The 2021 NFL season is one that’s been marred by injuries to every team and position under the sun. None more so than the running back position. Injuries to big name starters like Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and David Montgomery have opened the door to backups across the league. Some of them are taking advantage, while others are letting their opportunities fall by the way side. Here are a few of the top waiver-wire pickups to take a look at for Week 7 and beyond.
Freeman saw next to no action through the first 5 weeks of the season, but on a Baltimore Ravens team that lost their top three running backs before the season even started, he’s finally getting a chance. Last week against Los Angeles Chargers, Freeman had 9 carries for 53 yards and a score. He’s also a threat out of the backfield on a team that loves to dump short passes off to running backs and tight ends.
While he’s finally getting some chances out of the backfield, he’s still sharing carries with Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, and Lamar Jackson. There’s no telling from week to week who will get the most opportunities out of the backfield. Freeman is definitely a gamble to start, but in leagues where you don’t have many options to choose from, he could surprise you with a decent game.
Khalil Who? Nobody outside of his mother knew what Herbert was capable of before Sunday’s game against the Raiders when he had 18 carries for 75 yards. He followed that up with an even better performance against the Green Bay Packers when he went off for 19 carries and 97 yards along with a touchdown. With Damien Williams and David Montgomery both still out due to Covid and an injury, Herbert is slated to get most of the touches for at least one more week against Tampa Bay.
While he’s getting touches now, it’s only a matter of time before Williams and Montgomery make get back into the Bears lineup. When that happens, Khalil Herbert will most likely become a non-factor once again. If you only need a temporary fix at running back, however, Herbert could be your saving grace.
Bell got his first touchdown of the season against the Chargers on Sunday and saw his highest workload of the season. Despite only having 18 yards on 8 carries, Bell is a proven threat out of the backfield and could see more opportunities moving forward.
Le’Veon Bell is in the same position that Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman are in. He’s splitting carries with half of the offense and there’s no indication about who will get the most touches from week to week. He did have his first touchdown of the season against the Chargers and had 8 carries, but he only managed 18 yards and didn’t get any looks out of the backfield in the passing game.
With the dismissal of Jon Gruden, Kenyan Drake saw his best game of the season against he Denver Broncos. He only had four carries, but he managed to gain 34 yards and a touchdown, while adding another touchdown on the receiving end. Drake is a threat to run the ball as well as catch the ball, and has a history of making big plays.
Jon Gruden might be gone, but Kenyan Drake is still a backup running back to one of the best in the game in Brandon Jacobs. There’s not guarantee that Drake will continue to get opportunities moving forward, or what he’s going to do with those opportunities. If you’re in a pinch, however, Drake might be able to help you out.