If you picked David Johnson with your first rounder, or had jumped on the “Cincy are running everything through Joe Mixon” bandwagon, or rolled the dice on LeSean McCoy because he’s they’re only good player productive player, then you may be scrambling for running back help this week. But your season doesn’t have to crack into a million pieces just yet, you can poach a rusher or two from the waiver wire who will keep the egg off your face in the office league.
Dip into our selection of the best free agent options…
Bernard can burn defences
Giovani Bernard – Bengals RB
With Mixon out, Bernard is the best target likely available on your league’s waiver wire this week. Really, it’s a surprise that the 26-year-old didn’t feature more in the opening week, as he was expected to play in third-down situations. The Bengals line has improved this year and though they’ve picked up a few knocks Bernard should still see plenty of touches. The rookie backing him up, Mark Walton, is also worth a look in deeper leagues if you’ve a roster spot.
Javorius Allen – Ravens RB
Buck Allen has bounded into a productive spot in the Baltimore backfield and is worth adding to your bench as a bye-week replacement with more to come should Alex Collins’ stock fall. He currently plays on passing downs and has a touchdown in both games so far.
Corey Clement – Eagle RB
Another speculative add, the second-year running back could have a big opportunity with Jay Ajayi getting a knock and Darren Sproles’ role in question. There’s a big role available in this offence for a running back if the starter Ajayi can’t keep healthy, Clement is worth making room for if at all possible.
Chris Ivory – Bills RB
There’s no sugar-coating it, Buffalo stink worse than their average table-smashing, tailgating fan, but a starting running back is always worth something, and Chris Ivory as of Tuesday looks like he could start the next game. Unfortunately, that’s against Minnesota. Still, if you’re in a desperate spot with injuries, he’s worth an add because of McCoy’s injury and there’s so little else in the Bills offence.
Bengals buoyed by Boyd
DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin – Buccaneers WR
Both of these guys have enjoyed the spell cast by Ryan FitzMagic in Jameis Winston’s absence. They’re still available in many leagues, especially Godwin, a second-year pass catcher who has scored in each of his last four games if you include preseason.
Jackson is a familiar fantasy name, and looked to be at risk from Godwin’s emergence, but with Tampa Bay scoring like Harry Styles, there’s plenty of points to go around.
John Brown – Ravens WR
It’s a surprise to see Brown, clearly a favourite target of Joe Flacco, available in so many leagues. He’s had 14 passes thrown his way, picking up 136 yards and two TDs through two games.
Why wouldn’t anyone want this guy on their team?!
Tyler Boyd – Bengals WR
Cincinnati have surprised some with their opening to the season, and there’s plenty of work to be shared in a clicking Bengals offence. While AJ Green will dominate the box score, the spot opposite him can be productive.
John Ross should’ve been the guy making the most of it, but Tyler Boyd has grabbed Andy Dalton’s attention more.
He’s available in most leagues.
Antonio Callaway – Browns WR
So near and yet so far. Callaway’s spectacular TD catch for Cleveland ought to have given them a long-awaited win. He could still be a big winner for fantasy owners out of the Josh Gordon trade though. He could be a bargain pick-up if he can keep his head on his shoulders.
Howard has scoring knowhow
OJ Howard – Buccaneers TE
The problem for Howard is there are so many mouths to feed in Tampa, but he is a real talent, and, with options at the position light, he has big play ability. If you’re in need at the position, there are worse lottery tickets worth owning.
Jesse James – Steelers TE
As was the case last week, James remains a waiver wire option for those struggling at tight end. Vance McDonald is likely to return, so that may hinder his value, but this must-win matchup for Ben Roethlisberger and company against a Tampa team giving up points does paint a picture of possible success this week.
If the glove Fitz…
Ryan FitzPatrick – Buccaneers QB
The Bucs play the Steelers, who gave up a lorry load of points to Pat Mahomes’ big arm on Sunday, so this is an intriguing matchup… though buyer beware. The spark can go out of FitzMagic in an instant – usually with a flood of interceptions. He’s a high-risk play at any time.
Andy Dalton – Bengals QB
The Red Rifle (sorry) has shown in seasons past that he can score heavily in FF. The Bengals look solid this year and have surrounded him with talent. He’s a no-brainer if you’re streaming QBs or unhappy with your starter.