Editor's update No. 3: The Panthers announced Cameron Artis-Payne will start on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Editor's note: If you are unable to land any of these players, check out our trade advice for Week 3, including some buy low and sell high candidates.
The second 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.
We note that there was a high number of injuries to running backs in Week 2. These included Adrian Peterson and Danny Woodhead. However, at the time of this writing the results of many of those injuries have yet to be confirmed. We will update this article with notable injury news.
Editor's update No. 2: Ameer Abdullah has been placed on injured reserve. Theo Riddick will start, but Dwayne Washington (5 percent ownership) could be worth an add for long-term potential.
Editor's update: Adrian Peterson has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus. There is no timeline yet, but many expect him to miss at least a game or two, if not more. Jerick McKinnon moves to the top of this list as a short-term addition (owned in 24 percent of leagues), while Terrance West remains a better season-long option.
Waiver wire running back rankings, Week 3
1. Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (26 percent owned) - UPDATE: 22 percent
West continues to split time with Justin Forsett out of the Ravens backfield, as he rushed for 42 yards and added 15 yards on one catch in Week 2. The running game for the Ravens continues to struggle, but someone has to get those carries. West faces a beatable Jacksonville defense in Week 3, and if he can continue to be more efficient with his carries than Forsett, he may win more playing time in the future. West may be a good stash on your roster, and if the Baltimore running game improves in the coming weeks, West’s value will as well.
2. Chris Thompson, Washington (5 percent owned) - UPDATE: 6 percent
Thompson serves as the pass-catching back for Washington, catching three of four passes for 57 yards, and added a yard on the ground in two rush attempts as well in Week 2. While he was utilized less in Week 2 compared to Week 1, this role will change from week to week depending on the matchup and the game script. Thompson should be owned in PPR formats, and could prove to be a worthy flex play in standard leagues depending on the matchup and byes you may have on a given week.
3. Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers (3 percent owned) - 35 percent
Whittaker ran for 100 yards on 16 attempts, and added 31 yards through the air on three catches. Assuming that Stewart will be sidelined in Week 3 for one of many injuries, Whittaker looks to take on the brunt of the rushing workload. One note of concern is that Whittaker faces a fearsome Vikings run defense that hasn’t allowed more than 83 yards rushing this year. However, if Whittaker is to take on the majority of the workload he may be able to provide more value than a running back involved in a committee.
Others over 50 percent: We are focusing primarily on players owned in fewer than 50 percent of leagues, but that is limited this week.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (56 percent owned)
Coleman rushed 12 times for 46 yards and a touchdown while catching both of his two targets for 25 additional yards. The Falcons have given Coleman a much more even split this year with Devonta Freeman compared to 2015, and as such he’s worth owning in any format.
Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (59 percent owned)
Michael rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries and added 26 yards on three catches. Michael did fumble the ball late in the fourth quarter, however Thomas Rawls injured his leg early in the game after amassing -7 yards over seven carries. Michael will most likely get the start next week, and is worth picking up if still available in your league.
Injury backups: If Peterson or Woodhead are lost for an extended period, Jerick McKinnon (23 percent) and Kenneth Farrow (0 percent) would gain value. We will update once they are further evaluated.