Week 8 has come and gone in the NFL, meaning its time to start scanning the waiver wire for potential Week 9 pick ups. We’re nearing the halfway point of the 2021 NFL season, but we are into the back half of your fantasy football regular season. The playoff push is slowly picking up steam and it’s time to find some key cogs that can get you over the hump in December and into January.
Here are some running backs to consider picking up off the waiver wire this week.
Jeremy McNichols (1.9% ESPN) - Tennessee Titans
Next up — vs. Los Angeles Rams
Derrick Henry could be done for some or all of the season due to a foot injury. McNichols is the backup and is the clear option with Darrynton Evans already on IR. The Titans could try and add a veteran in free agency or through a trade, but McNichols is the most up to speed on the playbook. Most leagues run waivers early Wednesday morning, so you’ll know by Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline if they’ve at least made a trade attempt. McNichols is a flex option at best, but he’ll get some volume opportunities if the Titans don’t add a veteran back to the mix.
Boston Scott (4% ESPN), Jordan Howard (0% ESPN) - Philadelphia Eagles
Next up — vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Eagles’ 44-6 beatdown of the Detroit Lions was so one-sided that they actually got production from their running backs!
With Miles Sanders injured, both Scott and Howard were able to have productive days on the ground. Both combined for 117 yards of 24 carries and four touchdowns on the afternoon. They’ll be readily available in all leagues so keep your eyes peeled for them.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (25% ESPN)
Next up — vs. Atlanta Falcons
Mark Ingram returned to New Orleans after the Texans dealt him via trade last week and he was immediately incorporated into the offense as the Saints took down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 36-27 win. The former Heisman Trophy winner was able to get six carries for 27 yards and also caught two receptions for 25 yards.
There’s potential for him to get a number of touches in the red zone behind Alvin Kamara and with Jameis Winston seemingly done for the year, one would imagine the Saints now relying on their running backs a little bit more.
Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans (0% ESPN)
Next up —at Miami Dolphins
The Texans were absolutely clubbed by the Rams in a 38-22 loss on Sunday and those 22 points only came in garbage time with the game already well out of hand.
Garbage time touches are still good in fantasy and Burkhead was able to benefit by punching in a touchdown late. He had for carries for 21 yards and also caught three of four targets for 27 yards. Everything with this Houston team is a giant question mark so you never know who will emerge with a semi-decent performance. That’s why taking a flyer on Burkhead is an intriguing play.
Ameer Abdullah, Carolina Panthers (0% ESPN)
Next up —vs. New England Patriots
Ameer Abdullah ended up getting quite a few touches in the team’s 19-13 win over the Falcons on Sunday. He had eight carries for 31 yards and caught three of five targets for 35 yards.
With Christian McCaffrey still out, Chuba Hubbard is squarely Carolina’s top running back option for the time being with Abdullah as his backup. If they keep getting him the ball semi-consistently, you never know when he’s going to break out.
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (66% ESPN)
Next up — at Cincinnati Bengals
With Kareem Hunt still out with an injury, Johnson once again got to show what he could do in the Browns’ 15-10 loss to the Steelers on Sunday. His day wasn’t explosive as his breakout performance on Thursday Night Football last week, but he still managed to punch in the team’s lone touchdown on the afternoon.
We put Johnson here as kind of a last call signal. At 66%, fantasy managers in all leagues are starting to scoop the former XFL breakout back fast. This may be the last week where some of you can find him chilling on the wire so if you see him, put a bid in for him if you can.