Running Backs Waiver Wire - Week 14 Pickups and Adds

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Just as fantasy owners find themselves in must-win situations, the unheralded, no-name, running backs come out of the woodwork. These runners can't necessarily be trusted through the fantasy playoffs, but some could serve as valuable depth or do in a pinch if you find yourself needing a matchup-based flex.

This article will aim to highlight Week 14 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.

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Frontrunners for Week 14 - Waiver Wire Running Backs

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 4% owned (8-12% FAAB)

Maybe Doug Martin is the problem after all. He and his 3.2 Y/A sat this week out with a concussion, which opened the door for Barber, not Jacquizz Rodgers as expected. In a spot start, Barber had the best game of his brief career; he ran for 102 yards on 23 carries and caught four passes for 41 yards. Next week's opponent, Detroit, poses a weaker run defense than the Packers, and have allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns in the league (14). While you can't bank on a consistent workload with three other RB in the mix, Barber could be a sleeper worth grabbing.

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks - 7% owned (8-10% FAAB)

People tend to get excited when a new running back in Seattle breaks off a big run and looks to become "the guy." I really don't trust any Seahawks running back, but it appears Mike Davis is the least ineffective of the bunch so far and has become the new RB1 there. He showed good burst and made a couple of nice runs, and finished with 101 yards from scrimmage. Most encouraging was the fact that Davis was targeted in the pass game and caught all four of the passes thrown his way. That said, you just can't count on him carrying 20 times in a game and shouldn't rush to put him in your starting lineup next week as they visit the Jaguars and their top-ranked defense. Stash for the following two weeks (assuming you're still in the playoffs) for matchups with the Rams and Cowboys.

Matt Forte, New York Jets - 36% owned (8-10% FAAB)

The Jets suddenly have a juggernaut of an offense. They've gone over 27 points in four of the last five games, which is good news for the run game. Forte is leading the three-headed monster of a committee they have, touching the ball 18 times and totaling 91 yards with a touchdown in their victory over the Chiefs. Forte's usage won't be much higher than that on a weekly basis, but he's been efficient with a catch rate close to 90% and three TD in the last three weeks. As long as he's healthy (knocks loudly on wood), he is a borderline RB2 consideration.

 

In The Running - Week 14 Waiver Wire Running Backs

Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals - 3% owned (5% FAAB)

97 yards on 16 carries? Where was this earlier in the season? Williams appeared to have blown his chance at the starting gig while scuffling to 2.5 Y/A this season and watching the team bring in Hall of Fame RB Adrian Peterson. With Peterson out, Williams finally showed his speed and elusiveness and could lay claim to more carries even when AP returns. He'll stay in the change-of-pace role, so don't overpay. The Cards are technically still alive in the Wild Card race, so they won't ditch Peterson to look toward the future just yet. Hold onto Williams if you miss out on Barber and only risk starting him if you're sure AP isn't playing next week.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers - 35% owned (3-5% FAAB)

Now here's an intriguing backfield situation. Just as Jamaal Williams starts to break out, Ty Montgomery goes on IR and a new star appeared to be born. Then, Aaron Jones has to come back and throw a wrench into the plans. He only touched the ball once this week, but that carry was a game-winning, 20-yard touchdown run that reminded us why he was a hot add just a few weeks ago. Jones will likely backup Williams for now, but this could turn into a hot-hand approach, which makes it hard to depend on either back.

Honorable Mentions: Austin Ekeler (36% owned), Rod Smith (14% owned), Danny Woodhead (49% owned)

 

Dark Horses - Week 14 Running Backs Waiver Wire

Tion Green, Detroit Lions - 0% owned (2% FAAB)

Let's face it, I have no idea who Tion Green is and neither do you. Research tells me he is an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati who is pretty slow (4.84 40 time) and had never touched the ball in an NFL game before Week 13. Somehow, he parlayed his newfound playing time into 51 yards and a touchdown while facing the second-ranked defense in the league. That said, the Ravens actually entered the week 21st against the run and were playing back a bit while nursing a lead when Green did his damage. The Lions do have a nice matchup next week against the Bucs, but there's a good chance Ameer Abdullah will be back and Green will be hard-pressed to repeat this performance. He's a bench stash, but nothing more.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers - 38% owned (2% FAAB)

While I personally have no interest in the veteran who averages less than 3.5 yards per carry on the season and has virtually no involvement in the passing game, I'd remiss not to mention that he scored his fourth TD of the year and has scored in back-to-back games. This also might be a good time to mention that he left the game with what appeared to be a painful ankle injury and has to face the Vikings defense in Week 14.

Andre Ellington, Houston Texans8% owned (1% FAAB)

Replace one Ellington with another and all of a sudden you have a running back playing receiver on a team he joined two weeks ago. Sounds crazy, but that's the state of the Texans these days. Bruce Ellington and Braxton Miller left Week 13 with injuries, so the third-down back converted to a slot receiver temporarily, just as he did for a short time in Arizona earlier this year. Ellington will provide absolutely nothing on the ground, but could be in line for a few short receptions each week, if you're into that sort of thing.

Honorable Mentions: D.J. Foster (1% owned), Corey Clement (13% owned), DeAndre Washington (7% owned), Byron Marshall (1% owned)

 

Time To Say Goodbye

James White, New England Patriots - 58% owned

Last year, I made the mistake of recommending White be dropped early in the year before he went on a scoring surge between Weeks 5-10. It doesn't seem as if that's a problem at the moment. While he'll always be present in the offense, it's clear he's running behind Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis in all facets. His four catches and 50 total yards in Week 13 represent his highest output since Week 8. He no longer presents a high-enough ceiling to be worth starting, even in a flex spot.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 21% owned

Sorry, false alarm. Rodgers was in line for a RB1 workload with Doug Martin in the concussion protocol. Instead, Peyton Barber became the featured back, while Rodgers saw just three carries. Whether Martin returns next week or not, the chance for Rodgers to be fantasy-relevant may have disappeared.

Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos - 36% owned

Just when it looked as if Booker was trending in the right direction, he dropped an eight-yard dud in Week 13. After leading the team in touches from the backfield last week, he dropped to third in the pecking order this week and has seen his rush attempts go down the last two weeks. This whole offense is a disaster and should just be avoided, outside of perhaps Demaryius Thomas.

 

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