Running Backs to Add
Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Owned in 73 percent of leagues
The stars aligned in Week 2 for Moreno to seize the feature-back role with the Broncos, which still can be one of the most promising positions in fantasy football. Sure, that offense is all about Peyton Manning and his unfair set of receivers, but that will also make for a lot of second-half clock-grinding time and red-zone opportunities.
Moreno showed he can handle the job. Better yet, Ronnie Hillman was left buried on the bench, and Montee Ball fumbled away his chance into the end zone on the Broncos' first drive Sunday.
Moreno erupted for two touchdowns and 107 total yards, and now he looks like a must-start back for next Monday night's tilt against the Raiders. He should be owned and active in all leagues now.
Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens
Owned in 72 percent of leagues
Ray Rice is dealing with a hip flexor injury, and Pierce scored a touchdown and ran out the clock on the Browns in Rice's place Sunday. Pierce was already a must-have handcuff, so we were a bit surprised to see he was available in almost 30 percent of leagues. You should not consider him a starter against the Texans run defense unless Rice is officially ruled out, though.
Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Owned in 60 percent of leagues
Powell is in a virtual 50-50 time share with Chris Ivory (82 percent owned), but Powell is still the starter and was the one who got the pass receiving numbers and the goal-line carry. He is the more important back to own, and a promising matchup against the Bills run defense looms at home this week. Expect 60 yards and a touchdown from Powell, even if Ivory can do the same.
Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks
Owned in 14 percent of leagues
We already trumpeted this deep sleeper in Monday's weekend takeaways, but we will echo it here. Clearly, the Seahawks are a run-heavy team and managed to make Marshawn Lynch a star against an elite 49ers run defense.
Turbin, not the inactive Christine Michael (37 percent owned), was the backup Sunday night and managed solid numbers (six carries for 31 yards). If anything happens to Lynch, you are going to regret not having Turbin on your bench.
With the lowly Jags on the schedule this Sunday, Turbin might even be good for 100 yards and a touchdown in garbage time. It is time to get in early on the Incredible SeaHulk.
Running Backs to Monitor
Felix Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers
Owned in 12 percent of leagues
The Steelers seemed to have settled on Jones as their feature back until Le'Veon Bell (foot) returns from injury. Jones got virtually all of the work against the Bengals on Monday night, albeit to modest results.
The Steelers run game is very bad right now, and a matchup coming up against the Bears on Sunday night is downright ugly. You can add Jones because of his status, but don't dare use him in Week 3.
Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
Owned in 24 percent of leagues
David Wilson might have started and gotten the majority of the carries, but Jacobs did the goal-line work that matters most to fantasy owners. That doesn't figure to change. Jacobs is a legit touchdown vulture if you're looking for a back to get a cheap six points in a given week.
Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
Owned in one percent of leagues
Rashard Mendenhall had a solid Week 2, but Ellington did come in for a spell, getting four carries for 20 yards and two receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown. The rookie is officially more valuable than Ryan Williams (seven percent owned) and Stepfan Taylor (six percent owned). If you own either of those Mendenhall backups, dump him for Ellington.
Running Backs to Ignore
James Starks, Green Bay Packers
Owned in five percent of leagues
This is easily the most controversial thing of this Week 3 waiver-wire slideshow: Starks is a waste of a pickup, despite his 168 combined yards (four receptions) with a touchdown.
There are myriad reasons the Packers had a 51-game drought for a 100-yard rusher, and most of them begin with Mr. Rodgers; it is his neighborhood. The Packers only started running the ball because the game was a blowout Sunday.
Starks, if he even starts, faces a much tougher run defense in the Bengals next week, and there is nothing yet to suggest Eddie Lacy (concussion) won't be ready to return to his feature-back role sooner than later. The Packers won't say anything on that until Wednesday's injury report.
Lacy will still be the Packers starter once healthy, and Starks isn't a short-term starting option in an unfavorable matchup. Starks is this week's Joique Bell.
With all this said, if you own Johnathan Franklin (14 percent), you might as well cut him to add Starks. He is the Lacy handcuff now.
Da'Rel Scott, New York Giants
Owned in 36 percent of leagues
While Jacobs did the goal-line work, Scott got the mop-up duty and did damage in the hurry-up. That was more of a function of his pass-blocking skills.
Even if Scott picked up two receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown, don't own him in any leagues. Wilson will emerge as more of a factor and Jacobs has to be considered the better pass protector on size and physicality alone.