One of the topics of the offseason was how wide receivers were taking over the first two rounds of Fantasy drafts. If you bucked that trend, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not feeling great about it. Three of the top five running backs by CBS ADP are currently hurt Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley, and Nick Chubb. So is RB10 (Aaron Jones) and RB19 (J.K. Dobbins). And it’s not just injuries.
We have also had some major letdowns from high volume backs like Josh Jacobs, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Miles Sanders. Jahmyr Gibbs still isn’t playing enough, though David Montgomery’s injury may change that, and Jonathan Taylor hasn’t played at all. Najee Harris and Dameon Pierce aren’t the workhorses they were drafted to be, and Alexander Mattison is just as bad.
- Week 3 previews: |
All of that is to say a couple of things. Don’t be surprised if you see multiple surprising names in the top 12 at running back the next couple of weeks. Don’t be surprised if some of them bust hard. There just are not enough good running backs and there are a lot more questionable splits than there should be by Week 3.
Also, get ready to stream some names you had no intention of rostering. My top three waiver adds are in their typical section, as are my stashes, but there are three names you might consider if you miss those guys and are truly desperate:
I would expect 12-plus touches for Craig Reynolds in the Lions’ first game without David Montgomery. Reynolds runs hard and Dan Campbell trusts him.
Jamaal Williams and Kendre Miller are both battling hamstrings. Tony Jones scored two touchdowns in Week 2 and could see 15-plus touches in Week 3 if Williams and Miller remain out. Thankfully, Alvin Kamara returns in Week 4.
Everyone is going to prioritize Matt Breida, but Gary Brightwell actually saw more touches the last time we were in this situation. You won’t start any of them in Week 3.
Now let’s get to the rest of the Week 3 RB Preview:
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Week 3 RB Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 2 at this time. Here’s what it means:
Numbers to know
- 29% — Jahmyr Gibbs has been responsible for 29% of the Lions receiving yards; he should be on the field a lot more often with David Montgomery likely out.
- 0 — Deon Jackson did not record a touch in Week 2. The backfield belongs to Zack Moss, for now.
- 5.1 — Raheem Mostert’s 5.1 yards before contact leads all running backs.
- 7 — Travis Etienne leads the NFL with seven broken tackles. He’s giving Jacksonville no reason to expand Tank Bigsby’s role.
- 12.9% — Kyren Williams is trying to become the first back since Todd Gurley to earn 12% of the team’s targets.
- 31 — D’Andre Swift saw 31 touches last Thursday. He’s a must-start if Kenneth Gainwell remains out, but things get very interesting if Gainwell returns.
- 80.8% — James Conner has handled more than 80% of the Cardinals touches this season. Ride him for as long as he’s healthy.
- 1.8 — Jaylen Warren is averaging 1.8 more yards per touch than Najee Harris. Last year the gap was 1.6.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
My full set of Week 3 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don’t live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 3. Projected stats for all starting running backs are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.