Kalen Ballage Injury Update Makes Patrick Laird a Must-Add Fantasy Football Waiver Wire RB

Jason Schandl
Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis Colts
Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Patrick Laird has been a player to watch for a few weeks now, and he was our top player to stash on your bench heading into Week 13. His workload could now be set to explode.

Already seeing decreased volume while playing poorly, Kalen Ballage went down with a non-contact leg injury in the first half of Sunday's Week 13 game against the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving Laird as the top RB in the Miami Dolphins backfield.

With Kenyan Drake traded and Mark Walton suspended (and then waived), Ballage had stepped up as the de facto No. 1 RB for Miami. He played 82 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 10 and 77 percent in Week 11, which were two of the three highest single-game marks in the backfield this season. He converted 38 touches into just 62 yards across those two games though, and his workload plummeted in Week 12.

His snap share dropped to 38 percent in that game, and he turned eight touches into 26 yards. Patrick Laird, on the other hand, played 37 percent, which was up from 12 percent in Week 10 and 23 percent in Week 11.

Patrick Laird Fantasy Outlook

If Ballage misses any time, Laird suddenly becomes the lead back in a group that is clearly incredibly thin, meaning he's likely to handle workhorse volume.

Even if Ballage doesn't end up sidelined for an extended period, Laird will have the opportunity to earn himself increased looks if he can impress while replacing Ballage, who came into Week 13 averaging just 1.90 yards per carry on the year.

The upside that Laird becomes an every-down back makes him a top-priority target on the waiver wire heading into Week 14.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.