clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy football waiver wire: 5 running backs to target for Week 3

Injuries and slumping performances were the running themes of Week 2. We'll try to help you out with some waiver wire options.

The fantasy football season is already shaping up to be a weird one. Potential sure-fire studs are having major slumps, while others picked up some key injuries. With seemingly more questions than answers after two weeks, fantasy owners are taking to the waiver wire in droves.

It's still early in the season so we don't recommend making drastic changes to your team yet. However, if you're looking for some short-term fixes and long-term lottery tickets, these five running backs are worth a gamble. All players are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns (37 percent)

The rookie got more playing time in Week 2, rushing 12 times for 43 yards while Isaiah Crowell got 15 caries for 72 yards. He also got more snaps (26) than Crowell (24), although this is about as even a timeshare as you'll find.

Crowell is an uninspiring talent and Johnson could eventually take hold of the starting job, but for now, treat Johnson as an RB3/flex option. Cleveland needs to get him more involved in the passing game -- he doesn't have a single target through the first two weeks.

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (36 percent)

C.J. Anderson's season couldn't have gotten off to a worse start -- through two games, he has just 56 rushing yards on 24 carries, good for 2.3 yards per carry. Hillman has been slightly better with 75 yards on 21 carries, but neither player has been able to do much behind Denver's poor offensive line.

We're not ready to throw in the towel on Anderson yet, but he will have to show something soon to keep the starting job. Hillman looked impressive all preseason and could continue stealing snaps. If you own Anderson, do everything you can to grab Hillman.

David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (34 percent)

David Johnson got more to do in Week 2, and proved that he might not be a fluke. He had just six touches against the Chicago Bears, but turned them into 45 yards and a touchdown, and he also took a kickoff return 108 yards to paydirt.

Head coach Bruce Arians remains steadfast that Chris Johnson will start while Andre Ellington sits out, but David is proving himself too talented to keep off the field. He might not see enough touches to be a must-start in standard fantasy leagues, but David's home run ability makes him a great value play in DFS and best-ball leagues.

Matt Jones, Washington (23 percent)

Jones had quite the coming out party on Sunday, going off for 146 total yards and two touchdowns on 22 touches against the St. Louis Rams. He actually saw more touches than Alfred Morris (20), while playing just three fewer offensive snaps.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, Morris isn't losing his starting job yet, and Jones' big week may have been game plan-specific. Washington's offensive line opened up big holes in the trenches and the two runners combined for 182 rushing yards. With Kirk Cousins playing a caretaker role, look for Washington to continue pounding the rock against the New York Giants' soft defense. Jones is a decent flex play this week.

James Starks, Green Bay Packers (11 percent)

Eddie Lacy picked up an ankle injury that could keep him out for multiple weeks, so now's the time to pick up your handcuff if you didn't draft him. Starks stepped up when Lacy went down, gashing the Seattle Seahawks for 106 total yards on 24 touches. He did lose a fumble, but Starks has the starting job locked down while Lacy is out. He's a must-add in all league formats, although he does have a tough matchup in Week 3 with the Kansas City Chiefs. You might be better off holding him on your bench until Week 4, when the Packers take on the San Francisco 49ers' vulnerable defense, but Starks carries legitimate RB2 upside as long as Aaron Rodgers is under center.