Eight weeks of NFL play are officially in the books, which means bye weeks are in full swing. Gone are the days where you could just coast by on a strong draft. Now more than ever, you’ll need to search the waiver wire for all the best available running backs. Heading into Week 9, you should set your eyes on Darrell Henderson, Trey Edmunds, Rashaad Penny, and Mark Walton.
Note that in order to make this list, the player had to be available in over 50% of fantasy leagues. If you’re in smaller leagues, there may be better players available. Make sure to check your waivers to see if there are any diamonds in the rough before submitting your claims.
Darrell Henderson, Zach Zenner Highlight Fantasy Football Week 9 Running Back Waiver Wire Claims
If you’re looking for an immediate fix to your running back woes, Darrell Henderson isn’t the claim for you. The Los Angeles Rams are heading into a bye week, but that doesn’t mean you should just ignore Henderson. Six teams have a bye week in Week 10, and smart fantasy football owners should add players now to avoid the inevitable waiver wire woes next week.
The Rams simply cannot use Todd Gurley in his old workhorse role. They tried to do that a few weeks back against the Seattle Seahawks, but Gurley ultimately ended up on the injury report after the game. Somebody’s going to share carries with Gurley, and right now that somebody is Darrell Henderson. Henderson has looked considerably better than Malcolm Brown even when Brown was healthy, and Henderson actually recorded more carries than Gurley in Week 8. Assuming this usage continues throughout the season, Henderson should be a solid flex play for the remainder of the season.
Trey Edmunds is going to have some fantasy value if the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers running backs get injured. We already broke down what to expect in another article.
Edit: The Arizona Cardinals acquired Kenyan Drake from the Miami Dolphins and plan to use him as a feature back. Do not claim Zach Zenner.
The Arizona Cardinals running backs simply cannot stay healthy. Chase Edmonds had a path to fantasy football stardom with David Johnson sidelined, but now he’s out with an injury of his own. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Edmonds might not be able to go for Thursday Night Football, which means somebody is going to need to step up.
That somebody is NFL legend and fantasy football superhero Zach Zenner. Zenner signed with the Cardinals prior to Week 8’s action and was the only other active running back against the New Orleans Saints. There’s a very good chance that Johnson and Edmonds won’t be ready for Week 9, so Zenner is going to see a good amount of work. The Cardinals face off against a stout San Francisco 49ers defense in Week 9, which is going to negatively impact his performance. However, he has a safe, dependable workload and has the highest floor of any running back likely to be on your waiver wire.
The Seattle Seahawks finally used their former first-round pick against the Atlanta Falcons. While he’s still second-fiddle to Chris Carson, he appears to be healthy and received a solid percentage of carries in one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league. In total, Penny finished his day with eight carries for 55 yards. He’s not going to be a fantasy superstar by any means, but he can be a solid flex play in deeper leagues.
Penny is currently on the Seahawks, but there’s a very real chance he won’t be at this week next time. The trade deadline is right around the corner, and several contenders are looking to upgrade the running back position. Should Penny land in Detroit, he should be the top running back on the depth chart and be a plug and play RB2. Grab him while you can and hope that he lands in a favorable situation.
Redux: Mark Walton
As mentioned last week, Miami Dolphins running back Mark Walton is going to have a comfortable command of the backfield. The Dolphins and Steelers have yet to face off as of this posting, but we already know Walton is going to see the majority of the work. Ian Rapoport reported that Kenyan Drake will miss Week 8’s action, as the Dolphins don’t want to risk an injury to a potential trade piece.
Drake probably won’t be a Dolphin at this point next week, and the team clearly doesn’t feel Kalen Ballage is ready for a featured role in the backfield. Starting for an offense as underwhelming as Miami isn’t that valuable for fantasy, but it’s still something. If he’s unowned, you need to add Mark Walton to your roster.
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