The hearts of many fantasy football players were crushed when Le’Veon Bell and Matt Forte went down a week after Arian Foster hit I.R. While you won’t find comparable value on the waiver wire, there are a few names you may want to take a shot at if you need to fill that open RB slot.
I won’t kid you and tell you that you’ll find another RB1 with the consistent production of Forte, Bell, or even Foster for that matter on the Week 9 waiver wire. The only way you will find that is through a trade and good luck pulling that off. However, there are a few available running backs on the wire that could slide into an RB2 slot that can give you some hope. Unfortunately, every one of these guys will be a boom or bust situation, however with one of the most unpredictable fantasy seasons in years, you may be able to close enough of that gap to keep your playoff and championship hopes alive.
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers – Let’s start at the top. There isn’t anyone on the wire that is as proven a commodity as Williams. Williams started two games earlier this season for the Steelers and was an absolute beast. Even in relief, Williams still posted double digits in standard scoring leagues last week. Caution, Williams may not be the golden ticket he appears to be. Williams is healthy and serving as a backup for most of the season can only strengthen his endurance. However, at 32 with a history of injuries, I may take a shot at someone else if I was looking for the long haul. Williams had multiple injuries last season in Carolina. There is a big chance he won’t be available when you need him in December and January. You have been warned!
David Cobb, Tennessee Titans – If you are a gambler and have some lineups that can get you through the next couple of weeks, Cobb may be a guy worth looking at. Cobb is penciled in to give it a go this week against the Saints after being on I.R. up to this point. Cobb was taken with the 13th pick by the Titans and with nobody stepping up in Tennessee, he could easily take the lead RB spot away from Antonio Andrews. He looked great in preseason but a word of caution. He did come back to the team “a little heavy” so he may be limited for a couple of weeks. The other big upside here is that the Titans have a great fantasy football RB schedule the remainder of the way.
Matt Jones, Washington Redskins – I have knots in my stomach recommending any Washington running backs but in this case, we’re all desperate to fill that RB hole. Jones is on many waiver wires and he could give you some big weeks here and there…could. He is getting more opportunities and appears to be the go-to back in passing situations which is huge for a team like the Redskins that are generally playing from behind. Alfred Morris had his chance to lock down the starting job and has been unproductive. Chris Thompson is battling injuries which also opens up some doors for Jones. In another offense, he would never be on the wire, yet with the inconsistency and turmoil in Washington you never know what you’ll get week to week from him.
Shane Vereen, New York Giants – Vereen was a guy coming into the season I thought could be a sneaky late-round draft pick. I was wrong, but he did show some life in the New Orleans shootout in the passing game, scoring a TD with nine targets. As you saw Sunday, the Giants defense stinks and they are a team that will be throwing to stay in the game. Vereen could be very valuable moving forward in PPR formats, although I am not sure I’d ever use him in a standard league.
Joique Bell, Detroit Lions – There is nothing good you can take out of that Lions loss on Sunday. However, what you can take away is that Joique Bell was the most active and productive of all running backs. Ameer Abdullah is a non-entity and Theo Riddick isn’t blowing anyone out of a starting job. A new offensive coordinator could see Bell featured in goal-line situations which makes him a real sneaky pickup this week. It’s still too early to tell how this all plays out, but there is some upside here that really needs to be taken into consideration. The bad news, however, is that the Lions have one of the toughest RB schedules in fantasy the rest of the way.
C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills – Fool me once C.J. shame on you, fool me a dozen times shame on me. Maybe we’ll all get fooled again or maybe this will be the C.J. Spiller we hoped to see when we all thought about drafting him in August. Spiller now moves up the depth chart with Khiry Robinson hitting I.R. and could see more opportunities…could being the operative word here. The talent is there, yet for some reason he just hasn’t gotten the looks in New Orleans. Maybe that changes with Robinson on the bench?