Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts welcomed Jonathan Taylor back to practice this week and he was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. On Thursday he talked to the media and sounded very much like someone who intends to play for the Colts very soon. We don't know 100% for sure that Taylor will suit up for Week 5, but we do know that he's a very risky start if he does.

  • Week 5 Previews: QB | TE | WR

When Taylor is 100% healthy, he should dominate touches, but in his very first game back there is significant risk that Zack Moss sees more touches than we like. And we still don't have a great read on exactly how many running back touches will be available in the average Anthony Richardson start. Last week we saw a significant decrease in both carries and targets for Moss. 

The bigger issue is the matchup. The Titans haven't given up more than 71 yards rushing in a game all season. Only one team has scored a rushing touchdown against them. They're surrendering just 3.1 yards per carry and 12.5 PPR FPPG to the position in 2023. If those points get split up even a little, neither Taylor or Moss will be startable. 

There are four teams on a bye and you've been waiting a month to use Taylor. I understand if he is your best option this week. But there's a low floor and low ceiling against the Titans.

Now 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:

DEN Denver • #33
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Look for Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine to share the load in Williams' absence.
RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 27 -- Tony Pollard already has 27 rush attempts in the red zone. He had 23 all of last season.
  • 63 -- Miles Sanders is on pace for a career-high 63 receptions. The efficiency has been awful, but it will be hard for him to bust if this keeps up.
  • 12 -- David Montgomery leads the NFL with 12 broken tackles.
  • 9.7 -- De'Von Achane is averaging 9.7 yards per carry before contact. Raheem Mostert is tied for second at 4.2.
  • 30 -- Christian McCaffrey is averaging 30 FPPG. That seems unsustainable, but he did average 29.3 in 2019.
  • 18 -- Jaylen Warren's 18 catches is tied for second among all running backs this season.
  • 14 -- Alvin Kamara saw 14 targets in his Week 4 return, Austin Ekeler was the only running back who saw that many targets in a game last year.
  • 60% -- Isiah Pacheco set a career high in snap share last week at 60%. He's trending towards being a must-start running back.
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #8
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CHI WAS -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
31st
PROJ PTS
13.4
RB RNK
12th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
261
REC
5
REYDS
55
TD
4
FPTS/G
15.7
CAR Carolina • #6
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DET DET -9 O/U 45
OPP VS RB
5th
PROJ PTS
11.1
RB RNK
22nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
158
REC
15
REYDS
81
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.7
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs TEN IND -1 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
3rd
PROJ PTS
11.1
RB RNK
32nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
280
REC
6
REYDS
42
TD
2
FPTS/G
17.4
CIN Cincinnati • #28
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI CIN -3 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
30th
PROJ PTS
15.1
RB RNK
16th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
247
REC
9
REYDS
67
TD
1
FPTS/G
11.6
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #20
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -2 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
32nd
PROJ PTS
9.7
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
210
REC
5
REYDS
42
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.6
GB Green Bay • #33
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LV GB -2 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
13.4
RB RNK
17th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
59
REC
3
REYDS
82
TD
2
FPTS/G
14.8
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 5 Adds (RB Preview)
DEN Denver • #25
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYJ DEN -2 O/U 43
OPP VS RB
22nd
RB RNK
29th
ROSTERED
64%
YTD Stats
RUYDS
66
REC
11
REYDS
95
TD
0
FPTS/G
6.8
While McLaughlin is more exciting and has more rest-of-season upside, Perine has played more snaps every week including last week. The Jets have had troubles with pass-catching running backs, and Perine has seen 13 targets to just four for McLaughlin. It should not surprise anyone if Perine is the better option in Week 5.
CAR Carolina • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DET DET -10 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
5th
RB RNK
32nd
ROSTERED
55%
YTD Stats
RUYDS
119
REC
11
REYDS
57
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.2
Miles Sanders is bothered by his groin again and Carolina has a terrible matchup in Week 5. Hubbard could get a quarter or more of garbage time and Carolina is throwing to its backs a lot. You could do a lot worse as a desperation flex.
Stashes (RB Preview)
NO New Orleans • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NE NE -1 O/U 39
OPP VS RB
18th
RB RNK
NR
ROSTERED
37%
YTD Stats
RUYDS
37
REC
2
REYDS
5
TD
0
FPTS/G
3.1
The Saints didn't hold back at all on 28-year-old Alvin Kamara in his first game back. With Jamaal Williams on IR, Miller is the next man up if Kamara struggles with this workload or suffers an injury.
RB Preview
DFS Plays
Top DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
NO New Orleans • #41
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NE NE -1.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS RB
18th
PROJ PTS
14
RB RNK
4th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
51
REC
13
REYDS
33
TD
0
FPTS/G
21.4
I was the low guy on Kamara last week because I was worried about his fitness and how much the Saints would use him. Those concerns were put to bed early and now we can view Kamara like a top-12 running back for as long as he holds up. With the state of Derek Carr's shoulder, this could be another big target game for Kamara, and he is priced as the ninth most expensive running back on the slate on FanDuel.
Contrarian DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
ARI Arizona • #6
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CIN CIN -3 O/U 44.5
OPP VS RB
16th
PROJ PTS
14.9
RB RNK
9th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
318
REC
8
REYDS
30
TD
2
FPTS/G
13.7
Conner has been legitimately great, but the combination of his age and his team situation mean he won't often be one of the most popular backs each week. This matchup with the Bengals should be a close game and Conner has averaged 19 touches in the three games the Cardinals won or stayed within one score.
RB Preview
Heath's Projections

My full set of Week 5 Fantasy Football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 5. Projected stats for all starting running backs are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections over at SportsLine.