The seventh week of the 2016 regular season is just about coming to a close with only the Monday Night Football game remaining. Most fantasy football leagues will run their waiver wires late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but we are here to help you get a jump on the best options to consider.
We will be ranking the top five players likely to be available in your league at each of the four major positions. Some weeks there might not be five good options available, but we’ll scour for the best we can find. Additionally, throughout the week, we will update each of these articles as ownership percentages change (via Yahoo!) and news arrives.
Waiver wire running back rankings, Week 8
It’s a rough week for running backs. We have not had any late-breaking performances that justify starting nods, so we’ll be focusing more on speculative options. These are players who are not starting, but rather are lottery tickets that could end up getting significant snaps if things break the right way.
1. Chris Thompson, Washington (11 percent owned)
Thompson led Washington in touches, with 12 rushes for 73 yards and seven receptions for 40 yards. Matt Jones fumbled into the end zone, and that resulted in more touches for Thompson. He is probably the best option for immediate playing time.
2. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (51 percent owned)
This is one exception for our rule of looking only at players owned in less than 50 percent of leagues. LeSean McCoy was not 100 percent, and may have aggravated his hamstring injury. If he is out in Week 8, Gillislee becomes a solid start against the New England Patriots.
3. DuJuan Harris/Mike Davis/Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (0 percent owned, 26 percent owned, 3 percent owned)
You can pick and choose from the three 49ers running backs. Carlos Hyde suffered a shoulder injury in Week 6, and expects to be back after the team’s Week 8 bye. Davis got the start and scored a touchdown on the opening drive. Draughn scored the second touchdown on a 17-yard pass. Harris ended up with the fewest fantasy points, but the most touches in the offense. If Hyde returns in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints, none of these three hold fantasy value. If Hyde misses another game, these three will each hold a little bit of value.
4. Zach Zenner, Detroit Lions (8 percent owned)
The Lions are rotating Zenner and Justin Forsett, but there is still some value to be had. Zenner had nine rushes for 29 yards and a touchdown, and did not catch a pass on two targets. Detroit expects to start getting Theo Riddick and/or Dwayne Washington back into the lineup, so Zenner’s value is fairly limited.
5. Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Zero percent owned)
Barber’s value is entirely based on Doug Martin remaining out, and Jacquizz Rodgers suffering an injury. He rushed 12 times for 84 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Bucs face the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Chicago Bears the next three weeks. If Rodgers goes down, Barber has value.