Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

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With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1(a). T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (15 percent)

Leonard Fournette left Sunday's with a hamstring injury and it's possible that the second-year running back returns in Week 2. In fact, he said as much after the game, but players are historically over-optimistic about their future status. For what it's worth, coach Doug Marrone was "pretty optimistic" about the injury.

At a minimum, Fournette owners should roster Yeldon. On Sunday, Yeldon had 14 carries for 51 yards and three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. If Fournette is unable to go, Yeldon should dominate touches over Corey Grant, who had just one carry in Week 1 despite Fournette's early departure.

1(b). Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (16 percent)

Even though Melvin Gordon owners will get the most value out of Ekeler, the second-year back has some stand-alone value as well. After racking up 539 yards from scrimmage (5.5 YPC and 10.3 Y/A) and five touchdowns as a rookie, Ekeler began his 2018 season with five carries for 39 yards and five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Of course, he won't rack up 126 YFS and a touchdown weekly, but he was heavily involved even with MG3 getting 24 touches and 166 YFS. The Chargers will head to Buffalo for their Week 2 matchup and positive game script could get the backup into the game earlier if the Chargers overpower the Bills early similar to how the Ravens routed them in Week 1.

1(c). James White, New England Patriots (49 percent)

For those in PPR leagues, White could be moved to the top of this list but he may not be available in your league based on his nearly 50-percent ownership. That said, White had a team-high nine targets on Sunday as he converted that into a 4/38/1 receiving line and added five carries for 18 yards.

While first-round rookie Sony Michel may make his debut this week, the Patriots lost Jeremy Hill (ACL) for the season. Against a Jaguars defense with an elite pass rush and elite outside corners, dump offs to the team's running backs, especially White, could be a common Week 2 theme for the Pats.

4. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (1 percent)

The expectation was that the Broncos would use some form of a committee — however, few expected the workload split to be Lindsay (17), Royce Freeman (15) and Devontae Booker (four). Lindsay made the most of his opportunies as he gained 71 yards on 15 carries and added two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.

While it's possible that he has already had his best game of the season, the Broncos are high on the undrafted rookie out of Colorado. The Broncos will host division-rival Oakland in Week 2 and the team in general gets a favorable fantasy matchup across the board.

5. Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts (36 percent)

With Marlon Mack (hamstring) sidelined, Wilkins dominated Indy's backfield touches -- 17 vs. 14 for the rest of the backfield. Wilkins gained 61 scoreless yards from scrimmage and could be in store for another significant workload if Mack misses another game or is limited. Especially if Mack returns, Wilkins won't be startable against Washington next week, but he's at least rosterable at this point of the season. Meanwhile, fellow rookie backfield mate Nyheim Hines is worth a look as well, especially in PPR formats.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 2

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