It’s a good week to get some bench running backs as we had three major injuries to Rashad Jennings, Montee Ball, and Donald Brown, which opened the door for some promising options.
Many of my teams are hurting so I’ll be setting plenty of waivers. Here’s where I’m putting my chips this week.
- Ben Tate
- Branden Oliver
- Andre Williams
- Mark Ingram
- Knowshon Moreno
- Ronnie Hillman
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- C.J. Anderson
- Carson Palmer
- Austin Davis
- Robert Griffin III
If Ben Tate is available, make sure he is on your roster. The Browns run game is in stride, and Tate, when healthy, is the man. Isaiah Crowell, with all his talent, is not a bad depth add to hedge your bets because we know the next Tate injury is coming. Spend 50% or more of your FAAB to snag Tate.
Branden Oliver exploded on the scene in Week 5 for the Chargers. The Darren Sproles comparisons are easy, but Oliver added something to the Chargers offense that they have lacked with Donald Brown taking most of the touches. Brown should miss Week 6 recovering from a concussion, so we get to see Oliver get tons of carries against the Raiders. Assuming he continues to perform well, he could maintain a large role even when Ryan Mathews returns in two weeks. In PPR leagues, I like Oliver as a strong add who should keep his value with the Danny Woodhead touches for this Chargers’ offense that likes to lean on the run. Oliver is going to be on a lot of my teams if the waivers work out for me. He’s worth a 25% bid.
Andre Williams should become the workhorse in the Giants running game in Rashad Jennings absence. We may not see Jennings until Week 9, after the Giants bye week, and Williams could earn a larger percentage of the carries than he’s been getting if he shows well these next two weeks. Spend 25% or more to secure his services.
If Mark Ingram was dropped during his injury, this week is the time to stash him. The Saints return from their bye in Week 7, and Ingram should resume his early down duties. He was running like he was in the best shape of his career early this season, and we can only hope he keeps that form when he gets back on the field. You can likely stash him for 10% or less, but I’d value him just below Williams this week.
Knowshon Moreno is also expected to take the field next week after the Dolphins’ bye. We saw the Miami coaching staff prefer him over Lamar Miller before his injury, and that could still be the case when he returns despite how well Miller has been running. Make sure he’s owned in all your leagues with a 10% or more bid.
Ronnie Hillman will be the new lead back for the Denver Broncos in what will likely be a committee. He’s disappointed in the past, but coach speak this past week suggests they have confidence in him to carry the load. The schedule is not pretty, which is why you find him so far down this list, but, if you need RB help, Hillman is worthy of a 12-25% bid.
Odell Beckham Jr. looked good in his first outing for the Giants, and his role can only increase from here. I’d stash him in all leagues in hopes that that leads to fantasy glory. He’s worthy of a 10% bid — more than that if you are very WR needy.
Justin Hunter, as a side note, should also be owned in all leagues after he played the most downs of any wide receiver for the Titans this past week and found pay dirt.
C.J. Anderson is the “one to watch” running back for the Broncos in Montee Ball’s absence. He looked great this preseason and might be exactly what the Broncos need to fix their running game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him in Week 5 since he was a healthy scratch due to him not playing on special teams. Sneak Anderson onto your bench in leagues where you can. He might takeover as the lead back over Ball if he emerges against this rough schedule Denver has ahead. He’s worth a 10% FAAB bid, but you might be able to stash him for much less than that.
Carson Palmer is back at practice and could resume playing as soon as this week. If he does, he has a beautiful matchup against Washington. QB-needy teams should get him now, even if he sits one more week.
Austin Davis doesn’t have the best matchup this week, but he’s proven over his last two games to be an effective streaming option at quarterback with the potential for big weeks. I’d snag him now if you think you may need to improve you QB position or have an upcoming bye week.
Robert Griffin III doesn’t have a locked in timeline for his recovery just yet, but the momentum has definitely shifted to Griffin resuming starting duties over Kirk Cousins when he returns. If you’re in a deep league and in need of a savior at quarterback, getting Griffin now and waiting it out could be the answer. You could wait a week or two to make this move, depending on how great your need, but keep Griffin on your radar.
Good luck in Week 6.