Yet another week of fantasy football action is in the books, as owners everywhere look to the waiver wire the best available running back pickups. Looking around the league shows that players like Jeff Wilson and Damien Harris offer the best chance of positive performance moving forward.
Note that in order to be eligible for this list, the player needs to be available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues. Obviously, there is some variation from league to league, so make sure to peruse all available players before making your claims. There could be better players available in your specific league that didn’t qualify for this list.
Jeff Wilson, Damien Harris Highlight Fantasy Football Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups
Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman missed Week 3 with various injuries, leaving Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson atop the San Francisco 49ers depth chart. Nobody knew how Kyle Shanahan would divide the workload, and it turned out to be an even split. McKinnon ended the night with 14 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown while Wilson had 12 carries for 15 yards and a score. In the passing game, McKinnon hauled in three receptions for 39 yards while Wilson finished with three receptions for 54 yards and a score.
San Francisco’s backfield is going to be interesting to monitor. Tevin Coleman will definitely need some more time before he’s ready to play, but Mostert could be back. The 49ers don’t know when he’ll return, so you’ll need to monitor practice reports as the week progresses. However, if Mostert doesn’t play, Wilson should retain this workload and be a solid flex play in deeper leagues.
New England Patriots running back Damien Harris reportedly had a great camp prior to injuring his finger. The second-year pro went on the short-term injured reserve but is now ready to fight for the starting job. However, he won’t automatically get the job.
For the first time since 2018, Sony Michel actually looks like a good running back. The former first-round pick hit the 100-yard mark for the first time in forever. Meanwhile, Rex Burkhead is handling the receiving work, J.J. Taylor is earning some snaps, and James White will be back sooner rather than later. This is a messy backfield, but there’s a decent chance Harris ends up atop the depth chart. That possibility alone makes him worthy of a claim in this underwhelming running back waiver wire week.
Injury Insurance: Carlos Hyde
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson left Sunday’s matchup with a knee injury. As of this posting, the exact severity of said injury is not available to the public. If he misses time, Carson Hyde is a must-add in all formats. The journeyman running back won’t receive the entirety of Carson’s workload (Travis Homer will get some touches), but he should be the primary starter.
Russell Wilson is playing at a stupidly high level right now, and you’re going to want as many pieces of that offense as you can find. Hyde might not be a special talent, but he can function adequately in the passing and running game. The volume alone in an offense this good should make him a low-end RB2 or high-end flex play if Carson cannot go.
2020 Adrian Peterson might be the least-attractive fantasy asset in the history of the NFL. Nobody wants to play the one-time great, as he doesn’t offer a high ceiling. However, he has a clearly-defined role in Detroit’s offense and will see a high percentage of touches, whether you like it or not.
Last week, Peterson recorded 22 carries. The rest of the backfield had four. While he only turned those 22 carries into 75 yards, the fact remains that any player receiving more than 20 touches per game is going to have some type of fantasy relevance. D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson simply aren’t getting carries, so Peterson can be an emergency play in a deep league.
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