It has not been pretty viewing for select fantasy owners this weekend. Owners of New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman were forced to hold their breaths, as both went to the sidelines against the Jets. The Philadelphia Eagles receiving core went into Week 3 without much depth, and were forced to rely on Nelson Agholor.
The biggest injury however for fantasy owners is that of New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley. After going down with an ankle injury in the second quarter, he was ruled out for the game and later returned with a moon boot and crutches.
It has been reported by Jordan Ranaan that it is only an ankle sprain, which may only see Barkley miss a couple of weeks. That leaves at least one owner without the services of Barkley and scrambling to the waiver wire for a possible replacement. Below are five backs that could at least be a serviceable solution while Barkley recovers.
Note: Roster percentages and points are based on ESPN, PPR.
5. Raheem Mostert – (42.6% rostered)
Mostert has been sharing the backfield alongside Matt Breida in San Francisco and to great effect. Throughout the last two weeks, he has seen double-digit touches for roughly 80 yards. He is a dual threat in the air, although he failed to register a catch against Pittsburgh.
He can be a little clumsy with the ball, as his lost fumble against the Steelers showed. He has upside right now with Tevin Coleman injured, and should Barkley only be gone for a couple of weeks, Mostert can be a solid RB2/FLEX option in deeper leagues.
4. Wayne Gallman – (1.2% rostered)
You can expect to see Wayne Gallman skyrocket in ownership immediately this week. The man behind Barkley, he did not see much offense come his way as the Giants had to fight back against the Buccaneers through the air behind Daniel Jones.
His numbers have not been great to start 2019, however, we know from 2018 that he can make big plays at times. With the ability to play as another receiver from the backfield, Gallman has the opportunity to make an impact over the next few weeks. An opponent such as Washington in Week 4 provides him with the chance to do just that.
3. Jamaal Williams – (14.5% rostered)
The backup in Green Bay has made a couple of waves over the last two weeks. Aaron Jones has struggled outside of the red zone against Minnesota and Denver, and Week 3 saw Williams (14) overtake Jones (11) on touches.
While Williams is not as explosive as Jones at the line, he has the ability to be a receiving threat against any team. A touchdown against Minnesota to go with a couple of receptions against Denver has seen Williams average 10+ points in consecutive weeks. With games against Detroit and Philadelphia coming up, Williams looks as a reasonable RB2/FLEX option in deeper leagues.
2. Frank Gore – (44.3% rostered)
Gore continues to impress at Buffalo, with 2 touchdowns in the last two weeks to build upon his legacy. A powerful runner, Gore has seen 19 and 14 touches respectively in the last two weeks to go with a couple of receptions for a nice chunk of points.
The upcoming schedule has a couple of games where he could definitely explode at Tennessee and against Miami. A Week 4 clash against New England to go with a Week 6 bye does not help his stock, however, if Barkley’s sprain limits him to just two weeks away, the bye won’t matter.
1. Chris Thompson – (52.7% ownership)
Washington has utilized Thompson rather well, with Derrius Guice on the injured reserve until at least Week 10. As of writing this piece, Thompson has yet to play against Chicago, but has not gone under 10 points in his first two games against Philadelphia and Dallas.
His running game is limited with Adrian Peterson holding down the backfield, but Thompson is a gun receiver for a running back. He had 8 targets against Dallas for 5 receptions and 48 yards, with 7 receptions against Philadelphia for 68 yards. A strong PPR option, with games coming up against the Giants and Miami in the next three weeks, Thompson could see his ownership jump over 70% in the deep leagues.
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