The Week 3 waiver wire is far less exciting than Week 2, but it is still an important part of the fantasy football season. With another week in the books, we have a better idea of who these players are. Yet, it is still very early.
We must balance possible overreactions with equally damaging underreactions that could lead to missing out on season-long contributors. With that in mind, let’s examine a couple of potential RB targets on the wire this week.
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Top RB Waiver Wire Targets in Week 3
Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts (52% Rostered)
Moss is slightly over the roster percentage threshold, but he’s worth mentioning. One week after Deon Jackson embarrassed himself on national television, the Colts completely turned the backfield over to a returning Moss.
The former Buffalo Bill saw 18 carries and four targets, totaling 107 yards and a touchdown. He was an RB1.
Of course, it won’t be the case every week. However, Moss is undoubtedly startable for as long as Jonathan Taylor isn’t playing football. If he is out there in your league, pick him up.
FAAB Recommendation: 28-32%
Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns (18% Rostered)
Sadly, Nick Chub was lost for the season on Monday night after a difficult to watch hit to his left knee. Replacing him was sophomore Jerome Ford, who actually did his best Chubb impression.
Ford ran it 16 times for 106 yards, while adding three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown.
At this point, we have no idea what the Browns will do to add RB depth. They will add someone. The question is whether they look to bring back a veteran who can start, like Kareem Hunt or a trade for Cam Akers, or whether they just sign someone for roster depth and roll with Ford as their starter.
Based on Ford’s performance on Monday night, fantasy managers have to approach waivers assuming the latter. As a result, Ford is a priority add.
FAAB Recommendation: 30-60%, depending on need
Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens (44% Rostered)
Hill was one of last week’s top waiver wire pickups. Given that he still hasn’t crested 50% rostership, we double down.
Hill carried the ball 11 times for 41 yards and added three catches for 12 yards. He will likely be touchdown-dependent, but the Ravens are a good offense that runs the ball plenty.
This is a timeshare between Hill and Gus Edwards. Both need to be rostered. But as bye weeks get near and injuries pile up, a guy like Hill could be useful.
FAAB Recommendation: 12-14%
Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (17% Rostered)
Make no mistake about it; this is still Derrick Henry’s backfield. With that said, Spears is plenty involved. He saw eight carries and two targets on Sunday, totaling 55 yards.
Spears is already looking like a desperation Flex option. If something were to happen to Henry, Spears would be an every-week RB2, making him one of the most valuable handcuffs in the league. He should be on a lot more rosters.
FAAB Recommendation: 8-10%
Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears (38% Rostered)
We aren’t the biggest Johnson fans. However, it doesn’t matter when it comes to useful fantasy backs.
Johnson operated as the clear RB2 behind Khalil Herbert in Week 2. The Bears’ decision to deactivate D’Onta Foreman speaks volumes.
Johnson didn’t see much work, only touching the ball six times, but he was efficient on his four carries, totaling 32 yards. In better matchups, both he and Herbert could be startable. Plus, he has an injury-related upside.
FAAB Recommendation: 8-10%
Matt Breida, New York Giants (1% Rostered)
Late in the fourth quarter, Saquon Barkley was helped off the field, putting minimal weight on his right leg. He was then shown slamming his helmet on the sideline. The first person to know when something is seriously wrong is the player himself. This does not look good for Barkley.
After Barkley left the game, Breida was the first man in. That makes him the priority add.
Now, we are not all that excited about Breida or any non-Barkley Giants running back. There’s also a chance the Giants look to Kareem Hunt or Leonard Fournette. But unless and until that happens, Breida has to be rostered.
FAAB Recommendation: 14-16%
Tony Jones, New Orleans Saints (1% Rostered)
No one will ever be able to explain to me how Tony Jones continues to make NFL rosters. He is slow, unathletic, with no burst or agility. Jones has somehow survived for four seasons in the NFL despite averaging 2.7 yards per carry. I just can’t wrap my head around it.
On Monday night, Jones took over as the Saints’ lead back after Jamaal Williams exited with a leg injury. Do not pickup Jones. Even if he does get the start this week, expect to see a whole lot more Taysom Hill, as he is a vastly superior player.
Kendre Miller was also inactive in Week 2. He could make his debut and would give the Saints a better option than Jones. Plus, Alvin Kamara is a week away from returning. At best, Jones is a completely 100% touchdown dependent one-week RB3 spot starter. That is not worth any FAAB.
FAAB Recommendation: none
Which RBs Should You Roster in Fantasy Football?
Should You Roster Zack Moss or Ezekiel Elliott?
I’ve spent almost the entirety of Moss’ career using him as a proverbial punching bag. He was not a good prospect who entered the NFL and proved why he wasn’t a good prospect. So much so that the Bills gave up on him before his rookie contract expired.
Then, something happened. Moss found a new lease on life in Indianapolis. He’s certainly no world-beater, but Moss has proven capable of handling a full workload and has looked better than he has his entire career.
Meanwhile, Elliott looks like the worst running back in the NFL. Through two weeks, he’s carried the ball 12 times for 42 yards. In Week 1, it looked like there might be a receiving role for Zeke. He saw seven targets. However, he wasn’t targeted a single time in Week 2.
Zeke is still on the field way more than he should be, and he has volume-based RB3 upside if Rhamondre Stevenson were to get hurt. But he has no standalone value.
Moss, on the other hand, is an every-week RB2 for at least two more weeks. That’s far more than you can say about Elliott.
Should You Roster Roschon Johnson or Zach Charbonnet?
These are two running backs in very similar situations. They are both backups behind clear starters. They also both saw their roles improve in Week 2.
Johnson became the clear RB2 behind Khalil Herbert with Foreman a healthy inactive. Charbonnet is still contending with DeeJay Dallas, but he played ahead of Dallas in Week 2, appearing on more passing downs when that role went to Dallas in Week 1. Unfortunately, neither back has any standalone value … yet.
Charbonnet has higher NFL draft capital, being a second-round pick. But Johnson has a far less imposing incumbent to overtake. This one is a true toss-up.
I don’t see a scenario where Charbonnet can overtake Kenneth Walker III without an injury. But even if Johnson does overtake Herbert, he’s still on the Bears. His offensive situation will never be as good as Charbonnet’s.
There are pros and cons on both sides. This is a rare situation where I cannot render a clear verdict. Both are worth rostering. Neither is worth starting. But both might be startable a month from now. If you want an answer, why not both?