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Fantasy Fallout: Don’t miss out on Derrick Henry, Chris Carson

I get it. Maybe you haven’t rushed to pick up running backs Derrick Henry or Chris Carson yet because they’re stuck in timeshares and your running back depth is still OK.

But don’t wait any longer. Even if you don’t start them in Week 3, they’re the kind of high-upside players worth stashing on your bench. And they might just wind up starting for you in the fantasy playoffs.

As ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter Cameron Wolfe wrote, Henry isn’t the Titans’ starter yet, but he might soon force their hand.

The second-year power runner, who ran for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries in Week 2, saw his ownership increase from 60.3 percent to 84.7 percent in ESPN leagues. There’s a chance he might wind up starting Sunday if veteran DeMarco Murray can’t play because of a hamstring injury. If that happens, Henry’s ownership should creep closer to 100 percent.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey reaffirmed this week that Murray remains the starter when healthy. And as Wolfe pointed out, Murray still is the better pass-blocker and offers proven big-play potential. So he’s not going away anytime soon.

But Murray has gotten off to a slow start (21 carries for 69 yards) while battling hamstring issues since the preseason. And Henry is catching up fast.

As for Carson, the rookie seventh-round draft pick already has emerged as the leading man in the Seattle Seahawks‘ backfield. He had 20 carries for 93 yards in Week 2, which makes it pretty surprising that he is still owned in only 37.7 percent of ESPN leagues.

Carson’s playing time is a little cloudier because Seattle also has veterans Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy, plus pass-catching back C.J. Prosise. But ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson said Carson looks like the real deal, “as much as a running back can look like that through two games.”

“He’s going to have a role each week, but I don’t know if it’ll be 20 carries each week,” said Henderson, who said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained that Rawls only played a handful of snaps in Week 2 because he was being eased back in following an ankle injury.

Henderson also wrote a fantastic breakdown this week of whether Lacy could still have a role in the Seahawks’ backfield.

On to the rest of our weekly tour of the best fantasy insight from NFL Nation:

Allen, Perine in next tier: The Baltimore RavensBuck Allen and the Washington RedskinsSamaje Perine are two more running backs with some breakout upside.

Allen has made the most of his opportunity with injuries to Danny Woodhead and Terrance West over the past two games. The third-year pro had 66 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in Week 2. And he could be the leading man Sunday in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars if West (calf) can’t play.

The bad news is that West likely will remain the featured goal-line back when healthy, and Woodhead will be the leading backfield pass-catcher when he returns from injured reserve in the second half of the season. But the good news is that Allen always will have some sort of a role because of his versatility.

As for Perine, the rookie ran 21 times for 67 yards in Week 2 after replacing injured starter Rob Kelley (who is questionable Sunday with a rib injury). Perine is the obvious replacement if Kelley is out, and ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim said he thinks Perine ultimately will become the main guy. But Keim stressed it probably won’t happen right away and that Redskins coach Jay Gruden still likes Kelley a lot.

Plus, both of them will lose touches to third-down back Chris Thompson, who is off to a terrific start, highlighted by his 61-yard touchdown run in Week 2. Keim wrote that Thompson’s role won’t increase substantially — even if Kelley is sidelined — because of Thompson’s smaller frame and his own injury history. But Keim wrote about how Thompson has continued to improve every season.

Concerns about Howard: Meanwhile, one of the most highly ranked fantasy running backs heading into this season is trending in the opposite direction. The Chicago BearsJordan Howard ran for just 7 yards on nine carries in Week 2, has been dropping some passes, is battling a shoulder injury and is losing touches to rookie breakout Tarik Cohen.

ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson wrote that Chicago claims Howard has been running the same way as last season while blaming overall run-game problems. But Dickerson is highly skeptical of the Bears’ assessment and doesn’t have much confidence in a major turnaround.

Big day for Beckham? ESPN New York Giants reporter Jordan Raanan said Odell Beckham Jr. is healthier this week, and points out that the receiver has a history of coming up big when the team needs a victory in a big way. Last season, Beckham went for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens when the Giants were 2-3. ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter Tim McManus wrote that the Eagles could have an “Odell problem” without cornerback Ronald Darby available to defend him.

Montgomery a workhorse: For anyone who thought Ty Montgomery‘s workload might be a concern, ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky pointed out that the Packers’ receiver turned running back actually is leading all NFL running backs in snaps. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he wants to eventually try to cut back on that heavy load. But Demovsky said fantasy owners obviously should play Montgomery with confidence as a bona fide No. 1 back, knowing he’ll be heavily involved in both the run game and passing game.

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