Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire: Looking for running back help?

Week 3 Rankings: Standard | PPR

Week 1 was a dream scenario when it came to injuries for running backs. There weren't any of significance aside from Jamaal Charles (knee) and Chris Ivory (illness) being ruled out prior to any games being played, and it felt like we were spared.

The Fantasy gods more than made up for it in Week 2 -- and in the worst possible way.

Eight prominent running backs suffered injuries ( Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Arian Foster, Jonathan Stewart, Ameer Abdullah, Danny Woodhead, Thomas Rawls and Rashad Jennings), and Fantasy owners are now scrambling for replacement options. It could be a rough week for quality starting running backs.

The most notable injury was to Peterson, who has a torn meniscus in his right knee. The extent of his absence is unknown, but he is likely out for a few weeks, which opens the door for Jerick McKinnon (36 percent ownership on CBS Sports) and Matt Asiata (1 percent) to share touches in Minnesota's backfield.

McKinnon should be the most added player in the majority of leagues, and he's worth at least 20 percent of your FAAB budget. He could be a significant difference maker in all formats, although he will share touches with Asiata (more on that below).

As for the other injuries, we know Woodhead is done for the season with a torn ACL, Stewart could miss a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury and Abdullah is seeing a foot specialist this week. The Chargers will lean on Melvin Gordon more with Woodhead out, but the Panthers and Lions have replacement options that could help Fantasy owners.

While Fozzy Whittaker (2 percent) had 131 total yards in Week 2 against the 49ers after Stewart got hurt, the Panthers will share the workload with him and Cameron Artis-Payne (19 percent). Artis-Payne is the running back to own for the Panthers, and he's worth at least 10 percent of your FAAB budget. Coach Ron Rivera said Artis-Payne, despite being inactive for the first two weeks of the season, is the running back more likely to take over Stewart's touches.

The Lions still have Theo Riddick to help replace Abdullah in the passing game, but look for Dwayne Washington (1 percent) to get a bigger role on rushing downs. He's worth at least 5 percent of your FAAB budget.

In Miami, Foster is likely out for Week 3 against Cleveland, which is disappointing given the matchup, and the Dolphins are expected to share carries with Jay Ajayi (63 percent) and Kenyan Drake (4 percent). Neither of these options are great, but Ajayi has slightly more upside if he's available.

The Buccaneers will use Charles Sims more if Martin is out with a hamstring injury, and Seattle will lean on Christine Michael if Rawls can't go with a bruised leg. As of Tuesday morning, we expect Jennings to play through his hand injury in Week 3, but look for Shane Vereen (59 percent) to pick up more work even if Jennings is active.

And if you're looking for a few running backs to stash, you might consider Alfred Morris (52 percent), Kenneth Dixon (29 percent) and Jordan Howard (14 percent). Ezekiel Elliott had two fumbles in Week 2 at Washington, and the Cowboys could start giving Morris more work. Dixon (knee) is injured, but when he returns he could take over as the starter for the Ravens since Justin Forsett and Terrance West have struggled. And the Bears might give Howard more work since Jeremy Langford has struggled in two games.

Quarterback

Injuries of note: Andy Dalton (ankle), Jay Cutler (hand), Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder), Josh McCown (shoulder)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

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Ryan Tannehill MIA • QB • 17
Week 2 stats at NE
CMP %7,110.0
YDS389
TD2
INT2
48 percent ownership

I had Tannehill as a drop candidate last week, but he played well against the Patriots with 26 Fantasy points, which included six carries for 35 yards. The Dolphins will likely struggle to run the ball with Foster out, and the Browns have allowed at least 275 passing yards and two touchdowns the past two games to Carson Wentz and Joe Flacco. Tannehill also got DeVante Parker back healthy in Week 2, and all his receivers made plays with Parker, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron. Tannehill is a potential starter in the majority of leagues this week and a great streaming option for Week 3.

  • Joe Flacco (61 percent): He had 20 FPTS in Week 2 and should do well again this week at JAC.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (52 percent): Tough game in Week 3 at KC, but he looked great in Week 2 at BUF.
  • Sam Bradford (20 percent): His first start vs. GB was impressive, but Week 3 at CAR is tough.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Kirk Cousins (92 percent): If he continues to struggle he might lose his job.
  • Brock Osweiler (64 percent): You're not starting him Thursday night against NE.
  • Alex Smith (48 percent): You're not starting him most weeks, including Week 3 vs. NYJ.

Running backs

Injuries of note: Adrian Peterson (knee), Doug Martin (hamstring), Arian Foster (groin), Jonathan Stewart (hamstring), Ameer Abdullah (foot), Danny Woodhead (torn ACL), Thomas Rawls (leg), Rashad Jennings (hand)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

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Jerick McKinnon SF • RB • 28
Week 2 stats vs. GB
ATT2
YDS2
REC1
REC YDSminus-1
36 percent ownership

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune explained how the Vikings will use McKinnon and Asiata while Peterson is out, and they speculate McKinnon will be "the lead back" and play 60 percent of the snaps. Asiata will work at the goal line, and both will play on passing downs, with McKinnon running routes and Asiata in pass protection. I'm buying into McKinnon's upside (he averages 4.9 yards per carry for his career and could be special in the passing game), and he could become a top 20 Fantasy running back while Peterson is out. I would try to get Asiata also, with McKinnon or without, but his value will be touchdown dependent if the two split the workload as expected.

  • Cameron Artis-Payne (19 percent): He's the better replacement option with Stewart out.
  • Dwayne Washington (1 percent): If Abdullah is out for a while, he could be a potential star.
  • Matt Asiata (1 percent): He scored 10 total touchdowns in 2014 when Peterson was suspended.
  • Shane Vereen (59 percent): He had 17 touches in Week 2 and could see more work if Jennings is out.
  • Jay Ajayi (63 percent): He struggled in Week 2 after Foster got hurt and lost a fumble at NE.
  • Alfred Morris (52 percent): If Elliott continues to fumble, DAL could give Morris more work.
  • Kenneth Dixon (29 percent): Just be patient. He could make an impact soon when he's healthy.
  • Fozzy Whittaker (2 percent): Week 2 was his first 100-yard outing in the NFL or in college. Wow.
  • Kenyan Drake (4 percent): He scored at NE but will likely share touches with Ajayi in Week 3.
  • Jordan Howard (14 percent): He ran well in Week 2 and could start taking work from Langford.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Duke Johnson (88 percent): He's well behind Isaiah Crowell and not dominating in the passing game.
  • Justin Forsett (85 percent): Dixon deserves the starting job when he's healthy.
  • Terrance West (55 percent): See Forsett.

Wide receivers

Injuries of note: Donte Moncrief (shoulder)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

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DeVante Parker MIA • WR • 11
Week 2 stats at NE
TAR13
REC8
YDS106
YPC13.3
65 percent ownership

I've been too hard on Parker after he struggled to stay healthy in the preseason and was passed on the depth chart by Stills. After he missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury, he played great in Week 2 against the Patriots, and he tied Landry for the team lead in targets. More importantly, he had nine more targets than Stills. Now, Stills played more snaps than Parker, but it's clear Tannehill has faith in Parker to be a playmaker for this offense, which needs another. If Parker is on waivers in your league, add him immediately heading into his Week 3 matchup with the Browns.

  • Victor Cruz (62 percent): He has either a touchdown or 90 receiving yards in his first two games.
  • Tyrell Williams (47 percent): Travis Benjamin is the new No. 1 in SD, but Williams is clearly No. 2.
  • Phillip Dorsett (56 percent): He'll get a big boost this week if Moncrief is out.
  • Corey Coleman (62 percent): Let's see what happens to him now with another quarterback change.
  • Quincy Enunwa (6 percent): He's battling injured ribs, but the Jets are leaning on him so far this year.
  • Anquan Boldin (20 percent): He's the only Lions receiver with a touchdown so far this season.
  • Kenny Stills (18 percent): Parker and Landry are better, but he still has the chance to produce.

Deep PPR options

* - These players aren't great in standard leagues but could be useful in deeper PPR formats.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Tavon Austin (78 percent): He has 21 targets and only 63 receiving yards for the season. That's awful.
  • Kevin White (66 percent): He has yet to prove to Fantasy owners that he's worth stashing this year.
  • Vincent Jackson (60 percent): His production through two games thus far has been uninspiring.

Tight ends

Injuries of note: Virgil Green (calf)

Priority list

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

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Dennis Pitta BAL • TE • 88
Week 2 stats at CLE
TAR12
REC9
YDS102
YPC11.3
11 percent ownership

Kudos to my colleague Heath Cummings for predicting that Pitta would play well in Week 2 against the Browns, and it was clear the rapport with Flacco is back after he missed most of the past two seasons with a hip injury. Pitta had double the targets of anyone else on the team, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the season. He had three catches for 39 yards on four targets in Week 1 against Buffalo, but he's worth starting in all leagues in Week 3 at Jacksonville. The Jaguars just allowed Antonio Gates to score in Week 2, and Pitta should again see a healthy amount of targets from Flacco in this matchup on the road.

  • Kyle Rudolph (44 percent): Bradford likes using his tight ends, and Rudolph scored in Week 2.
  • Jesse James (49 percent): He's got 12 targets from Ben Roethisberger through two games.
  • Jacob Tamme (26 percent): He's got 16 targets, 11 catches, 126 yards and a touchdown so far this year.
  • Clive Walford (43 percent): It was great to see him score in a good matchup vs. ATL in Week 2.
  • Vance McDonald (14 percent): All he does is score touchdowns. He's scored in each game so far.
  • Trey Burton (0 percent): He looked great in Week 2 at CHI with Zach Ertz (ribs) out.

Drop list

* - If you need to make a move, these are players you can drop for this week.

  • Coby Fleener (94 percent): I'm giving him another chance vs. ATL but many of you are moving on.
  • Gary Barnidge (93 percent): He lost his favorite quarterback now that McCown is out.
  • Zach Miller (49 percent): So far so bad with just seven catches for 47 yards on nine targets this year.

DST streamers

* - If you need a DST for this week, these teams have favorable matchups are worth starting.

  • Dolphins (16 percent) vs. CLE
  • Giants (17 percent) vs. WAS
  • Buccaneers (13 percent) vs. LAR

K streamers

* - If you need a kicker for this week, these guys have favorable matchups are worth starting.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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