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Top RB pickups from the Week 2 fantasy football waiver wire

Looking for help at running back ahead of Week 2? We take a look at five players widely available in Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues.

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The NFL in 2022 still has that “new season” smell, and there are already a handful of significant running backs nursing injuries as we start preparing for Week 2. Eli Mitchell and Najee Harris headline that group. Here is a quartet of RBs who could help out immediately if you are finding yourself in a pinch at fantasy football’s most important position.

Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (4 percent rostered)

Next up — vs. SEA, @ DEN, vs. LAR

Wilson is in line to start for the 49ers for however long Mitchell is sidelined by his knee injury. He didn’t cover himself in glory after Mitchell left in the second quarter of the team’s loss to the Bears, rushing nine times for only 22 yards. There is downside here — Wilson is not a uniquely talented player, and his workload will be cut into by Deebo Samuel and others. But if you are looking for a starting running back with the opportunity for 15-plus touches per week, Wilson is that guy.

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (25 percent)

Next up — @ GB, vs. HOU, @ NYG

Herbert’s case to be added is kind of the opposite of Wilson’s. While he doesn’t have such a clear road to double-digit touches, he is extremely skilled and worth stashing in all leagues. He’s a dynamic, shifty runner who can help out in the passing game. He ran nine times for 45 yards and punched in a short TD in Week 1. He actually outgained David Montgomery (11 carries for 26 yards), but you know that Monty will remain Chicago’s RB1 unless an injury pops up. However, Herbert should be added because he is a top-end handcuff who apparently will be worked into the action more frequently during his second season.

Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans (17 percent)

Next up — @ DEN, @ CHI, vs. LAC

Dameon Pierce was supposed to be the new hot thing in the Texans’ backfield. He made a rapid ascent up draft boards during the preseason. And then the regular season began, and Burkhead out-snapped the rookie, 47-19. Uh, what? After the game, head coach Lovie Smith said Burkhead was on the field more because they trusted him on passing downs. But considering that the Texans led for most of this game, it’s bad news that Pierce wasn’t helped out by perceived positive game flow. He gained only 33 yards on 11 carries and caught his only target for a 6-yard gain. Burkhead had more carries (14) and rushing yards (40), and he was obviously better as a receiver (five catches on eight targets for 30 yards). You know what Burkhead is as a fantasy commodity. He’s not going to win you a league. But if you find yourself suddenly shorthanded at RB, it’s worth adding him in deeper PPR formats. Houston’s trust in him is evident.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers (1 percent)

Next up — vs. NE, @ CLE, vs. NYJ

Fantasy managers everywhere held their collective breath when Harris went down with a foot injury during the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s overtime win over Cincinnati. The initial read on the injury is that it’s “not considered a big deal.” However, we’ll surely learn more about Harris’ status throughout the week, and there’s no guarantee that he will suit up against the Patriots. Warren, an undrafted free agent rookie who shouldn’t be confused with former Steelers back Jaylen Samuels, won the No. 2 RB job out of camp, beating out Benny Snell for the gig. He picked up 7 yards on three carries in Week 1. If Harris does miss Week 2, Warren would be in line for a starting opportunity, although you have to imagine Snell will be mixed in as well. It’s difficult to guess who might get the valuable goal-line touches as each player looks like a bowling ball in pads. Still, again, any possible starting RB should be added in most leagues.