With big names Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson out for the season, this week’s story turns to the position of running back as those owners look to find replacements. We have several to talk about, but none are elevated into our top weekly category so once again we will discuss the wonders without anyone getting a mention in our top section. Some are enough to be solid pickups, but with so many questions about the player, the team, the coach … depending on where you are in the waiver order may dictate which player you end up getting. For sure, get out there and be active and get something, as many of these situations are still very dynamic.
RB Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
The Giants are having trouble keeping their running backs healthy, so Gallman finally received a chance this week to suit up and play. Against Tampa Bay, he was the Giants’ most successful ball carrier, rushing 11 times for 42 yards while catching a couple passes out of the backfield. One of those catches was good for a touchdown, which is a nice pad to the weekly stats. With most of the other backs in New York hurting, the Giants are in a position where they can roll with Gallman and see what they have. We would give him a higher recommendation, but running for the Giants has its disadvantages (see also, offensive line). He is worth a speculative add this week, worth owning in all formats.
RB Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens
Fumbling issues out of the running back position are a major point of frustration for coaches, and that is the only thing right now that is holding Collins back from being the top ball carrier in Baltimore. Despite rushing for 82 yards in back-to-back weeks, losing another fumble is the major talking point coming out of coach John Harbaugh when asked about Collins. The opportunity is there, the question is can Harbaugh trust him enough to give him another chance? One more lost fumble may spell doom, yet if Collins can win back his trust and hold onto the ball, the potential of him becoming a workhorse back and fantasy stand out is also a strong possibility. A risk/reward selection, Collins should be picked up this week in all formats.
RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Both Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams are reported to have missed out on long-term injuries, though their status for the upcoming week is still up in the air. Jones is healthy and ready to step in as the starter for Green Bay. In their absence against Chicago, last week, Jones carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. The coaching staff has confidence in him, all he needs is the opportunity. Grab him now and check the injury reports to see how much production to expect from him in Dallas this weekend.
On the Radar
RB J.D. McKissic, Seattle Seahawks
The running back situation for Seattle continues to evolve on a weekly basis. Chris Carson is out of the picture, but Seattle expects to get C.J. Prosise back from injury. Thomas Rawls is in the mix, with Eddie Lacy lurking so things are still crowded. What cannot be argued is that McKissic was hot this week against Indianapolis, scoring touchdowns both by land and by air. He ended up only touching the ball five times but still tallied more than 60 yards in total offense, numbers that will force the coaching staff to give him another look this week.
RB Elijah McGuire, New York Jets
On a week where the Jets ran wild, and let’s let that sink in for a minute – the New York Jets ran wild over Jacksonville as Bilal Powell and McGuire combined for more than 250 yards on the ground. McGuire ran the ball 10 times, and he did not disappoint, racking up 93 yards and a touchdown. The Jets also got him involved in the passing game as he notched a couple of catches. With Matt Forte hurting, the Jets are surely not going to rush him back, leaving plenty of touches available for McGuire. We would love to recommend him higher, but we have a hard time believing New York will run like this again, plus Powell and eventually Forte will be back in the mix. For now, he is worth a speculative add, especially for the owner who has been hit by the injury bug.
WR Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears
Chicago has looked pitiful with Mike Glennon at the helm, so they turn to Mitchell Trubisky. Wright is healthy and has been available if only for a quarterback to get him the ball more often. Against Green Bay this week, he was good for four catches and a touchdown. Look for Wright to continue to be involved, and to also see a spike in production if Chicago can get some consistency behind center.