Another week of fantasy football action is in the books, as owners everywhere scour the waiver wire to find the best available Week 10 running back pickups. Looking around the league shows that players like Duke Johnson and J.D. McKissic offer the best chance of positive performance in the coming weeks.
Note that, in order to be eligible for this list, the player needed to be available in at least 50% of fantasy 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 a better option available in your specific league.
Duke Johnson, J.D. McKissic Highlight Fantasy Football Week 10 Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups
Houston Texans running back David Johnson suffered a concussion early in Week 9 and didn’t return to the field. As of this posting, nobody knows the severity of the injury. However, considering his age and injury history, it’s safe to assume that he will miss at least one week of action. As long as he’s gone, Duke Johnson should be a fantastic play in all formats.
Over the past few years, Johnson has looked like one of the NFL’s better running backs on a per-touch basis, both as a runner and a receiver. However, the volume has never been there for him to be a full-time player. That should change with David Johnson sidelined, as Duke recorded 16 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown to go along with four receptions for 32 yards. Assuming David cannot play, that heavy usage should continue when Houston takes on the Cleveland Browns in Week 10.
This isn’t the first time J.D. McKissic has been on this list. While he’s far from the sexiest name in fantasy football, the journeyman runner should be a solid play, especially in PPR leagues. Washington Football Team quarterback Kyle Allen suffered a gruesome leg injury and probably won’t be able to suit up for the foreseeable future. This leaves Alex Smith and his conservative style of play atop the depth chart, and that’s great news for McKissic.
Even with Allen running the offense, McKissic was a featured part of the passing attack. However, that role increased dramatically with Smith, as McKissic recorded nine receptions for 64 yards on a team-high 14 targets. While he doesn’t have week-winning upside, he should provide a safe floor as a week-to-week flex play.
Devonta Freeman is still sidelined with an ankle injury and might not play in Week 10. Even if he does, Wayne Gallman looks like the best running back on the New York Giants depth chart. With Freeman sidelined, Gallman recorded 14 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown to go along with one reception for nine yards. You’ll need to monitor the injury report here, as Gallman’s value will drop if Freeman returns to the field. However, Gallman is still worth a claim regardless, as he very well could be the starter moving forward.
This is only for the deepest of deep leagues. Justin Jackson suffered an injury early in Week 9’s contest against the Las Vegas Raiders, leaving Kalen Ballage atop the depth chart. Surprisingly enough, the former Miami Dolphins running back actually looked good while on the field. Ballage led the backfield with 15 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown to go along with two receptions for 15 yards. Jackson was never officially ruled out, so it is possible that Ballage legitimately won the job by his own accord.
Once again, you’ll need to monitor the injury report and follow the Chargers beat. If it was just a nagging injury and Los Angeles was being cautious, Jackson will be the starter next week. However, if there’s more to this story, Ballage could be the starter on one of the better offenses in football. That alone makes him valuable, even if the ceiling isn’t very high.
Honorable Mention: Salvon Ahmed
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