Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Unlike the quarterback position, where—aside from some big leagues—there are usually a couple of guys on the waiver wire who shouldn't be, it is hard to find a good waiver wire running back by Week 3.
That said, there are a few here and there who could be worth looking at, and a few who are still owned in far too few leagues considering their potential.
As with the quarterbacks, I used NFL.com's fantasy player trends page and took a look at who was around in a large portion of leagues. Again, keep in mind that this list reflects what NFL.com (and in one case, ESPN.com) is seeing—your league could vary widely due to scoring and roster size.
||Week 3 Opponent
||ESPN - 12.7
Let's start with the bottom player, Danny Woodhead. I added him to the list in part because there was a wide variance between his NFL.com numbers and those from ESPN.
It goes to show you that just because you think he's owned in a league—because it seems like he should be—it's worth double-checking just in case.
While Woodhead was a waste of roster space in Week 1, he had a much bigger role in Week 2. In a point-per-reception (or PPR) league, his eight catches were a big boost. He also saw a lot more touches overall this past week—tied with Ryan Mathews—and looks like a guy whom the Chargers are going to get involved more and more.
Especially if Mathews begins fumbling the ball more frequently. Watching the game again, you can see Woodhead used frequently on short-yardage downs when protecting the ball was a must. He also was instrumental in the game-winning drive when he made a key catch on a 3rd-and-4, extending the drive.
He's worth at least a flier, so definitely check your leagues.
There's a good chance Bernard Pierce went in your actual draft, but you never know. This is especially critical, as Ray Rice is day-to-day with an injured hip flexor and might be out Sunday according to the team's website.
Even if he plays, expect to see more of Pierce as the team tries to keep Rice healthy.
Like Pierce, Joique Bell could be gone, but he's clearly worth having on your bench if he's available.
The Detroit News is reporting that Reggie Bush hasn't been practicing, so having Bell could give you the starter in Detroit if Bush is out. Bell is already having production worth at least a flex spot, and his fantasy points will only go up as a starter.
Although Eddie Lacy is still dealing with the aftereffects of a concussion, James Starks is still owned in too few leagues. Lacy is making progress according to JSOnline.com writer Tom Silverstein but still might not play. While pass protection is an issue for Starks at times, there's nobody else to run the ball and the Packers want to do that.
So he has to be owned.
Ditto for Knowshon Moreno. Long term, he may not be the answer in Denver, but with left tackle Ryan Clady going on injured reserve, he's going to get a lot of snaps, as he is the best pass-blocker in the backfield.
The rest of the list is all upside. Le'Veon Bell is going to be out a while, but when he returns to Pittsburgh, the rookie will step into a starting role, as nobody has played well in the backfield yet.
Brandon Bolden could see more time if Stevan Ridley has more fumbling issues and is worth a bench spot.
C.J. Anderson had a solid preseason (good enough to stick on the roster despite many other backs) and is worth rostering in deeper leagues (and dynasty) in case we have a repeat of the injuries from last year.
Finally, don't sleep on Jets running back Bilal Powell. While he's not a special back by any means, he can put up yards and catch the ball.
Further, he was on the field in the fourth quarter more often (see attached NFL Game Book) last week because the Jets were throwing the ball, and they clearly prefer to have him on the field—not Chris Ivory—when that is the case.
In terms of touches, Ivory had just one, while Powell had five.
On top of that, we know Ivory's history with injuries. It's wise to have his backup.
This particular backup might just have some good flex value.