With two weeks down in the fantasy football season, we’re starting to get a better idea of where teams stand in 2017. It’s still a bit too early to be making any drastic changes to your roster, but owners should always be keeping an eye on the waiver wire in case injury or slumps are putting a dent in your lineup.
The running back position has its usual litany of injuries, with fantasy owners still reeling from the loss of David Johnson. This week, Rob Kelley suffered a rib injury, while Jordan Howard had an arm in his sling following the Chicago Bears’ loss. If owners are looking for some replacements or streaming options with the bye weeks around the corner, here are the top running backs owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! leagues.
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (44 percent)
It took only one week for the Eagles to phase LeGarrette Blount out of the offense. He played just six snaps Sunday and saw one touch (a catch for 0 yards), while Sproles handled 12 touches for 78 total yards. Despite being 34 years old, Sproles looks like he’ll continue being the lead back with Wendell Smallwood also failing to make an impact.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (39 percent)
Thomas Rawls came back from an ankle injury but took a backseat to Carson, who might have won the job for good after piling 100 total yards on 21 touches behind an atrocious Seahawks offensive line. Maybe the Seahawks were limiting Rawls’ snap count after he missed most of the preseason, but this sure felt like a changing of the guard. Carson is easily the best running back on this roster and will have RB2 appeal if the Seahawks unleash him.
Chris Thompson, Washington (30 percent)
Kelly has a fractured rib, which almost certainly rules him out for Week 3, and possibly beyond. Washington will likely go with Perine as the starter, but Thompson has an established role as the pass-catching back and needs to be owned in all PPR leagues. He racked up 106 total yards and two touchdowns against the Los Angeles Rams. Thompson could be a flex option against the Oakland Raiders next week.
Samaje Perine, Washington (23 percent)
The fourth-round rookie started the year as a third-stringer after a dismal preseason performance, but he’ll be thrown into the fire with Kelley out. Although Perine didn’t put on a lot of good tape, he had good reviews coming out of college (some analysts preferred him over fellow Oklahoma Sooner Joe Mixon) and will get a chance to prove himself after getting 67 yards on 21 carries in Week 2. With the Raiders on deck, Perine will be a borderline RB2.
Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (12 percent)
Kerwynn Williams got the start, but the Cardinals made it clear they will use a full-blown committee in place of David Johnson. Chris was clearly the best back in Week 2, taking 11 carries for 44 yards, but that’s probably not saying much in an offense that looks broken. This backfield will probably be a total mess in the near future and fantasy owners should avoid if they can help it. If they can’t help it, then Chris is likely the better bet.