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Week 10 Running Backs - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

We now enter the planning process for Week 10, as some of you are contending with backs that have been inconsistent or completely absent due to lingering injuries, while others are receiving disappointing results from runners that you originally believed would be among your most dependable performers. Fortunately, you now have an opportunity to utilize your waiver wire in order to capitalize on the escalating value of the backs that are about to obtain a more extensive workload.

This week’s waiver wire can also benefit those of you must replace the backs that will be absent during their bye weeks, which involves four different teams (Broncos, Ravens, Texans, Vikings). As a result, anyone who owns Phillip Lindsay, Devontae Booker, Alex Collins, Lamar Miller, Dalvin Cook or Latavius Murray, will not have those backs available this week, while owners of Royce Freeman can retain hope that their back will be primed to return in Week 11.

But regardless of why you are now considering your waiver wire options, this article will assist you in locating the best players to target. These recommendations will appear in three tiers - beginning with the most enticing and progressing to runners that are available if you are contending with desperation. You will also find a group of backs that can be dropped in order for you to secure your replacements. Here are this week's most viable waiver wire options at the running back position.

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Frontrunners - Week 10 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. All players have 60% or less ownership in typical fantasy leagues.  

Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns - 47% owned

The exodus of Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville did not send Johnson’s value skyrocketing to the same level that has been experienced by teammate Nick Chubb, nor did the departure of Hyde pave a path for Johnson to collect more touches in Weeks 7-8. But the collective removal of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley eviscerated the illogical offensive strategy that had relegated Johnson to a ridiculously low 5.25 touches per game average. Instead, Johnson was entrusted with a season-best 10 touches in Week 9, which enabled him to generate 86 total yards. His production was almost completely manufactured as a receiver as he exploded for 78 yards and his first two touchdowns of the year. While his previous lack of opportunities was indefensible, the same back who finished at RB11 in PPR leagues last season can now provide the Brown offense with a dynamic element to complement the rushing efforts of Chubb. He is also an outstanding roster addition, who can boost the scoring totals of his owners throughout the remainder of the year.

Josh Adams, Philadelphia Eagles - 10% owned.

This undrafted rookie provides a blend of toughness and speed that Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement cannot quite replicate. He only received five touches between Weeks 4-7. But the 6' 2" Adams was the Eagles' most effective back in Week 8, as he generated 61 yards on nine carries (6.8 YPC), while also collecting his first reception of the season. That enabled him to lead the Eagles in rushing, while Smallwood managed just modest output (8 carries/24 yards/3.0 YPC). Meanwhile, the value of  Clement continued to degenerate, as he manufactured just six yards on four attempts. The second-year back has now become a strong candidate for a reduced workload, which should benefit Adams significantly. Doug Peterson is not going to earmark a mammoth percentage of touches to any of his backs. But he should allocate a respectable workload to Adams when the Eagles face Dallas. This makes him one of this week's most enticing waiver wire targets.

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons - 44% owned  

The majority of fantasy owners simply have not warmed up to the concept of adding Smith, even though he has averaged 8.8 touches per game since Week 2, and has carried 28 times during Atlanta's last three contests. Smith’s encouraging usage as a runner is enhanced by the fact that he also commandeers a desirable percentage of scoring opportunities. He has now been entrusted with 15 red zone carries, compared to eight that have been allotted to Tevin Coleman. This has enabled Smith to accumulate four touchdowns during Atlanta’s last five games. He will continue splitting touches with Coleman while Devonta Freeman remains on IR. But he has repeatedly taken advantage of his scoring opportunities, which provides potential owners with a viable flex option. Particularly during bye weeks, when locating acceptable starters can become an arduous task.


In The Running - Week 10 Waiver Wire Running Backs

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

Doug Martin, Oakland Raiders - 54% owned

The 29-year-old back appeared to be incapable of generating any yardage of significance based upon his amazingly low output in Weeks 1-6 (16.5 YPG/2.65 YPC). But in Oakland's largely unwatchable games without Marshawn Lynch, Martin has performed surprisingly well while assuming the team's RB1 responsibilities. He has accumulated 121 yards with his 24 attempts (5.0 YPC) while demonstrating a degree a burst that did not appear to be present earlier this year. The challenge for anyone who adds Martin will be the numerous shortcomings of the team that surrounds him. However, the normal scenario in which a negative game script dramatically reduces the usage of a team’s primary ball carrier has not necessarily occurred with the Raiders, as Jon Gruden has been inclined to continue running the ball even after Oakland is trailing by a substantial margin. If you need a viable flex option, Martin is functioning in a lead role and remains available in nearly half of all leagues.

Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders - 54% owned

Even though Richard's teammate Martin has exceeded expectations in Weeks 8-9, the elusive Richard still possesses the talent to accumulate respectable receiving numbers while operating as the Raiders' pass-catching back. He has now been targeted 49 times (6.1 per game), which places him sixth among all backs. Richard is also fifth at the position with 43 receptions and has collected at least six catches in five different contests. He is also being deployed with sufficient frequency for potential owners to retain a reasonable comfort level, as he has now played on 43.3% of Oakland’s offensive snaps since Week 5. The Raiders should trail by significant margins with great frequency as the season continues, which will keep Richard involved in the offense on a weekly basis.

Elijah McGuire, New York Jets - 14% owned

The allure of a late-season roster addition that could help your team navigate through the challenges of your league's postseason remains strong. Particularly if that player performs at the running back position. Despite the relatively small sample size of 114 career touches, this second-year back presents many potential owners with an enticing target for this specific reason. McGuire has recovered sufficiently from the foot issue that required surgery last summer, as the Jet activated him before their Week 9 matchup with Miami. He accumulated 60 total yards on nine touches in his season debut against the Dolphins, and his role should expand as he becomes more integrated into the team’s offensive approach. He will function in a weekly timeshare with Isaiah Crowell. But McGuire is an extremely enticing roster component for anyone who outmaneuvers their competition and seizes him from the waiver wire.


Dark Horses - Week 10 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 or byes. 

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks - 24% owned

Chris Carson entered Week 9 having rushed for over 100 yards in three of Seattle’s last four games. He also appeared to have secured a clear role as the Seahawks’ RB1, as uneasiness surrounding the potential for Pete Carroll to randomly alter the backfield’s workload distribution had largely dissipated. But Carson's latest injury (thigh) suddenly elevated Davis into an expanded role during the team’s Week 9 matchup with the Chargers. Davis capitalized by amassing 107 total yards on 22 touches, and his highly productive performance vaulted him back into a spot of significance within the fantasy landscape. Carson entered the contest as a game-time decision due to his hip issue and has also contended with multiple injuries during the year. Davis remains capable of generating yardage whenever Carson is sidelined, which should compel owners to add Davis in any leagues where he remains available.

D'Onta Foreman, Houston Texans - 13% owned

This is for owners in deeper leagues or those who can preserve a roster spot on a back that cannot help you immediately. It appears that Foreman will soon begin practicing with Houston, which would launch a 21-day window for the Texans to activate him. The potential return of Foreman ignited stronger interest earlier this season when Lamar Miller averaged just 35 YPG from Weeks 3-6 while also failing to generate a rushing touchdown. But Miller’s production soared in Weeks 7-8 (233 rushing yards/5.95 YPC/2 touchdowns), which temporarily altered expectations that a healthy Foreman would confiscate the majority of carries when he returned. However, Miller's nightmarish rushing numbers in Week 9 (12 carries/21 yards/1.8 YPC), restores the belief that Foreman could secure a sizable role whenever he is physically capable of functioning as a proficient runner. If your roster contains backs who are delivering inconsistent or substandard production, Foreman is worthy of consideration as a roster stash who could be beneficial to your team in upcoming weeks.

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts - 26% owned

The prospects of owning Hines may not provide the same level of enthusiasm that existed prior to Marlon Mack’s return. Hines had averaged 69 YPG in Weeks 3-5, before Mack’s reemergence in Week 6 ignited a three-game statistical explosion. Mack bolted for 347 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, accrued 54 yards and an additional score as a receiver, and secured RB1 responsibilities with the Colts. However, Hines still retains a consistent role with the team and is capable of accumulating receptions and fantasy points with the touches that he is receiving. He has garnered 42 targets (5.25 per game) and entered his Week 9 bye with 34 receptions, which was the seventh highest total among all backs. He has also averaged eight touches and 25% of the Colts’ offensive snaps since Mack's return and can function as a flex option in PPR leagues.


Also-Rans - Time To Say Goodbye

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

Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars - 68% owned

We are now just days away from Week 10 game action, and the long-awaited return of Leonard Fournette to the Jaguar lineup might finally be upon us. He has only played on 45 snaps this season, but even though his prolonged absence has been excruciating for owners, it has been equally devastating for the Jacksonville offense. If he reemerges this week as expected, he should perform with a massive workload. Because the Jaguars desperately need to rely upon him as the centerpiece of the offense, in order to have any chance of being involved in the postseason. That will dramatically reduce the remaining value of Hyde, who has averaged just 3.3 YPC this season and could only manufacture 11 yards on six attempts during his one performance as a Jaguar. T.J. Yeldon should collect some touches while functioning as the team’s pass-catching back. But the only justification for retaining Hyde is the possibility that Fournette will suffer yet another setback. That does not provide enough rationale for keeping Hyde if you are facing roster challenges.

Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles - 33% owned

If you somehow decided to hold Clement on your roster through Philadelphia's bye week, it's not too late to jettison him to the waiver wire so that you can locate a back who makes better use of his opportunities. Clement initially appeared to be the most logical candidate to emerge as the Eagles’ RB1 after Jay Ajayi’s season concluded, but he has averaged an anemic 2.4 YPC since Week 3, while both his weekly touch totals (19/14/10/5) and his total yardage output (75/69/22/5) have steadily declined during that span. Clement's inability to take advantage of the opportunities that he received earlier this season, helped open a pathway for Adams to seize a sustainable role in this complicated backfield. The rookie appears to be in the process of capitalizing on it, which provides you with the incentive to drop Clement.

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens44% owned

Allen still resides on nearly half of league rosters, although there is no discernible reason why. He generated four touchdowns from Weeks 1-3, but only averaged 34 total yards per game in those contests, along with 2.3 YPC as a rusher. Since Week 6, he has averaged an anemic 4.75 touches per game and 19 total yards per game, and if you blend in the addition of Ty Montgomery as a threat to pilfer Allen's few remaining touches, then his value has essentially become non-existent. It would be logical to expect Allen’s usage to be reduced even further after the Ravens return from their Week 10 bye, as Montgomery should attain a small role behind lead back Alex Collins. Anyone who is holding onto Allen can easily locate a better option.

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!

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