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 2


Were you among the owners who were extremely satisfied with your situation at running back entering Week 1? Some of you might still be confident in the players that are contained on your rosters. However, many of you are now disenchanted with your current options at the position.

It might be beneficial to remind you that exactly one year ago, Phillip Lindsay was owned in just 2% of all leagues. After he accrued 104 total yards in his Week 1 debut, savvy owners who added him were presented with a 107-yard rushing performance in Week 2. You may not locate a 1,000-yard rusher on this week’s waiver wire. But there are options that could become valuable resources toward achieving your championship aspirations.

These recommended options 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 considered as droppable in order for you to secure your replacements.

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 2 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.  

Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams 9% owned

When Los Angeles matched the $3.25 million offer that Detroit had presented to Brown, it clearly indicated the Rams’ commitment toward keeping Brown within their mix of backfield options. But as speculation persisted regarding Todd Gurley’s ability to operate with a sizable workload, rookie Darrell Henderson became the preferred target of choice during the draft process (ADP 88). But when the potential timeshare actually came to fruition in Week 1, Gurley accumulated 97 yards on 14 carries, while Henderson only touched the ball once.  However, Brown vaulted into relevance by accruing 53 yards on 11 attempts and generating two touchdowns. Even though the touch distribution could vary on a weekly basis, Brown’s usage should create discomfort for anyone who owns Gurley and Henderson. It should also motivate you to pursue Brown on your waiver wires, as he is currently available in 91% of all leagues.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - 13% owned

Throughout much of the off-season, it would have been difficult to envision Bernard as a viable roster option. Not only did Joe Mixon appear primed to retain his success of 2018 (1,268 rushing yards/1,464 total yards), but the Bengals had also invested in Rodney Anderson and Trayveon Williams during the NFL draft. However, Cincinnati presented Bernard with a two-year extension on September 3, Anderson is on IR (torn ACL), Williams is contending with a foot issue and Mixon’s status is uncertain following an ankle injury. If Bernard is suddenly operating as Cincinnati’s RB1 this week, then the value of this versatile back will soar. Mixon has already missed four games in the past two seasons, and Bernard averaged 89 total yards during those contests. He also generated 63 total yards when Mixon was absent in Week 1. Bernard can be expected to maintain a weekly role within the renovated Bengal attack regardless of Mixon’s health. 

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens - 32% owned

Baltimore’s unconditional commitment to a ground-oriented approach was highly anticipated prior to Week 1.  But Lamar Jackson unleashed an aerial assault on Miami’s talent deficient secondary and shredded the Dolphins for 324 yards and a whopping five touchdowns. Mark Ingram was utilized on 14 carries (107 yards/7.6 per-carry), while Gus Edwards led the Ravens with 17 attempts (56 yards/3.3 per-carry). Hill also manufactured 27 yards on seven attempts (3.9 yards-per-carry). But neither Edwards’role or Hill’s usage should become a source of massive concern for anyone who is considering the addition of Hill. Baltimore was operating within a game script that will not be replicated with any frequency, and Hill’s immense talent was not required. The 5’10” 200-pound rookie remains worthy of investment, as his touch total will normally exceed the allotment that he received during Baltimore’s season opener. The patience that you can exercise now will be rewarded by Hill’s explosiveness and big-play potential as the season progresses.

 

In The Running - Week 2 Waiver Wire Running Backs

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

Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins - 19% owned

It was logical to bypass Thompson throughout much of the draft process, due to the nebulous situation that engulfed Washington’s entire backfield. But his reemergence as an integral component within the Redskins' offense has vaulted him among this week's recommended options. Thompson led the team in targets (10), and receptions (7) in Week 1,  and should now garner an expanded role while Derrius Guice is sidelined (knee).  Thompson has mixed productive outings with a collection of health issues during his career. This includes being sidelined for six games in each of the last two seasons (fibula -2017/ribs-2018). In 2017 he was on pace to construct a breakout season, after establishing new career highs in total yards (804) and receiving yards (510) during his first 10 contests. He is currently injury-free and his increasing responsibilities should result in respectable production. Thompson has officially resurfaced as a legitimate starting option in PPR leagues, and can confidently be targeted on your waiver wires.

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers43% owned 

After weeks of speculation regarding the touch distribution between Jackson and Austin Ekeler, Jackson ultimately was entrusted with nine touches, while Ekeler commandeered 18. Ekeler took full advantage by exploding for 154 total yards and three touchdowns. But Jackson was also effective with his opportunities, averaging 9.5 yards-per-carry with his six rushing attempts. The Chargers have no incentive for reconsidering their stance on negotiations with Melvin Gordon. Because Ekeler and Jackson have demonstrated the ability to accumulate yardage whenever they are provided with opportunities. Even though Ekeler should continue to confiscate the majority of touches, Jackson will garner enough carries to sustain usage as an RB3/flex in your lineups. This supplies your motivation for adding him to your rosters.

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings - 21% owned

Mattison was recommended as a roster addition during last week’s article, and his Week 1 performance entrenched him as a back to target on your waiver wire. Dalvin Cook demonstrated the proficiency that should cement him as a season-long RB1 by assembling 111 yards and two touchdowns with his 21 attempts. But Mattison was also effective, producing 49 yards with his nine carries. Mattison supplies the potential for skyrocketing value if Cook is absent for any reason. But he also provides a distinct standalone presence if Cook eludes the health issues that have sidelined him for 17 games. Mattison would be the top waiver priority if he enters any given week as the Vikings’ RB1, and the competition to add him would be intense. Cook owners should avoid all risk associated with that scenario by securing Mattison as an insurance policy now. All other owners should be equally aggressive in seizing Mattison at his current ownership level.

 

Dark Horses - Week 2 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, Chicago Bears - 15% owned

Davis is not going to lead the Bears in touches on a weekly basis. However, he did garner more opportunities in Week 1 (11) than David Montgomery (7), and Tarik Cohen (8). Davis also performed on 41/56%, of Chicago’s offensive snaps, while Montgomery was limited to 28/38%. Cohen played on 51/70% of the snaps while operating predominantly from the slot. This distribution of touches was maddening for Montgomery owners. But the third-round pick will eventually collect the largest percentage of rushing attempts, while the elusive Cohen will be deployed most frequently as a receiver. However, Davis' dual-threat capabilities were previously on display with Seattle during 2018 (514 rushing yards/4.6 per-carry/34 receptions), and he also tied for seventh among all backs in rushing yards before contact per rushing attempt (2.9) according to Pro Football Reference. Matt Nagy should be compelled to keep him involved in the Bears attack for the foreseeable future, which makes him a viable flex candidate for deeper rosters.

Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs - 33% owned

When Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde were located above Thompson on the depth chart, the 5’8”, 200-pound rookie possessed enough talent to provide owners with a legitimate option to target him for their rosters. Hyde has been vanquished, and LeSean McCoy now joins Williams as the primary backs within Andy Reid’s explosive offense. But even though Williams and McCoy combined for 23 of Kansas City's 26 carries in Week 1, this does not diminish Thompson's viability as a roster addition. It is premature to dismiss his ability to perform effectively in a consistent role for the high octane Chiefs as the season advances. He supplies the team with versatility and aggressiveness as an inside runner and his responsibilities should eventually expand.  At that point, you will contend with your league opponents during any attempts to add him. Now is your opportunity to secure him before that scenario occurs.

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins 50% owned

There is justification for having questions about Miami’s backfield, just as there is a reason for concern about every aspect of the 2019 Dolphin roster. However, it has become increasingly clear that yet another coaching staff will eschew the opportunity to entrust Kenyan Drake with their team’s RB1 responsibilities. Ballage was deployed as the starter in Week 1, although his output was uninspiring (6 touches/12 total yards). However, Drake’s results were also substandard (6 touches/27 total yards). It is conceivable that the Dolphins will trail by significant margins throughout much of the season, just as they did against the Ravens in Week 1. This will impact the workload of both Dolphin backs. But that does not alter the fact that Ballage will share opportunities when they do exist within Miami’s rushing attack. This should compel you to include him on him your rosters, and hope that his touch totals results in higher production.

 

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.

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns - 55% owned

Some of you are resolute in your belief that Hunt should occupy a spot on your roster. He is a former rushing champion, so a certain degree of this commitment is understandable. However, you are forcing yourself to endure an enormous waiting period before it is even conceivable that you can use him. He will not be eligible to perform until November 10, when the Browns host Buffalo. This is only three weeks away from the fantasy postseason in many leagues. Even when he does resurface, you are also lacking any guarantee that he will garner a sizable workload. Nick Chubb could maintain his status as Cleveland’s primary back throughout the season. Holding onto Hunt is not comparable to waiting on a player who is expected to reclaim a significant role because Hunt’s eventual usage is uncertain. That should entice you to add a player that can boost your scoring well before Hunt’s Week 10 return.

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 59% owned

Barber has displayed consistency throughout his career. Unfortunately, the constant component has been underwhelming output during every matchup. The fourth-year back entered 2019 with a 3.8 yards-per-carry average, has managed just 32.3 yards-per-game during his 48 games, and manufactured unexceptional results once again in Week 1 (8 attempts/33 yards/4.1 yards-per-carry), Former second-round pick Ronald Jones has been unable to usurp Barber on the Buccaneers’ depth chart. But Jones displayed noticeable improvement when he lined up against San Francisco (13 attempts/75 yards/5.8 yards-per-carry) which could create a path for a heavier workload. This is not a recommendation to sprint toward your waiver wire and secure Jones because neither back has provided enough incentive to trust them in your lineups. However, you have witnessed Barber’s ceiling with extreme frequency. There is no rationale for retaining him if you can locate another option that provides higher potential to accrue fantasy points.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Advice




Today’s Most Viewed Players

More Recent Articles

 

ADP Cost Analysis – Aaron Nola vs Lance Lynn

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More


2020 Regression Candidates: Breakout Outfielders

Every season in MLB you can count on the fact that you will have breakout performances from players. Sometimes these breakout performances can be seen coming a mile away and sometimes they catch you entirely by surprise. Regardless of which type of breakout we see, you will almost always have to pay up for that... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - Quality Start Episode 1

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) and Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams) of the Turn Two Podcast come together for a new co-pod series called "Quality Start". This will be a joint effort and episodes will be found on Bases Loaded as well as the Turn Two Podcast. We are joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) as well for this one.... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Adrian Houser

In life, there seem to be two kinds of people, the flashy and the boring. “Flashy” people like high-end materialistic things such as nice clothing or an expensive car. "Boring” people prefer the simpler things in life like spending time with their loved ones. This seems to be true when it comes to fantasy baseball,... Read More


Taking Out the Trash: Pitchers Who Should Junk Their Worst Pitch

Pitch mix changes can make or break a player’s season. That obviously goes for fantasy value as well as real-life. We've already seen how throwing an effective pitch more often could make a huge improvement a la Patrick Corbin. Sometimes pitchers just need to eliminate a pitch to see their numbers improve. Consider the following: Mitch... Read More


ADP Showdown – Trevor Story vs. Trea Turner

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


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

Statcast metrics such as Barrels and Brls/BBE are great ways to evaluate a batter's performance, so it is only natural to assume that the metrics would be predictive for pitchers as well. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is evidence... 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


Bases Loaded Podcast - All Things Fantasy Baseball w/ Nick Pollack (@PitcherList)

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is  joined by Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) and they discuss all things fantasy baseball! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. 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 to also tune... Read More


Finding Combo-Player Values Using Z-Scores and ATC Projections

Towards the end of last season, I asked the question – “Draft Speed or Pound the Power?” Loaded in this seemingly simple query are two contradictory approaches – one for power and one for speed. Power Approach 1: Home run totals are dramatically up in baseball these days. Therefore, there are many power bats available... Read More


ADP Showdown - Whit Merrifield vs Austin Meadows

Spring training is officially underway, which means baseball season is 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 begun dealing with tough draft position decisions. The outfield position is deep as always, but... Read More


2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Third Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More


2020 Dynasty Leagues: Players to Sell (Premium Content)

As draft day approaches in dynasty leagues, the window to sell-high on a big name has never been better. The first days of spring training are a chance to cash in on players who may have hit their peak value before the 2020 season begins. Bartering is a matter of risk vs reward. You hate... Read More


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


More Recent Articles

 

RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC East & North): 2019 Review

We wrap up with our 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... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Adam Thielen

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... Read More


XFL DFS Lineup Picks For Week 3: The Checkdown

Check out this week's XFL fantasy football preview including game breakdowns, player analysis, DFS lineup picks and more for week three of the 2020 XFL season. 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 to also tune... Read More


D.J. Chark - Dynasty Price Check

Are you ready for some football? If you are in a dynasty fantasy football league, you most certainly are! The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is a prime opportunity for hardcore owners to evaluate their current team and prepare for their upcoming rookie drafts. We've already looked at young players like Courtland... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC 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


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