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USATSI

Week 5 is beginning to look like the week of the backup running back. We currently don't expect Christian McCaffrey, Joe Mixon, or David Montgomery to suit up. And as of Thursday morning, Chris Carson is questionable at best. 

Carson is dealing with a neck injury that held him out of practice for the week. He is currently viewed as a game-time decision, and if he's able to go we'll view him as a high-end flex who would share with Alex Collins. But if Carson is out, we'd like Collins even more.

Collins picked up 80 yards and. a touchdown on 12 touches in Week 4 against the 49ers and could be even better in Week 5. While the Rams defense is more talented than the 49ers, they were just gashed by Chase Edmonds and James Conner to the tune of 205 yards and two scores. And they figure to be far more concerned about Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett than Collins.

In the projections below you'll see Collins as a mid-range No. 2 running back because we're ranking and projecting as if Carson will not play. That makes Collins a better option than the other fill-in options Damien Williams, Chuba Hubbard, and Samaje Perine. It also makes him a priority on the waiver wire, because he's still rostered in less than two-thirds of leagues.

For those of you not impacted by these injuries, let's get to the rest of the Week 5 RB Preview:

Week 5 RB Preview
RB Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 5 at this time. Here's what it means:

Who's Out
Projections powered by Sportsline
CIN Cincinnati • #28
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Samaje Perine would be a high end flex without Mixon
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Damien Williams would be a high-end flex without Montgomery.
NO New Orleans • #21
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Alvin Kamara could get a bigger share of the load without Jones.
SEA Seattle • #32
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs LAR LAR -2.5 O/U 54
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
6.4
RB RNK
NR
Alex Collins is close to a must-start if Carson is out.
RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 4,077 -- Rushing yards for Derrick Henry since the start of 2019. No other running back has more than 3,000 yards rushing in that stretch.
  • 78 -- Rush attempts for Alvin Kamara without a touchdown this season, the most in the NFL.
  • 26 -- Receptions for Najee Harris, which is tops amongst running backs in 2021.
  • 72% -- Josh Jacobs handled 72% of the rush attempts in his Week 4 return. Even with his inefficiency, that makes him a start in Week 5.
  • 19 -- Jonathan Taylor leads the NFL with 19 red zone rush attempts. He still has not scored a rushing touchdown in the red zone.
  • 56.7% -- The Dallas Cowboys have a 56.7% rush rate the past three weeks. Both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard may be starters this week against the Giants.
  • 3.7 -- Miles Sanders has broken a tackle once every 3.7 rush attempts. The Eagles should probably give him the ball more.
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIA Miami • #37
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TB TB -10.5 O/U 47.5
OPP VS RB
9th
PROJ PTS
11.2
RB RNK
40th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
142
REC
12
REYDS
57
TD
0
FPTS/G
8
CLE Cleveland • #27
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAC LAC -1 O/U 49.5
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
12.1
RB RNK
15th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
234
REC
12
REYDS
121
TD
3
FPTS/G
16.9
SF San Francisco • #28
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI ARI -5.5 O/U 50.5
OPP VS RB
13th
PROJ PTS
11.1
RB RNK
28th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
128
REC
2
REYDS
3
TD
1
FPTS/G
7
WAS Washington • #24
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NO NO -1.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
10th
PROJ PTS
11.5
RB RNK
18th
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 5 Adds
SEA Seattle • #41
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs LAR LAR -2.5 O/U 54
OPP VS RB
21st
RB RNK
20th
ROSTERED
46%
YTD Stats
RUYDS
77
REC
2
REYDS
34
TD
1
FPTS/G
6.4
Collins has a pretty high floor without Carson and the Cardinals showed us how high his ceiling could be.
CIN Cincinnati • #34
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB GB -3 O/U 51.5
OPP VS RB
15th
RB RNK
27th
ROSTERED
40%
YTD Stats
RUYDS
28
REC
3
REYDS
30
TD
0
FPTS/G
2.2
Perine's situation is more dicey than Williams because Mixon still hasn't been ruled out for Week 5. Still, that's our expectation, which makes Perine with 10-15% of your FAB. I would anticipate Perine being better in non-PPR than PPR as Evans takes on a larger role in the passing game.
Stash
SF San Francisco • #30
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI ARI -5.5 O/U 50
OPP VS RB
11th
RB RNK
NR
ROSTERED
15%
CHI Chicago • #24
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LV LV -5.5 O/U 45.5
OPP VS RB
26th
RB RNK
NR
ROSTERED
CIN Cincinnati • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB GB -3 O/U 50
OPP VS RB
15th
RB RNK
NR
ROSTERED
2%
RB Preview
DFS Plays
Top Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #28
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI ARI -5.5 O/U 50
OPP VS RB
11th
PROJ PTS
10.9
RB RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
128
REC
2
REYDS
3
TD
1
FPTS/G
7
Sermon saw a huge workload in Week 4 and will continue to as long as Eli Mitchell remains out. But I would expect even more production from Sermon in that situation, thanks to the Cardinals' poor run defense. Sermon is the same price as injury replacements like Damien Williams and Samaje Perine and I think they'll have a higher roster rate.
Contrarian Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
TB Tampa Bay • #7
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs MIA TB -10.5 O/U 48
OPP VS RB
30th
PROJ PTS
13.4
RB RNK
17th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
183
REC
15
REYDS
124
TD
0
FPTS/G
11.4
Fournette should be locked into a workhorse role as long as Giovani Bernard remains out. I'd expect 15-plus rushes and around five catches against the Dolphins in Week 5. I bet he scores his first touchdown as well.
RB Preview
Heath's Projections