Is Kenneth Gainwell A Priority Fantasy Waiver Wire Add? How Much FAAB To Bid To Roster Eagles RB
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Eagles RB Kenneth Gainwell
Miles Sanders was drafted as the RB19 in PPR leagues heading into the 2021 NFL season, per FantasyPros, but the Eagles running back has produced as only the RB33 through Week 4.
One contributing factor? The role Kenneth Gainwell has taken on.
With Gainwell a popular target on the Week 5 fantasy football waiver wire — available in 70% of Yahoo! and 65% of ESPN leagues — how aggressively should you target the rookie? Our trio of analysts break down his potential value and how much of your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) to bid in order to roster him.
Target Kenneth Gainwell On Fantasy Waiver Wire?
Gainwell is worth an add in PPR formats because he would have RB2 upside if Sanders ever misses time — Gainwell even has the potential to supplant a healthy Sanders as the Eagles’ workhorse back.
I wouldn’t overspend on a player whose value isn’t guaranteed, but this may be the cheapest you’ll be able to acquire Gainwell for, i.e. about 10-15% of your FAAB.
Sanders was a total dud against the permeable Chiefs defense and saw seven carries for 13 yards (1.9 yards per carry). He did catch 3-of-3 targets for 34 yards, but Gainwell looked like the more effective back in this game. The rookie saw three carries for 31 yards and a touchdown and caught 6-of-8 passes for 58 yards.
This will probably be a committee all season, but if Gainwell keeps performing this well, there’s a good chance he could begin to see a larger share of the workload over Sanders.
Gainwell is one of only four high-priority targets I recommended in my Week 5 breakdown of the waiver wire market.
Gainwell played a season-high 39% of the snaps in Week 4 — a modest increase from the 31-35% range he was seeing in Weeks 1-3. Still, I would add him if he’s not rostered and spend up to 15-20% on him.
Despite his limited snap count, he’s seen more targets (18) than Miles Sanders (14), and just as many carries inside the opponent’s 10-yard line. Gainwell has also been more effective than Sanders inside the 10, notching 15 yards and two touchdowns on his two carries compared to Sanders’ negative-7 scoreless yards on his two totes.
I expect Gainwell’s role to continue to grow as the season wears on. Remember, he is the only back in the Eagles’ backfield drafted by the current Nick Sirianni regime. Gainwell is not as much of a sure thing as far as a start-able RB2 value in the immediate future as Latavius Murray or one of the injury replacements, but Gainwell’s dual-threat capabilities give him the most long-term upside.
Gainwell is the ideal “luxury add” for a contending team while Murray, Samaje Perine and Damien Williams make more sense for teams in more dire straits.