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Should you add Kenneth Gainwell or Rashaad Penny ahead of Week 2 for fantasy football?

The Eagles running backs were fantasy football duds in Week 1, but which should you favor on the waiver wire in Week 2?

Kenneth Gainwell #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks on the field prior to an NFL football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Update, Sept. 13: Waivers have been processed in most leagues, but Gainwell was officially listed as out for Thursday’s game against the Vikings. If you did pick him up, you will hope that he can return with extra time to recover for Week 3.

The Philadelphia Eagles faced the New England Patriots in Week 1 of the NFL season. There is excitement, yet again, for the Eagles who are coming off a Super Bowl loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. They are expected to be major players in the NFC this season, but there is uncertainty surrounding their backfield. There are plenty of mouths to feed between Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny.

Swift was acquired during the 2023 NFL Draft and was assumed to be the starting running back heading into the season. He only had one carry for three yards and one reception for no yards in his team debut. Gainwell led the team in rushing with 54 yards on 14 carries. He also brought in all four of his targets for 20 additional yards. Scott had 10 total yards between one carry and one reception, and Penny was a healthy scratch.

The Eagles are gearing up to face the Minnesota Vikings on a short week as they match up for Thursday Night Football in Week 2.

Update — Nick Sirianni didn’t address Gainwell’s status directly but it seems he’s trending toward not being ready for TNF vs. the Vikings in Week 2. That would leave the backfield duties to be split between Swift, Scott and Penny (if he’s active).

Fantasy football waiver wire, Week 2

Case for Kenneth Gainwell

The case for Gainwell is high risk, high reward. He got the most work between the running backs, which wasn’t close. Gainwell totaled 18 touches compared to two for both Scott and Swift. The Eagles have a good offensive line and project to be in game scripts where they can run the ball to close out games. From his usage in Week 1, Gainwell is a great waiver add.

The risk is that he may be unable to be used until Week 3 or beyond. He picked up a mild rib injury and has yet to practice during the short week. If you can pick him up, just be prepared; he may not play this week.

Case for Rashaad Penny

Penny was a healthy scratch in Week 1, which may seem like it says “stay away.” The case for Penny is that Gainwell is hurt and Philadelphia didn’t really utilize any other running backs behind him in the first game. Swift is rostered in 89.1% of ESPN leagues followed by 69.3% for Penny. With his being scratched, he isn’t going to be a popular waiver wire add, but he could factor into the touches this week if Gainwell sits. Penny could be a sneaky play this week if you were a team that was rostering J.K. Dobbins, who tore his Achilles or if you’re waiting on Alvin Kamara to return from suspension. Gainwell likely has more season-long value, but Penny could be the pickup if you need someone this week.