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Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 13: Top Free Agent Adds Include Zonovan Knight, JaMycal Hasty, Gus Edwards, Kyren Williams

JaMycal Hasty - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

After 12 weeks of the regular season, some of you have been able to embrace the numbers that have been assembled by the running backs that are contained on your rosters. Unfortunately, an increasing number of fantasy managers have encountered injuries, while others have contended with disappointing output due to a collection of unexpected developments.

The final bye weeks will provide another challenge that will fuel interest in locating alternative options on the waiver wire. That includes the two teams that will be affected this week – Arizona and Carolina. This ensures that anyone with James Conner or D'Onta Foreman contained on their rosters will have to avoid starting those backs this week.

This week's recommendations will appear in three tiers, beginning with the most enticing and progressing to options for managers that are struggling with desperation. You will also find a group of backs that can be dropped in order for you to secure your replacements. After you've finished this breakdown, you can also find news updates and data-fueled analysis that is designed to help you maximize the scoring potential of your rosters.

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Upcoming Bye Weeks

Week 13: Cardinals, Panthers
Week 14: Falcons, Bears, Packers, Colts, Saints, Commanders

 

Frontrunners - Week 13 Waiver Wire Running Backs

These running backs should be your top priorities among the options that are available on most waiver wires. Some will be more beneficial in PPR leagues.

Zonovan Knight, New York Jets  - 0% Rostered

Knight accumulated 419 rushing attempts and 2,286 rushing yards during his three seasons at North Carolina State, while he also assembled 337 yards as a receiver. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jets in May but did not register a touch from Weeks 1-11. However, he was launched into a sizable role when New York hosted Chicago in Week 12, and his ability to capitalize on his opportunity has vaulted him among this week’s top priorities from the waiver wire.

James Robinson was relegated to healthy inactive status during the Jets’ Week 12 matchup, while Knight operated in a rotation with Michael Carter. However, Carter sustained an ankle injury during the contest, which elevated Knight into lead back duties.

Knight secured a 48% snap share and responded by generating 103 total yards with his 17 touches. That included 69 rushing yards on 14 attempts (4.9 yards per attempt), while he also ran eight routes, captured all three of his targets, and assembled 34 receiving yards.

Carter’s health should be monitored as the Jets’ Week 13 matchup at Minnesota approaches. However, Knight has become this week's top priority, as he could be operating as the Jets’ RB1 versus the Vikings.

JaMycal Hasty, Jacksonville Jaguars - 3% Rostered

Anyone who has Travis Etienne contained on their rosters has benefitted significantly since he commandeered lead-back responsibilities for the Jaguars. He had averaged 14.8 carries.82,2 yards per game from Weeks 3-11, and was third overall with an average of 103.3 yards per game from Weeks 8-11.

Etienne’s ability to flourish with an extensive workload had provided fantasy managers with a highly productive resource. However, the foot injury that he sustained in the first quarter of Jacksonville's Week 12 matchup with Baltimore precluded him from delivering another prolific outing.

Hasty instantly became Jacksonville’s primary back following Etienne’s exit, and the third-year-back operated with a career-high 78% snap share. He capitalized by assembling 95 total yards on 17 touches, including 67 yards with his five receptions.

Any continued absence for Etienne would position Hasty to function as Jacksonville's RB1 when the Jaguars visit Detroit in Week 13. He would minimally operate as the team's pass-catching back if he shares touches with Darrell Henderson. However, even though there is also justification for prioritizing Henderson from this week’s waiver wire, Hasty’s performance in Week 12 has elevated him among this week’s top options. He also remains a viable addition even if Etienne returns in Week 13.

Darrell Henderson, Jacksonville Jaguars - 47% Rostered

Former #Rams RB Darrell Henderson was claimed by the #Jaguars, per me and @TomPelissero. A new home for the starter.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 23, 2022

Jacksonville seized Henderson from waivers on November 23rd after his unexpected release by the Rams. Henderson had secured a 53% snap share during 10 games with the Rams while averaging 7.0 carries, 28.3 rushing yards, and 2.2 targets per game.

His presence was not expected to impact Etienne's role as the Jaguars’ workhorse back as Etienne had flourished with those responsibilities entering Week 12. However, Etienne's aforementioned foot issue occurred after he had registered just two rushing attempts and remained throughout the matchup. Henderson was inactive during the contest, which launched JaMycal Hasty into lead-back responsibilities.

Etienne’s status should be monitored as the week advances but Henderson would be positioned to function with a significant workload during any absence by Etienne, even though Henderson would operate in a rotation with Hasty if that scenario transpires.

This supplies the rationale for fantasy managers to prioritize him from their waiver wires - particularly if Etienne is contained on your rosters. Seizing him could help you prevent an in-season nightmare if Etienne remains sidelined.

Jaylen Warren / Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers – Warren 15% Rostered / Snell 1% Rostered

Weekly recommendations to stash Warren on all rosters became a mainstay in this column throughout most of the regular season, due to his potential to seize an extensive workload if Najee Harris would be sidelined for any reason.

That scenario could easily transpire on Sunday during Pittsburgh’s Week 13 matchup with the Falcons, as Harris is now contending with an abdominal injury. This limited Harris to a season-low 29% snap share when Pittsburgh traveled to Indianapolis in Week 12 while elevating Snell (41% snap share/12 carries/62 rushing yards), and Anthony McFarland (30% snap share/6 carries/30 rushing yards) into expanded roles.

Warren would have operated as the Steelers’ RB1 following the departure of Harris if he had not been dealing with his own health issue (hamstring) which forced his absence during the same matchup.

He remains available in 85% of all leagues and is the preferred roster addition among members of Pittsburgh’s backfield. This has been the case since he leapfrogged Snell and McFarland to seize the Steelers' RB2 responsibilities during training camp. Snell emerges as a potential flex option if both Harris and Warren are unavailable when Pittsburgh travels to Atlanta.

 

In The Running - Week 13 Waiver Wire Running Backs

These running backs remain available on the waiver wire but are not necessarily must-adds.

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons - 47% Rostered

Allgeier’s availability has gradually increased since Cordarrelle Patterson re-emerged from the knee injury that sidelined him from Weeks 5-8. However, he is operating with a sufficient number of carries to provide fantasy managers with a deployable flex option.

Allgeier attained a 59% snap share while Patterson was unavailable while averaging 14.5 attempts per game, and producing 185 yards (46.3 per game). However, he is still functioning with a 46% snap share, while averaging 9.3 attempts per game since Patterson has resurfaced and has been more efficient with his opportunities (228 yards/57 yards per game/6.2 yards per attempt).

Patterson has played on 41.6% of Atlanta's offensive snaps since Week 9 while accumulating 39 carries (9.8 per game) and assembling 166 yards (41.5 per game/4.25 per attempt). That includes his numbers in Week 12 when Allgeier and Patterson both carried 11 times while the tandem accumulated 106 rushing yards (Allgeier-54/Patterson-52). Even though Caleb Huntley and Avery Williams seemingly loomed as candidates to siphon carries, they have combined for just two attempts since Week 11.

Allgeier will remain involved in a rotation with Patterson within an Atlanta offense that currently ranks second in run play percentage (56.6%). This will position Allgeier to accumulate fantasy points while providing a solution for anyone who has encountered a roster dilemma.

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens - 55% Rostered

Edwards emerged for his first touches of the season in Week 7 and averaged 13.5 rushing attempts/65.5 yards per game in Weeks 7-8. A blend of hamstring and knee issues had conspired to sideline Edwards during Baltimore’s next two matchups, but Edwards resurfaced when the Ravens visited Jacksonville in Week 12.

Edwards secured a season-best 50% snap share and tied his season high by accumulating 16 carries versus the Jaguars. He also generated 52 rushing yards and his third touchdown of the season.

Edwards largely operated without the constraints of touches being distributed to other members of the backfield as Kenyan Drake (two), and Justice Hill (one) combined for just three rushing attempts.

This is an encouraging development after Drake and Hill had accrued 16 carries in Week 7 and 11 attempts in Week 8, which were Edward’s two previous matchups. Edwards' role should also remain significant even after J.K. Dobbins returns from injured reserve. Edwards is currently available in 45% of all leagues and can operate as an RB3 as you progress toward the fantasy postseason.

Kyren Williams,  Los Angeles Rams - 36% Rostered

Uncertainty has been a prevailing component when attempting to determine the touch distribution within the Rams backfield, as anyone who has attempted to depend on Los Angeles running backs, has been forced to contend with fluctuations in usage throughout the season.

However, the surprising extraction of Darrell Henderson from the equation has reduced the level of congestion that had previously existed. Henderson’s release also improved Williams’ prospects of securing an ongoing role during the Rams’ upcoming matchups.

Sean McVay is now distributing touches between Williams and Cam Akers, and Williams’ three-down capabilities should sustain his involvement in the team’s reshaped rotation. It also propelled him to a career-high 70% snap share in Week 12. He also led the team lead in rushing attempts (11), targets (three), receptions (three), and receiving yards (25) when the Rams traveled to Kansas City.

It remains risky to deploy Akers in lineups as he continues to progress through an unpredictable and largely disappointing season, while Williams is positioned to operate with respectable weekly touch totals. Williams remains available in 64% of all leagues and can provide you with a viable flex option during the critical matchups that remain on your schedule.

 

Dark Horses - Week 13 Waiver Wire Running Backs 

This group consists of running backs that can be added if you are willing to wait for the possibility of a larger role during the year or consider your situation to be desperate due to injuries.

Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs - 38% Rostered 

The gradual decline in Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s involvement was followed by his placement on injured reserve (ankle). This has cemented McKinnon’s role as Kansas City’s pass-catching back, even though the seventh-year-back had already been operating in that capacity.

McKinnon has attained a team-high 48% snap share since Week 5 while elevating to eighth among all backs in targets (25/5.0 per game), fifth in receiving yards (180/36 per game), and ninth in receptions from Weeks 5-10 (20/3.4 per game).

He also collected six targets when the Chiefs hosted the Rams in Week 12, which was his second-highest total of the season. He has now captured 6+ during three of his last four matchups while averaging 5.8 per game during that span.

McKinnon’s opportunities as a receiver will remain intact while Andy Reid has entrusted Isiah Pacheco as the Chiefs’ primary back. That will sustain McKinnon’s viability as a flex option, which also keeps him among your prospective targets from this week’s waiver wire.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills - 25% Rostered

Cook was the third running back to be selected during last April’s NFL draft when Buffalo secured him in Round 2 (63rd overall). That fueled a surge of optimism within the fantasy community surrounding the potential for Cook’s explosiveness and pass-catching capabilities to propel him to a consistent role within the Bills’ offense.

That has not occurred through Buffalo’s first 12 games, as Cook had only attained a 17% snap share. He has also averaged 4.2 attempts and 23.5 yards per game since the Bills’ season opener while averaging 1.6 targets and 12.2 yards per game as a receiver.

However, there is still motivation to add Cook if you participate in deeper leagues. He did secure a 25% share during Buffalo’s Week 11 matchup with Cleveland, while also generating a season-best 86 yards with his 11 attempts (7.8 per game). Cook‘s five targets in Week 12 also tied his season-high.

Nyheim Hines does not loom as a threat to Cook's role as Buffalo’s RB2, and Cook's ability to operate as a rusher and receiver sustains the possibility that his workload could expand based on upcoming game scripts.

Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers - 4% Rostered

The advantage of securing Austin Ekeler‘s backup as an insurance policy entering the fantasy postseason should be unquestioned. The challenge is determining the identity of the Chargers’ RB2. Kelley appeared to have captured that role in Week 5 when he secured a season-best 38% snap share, while also attaining season-highs in rushing attempts (10), rushing yards (49), and receiving yards (33).

His momentum stalled when he sustained a sprained MCL in Week 6 and was placed on injured reserve. However, he re-emerged when Los Angeles visited Arizona in Week 12, as nine rushing attempts were allocated to the team’s running backs (Ekeler-5), (Kelley-2), (Spiller-2). Kelley also garnered three targets while Spiller was targeted once by Justin Herbert.

Spiller has accumulated 17 carries and 46 rushing yards since Week 9 but was limited to just two attempts and three yards in Week 12. He has also been targeted three times during that four-game span.

Kelley would likely operate in a rotation with Spiller if Ekeler would be sidelined for any reason. However, Kelley should garner more touches than Spiller as he becomes integrated into the Chargers’ attack. If Ekeler is contained on your roster, the decision to secure Kelley could become significant during the upcoming weeks.

 

Also-Rans - It Is Time To Say Goodbye

These running backs can be dropped in order to secure an RB with greater potential to bolster your scoring during the year.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs - 60% Rostered

There are several significant developments that have eliminated all rationale for retaining Edwards-Helaire. This includes his placement on injured reserve after he suffered a high ankle sprain, which ensures that he will be unavailable for at least four weeks.

His role within Kansas City’s backfield had also evaporated even before he sustained the ankle issue, which has eliminated the incentive to keep him regardless of his availability. Edwards-Helaire had secured a 44.6% snap share from Weeks 1-6 while averaging 9.8 rushing attempts and 42.7 rushing yards per game. He also led the Chiefs’ backfield with five touchdowns.

However, Edwards-Helaire’s snap share gradually dropped to 14.7% from Weeks 7-11, including microscopic snap shares of 6% and 8% in Weeks 10-11. He was also relegated to just 12 rushing attempts during that sequence, including two attempts during his last two matchups combined.

Andy Reid has entrusted Isiah Pacheco with responsibilities as the Chiefs’ early-down back primary rusher, while Jerick McKinnon has commandeered usage as the primary pass-catcher. It is unlikely that Edwards-Helaire will reclaim a sizable role this season, which should incentivize all fantasy managers to remove him this week.

Melvin Gordon, KansasCIty Chiefs - 54% Rostered

You may be contending with difficult decisions regarding your rosters as the fantasy postseason is rapidly approaching. However, there should be no hesitation in determining how you should proceed if Gordon is still contained on your roster.

The eight-year veteran was unexpectedly waived which provided the culmination of a disappointing season in which he had been bypassed by Latavius Murray on the Broncos’ depth chart.

Murray was extracted from the Saints’ practice squad on October 3 and had already accumulated 63 attempts (12.6 per game) and generated more rushing yards (209/41.8 per game) than Gordon from Weeks 6-11. Gordon had carried 38 times (7.6 per game) and manufactured 125 yards (25 per game) during that span while failing to exceed 33 yards, and averaging just 3.3 yards per attempt.

Gordon had also fumbled five times, which added to the ongoing struggles of a rushing attack that ranks 28th in yards per attempt (3.9) The Chiefs have signed Gordon to their practice squad, which provides the rationale to hold him if you participate in leagues that provide the benefit of deep benches. However, that should not deter anyone from locating a more impactful option from their waiver wires this week.

Nyheim Hines, Buffalo Bills - 47% Rostered

When Buffalo traded for Hines on November 1, it was logical to expect the five-year veteran to leapfrog James Cook while seizing an ongoing rule as a pass catcher. However, Hines has now been relegated to infinitesimal involvement during four consecutive matchups, which has removed any all incentive any rationale for retaining him on your rosters.

Hines has yet to exceed 10 snaps during any of his four matchups since joining the Bills. He has only carried twice during that sequence, once since Week 9, while being limited to just three targets, one reception, and nine receiving yards.

Those numbers include his nominal usage when Buffalo visited Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, as Hines was relegated to four snaps, one rushing attempt, and failed to register a target.

The likelihood of Hines suddenly being entrusted with a respectable workload are not sufficient for you to continue cementing him to your bench. There are other players available on this week’s waiver wire, which will allow you to make more effective use of your roster.



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