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Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 4: Top Free Agent Adds Include Khalil Herbert, Jamaal Williams, Tyler Allgeier, Samaje Perine

Jamaal Williams - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

As you now read this week’s recommendations from the waiver wire, the planning process for your Week 4 roster construction has already begun. The matchups of Week 3 included five different 100-yard performances from running backs, although the numbers that were delivered by other backs were more difficult to embrace.

Some of you are now contending with disappointing results due to the latest cluster of injuries to Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, D'Andre Swift, and David Montgomery, while others have been impacted by production-inhibiting timeshares and unproductive outings. These factors have all contributed to unfulfilled expectations surrounding the scoring potential of backs that were contained on your rosters. If you are incentivized to explore this week’s fantasy football waiver wire pickups, this article will help you locate the most enticing options entering Week 4.

These 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 for you to secure your replacements. After you've finished this breakdown, you can also find NFL news and injury updates along with data-fueled analysis that is designed to help you maximize the scoring potential of your rosters.

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Fantasy Football Rushing Leaders

Week 3 Rushing Leaders  Attempts  Yards  Yards/Att
Khalil Herbert 20 157 7.9
Cordarrelle Patterson 17 141 8.3
Nick Chubb 23 113 4.9
Christian McCaffrey 25 108 4.3
James Robinson 17 100 5.9
Dalvin Cook 17 96 5.6
Jamaal Williams 20 87 4.4
Derrick Henry 20 85 4.3
Dameon Pierce 20 80 4
Jeff Wilson Jr. 12 75 6.3
Rhamondre Stevenson 12 73 6.1
Jonathan Taylor 21 71 3.4

Frontrunners - Week 4 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.

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears - 48% Rostered  

Herbert has soared atop this week’s list of waiver wire priorities after ascending into lead back duties for Chicago. Herbert’s increased responsibilities developed when David Montgomery suffered an ankle injury during the Bears’ matchup with Houston.

That propelled Herbert into an extensive workload, and he responded by accumulating a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns with his 20 attempts.

Montgomery’s status should be monitored as the week progresses. However, Herbert remains an enticing roster target due to his ability to capitalize whenever he is functioning with an expanded workload. Herbert demonstrated his ability to perform effectively with RB1 duties when Montgomery was unavailable (knee) from Weeks 5-8 last season. Herbert soared to second among all backs with a 75.9% snap share and was second in rushing attempts (78/19.5 per game), third in yards after contact (214), and fourth in rushing yardage (344/86 per game) during that sequence.

Herbert is this week’s preeminent waiver wire priority and is still available in over 50% of all leagues. However, that percentage will evaporate quickly.

Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions - 60% Rostered

Williams had remained rostered in under 60% of all leagues until just hours before Detroit’s Week 3 kickoff, and it is surprising that he did not eclipse that percentage earlier this season. He is operating with a sufficient workload to justify deployment as an RB2. His role in the Lions' backfield rotation has also positioned him to become an RB1 for fantasy managers if D’Andre Swift's health issues (ankle/shoulder) affix him to the sideline.

Williams has now carried 43 times and assembled 168 rushing yards, while his usage and proficiency in the red zone have also fueled a surge in his stock as he enters Week 4.

Williams has now accumulated 10 rushing attempts inside the 20, and eight carries inside the 10. He has also generated a league-best four touchdowns, including two scores in Week 3.

Williams' sizable role will not diminish under head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson regardless of Swift's status, and he should be rostered in all leagues. That elevates him among your top priorities if he remains attainable on your waiver wire.

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings- 54% Rostered

Mattison’s name has many maintained a frequent presence in this column whenever his availability eclipses 40%. This is the byproduct of his proximity to a mammoth workload if Dalvin Cook is sidelined by an injury.

That same scenario has transpired with far too much frequency for any fantasy managers who invested a first-round selection in Cook yet failed to secure Mattison as a handcuff.

Cook’s injury-laden history is hardly a secret, as he has missed a total of 25 games since he arrived in the NFL (2017). The importance of utilizing Mattison as a roster safeguard in advance of any potential health issue for Cook resurfaced again when Minnesota hosted Detroit. Cook suffered a shoulder issue in the third quarter, and his availability for the Vikings’ Week 4 visit to London is uncertain.

Even if Cook’s outlook for Week 4 becomes favorable during the next few days, that should not deter anyone from commandeering Mattison in any league where he is attainable.

Mattison assembled 44 total yards and a touchdown with his eight touches against the Lions and would launch into RB1 territory for fantasy managers if Cook becomes unavailable this week.


In The Running - Week 4 Waiver Wire Running Backs

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

Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals - 6% Rostered

Joe Mixon had entered Week 3 as the league leader in rushing attempts (46/23 per game) and was 10th overall in rushing yardage (139/69.5 per game). However, Mixon had only generated two rushing yards on 12 attempts before he sustained an ankle injury during the third quarter of Cincinnati’s matchup with the Jets. This propelled Perine into temporary lead back duties, and he responded by assembling 38 yards with his nine carries.

That was Perine’s largest yardage total since Week 7 of 2021. He also caught both of his targets, while producing 14 yards and a touchdown.

Mixon’s health should be monitored as the week advances. However, Perine’s sudden elevation into responsibilities as the Bengals’ RB1 could continue on Sunday if Mixon has not recovered from his latest health issue.

That would propel Perine into RB2 consideration for fantasy managers if he is functioning as Cincinnati's primary back when the Bengals host Miami. He is available in 94% of all leagues and has emerged among this week’s top-four targets from the waiver wire. Anyone who has invested in Mixon should also secure Perine regardless of Mixon’s Week 4 status.

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 30%

White does not deliver standalone value while Leonard Fournette is stockpiling touches as Tampa Bay’s workhorse back. However, White remains one of the top handcuff options due to his clear path to that same massive workload if Fournette would be sidelined for any reason.

Fournette has now accumulated 227 rushing yards (76 per game) with his 57 attempts (19 per game), while also garnering 12 targets during the Buccameers’ first three matchups. White has only assembled 15 rushing yards on eight carries while also accruing four targets.

However, Giovani Bernard’s placement on injured reserve (ankle) leaves only Ke’Shawn Vaughn below him on the depth. This has cemented White as Tanpa Bay’s unquestioned RB2, and his pass-catching prowess would help him seize a sizable touch total if Fournette fails to elude injuries throughout the year.

White would vault into consideration as an RB1 for fantasy managers if that scenario would develop. That should incentivize you to secure him this week. Particularly as an insurance policy if Fournette is on your roster.

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons - 15% Rostered

Atlanta’s fifth-round selection during April’s NFL Draft was entrusted with 17 carries during the preseason but was relegated to healthy scratch status during the Falcons’ season opener However, Allgeier has now accumulated 55 rushing yards on 16 attempts during Atlanta’s last two matchups.

That includes the rookie’s workload in Week 3 when the Falcons traveled to Seattle. Allgeier shared touches with Cordarrelle Patterson  who accrued 17 attempts, and produced a career-best 141 rushing yards.

This sustained the two-man rotation that was initiated in Week 2 following Damien Williams’ placement on injured reserve. Arthur Smith may be inclined to keep Patterson consistently involved in the backfield if he can sustain his current workload  but Allgeier will also accumulate carries.

Allgeier should also operate with an extensive workload as the season progresses, which delivers the rationale for including him on your roster. He is also attainable in 85% of all leagues and could become a valuable resource in upcoming weeks.


Dark Horses - Week 4 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.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers - 10% Rostered

Warren was signed as an undrafted free agent following the NFL Draft and ascended into relevance by seizing Pittsburgh’s RB2 responsibilities during training camp and the preseason.

Warren accomplished this by surpassing Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland on the Steelers’ depth chart and has become entrenched in that role during the first three weeks of the regular season. Warren has also accumulated 52 yards on 11 carries while operating as the backup to Najee Harris.

That includes the season-high 30 yards that he accrued when Pittsburgh traveled to Cleveland in Week 3. Warren averaged a season-high 7.5 yards per attempt against the Browns and would have generated sizable yardage on a shovel pass if the play had not been nullified by a penalty.

Warren is a competitive runner who has earned snaps on a weekly basis. He is worthy of consideration as a roster addition as he would secure a sizable workload if Harris would be sidelined during the season. Warren would also operate as a high-end RB2 for fantasy managers if that situation would transpire.

Brian Robinson, Washington Commandeers - 52% Rostered

Robinson’s debut in Washington’s backfield has become increasingly imminent as the weeks advance. The progress of his recovery should be monitored but the promising rookie could emerge in the backfield rotation when the Commanders host Tennessee in Week 5.

Robinson’s prospects of entering Week 1 with a sizable role appeared as Washington progressed through training camp and the preseason. The 6’2”, 225-pound newcomer was primed to accumulate early down carries before his emergence on the field was delayed by the late-August shooting incident.

However, Robinson’s return is looming, and he will become an integral resource in Washington’s backfield when he resurfaces. He should quickly confiscate touches that had been distributed to Antonio Gibson during his absence while becoming a starting option for fantasy managers.

Robinson remains available in nearly 50% of all leagues. Savvy fantasy managers can capitalize on this opportunity by stashing Robinson this week. Particularly in leagues that provide the option of placing players on injured reserve.

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins - 56% Rostered

It would have been reasonable to expect Mostert to be rostered in over 60% of all leagues after his workload increased significantly in Week 2 (55% snap share/11 rushing attempts/51 rushing yards/three targets).

His surging usage exceeded the snap share (51%) and workload that was allotted to Chase Edmonds (five carries/33 rushing yards) which launched Mostert among the highly recommended options entering Week 3.

Mostert led that tandem in touches again when Miami hosted Buffalo, although his numbers were underwhelming. The eighth-year back only registered 11 rushing yards on eight carries, while failing to catch either of his targets. Edmonds generated 21 yards on six attempts and captured his only target.

The results of Mostert’s outing versus Buffalo’s defense might deter you from adding him before Miami‘s Week 4 visit to Cincinnati. However, the touch distribution between both backs will fluctuate through weekly adjustments by Mike McDaniel. Mostert will still retain an integral role as part of the two-man rotation in a Dolphins’ attack that should be dynamic during their upcoming matchups.


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.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills - 41% Rostered

Cook’s stock had plummeted following the results of his debut in Week 1, as he was affixed to the bench after fumbling on his first touch. He was also entrusted with 11 rushing attempts and generated 53 yards on the ground in Week 2, which seemingly provided a new reason for optimism.

However, there was still concern that his Week 2 workload only transpired late in Buffalo’s blowout win. That appears justified after Cook was only entrusted with one carry when the Bills visited Miami in Week 3. The rookie did collect four of his five targets and assemble 37 receiving yards during the matchup.

Devin Singletary easily led Buffalo’s backfield with 18 touches and 91 total yards. Zack Moss also remained involved in the crowded rotation as he accumulated 52 total yards on five touches.

It is reasonable to expect Buffalo‘s second-round selection to eventually confiscate a larger role as the year progresses, although the current backfield configuration will constrain Cook’s production for the foreseeable future.

The preferred strategy is to hold Cook for now. However, anyone who has been confronted by a roster crisis might not have the luxury of waiting for Cook’s workload to increase.

Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans- 32 % Rostered

The 32-year-old Burkhead attained a 71% snap share during Houston’s season opener. He also carried 14 times, tied for fifth among all backs with eight targets, and generated 70 total yards in Week 1.

However, Burkhead’s snap share plunged to 37% in Week 2, while he was only targeted three times and failed to register a rushing attempt. He was also limited to three attempts while failing to reach a double-digit yardage total in Week 3, as rookie Dameon Pierce’s surging workload continued.

Pierce carried 11 times during Houston’s season opener while operating with a snap share of 29%. His snap share (62%) and usage (15) both increased in Week 2, while Pierce attained season-highs in carries (20) and rushing yardage (80) when the Texans visited Chicago in Week 3.

Burkhead has accrued 11 receptions, but Pierce is thriving as the Texans’ lead back and will continue to confiscate the majority of carries in Houston's backfield rotation. This will lead to frustration and minimal point production for anyone who will would be compelled to start Burkhead. That supplies the incentive for locating another back who is positioned to bolster your scoring.

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers - 77% Rostered

This recommendation is for fantasy managers who have Mitchell contained on the rosters and participate in leagues that do not supply the option of placing players on injured reserve. While you might be able to retain him on your bench during his extended absence, it is advisable to capitalize on opportunities to improve your roster without the encumbrance of holding a player that will not provide any scoring for several months.

Mitchell entered Week 1 as San Francisco’s RB1 but could only operate in that role for 17 snaps before he encountered a sprained ACL. Mitchell has already been sidelined for two matchups and will remain unavailable during a protracted recovery. Kyle Shanahan will distribute touches to Jeff Wilson Jr., Jordan Mason, and Deebo Samuel during his absence, although Mitchell should reclaim lead back duties whenever he does resurface.

However, his track record of health issues since arriving in 2021 (nine missed games) remains a legitimate concern. If the process of placing him on injured reserve is not an option it is wise to evaluate the downside of cementing him to your bench if you are confronted by roster challenges.

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