Fantasy football waiver wire: 5 RBs to target this week

Rich Schultz

We look at five running backs worth picking up on the waiver wire as we head into the bye weeks.

Week 4 marks the first of many bye weeks to come. This period of the season can wreak havoc on your fantasy team if you don't plan in advance. Fortunately, there are some intriguing options on the waiver wire worth looking at. Although they won't replace the production of your stud players, they should help ease the pain, and some of them might even surprise.

Here are five running backs owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues that should be targeted.

Bilal Powell, New York Jets (owned in 46 percent of leagues)

Chris Ivory is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury, so the starting job is Powell's to lose. He won't replicate his 149-yard performance against the Bills and doesn't have much upside, but you could do far worse as an RB2. He faces the Titans, Falcons and Steelers in the coming weeks.

Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (owned in 45 percent of leagues)

Thomas finally saw more snaps with Mark Ingram out. He couldn't do much with his touches, getting just 67 total yards, but the PPR value is there. The Saints need to find more ways to get him the ball, and Ingram's injury may be the push they needed. Ingram is simply not a fit in this offense.

Isaiah Pead, St. Louis Rams (owned in 14 percent of leagues)

Daryl Richardson has failed to impress in the early going and now has a foot injury, opening the door back open for Pead. He led the Rams with 13 touches and got seven catches against the Cowboys. Pead has some tough matchups coming up against the 49ers, Texans and Panthers, but he's a worthy add in PPR leagues.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (owned in 10 percent of leagues)

Ellington has beat out Alfonso Smith for the No. 2 job, and the Cardinals seem determined to get him involved in the passing game. Through three games, he has six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals used a heavy rotation against the Saints, playing Ellington on 27 snaps while Rashard Mendenhall saw just 23. Owners in deep PPR leagues should give him a look.

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (owned in 2 percent of leagues)

The Patriots are in full-blown platoon mode, making it difficult to choose one but Bolden appears to be assuming the Vereen role in New England's backfield. Bolden is finally healthy and played his first game of the year in Week 3, rushing for 51 yards on three carries while catching five passes for 49 yards. He is especially valuable in PPR leagues and should get more opportunities going forward.

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