the day with 38 yards on the ground. Ekeler's role won't be huge, but if he plays in favor of Oliver going forward, there's PPR value to be had.

Honorable Mentions: T.J. Yeldon (1% owned), Eddie Lacy (21% owned), Matt Breida (16% owned)

 

Time To Say Goodbye

Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers - 94% owned

Don't @ me. The recent RB1 in Green Bay is no longer worth owning. No, Montgomery didn't get reinjured. His line reads like a player who did, but it's a simple matter of Aaron Jones being better. Despite being a week healthier, Montgomery carried four times for six yards while his replacement did slightly better with another 100+ yard rushing game and a touchdown. Of course, a Jones injury would make Montgomery a high-priority add once again, so I wouldn't drop him unless you absolutely need the roster space for this coming bye week.

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns - 79% owned

Easy for me to say, because I don't own Crowell anywhere, which means I didn't invest a third or fourth round pick in him. Then again, there's a reason for that. Crowell simply isn't a top talent and he plays for a team that rotates quarterbacks weekly. He's averaging 3.4 yards per carry and doesn't have a run longer than 17 yards on the season. If you think there's a reason that he or the team will turn around their fortunes, then hold on for now, but at the very least stop putting him in your starting lineup. The Browns have a tough matchup against the Vikings next week followed by a bye week.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - 23% owned

He was never more than a very marginal add in PPR leagues, but even that value seems to have evaporated. Since rushing for 40 yards in the opener, he hasn't even sniffed 30 since. If he were catching passes a la Andre Ellington, he would be worth owning, but he only caught one of three targets in Week 7 and has only caught more than two passes in a game once this whole season. There is almost no upside left here as long as Joe Mixon is around.

 

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