As of Thursday afternoon the status of the Titans' Week 5 game with the Bills is still very much up in the air. The one thing we seem to know is that the game is not very likely to happen Sunday after the Titans had yet another positive coronavirus test Thursday morning. That means Fantasy managers are going to have to prepare to be without some of their starters and few are bigger, figuratively and literally, than Derrick Henry.
First things first, if you're reading this on Thursday and you have Ronald Jones and/or David Montgomery on your bench, you should start them over Henry and Singletary. Jones is a fantastic option with Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy out, and Montgomery should be a fine No. 2 with increased volume in the passing game.
If you don't have another top-25 back in the projections below and you're determined to wait as long as possible, Justin Jackson is your best bet. Jackson will split with Joshua Kelley for as long as Austin Ekeler is out and the Chargers play the Saints on Monday Night Football. The best case scenario right now for the Titans and Bills appears to be a Monday night game as well, so it's possible Jackson would give you the ability to wait right up until kickoff for Henry and Singletary.
If you're not confident in Jackson, or he's rostered in your league, I have other options for you below.
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Week 5 RB Preview
The following player is not being projected to play Week 5 at this time. Here's what it means:
Numbers to know
- 2.54 -- Sony Michel (now on IR) leads the NFL in yards before contact. That's great news for Damien Harris, who looks like New England's early-down back.
- 4.41 -- Mike Davis leads the league in yards after contact. Unfortunately for him, Week 5 may be the last without Christian McCaffrey.
- 16.2 -- Aaron Jones has now scored once every 16.2 touches in the NFL. The regression talk from the offseason is feeling pretty silly.
- 31 -- Ezekiel Elliott leads running backs with 31 targets this season.
- 21 -- Jerick McKinnon saw 21 touches in Week 4. That was his most since Week of 2017. If Raheem Mostert remains out McKinnon is a top-10 running back against the Dolphins.
- 2.7 -- The Steelers and Buccaneers are allowing just 2.7 yards per carry. They could make for tough sledding for David Montgomery and Miles Sanders.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
LAC L.A. Chargers • #22
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I've gone back and forth on Jackson and Johnson multiple times already this week. Neither is worth more than 10% of your FAAB budget. But Jackson's 26 career catches and Kelley's recent fumble problems are enough to put him on top for now. Both Jackson and Johnson are No. 3 running backs or flexes in Week 5 and neither has a floor that you can count on.
WAS Washington • #41
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
In deep leagues McKissic may just be your best bet to replace Henry or Singletary. With Kyle Allen taking over at quarterback we'd expect an increase in running back targets and McKissic leads the team in routes run out of the backfield.
ARI Arizona • #29
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Edmonds is still not someone you can start yet, but Kenyan Drake has not looked like himself and Edmonds has already claimed the passing downs. It wouldn't be that surprising if Kliff Kingsbury gave Edmonds an extra series this week and at that point anything could happen. If Edmonds took the starting job, I'd view him as a top-20 back.
Gus Edwards RB
BAL Baltimore • #35
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
It's super annoying for managers with Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, but Edwards has looked like the Ravens best back recently. On 297 carries career carries he's averaged 5.4 yards per carry and that average is over six this year.
Mike Davis RB
CAR Carolina • #28
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
This may be the final week of Mike Davis chalk, but I don't want to miss it. Davis has 21 touches in each of his past two games and he's caught 21 passes in two and half games without Christian McCaffrey. In Week 5 he faces a Falcons defense that may just be the worst he's seen yet. Get cute somewhere else.
SF San Francisco • #28
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
If you wanted to fade Davis, McKinnon would be the go-to. In fact, it may be advisable to pay up everywhere else and play Davis and McKinnon. The 49ers offense makes any running back look good and McKinnon has turned back the clock to when his athleticism used to excite Fantasy managers. If Raheem Mostert returns McKinnon's projection will tank, but he'll be even more contrarian.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 5 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.