Running backs are the key to fantasy football success in many leagues chiefly due to the scarcity at the position. However, even with good backs at a premium, there are a solid ten options on the waiver wire this week that make sense in the right situation. All 10 listed below are available in over 50% of ESPN leagues and are listed in the general order I would pick them up this week although it does depend on how long-term the need is. Here’s five great pickups and five more to consider in deep leagues who are in timeshares but could still be part of your roster:
1. Rashad Jennings-Oakland Raiders (4.6%)
Jennings is the top back available for this week since he could be the feature back in a run-heavy Raiders attack. Last week, filling in for Darren McFadden who left injured he totaled 102 yards on 15 carries including one for a touchdown and added 74 yards on seven catches. He’s shown he can contribute when used in that role, but make sure to monitor the practice reports to see how much work McFadden may steal from him. Jennings is a low-end RB2 and a nice flex play if he’s the solo back in the Raiders backfield.
2. Andre Ellington-Arizona Cardinals (36.7%)
Ellington showed how great he can be tearing up the Falcons for 154 yards on the ground with a touchdown and adding eight yards receiving before Arizona’s bye. The downside to Ellington in the short term is that he will continue to split time with Rashard Mendehnall who is reportedly healthy after missing week 8 and resting during the bye. Ellington should still get his touches against Houston this week, but he does have a ceiling and a higher risk due to his situation in a time-share.
3. Mike James-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10.6%)
Mike James found the end zone for the first time last week in an unexpected way hooking up on a TD pass on a designed RB throw. He did have a nice week even outside the trickeration with 158 yards on 28 carries against the Seahawks in Seattle. This week, James has a much easier matchup against Miami on Monday Night and is a solid flex option or a RB2 if your roster is stretched thin. He had struggled his first couple games as the Bucs main rusher, so it’ll be interesting to see if last week’s performance was an outlier or a trend for the rookie from Miami.
4. Andre Brown-New York Giants (19.8%)
If you’re looking for an RB who could pay off later in the season and don’t need to play him this week, Andre Brown is a great addition since most expect him to be the Giants lead back in the coming weeks. He definitely should be able to get his goal line duties back which makes him a worthwhile pickup but a risky play for this week since it’s unclear how large a part he’ll play against the Raiders.
5. Jonathan Stewart-Carolina Panthers (4.2%)
Stewart reminded us why he was most desirable fantasy back in Carolina not too long ago in his first game back off the PUP. He ran for 43 yards on nine attempts and added 22 more yards receiving on three catches against the Falcons. His value will depend on how much of the backfield timeshare he can stake a claim to, but he’s worth owning at this point to see how it all shakes out.
5 more for Deep Leagues
6. James Starks-Green Bay Packers (24.1%)
7. Donald Brown-Indianapolis Colts (5.1%)
8. Mike Tolbert-Carolina Panthers (34.3%)
9. Daniel Thomas-Miami Dolphins (6.3%)
10. Dennis Johnson-Houston Texans (0.1%)
This list of RB’s is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top waiver targets at each of the following positions: QB, WR, TE, D/ST.
Editor’s Note: FanSided partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $250 Fantasy Football league for Week 10. It’s free to join and first prize is $50. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET.