When you look at the projections below, you'll see Eno Benjamin projected as a top 15 running back, which pretty clearly means we aren't projecting James Conner to play on Sunday. That shouldn't be too big of a surprise, since Conner left Week 5 with a rib injury and hasn't practiced on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for Week 6. What may be a bigger surprise is that I wouldn't mind flexing Benjamin even if Conner plays.
If Conner starts Week 6, you have multiple outs. For one, Conner could leave early again -- he's already done it twice this year. It's also possible that after a week being limited, the team chooses to lighten Conner's workload. But I wouldn't completely rule out Benjamin receiving a higher percentage of the touches even if Conner is 100%.
- Week 6 previews: | |
Benjamin has been more efficient than Conner by just about every measure this year. He's been better per catch, per carry, and per target. All told, he's been a full yard better per touch. Some of that could have to do with the situations in which they've been employed, but the eye test will tell you that Benjamin looks better moving with the football as well.
Considering the Cardinals/Seahawks game has the second-highest over/under on the slate and the Seahawks have given up the firth-most Fantasy points to running backs this season, I'd be happy with Benjamin as a flex even if he got 40% of the team's opportunities. One way or another, I'm fine with betting on that being the case. Plan on Benjamin being in your lineup this week.
Now let's get to the rest of the Week 6 RB Preview:
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Week 6 RB Preview
The following players are not being projected to play in Week 6 at this time. Here's what it means:
PHI Philadelphia • #23
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Kenneth Walker should be a must-start running back rest of season.
BUF Buffalo • #22
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Rhamondre Stevenson is a top 10 running back in all formats this week.
James Conner RB
ARI Arizona • #6
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Eno Benjamin is a No. 2 running back if both James Conner and Darrel Williams are out.
Nyheim Hines RB
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
If Hines and Jonathan Taylor both miss Week 6, Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay are both in play as flexes.
Numbers to know
- 100 -- Rhamondre Stevenson played 100% of the RB snaps once Damien Harris went down in Week 5.
- 6 -- Just six touches for A.J. Dillon in Week 5. After a strong Week 1, he's been a ghost since then and probably not worth starting at this point.
- 0 -- The Patriots have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown to a running back.
- 49 -- Receptions for running backs versus the Chiefs, easily the highest in the league. And 350 receiving yards are also the most in the league by 76 yards.
- 47 -- Nick Chubb leads running backs with a 47% avoided tackle rate.
- 5.74 -- Yards after contact per rush for Kenneth Walker III, the second highest in the league behind D'Andre Swift.
- 298 -- Rushing yards for Josh Jacobs in the last two games.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
Mike Boone RB
HOU Houston • #22
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
As long as Latavius Murray is inactive, I'd project 8-12 touches for Boone against a Chargers defense that has not been good against the run.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #25
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Kelley has some short term value as the RB2 alongside Austin Ekeler, but his real appeal is the longterm upside if something happens to Ekeler.
PIT Pittsburgh • #30
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Even Mike Tomlin has acknowledged that they need to play Jaylen Warren more. It appears Warren has taken over the third-down role, and he could see even more work moving forward. He's certainly the most explosive Steelers' back this season.
NE New England • #38
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I received a text from one of my colleagues late Monday night expressing concern that Stevenson was his No. 1 running back this week. Well, he's in my top five as well, so I don't believe it's that outlandish. Stevenson should see 20-plus touches in a good matchup and he's still priced like a No. 2 running back.
Until it becomes widely recognized that Wilson is getting nearly 20 touches a week and producing excellent efficiency on those touches, I'm going to keep riding him. It's all the better that we can do so as a contrarian play.