Week one was a difficult one for running backs in some cases. David Johnson and Danny Woodhead both sustained what appeared to be serious injuries and will likely miss significant time. Don't panic yet if you own one of them, there are still options out there. The early season waiver wire generally has some gems and this year is no exception.
10 Team Leagues
Javorius Allen BAL 0.6% owned
One thing that I can pretty much guarantee about Allen is that he is available in your league. Despite looking very impressive in the offseason, Allen was out of fantasy owners graces after the arrival of Danny Woodhead. Now that Woodhead is looking like he will be out indefinitely, it’s time to look at Buck. Allen carried the ball 21 times for 71 yards versus the Bengals. The Ravens went ultimate ground and pound in this one so that will not be a weekly occurrence. Allen should stand to take most passing downs though. Depending on how the season goes, I could see Allen taking over most of the rushing as well. He is my top pickup of the week at running back and that goes double for PPR.
Kerwynn Williams ARI 1.8% owned
Williams was in my running back sleepers by team series, although at the time it seemed pointless. Now it looks like Johnson is going to miss a lot of time and the Cardinals will scramble to replace him. It is not a stretch to say that there is no replacing Johnson, but someone is going to play the position. Most likely this is going to be a running back by committee, but at the moment Williams looks like the first man up. It should not be a surprise at all if Arizona resigns Chris Johnson, who they cut at the end of the preseason. The Cardinals looked like a mess versus Detroit and I am not high on their running game going forward. Still, Williams is worth a speculative add until the roles are defined.
Tarik Cohen CHI 10.2% owned
There was a lot of talk in the offseason that Cohen would take snaps from Jordan Howard. It looks like that may be the case, but Howard still looked great in week 1. The most likely scenario is that Cohen is going to be a PPR stud, but Howard is still a top running back overall. The Bears have no receivers, but Cohen adds an explosive element to their passing game. He is going to be special in PPR formats, but he is at the least worth a flex spot in standard leagues.
12 Team Leagues
Marlon Mack IND 3% owned
Odds are Frank Gore is not going anywhere right now. Mack was a big part of the offense, though and managed a score. That is a big deal considering how bad the Colts offense looked. He actually would have had a second score if not for a blown call. It looks like Mack is going to have a fair size role in the Colts game plan going forward. While that is not as positive as if he were on an NFL caliber team, he will get opportunities. Mack is easily worth a speculative add in 12 team leagues.
D’Onta Foreman HOU 9.2% owned
Based on performance, Foreman would be a terrible pickup. Since I’m not in the business of recommending terrible pickups, this is based on potential. Foreman looks like one of the more talented rookie backs of 2017, now his coaches are saying that they will give him the ball more. I realize that NFL coaches lie about players as easily as most of us breathe. The Texans offense was so bad that they have to make some changes though. I think that going forward it will be more Deshaun Watson and D’Onta Foreman. The difference is that Watson will take the starting job while Foreman will share it. Stash foreman on your bench now and enjoy the dividends in a couple of weeks.
Make sure to get your waiver claims in on time, these guys will not last. Come back often to check out more of our exclusive content. For bonus news and opinions, follow us on Twitter: @_knuckleheads and @brendancole16.