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Running Backs Waiver Wire: Week 17 Pickups & Adds

This article will aim to highlight Week 17 waiver wire adds for running backs, players that you should consider targeting on your league's waiver wire. 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.

Once you're done here, be sure to read about even more Week 17 waiver wire recommendations, for all fantasy-relevant positions. Just click on any link: ALL - RB - WR - TE - QB - DEF

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Frontrunners for Week 17 - Waiver Wire Running Backs

This group consists of running backs that I would recommend adding if they are available on your waiver wire. Some are more viable for PPR formats, so take note of that. These players have either earned a greater workload due to injury/performance issues or have shown that they can be weekly contributors to their NFL teams. All players listed have 50% or less ownership levels across fantasy leagues.

Alex Collins (RB, SEA) 1% owned - Sure to be a popular add this week, Collins may see by far his biggest workload of the year in Week 17. Thomas Rawls exited early with a shoulder injury and is questionable entering the matchup with San Francisco. The 49ers will have the No. 1 pick in the draft next year thanks to the No. 1 defense in fantasy points allowed to running backs at 28.2 per game. If Collins is the lone healthy back in Seattle, we could see a monster game from a player who just collected a career-high of 28 yards last week.

Paul Perkins (RB, NYG) 14% owned - Shane Vereen is back on IR and Rashad Jennings is simply ineffective. Enter rookie Paul Perkins. He seemed to take over as the lead back in Week 16 with 15 carries for 68 yards, compared to nine carries and 44 yards for Jennings. His rushing yardage has gone up each of the last four weeks, from 38 in Week 13 to 45 in Week 14, followed by 56 in Week 15, up to 68 in Week 16. Perkins could see a lot of action in Week 17, as the Giants are pretty much set at the wild card spot and might want to see how Perkins handles a bigger workload going forward.

Jacquizz Rodgers (RB, TB) 18% owned - The surprising last-minute news of Doug Martin's inactive status put the onus on Rodgers and Charles Sims to carry the running game. It was Rodgers getting the bulk of the work, out-snapping Sims 37-23 on the day. He carried 15 times for 63 yards and may have seen more carries if the Bucs weren't forced to play catch up with the Saints through the passing game. Rodgers put up huge numbers in his three starts earlier this season, so it's not a long shot to think he could do the same in the season finale against a Carolina team that is happy to see this season end.


In The Running - Week 17 Waiver Wire Running Backs

This group consists of running backs widely available on the waiver wire who aren't must-adds, but could be worth stashing or streaming if the above options are already taken.

Rex Burkhead (RB, CIN) 6% owned - Since becoming the lead back, Jeremy Hill has found the end zone three times in four games. Unfortunately, he came in averaging just 2.6 yards per carry during those games and has needed multiple attempts just to punch in those scores. In Week 16, he hit a new low by carrying seven times for a total of eight yards. Burkhead managed 67 total yards in an altogether disappointing offensive game for Cincy. The good news is Burkhead took 49 snaps on the day, compared to 13 for Hill, and should see a big workload as the Bengals wind down a disappointing season.

Justin Forsett (RB, DEN) 27% owned - Forsett scored his first touchdown of the 2016 season on Sunday night. That's about the only thing worth mentioning from his 11-yard showing. Forsett and Booker are alternating series in Denver, but Forsett is playing earlier and getting the goal line work, as rare as that has been for the Broncos lately. In a now-meaningless game against Oakland next week, it's unclear how much work Forsett will get, but he seems to have more value than Booker at least.

DuJuan Harris (RB, SF) 8% owned - The last time Carlos Hyde was out for extended time, it was Harris who stepped in and produced decent fantasy numbers. Hyde's MCL injury guarantees he will miss Week 17, leaving the door open for a value play in SF. Facing Seattle isn't the ideal setting for any running back, but Harris could make some gains in the passing game. In Week 9 against the Saints, he ran for 59 yards but caught five passes for 83 yards and a TD. Shaun Draughn is also a decent value play, although Harris may see more work.

Honorable Mentions: Alfred Blue (RB, HOU) 8% owned, Mike Gillislee (RB, BUF) 25% owned, Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) 47% owned, Robert Turbin (RB, IND) 7% owned, Dwayne Washington (RB, DET) 12% owned, Shaun Draughn (RB, SF) 1% owned


Dark Horses - Week 17 Running Backs Waiver Wire

This group consists of running backs who are strictly desperation plays. They could serve as a bye week fill-in, short-term injury replacement or weekly lottery ticket.

Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris (RB, DAL) 4/10% owned - Still playing in Week 17 and looking for a desperation play? The Cowboys will have home field wrapped up and might consider resting their star running back for the playoffs after logging 310 rush attempts this season already. In the season finale against the Eagles, who also have nothing to play for but a paycheck, we could see a big day from either Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris (or both).

Corey Grant (RB, JAX) 1% owned - If you want to dig deep for a lotto ticket at RB in the final week of the NFL season, Grant could be worth your while. Both Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon are fighting injuries and the Jags have nothing to play for at this point, with their coach already fired. Even though he has carried the ball just 14 times all season, the Jags could roll Grant out as their main runner against Indy just to see what he can do. He hasn't done much as a pro, averaging 2.2 yards on 20 career rush attempts, but he averaged 7.7 Y/A at Auburn in a limited capacity. Don't count on a big day, but stranger things have happened in season-ending games.

DeAndre Washington (RB, OAK) 9% owned - In the "Where did that come from?" category, Washington ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns in Week 16. He wasn't even active for three of the last four games, and this was the first time Washington registered double-digit fantasy points. The career day for the rookie probably won't be replicated, as Latavius Murray and Jalen Richard are still around to share the workload. He could see more work than usual in Week 17, but is nothing more than a dice roll.

Chris Thompson (RB, WAS) 21% owned - Thompson has lurked as a low-end PPR option all year, but he took two plays to the house this week, helping even in standard leagues. Despite the pair of touchdowns, Thompson only saw three carries and one reception on the day, showing why he is a desperation play only. He had three touchdowns on the season entering Week 16, so as long as Fat Robert Kelley is healthy (his knee issue shouldn't keep him out of action next week), Thompson is merely a flex play in deep leagues.

Honorable Mentions: Charles Sims (RB, TB) 18% owned, Damien Williams (RB, MIA) 3% owned, Jeremy Langford (RB, CHI) 22% owned, Mack Brown (RB, WAS) 0% owned, Khiry Robinson (RB, NYJ) 1% owned


Also-Rans - Time To Say Goodbye

Kenneth Farrow (RB, SD) 49% owned - If you can't make it in Cleveland, you can't make it anywhere. Farrow failed to capitalize on his path to playing time for the second straight week, even in a dream matchup against the Browns. The entire Chargers team was disappointing, but Farrow led the way by totaling 57 yards on the day. It goes to show that matchups, while important, aren't the only thing to consider when setting your lineup. Even if Melvin Gordon doesn't play in Week 17, which will probably be the case, Farrow hasn't shown anything in his rookie year to warrant a place in fantasy lineups.

Christine Michael (RB, GB) 35% owned - Michael has no value in Green Bay, plain and simple. Montgomery is the RB1, while Michael is an afterthought in a pass-first offense. He carried four times for four yards in Week 15, giving him a grand total of 108 yards in five games as a Packer. If you're in a deep dynasty league, that would be the only scenario in which he should be rostered.

Rashad Jennings (RB, NYG) 81% owned - Jennings may be playing his last game in a Giants uniform soon. He simply hasn't done the job this year, with a 3.3 Y/A on the season. He rushed for more than 75 yards three times this season, whereas he didn't break 55 yards in nine other games. He'll still have a role in the playoffs, but for next week Paul Perkins will likely see more carries, nullifying Jennings' value for fantasy owners.

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