Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 17


Winning a fantasy championship has been your goal since you began preparing for your draft. It has also remained the driving force behind every roster decision that you have made throughout the regular season. Regardless of whether you have been competing against friends, family members, long-time rivals, or a group of owners that you do not know, the desire to win your league has propelled you to this point of the postseason.

If you have embraced the unique challenges of participating in a league that incorporates Week 17 matchups into the equation, then you are just one win away from fulfilling your championship aspirations. This article is designed to help you make the critical decisions that await you, by examining the running backs that are currently located on at least 40% of all waiver wires.

These recommendations will appear in three tiers - beginning with the most enticing runners that are available, then progressing to backs that can be considered if your normal starting options are unavailable for any reason. You will also find a group of backs that can be dropped in order for you to secure your replacements. Good luck to everyone in your matchups this week.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Frontrunners - Week 17 Waiver Wire Running Backs

These backs should be your top priorities among the runners that are available on most waiver wires. Some will be more beneficial in PPR formats than standard.

Gus Edwards, (Baltimore) - 10% owned

If you are a Mark Ingram owner who does not have Edwards contained on your roster, it has become essential that you add him this week. Edwards had been recommended as an excellent handcuff option for savvy owners well before Ingram experienced a calf injury in Week 16. Even if Ingram is capable of performing this week, Baltimore has also secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason. There is no reason for the Ravens to place Ingram at risk of any additional health issues during what is essentially an inconsequential game. That should compel John Harbaugh to keep Ingram safely affixed to the sideline when the team hosts AFC North rival Pittsburgh. Rookie Justice Hill should also receive opportunities. But Ingram has averaged 15.2 touches-per-game while functioning as Baltimore’s lead back, and Edwards will inherit a massive workload while Ingram is observing from the sideline. Securing Edwards will also prohibit your opponent from starting him against you during this week's championship matchup.

Deandre Washington, (Oakland Raiders)48% owned

Washington has now operated as Oakland’s primary back in two different contests and has capitalized by accumulating 202 total yards and two touchdowns on 45 touches during those matchups. That includes the 106 total yards that he accrued in Week 16 when Josh Jacobs’ lingering shoulder issue kept him from operating as the Raiders’ RB1. Washington also assembled 96 total yards with his 20 touches during Jacobs’s previous absence in Week 14 and should commandeer an extensive workload this week in Denver. There is a risk in exposing Jacobs’ troublesome shoulder to further contact against the Broncos, even though Oakland has not been mathematically eliminated from the postseason. Jalen Richard has been limited to nine touches in both games that Jacobs has missed and does not loom as a threat to keep Washington from attaining another sizable touch total.

Travis Homer, (Seattle) - 0% owned

Travis Homer is a sixth-round draft pick who has produced 52 yards on eight rushing attempts through Seattle’s first 15 games. But his importance to the Seahawks has increased dramatically after multiple injuries depleted the team’s backfield options in Week 16. Chris Carson will not be available to Seattle following his season-ending hip injury, and C.J. Prosise’s year has also concluded abruptly due to his arm injury. That leaves Homer as the Seahawks’ only healthy resource at the running back position until the team fortifies the position. His sudden transformation into the team’s RB1 has also sent his fantasy value skyrocketing while providing potential owners with an opportunity to secure him for their Week 17 matchups. The 5'10", 200-pound Homer should operate with a massive workload this week against San Francisco, which vaults him among the top waiver wire priorities. He is also available in 100% of all leagues.

 

In The Running - Week 17 Waiver Wire Running Backs

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

Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans - 10% owned

Derrick Henry’s troublesome hamstring had increased the need for his owners to secure Lewis on their rosters, even before he missed Tennessee’s Week 16 matchup. But Henry’s playing status was altered dramatically within 24 hours of the Titans’ encounter with New Orleans, which resulted in Lewis being elevated into a feature back role. His ownership percentage rose from 10% to 28% before the opening kickoff, and he now resides among this week’s top roster additions. Tennessee can enter the playoffs if they prevail over Houston this week, which provides the Titans with enormous incentive to utilize Henry. However, it is currently uncertain how many touches he can absorb. Lewis did establish season highs in attempts (15) and rushing yards (68) against the Saints and supplies the potential to perform in the flex for owners that are searching for options.

Adrian Peterson, (Washington) - 59% owned

One of the unexpected developments at the running back position this season has been the consistent and favorable production that has been delivered by 34-year-old Adrian Peterson. The season began with Peterson as a healthy scratch in Week 1, amid questions concerning how he would function within a backfield that also included Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson. But he has now generated 820 yards on the ground while rushing for 76+ yards in six of his last 10 contests. Peterson has also accrued 146 total yards in two games since Guice was placed on injured reserve (sprained MCL). Chris Thompson has averaged just 6,25 touches-per-game since he resurfaced in Week 13 (toe), and is not a threat to pilfer a sizable touch total. Peterson will operate with a favorable workload as the Redskins’ lead back against Dallas this week. That sustains his value as a flex option.

Alexander Mattison, (Minnesota) - 43% owned  

Mattison was included among weekly waiver wire options on a frequent basis throughout the season. This was largely due to his consistent ability to generate yardage within Minnesota’s ground-oriented approach, as Baltimore is the only team that has run with greater frequency during the regular season (49.9%). Mattison exceeded 50 rushing yards in five different contests from Weeks 3-10 while appearing fully capable of accumulating significant numbers if he were to function as the Vikings lead back for any reason. It is ironic that after frequent warnings regarding the potential for Cook to suffer an injury, Mattison was contending with his own health issue when Cook finally did become unavailable. However, he can still provide respectable numbers this week, if he can perform when Minnesota hosts Chicago. That makes him is a worthy roster addition for owners that are scrambling for options, despite the current uncertainty regarding his health.

 

Dark Horses - Week 17 Waiver Wire Running Backs 

This group consists of running backs that can be added if you consider your situation to be desperate due to the impending absence of backs that have been your starters.

Kerryon Johnson, (Detroit) - 42% owned

It was exceedingly difficult to project how the Lions would distribute touches to their running backs in Week 16. Johnson was primed to return for his first game action since Week 7 (knee). However, Bo Scarbrough was also available after missing Week 15 with a rib issue. When you blend the erratic nature of usage for Detroit’s backs, it was unclear how many touches Johnson would actually receive. However, he ultimately led the Lions with 10 attempts and one target (43 total yards), while Scarbrough carried eight times (34 yards) and did not register a target. You have progressed into this week’s matchup without Johnson in your lineup, and it is unlikely that his workload will be enormous. But if a convergence of factors has left you without sufficient options at running back, Johnson remains available in nearly 60% of all leagues. 

Malcolm Brown, (Los Angeles Rams) - 13% owned

Los Angeles will not be participating in the postseason, which should persuade Sean McVay to safeguard Todd Gurley’s health in Week 17. This could have provided rookie Darrell Henderson with an opportunity to put his big-play capabilities on display. However, he has been placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. This has presented Brown with a clear path to significant usage. He has accumulated 228 yards with his 61 carries during the season (3.8 per attempt), including 116 from Weeks 6-14. He also averaged 5,5 attempts per-game during that sequence but appears destined to operate with an expanded workload this week. He has also been placed in a position to perform more proficiently when he lines up against a vulnerable Arizona defense. This delivers the prospects of respectable numbers if you deploy Brown as a flex option.

Duke Johnson, (Houston) - 54% owned

Johnson has repeatedly demonstrated a level of elusiveness the could have been beneficial for Houston’s ground game. However, that has not deterred Bill O’Brien from utilizing Hyde extensively on a weekly basis, as the sixth-year back has accumulated 16.7 touches-per-game. That has propelled Hyde to his first 1,000-yard season while relegating Johnson to fewer than eight touches per game (7.86). That average includes the minuscule seven that he received in Houston‘s last two matchups combined. However, the Texans have clinched the AFC South, and O’Brien might be compelled to protect his lead back’s health during this week’s matchup with Tennessee. If Hyde is rested, Johnson’s usage would expand significantly, and his versatility provides the potential for favorable yardage totals as both rusher and pass catcher. Even though there is justification for believing that Johnson has been underutilized throughout the regular season, he can accumulate more yardage and fantasy points than many other options on your waiver wire.

 

Also-Rans - Time To Say Goodbye

These backs can be dropped in order to secure an RB with greater potential to bolster your scoring this week.

Chris Carson, (Seattle) - 99% owned

If you are a Carson owner and have advanced to the Week 17 championship game, you have been heavily reliant on the third-year back throughout the season. He entered Week 16 as RB9 in both standard and PPR scoring and was an unquestioned weekly starter on all rosters. But the season-ending hip injury that Carson experienced will force his owners to construct this week’s lineup without the highly productive back. If it will be necessary to add another back for this week’s matchup, Carson becomes a viable drop candidate. He clearly cannot be utilized as a starter, since he will not be involved in any further game action.  That removes all reason to retain him on your roster, as the spot that he currently occupies should be used on a player that will accumulate fantasy points this week.

Tevin Coleman, (San Francisco) - 71% owned

If you are playing for a league championship this week, your team has advanced through the postseason without any assistance from Coleman. He has carried just 17 times since Week 13 after accumulating 115 attempts from Weeks 1-12 (12.8 per game). He has also manufactured just 85 rushing yards during that span, after accruing 448 before his workload was reduced significantly. Raheem Mostert has confiscated 59 touches during San Francisco’s last three matchups and has performed effectively while operating with lead back responsibilities (375 total yards). It is unlikely that Kyle Shanahan will alter the touch distribution during this week’s battle with Seattle for the NFC West, and Coleman has not been an integral component in Shanahan’s backfield in four consecutive matchups. That creates substantial risk in projecting him to receive a favorable workload against the Seahawks while eliminating any chance that you would deploy him in your lineup.

David Johnson, (Arizona) - 79% owned

Any review of the most disappointing players of 2019 will have David Johnson near the top of the list. He was selected in the middle of Round 1 during the majority of drafts. However, 33 running backs have scored more fantasy points than Johnson during the season. Anyone who is playing in a meaningful matchup during Week 17 received exceptional seasons from other players in order to overcome the statistical disaster that was involved with owning Johnson. He has not exceeded 34 rushing yards since Week 6, as multiple injuries in late October created a pathway for newly acquired Kenyan Drake to confiscate responsibilities as Arizona’s feature back. Drake’s ongoing efficiency obliterated Johnson’s value while leaving his owners with no rationale for trusting him in their lineups. Johnson has only manufactured 47 yards on a meager 18 attempts since Week 7, as Drake has commandeered the vast majority of touches (19.4 per-game). There leaves you with absolutely no reason to retain Johnson on your roster this week.

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups




More Recent Articles

 

Bases Loaded Podcast: Early Round Values

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) and Zach Braff (@BraffZ) and they discuss early round values. They go through and highlight a few players that are going inside the top 150 in ADP that offer a great chance to return profit. Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast... Read More


Second Year Pitcher Preview: Fantasy Baseball 2020 ADP Analysis

Host Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller Radio discuss the 2020 fantasy baseball season and keeps you updated with all the latest news and analysis Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, every weekday afternoon from 1-2 PM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET... Read More


Relief Pitchers to Target for Holds

Hold on... there are fantasy leagues that reward middle relievers, not just starters and closers? Yes, there are, and leagues that reward holds are one of the fastest-growing segments of fantasy baseball as real baseball continues to diminish the role of the starter in favor of building deep bullpens with multiple relievers that throw 95+... Read More


2020 Second Base Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a different strategy if you wish to truly compete. Rankings themselves are a different beast altogether, as category specialists like Mallex Smith and Dee Gordon (stolen bases), Kyle Schwarber and Franmil Reyes (home runs),... Read More


ADP Showdown – Matt Olson vs Paul Goldschmidt

Pitchers and catchers have officially reported and position player workouts are getting underway, which means baseball season is officially upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position... Read More


2020 Second Base Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

As the season draws near, we realize more and more that it's draft season. There is a large portion of fantasy baseball busy with mock drafts, rankings, sleepers, and more mock drafts. The Dynasty community, on the other hand, is looking to continue their dominance, rebuild, or in a worst-case scenario, stick their hands up... Read More


Six Undervalued Draft Targets for Mixed Leagues

Heading into 2020, there are a number of players who had poor 2019 campaigns that should bounce back strong. Some of these players are presently undervalued by fantasy owners for one reason or another. In this article, I'll identify a few such players who should outperform their current ADP in 2020. While each of these... Read More


Josh Hayes' 2020 Best Ball Draft Targets (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. The fantasy baseball season is here! For those fantasy players looking to get an edge on their 2020 leagues, Best Ball formats are a great way to get a head start on the players that look to be ADP risers this season. One key... Read More


Josh Hayes' 2020 Best Ball Draft Avoids (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. The fantasy baseball season is here! For those fantasy players looking to get an edge on their 2020 leagues, Best Ball formats are a great way to get a head start on the players that look to be ADP risers this season. An underrated... Read More


Nine AL Rookies Ready to Leap Into Starting Lineups

Every year, there are those rookies who we expect to make a splash right away. Think Kris Bryant, Ronald Acuna, Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge--those guys. Once we make it through all the service time manipulation shenanigans, there are always youngsters ready to snatch roster spots immediately, and 2020 is no exception. Below are nine of... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Spin Rate

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Khris Davis

The Oakland Athletics finished 2019 with a record of 97-65, which was good for a second-place finish in the AL West and a second-consecutive wildcard birth. They did this despite a statistically down season from their superstar, Khris Davis. Davis struggled mightily in 2019 by slashing .220/.293/.387 with 23 HR, 73 RBI, 61 R, and... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis: Trey Mancini vs. Christian Walker

One of the most important skills in a fantasy draft is the ability to identify a player with similar value at a lower ADP. When you're able to find similar production at a lower cost, this allows you to use an earlier pick to fill out other areas of your roster, resulting in a stronger... Read More


MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts

Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance. Stay on top of all closer depth... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

Biggest ADP Surprises: Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano review the draft board from RotoBaller's 2020 Way Too Early Mock fantasy football draft. They look at early ADP, reaches, values, and surprises throughout the first 10 rounds. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Quarterback Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target and opportunity risers and fallers, based on the first two weeks of XFL data. Now, it's time to evaluate the quarterbacks, for better or worse. There are few known commodities, even among seasoned NFL fans, at the quarterback position in this league. Relative unknowns like Phillip Walker and Jordan Ta'amu... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Opportunity Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target risers and fallers based on the first two weeks of XFL data. The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are,... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Target Risers and Fallers

The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are, just mere days from Week 3 matchups! With two dates already in the rearview mirror and plenty... Read More


NFL Draft Combine Preview: Quarterbacks

With the Super Bowl now behind us, it is officially NFL Draft season! It's time to speculate on draft picks for teams, who should land where, and which players should be valued over others. This also marks the unofficial start to the 2020 fantasy football season. Getting in the early preparation can give owners a... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Anthony Miller

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As the... Read More


Is Lamar Jackson Worth a First Round Pick?

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the idea of taking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round of 2020 fantasy football redraft leagues. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure... Read More


Why Lamar Jackson Should Be a First-Round Pick in 2020

Sometimes I like to make noise and some headlines if I can. That is why I host shows six days a week on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio representing RotoBaller. If I can get people buzzing about a topic, calling in or responding on social media with passion and vigor, I am having fun. But whenever I... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Darren Waller

Many of you have already launched into the planning process for your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have embraced the opportunity to draft in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are also monitoring the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued a pace of... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Tight End

There were a lot of fantasy football busts at the tight end position in 2019, but there were also a lot of breakout stars. The 2018 season saw Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz break the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end, while San Francisco’s George Kittle broke the record for most... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Courtland Sutton

With the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV, football season is over for many people. But for anyone that plays in a dynasty fantasy football league, the season is never over. For the fantasy addicts out there, now is the time to start preparing. In today's column, we will take a look at wide receiver Courtland... Read More