Week 2 was a rough one for running backs. After a fairly clean run in the season opener, the injury bug was back with a vengance this week. Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Arian Foster and Jonathan Stewart all suffered injuries that could keep them out for the next few weeks. The San Diego Chargers got the worst news of all with Danny Woodhead tearing his ACL, leaving Melvin Gordon all alone as the top running back.
With so many injuries to big names, fantasy owners will be busy on the waiver wire this week. We'll try to help you out with our top five recommended claims at running back. Every player on this list is owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! standard leagues.
Before anyone asks, Charles Sims was owned in 52 percent of leagues at the time of this writing, so he barely misses the cutoff to make the list. But you should definitely pick him up if he's available in your league, because Martin's hamstring injury threatens to linger. Sims is a legitimate RB2 with potential for more.
James White, New England Patriots (42 percent)
White remains a slightly less compelling version of Theo Riddick, but he should still be useful in PPR leagues while Dion Lewis is on the shelf. Despite a quiet day on Sunday (two catches for 10 yards) he has a small bit of upside as a checkdown option for Jacoby Brissett, who's expected to be the starting quarterback after Jimmy Garoppolo went down.
Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (27 percent)
Foster lasted about 1½ games before getting injured this season. He's day-to-day with a groin injury and should be considered questionable at best for Week 3. So Ajayi could end up being the starter if Foster's out, although he had an up-and-down game with a fumble and 45 total yards on nine touches. Ajayi has a low fantasy ceiling -- the Dolphins are expected to keep Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake involved in a committee -- but the RB2 upside is there against a poor Cleveland Browns defense.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (23 percent)
Peterson suffered a torn meniscus and may miss at least one game, so the Vikings will have to rely on the McKinnon/Matt Asiata duo that carried the running game two years ago. McKinnon has home-run-hitting ability in the open field, rushing for 538 yards on 4.8 yards per carry in 2014, while Asiata had nine touchdowns as a goal line battering ram. Look for Norv Turner to use them the same way as long as Peterson is out. McKinnon has more flex upside against the Carolina Panthers this week.
Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys (22 percent)
Ezekiel Elliott is still the starter, but there were signs of concern in Week 2. He averaged slightly less than 4 yards per carry and had two critical fumbles, leading to Morris playing the Cowboys' entire final drive and scoring the game-winning touchdown. The Cowboys claim they're not worried about Elliott's ball security, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that Morris plays a bigger vulture role in the future. Elliott owners in 14-team leagues should think about picking him up as a handcuff.
Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers (4 percent)
Stewart has already been ruled out for Week 3 with a hamstring injury, leaving Whittaker as the next man up. He played well on short notice, running for 100 yards on 16 carries against the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings will be a much bigger test defensively, and Cameron Artis-Payne might see some work after being inactive the first two games, but Whittaker is still a must-add this week. He'll have RB2/flex upside if Stewart is forced to miss more time.