This has been an unorthodox season for the NFL and for Fantasy Football managers. Teams have to deal with postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19. The running back position is one that is a roller coaster during normal seasons, but it has been taken to a new level this season.
Managers are also planning for bye weeks. We have entered that point of the season where the waiver wire will have to be utilized to find replacements. In Week 7, there will be four teams on bye weeks. The Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, and Miami Dolphins will not be available this week.
There are plenty of must start players every week. Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, and Alvin Kamara lead the way. Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook are thrown on that list when healthy. Players like those will make a team strong, but the waiver wire is where championships are won.
Entering Week 7, these running backs on the waiver wire could be good replacements for fantasy teams. Here are five sleeper plays that could produce this week.
5. Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions
Peterson is an ageless wonder in this league. He spent two productive seasons in Washington before being released prior to Week 1. Detroit quickly signed Peterson has he has been running effectively this season once again.
D’Andre Swift put up the big numbers in the Lions’ most recent win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Lions will use a committee approach moving forward, but Peterson is a Fantasy Football sleeper option because of his usage.
He has totaled double-digit carries in four games this season and has scored a touchdown in each of the last two games. Peterson is still going to get early down carries and goal line touches because of his aggressive running style.
Peterson has been productive in the NFL for quite some time. That is not going to change. Despite his age, Peterson is still going to get ample time in the Lions’ offense.
4. Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers
When Austin Ekeler went down with a hamstring injury, the Chargers were prepared to split carries. Jackson might be able to gain some traction over Joshua Kelley moving forward.
In Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints, Jackson finished with eight more touches than Kelley and was able to total 94 yards. He rushed 15 times for 71 yards and added five catches. The touch distribution in Los Angeles makes Jackson a more attractive waiver target than Kelley. He is also worthy of a starting spot while Ekeler is on the shelf.
Heading into Week 7, Jackson is a strong flex play and could even creep up to RB2 territory. The Chargers like to use their running backs in multiple ways which makes Jackson valuable in any Fantasy Football format.
3. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills
Moss was a Fantasy Football sleeper option heading into the season and showed some promise over the first two games. A toe injury sidelined him for three games, but he is now healthy and ready to contribute in Buffalo. He is a waiver target because many managers gave up on him.
Buffalo used Moss near the goal line a lot during the first two games. He totaled seven goal line carries in two weeks. That is a role that he should return to. It is likely that the Bills use him in similar ways to before the injury. He will be a part of a committee with Devin Singletary. Owners of Singletary will not be happy, but the Bills will continue to use both options.
Moss is a talented runner between the tackles and also has some power with the football. That is why he is an attractive option down near the goal line. If he is able to score, he will be a big contributor for Fantasy Football owners, but he is not touchdown dependent.
2. Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles
Scott would normally not find himself on this list because the Eagles have a true RB1 on their roster. Miles Sanders finished with 118 yards against the Ravens last week, but tweaked his hamstring and will miss time. It does not help that the Eagles have the Thursday night game this week against the New York Giants.
If Sanders is out, and it is trending that way, then his owners will have to rush to pick up Scott. This guarantees an increased workload for Scott, with Corey Clement taking some touches as well. With Sanders out against Washington in Week 1, Sanders finished with 21 carries for 67 yards. The important number there is 21 carries. Scott finished with 350 total yards over the final four games of the 2019 season.
The Eagles have been banged up all season. Sanders and Zach Ertz will be the newest additions to the injured list. For Fantasy Football purposes, this makes Scott a must add for Week 7.
1. Antonio Gibson, Washington
Gibson may be rostered in your Fantasy Football league, but he is a major sleeper start this week. He has been getting touches in the backfield and in the passing game, but Washington’s offense makes it impossible to start any player not named Terry McLaurin. Against the Dallas Cowboys, consider Gibson a good play.
Dallas is allowing over 170 yards per game on the ground. With Kyle Allen under center, Washington has targeted running backs 34 percent of the time when throwing the football. There are other options in Washington’s backfield, such as J.D. McKissic, but Gibson remains the most valuable option heading into this week. He is a strong play in any format, but especially in PPR.
Washington currently has the worst offense in the league, but they are slightly better with Allen under center. The Cowboys’ defense has been inept all season, especially along the defensive line. If there is a chance to get Gibson in your lineup, it is in Week 7.