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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Week 6 Running Backs - Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

We now enter planning for Week 6, with many of you contending with an agonizing collection of lingering injuries, or disconcerting results from the backs that you originally believed would be your among most dependable performers. While this has been frustrating, it is essential that you manage your emotions, avoid making impulsive decisions, and utilize the abundant resources that we offer at RotoBaller. That will improve your chances of making the most effective roster adjustments due to disappointing performances, production-inhibiting time shares, or injuries.

For the next seven weeks this can also involve replacing any backs that are unavailable during their bye weeks. That factor will apply to anyone who owns Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, or Kerryon Johnson, as the Lions and Saints will be impacted by this process in Week 6. 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 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 dropped in order for you to secure your replacements. Here are this week's most viable waiver wire options at the running back position.

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 6 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 50% or less ownership in typical fantasy leagues.  

Alfred Morris, San Francisco 49ers - 42% owned

This week's recommendations include several backs who could deliver excellent results at some point during the season, along with other rushers who are currently generating adequate scoring despite the obstacle of shared touches. But Morris supplies one of Week 7's most enticing targets, as he should capture feature back responsibilities in San Francisco's next matchup. The 29-year old back had averaged 13 attempts per game from Weeks 1-3, then only carried four times in Week 4. But after Matt Breida was sidelined with an ankle issue in Week 5, Morris received a season-high 18 carries and generated 91 total yards with his 21 touches. Even though the 49ers will not take the field against Green Bay until Monday night, it currently appears that Breida will have difficulty performing in that contest. This should instantly provide Morris with an extensive workload, and present potential owners with an additional RB2 option for their rosters. As a result, he is among this week’s top targets at the running back position.

Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles - 3% owned

You may have been hesitant about adding Smallwood to your rosters, even as he accrued touches and assembled yardage due to the ongoing injuries in the Eagles' backfield. Now, he instantly becomes a coveted waiver wire target in the aftermath of news that Jay Ajayi will miss the remainder of the regular season due to his torn ACL. Smallwood amassed 74 yards and a touchdown on eight touches in Week 5, which sustained a weekly process in which he has manufactured respectable numbers, while Philadelphia's other backs were contending with prolonged health issues. Ajayi had been confronted by a back problem, while Darren Sproles (hamstring)  has been absent since Week 1, and Corey Clement’s contributions have been non-existent since Week 3 (quad). Clement appears likely to return for Thursday's matchup with the Giants. But that should not reduce your incentive to seize Smallwood, who has accumulated 35 touches during the team's last four contests (8.8 per game), while retaining health and availability.

Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles - 24% owned

The recommendation for seizing Smallwood is not a suggestion that he will operate as a workhorse back, because this is Doug Peterson's offense. As a result, Smallwood should collect an adequate number of touches for potential owners to utilize him, but will also share opportunities with other members of Philadelphia's backfield. While some touches could eventually be siphoned by Sproles and rookie Josh Adams, the most likely scenario is frequent deployment of both Smallwood, and Clement. The second-year back possesses an intriguing blend of size and athleticism that could theoretically result in high quality production, albeit on an inconsistent basis. That still enables Clement to join Morris and Smallwood as this week's top waiver priorities at this crucial position.

D'Onta Foreman, Houston Texans - 20% owned

The second-year back will be eligible to return from the PUP list after this week's matchup, in the next phase of his recovery from the Achilles injury that he suffered last November. It will be easier to secure him if you avoid the rush that will ensue when more  owners become aware of his impending reemergence. During his absence, Lamar Miller has delivered the same uninspiring level of production that we have become accustomed to (3.9 YPC/0 rushing touchdowns), and was sidelined in Week 5 due to a chest injury. Alfred Blue can function as a serviceable replacement for Miller, but does not possess the capabilities of functioning as a highly productive feature back. It's difficult to ascertain how proficiently Foreman can perform immediately upon his return. But Houston's offense could desperately use an infusion of effectiveness from its ground game, and Foreman should eventually be placed in position to make that occur.


In The Running - Week 6 Waiver Wire Running Backs

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

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks - 19% owned 

This suggestion is not based upon a belief that Pete Carroll will elevate Davis into weekly RB1 responsibilities. Instead, the rationale for adding him is based upon the likelihood that Carroll will also fail to entrust Chris Carson with a consistent feature back role. It now appears that Davis is a legitimate candidate to receive touches on a regular basis, despite the uncertainty that exists with Carroll's preferences for the workload distribution of his backfield. Davis' unexpected emergence into fantasy relevance occurred when he received 25 touches, and proceeded to accrue 124 total yards in Week 4. His favorable usage and output in Week 5 (14 touches/75 total yards/ 1 touchdown) fortified his chances of retaining an ongoing role. Particularly since the essentially forgotten Rashaad Penny did not touch the ball. Davis has emerged as a genuine target for anyone who is searching for a flex option.

Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 25% owned

Jones’ situation is different from fellow first-year back Chubb, in that Jones already has a significant opportunity that has been presented to him, but his ability to capitalize remains in question. He emerged in Week 4, after Dirk Koetter’s lingering reluctance to activate him finally subsided, although he managed just 29 yards on 10 carries (2.9 YPC). While his output was hardly stellar, his competition for touches consists solely of Peyton Barber, who has consistently delivered uninspiring numbers by managing just 148 yards on 50 attempts (3.0 YPC). Barber’s failure to secure Tampa Bay's RB1 responsibilities should result in Jones being allotted a growing percentage of carries. It is possible that neither back will excel, which will result in yet another unwanted time share. Still, there is no see sizable hurdle that will keep Jones from obtaining a desirable workload if he can demonstrate a reasonable level of effectiveness.

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns - 43% owned

Exactly one week ago, Chubb’s ownership percentage was just 18%. But a number of you have wisely reached the conclusion that he is fully capable of generating significant yardage and locating the end zone if he is supplied with more opportunities. Chubb has already demonstrated his potential for high quality results by producing 146 yards and two touchdowns on a minuscule 10 attempts (14.6 YPC) from Weeks 1-4, as his snap count never exceeded 6% (4/5/6/4). This did not translate into an expanded workload in Week 5, as Chubb only received three carries. However, this does not alter Chubb’s status as an exceptional roster stash, and he can be a difference-maker whenever he receives a larger percentage of carries that are currently earmarked for Carlos Hyde. If Chubb is available in your leagues, seize him now.


Dark Horses - Week 6 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.

Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders - 5% owned

While Marshawn Lynch has repeatedly demonstrated that he can still perform effectively as Oakland’s primary rusher, Richard has developed into a consistent pass catching back for the Raiders. He has now been targeted 29 times during the season, which has allowed him to collect 24 receptions, and placed him second on the team in that category behind Jared Cook. Richard has also garnered 6+ catches in three different contests, while eclipsing 50 receiving yards in each of those games. The third-year back will continue to accumulate targets when game scripts force Oakland into catch-up mode, which should occur with frequency as the season progresses. His distinct role in Jon Gruden’s attack should provide potential owners with an enticement to secure him, if their rosters require an additional flex option in PPR leagues.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts - 22% owned

You may prefer to avoid even contemplating the addition of an Indianapolis running back, considering the convoluted situation that exists at the position. Nevertheless, while Nyheim Hines has built a legitimate case for including him on rosters in PPR leagues, Jordan Wilkins' value has dropped in lockstep with his usage. This has cleared a path for Mack to attain a sizable role in this complex backfield, since none of the Colt backs possess all of the attributes that are necessary to capture the team's feature back role. Mack has only accumulated 11 touches due to his protected hamstring issue, but he should confiscate more opportunities than Wilkins and Robert Turbin, and is a capable of providing you with a potential flex option when your normal starters are not available.

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins - 10% owned

It is unusual to advocate adding a 35-year old back who has already accumulated 3,273 carries during his 14-year career. Particularly when his 24-year old teammate appears fully capable of thriving as a feature back if he is presented with the opportunity. However, Miami head coach Adam Gase has been committed to utilizing Gore with enough frequency to warrant considering him as a roster option, while Kenyan Drake has been relegated to a complimentary role. Gore averaged eight attempts per game in Weeks 1-3, but has been entrusted with 23 carries during Miami’s last two contests, while accruing 63 yards (5.3 YPC) in Week 5. Gore has now carried 47 times throughout the season, compared to 39 for Drake, which has been an exasperating experience for Drake owners who deployed an early-round pick on what appeared to be Miami's most proficient back. But there is no indication that Gore's role will diminish any time soon, which elevates him into consideration for owners who need to locate a flex option.


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.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - 59% owned

This has been a rapid transition from advocating Bernard as a handcuff for Joe Mixon owners, to making him a waiver wire priority during Mixon’s absence (knee), to now recommending that he be discarded. But the progression is actually logical, considering his brief tenure value as a feature back has ended, and must now remain sidelined for misses 2-4 games due to his sprained MCL. His touch total was already on the threshold of a decline with Mixon's returning to the lineup in Week 5. Now, his stock has plummeted even further, as Mark Walton now supplies insurance for Mixon owners while Bernard is unavailable. All of which makes it sensible to replace him with a more valuable alternative.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks - 29% owned

It is still feasible to believe that at some point this season, the Seahawks will finally present their first-round draft pick with an opportunity to operate with a sizable workload. But after five games, his stock is trending in an unfavorable direction. After Penny attained double-digit touches in Weeks 1-2, he only received three in Week 3. Then, Davis catapulted above Penny on the depth chart to confiscate 21 of the team's 30 carries in Week 4, and functioned in a time share with Chris Carson in Week 5 - while Penny failed to receive a touch. Even though Penny remains a candidate to eventually obtain a respectable workload, the current situation may not be altered anytime soon. Penny is currently buried below Carson and Davis in Seattle’s running back rotation, which should encourage owners who are contending with roster issues to drop him.

Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts - 19% owned

After watching Wilkins deliver promising performances during the preseason, it appeared that a convergence of factors had presented the rookie with an opportunity to perform an extensive role in an Indianapolis backfield that does not have a categorical feature back. But even though he seems to possess the size and agility to perform with a desirable workload, he has not demonstrated the ability to function as the Colts' primary rusher, which would have enabled him to complement the emerging pass catching presence of Nyheim Hines. Instead, his opportunity and workload have been trending in the wrong direction. After being allotted a team high 14 carries in Week 1, his rushing attempts have diminished (10/6/8/6). This is comparable to the dwindling snap count, as his season high 56% that he registered in Week 1 has also regressed sizably (38%/29%/35%/22%). Wilkins owners should not hesitate to locate a more favorable option.

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups

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

More Recent Articles


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Conference Championships Matchups Analysis

Welcome to our NFL Conference Championships matchups analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering both of the AFC and NFC contests from the Sunday slate, helping you make the best decisions for your DFS contests this weekend. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries... Read More

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More

Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Conference Championships Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More

Dynasty Players to Sell in 2020

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano share their top sell candidates for dynasty football leagues in the 2020 fantasy football preseason. 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 into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210,... Read More

Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More

Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More

Four and Out: Fantasy Outlooks for Divisional Round Losers

For the four teams that were eliminated in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the offseason has begun. For many fantasy football owners, the days have already started counting down to next season. Owners in dynasty leagues have started to mull over their decisions.  How some guys perform in the playoffs can certainly alter... Read More

Quarterback ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Wide Receivers

After a very interesting season of fantasy football action, many owners were left with a bitter taste in their mouth from a few of the “elite” NFL wide receivers. While Michael Thomas dominated and Julio Jones was his usual reliable self, not all was good if you played it safe by taking a receiver early.... Read More

Quarterback Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

This article will examine the biggest risers and fallers at the quarterback position, which proved to be the most impactful in fantasy leagues as is often the case. Of the top-25 players in fantasy this season, 18 of them played the QB position and none of the 18 scored less than 280 fantasy points on... Read More

XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More

Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More