Fantasy Football Week 6 Running Back Preview: Start Malcolm Brown, stash Darrell Henderson with Todd Gurley out

Earlier in the week it looked like we could be without both Todd Gurley and David Johnson. Thankfully Johnson is trending in the right direction, but Gurley received the doubtful tag, which means we expect him to sit out. 

Without Gurley I'd expect a heavy dose of Malcolm Brown, at least in regards to the percentage of carries. The Rams have gone extremely pass-heavy the past two weeks and that may continue in Week 6. I project Brown for 17 touches which makes him a top-20 back in both formats even with a difficult matchup.

The other back that deserves attention is Darrell Henderson. You can't trust him in your lineup, but the Rams have talked about him getting more involved and I currently project him to get most of the targets out of the backfield for the Rams. This could be the week he's finally unleashed. 

I have running back projections below as well as my favorite DFS plays, which have changed since the start of the week. 

Week 6 RB Preview
RB Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 6 at this time. Here's what it means:

NYG N.Y. Giants • #22
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
With Gallman and Saquon Barkley out, we have to strongly consider Jon Hilliman as a volume play against the Patriots.
PIT Pittsburgh • #38
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Samuels is on crutches and could miss up to a month. This is a boost for James Conner, especially in PPR.
LAR L.A. Rams • #30
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Hopefully this is just a one-week absence but Malcolm Brown is close to must-start.
RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 27 - Tackles broken by Chris Carson this season. For the time being it looks like he's tightened his grip on the role in Seattle.
  • 34.6% - Broken tackle rate for Malcolm Brown. If Gurley is out, you're starting Brown. 
  • 3 - Receptions for Sony Michel in Week 5. That's a career-high and a game-changer for his Fantasy value if it becomes a regular thing. 
  • 1.2 - Yards after contact per attempt for Devonta Freeman. No running back with at least 20 carries owns a lower mark. 
  • 31.3% - Broken-tackle rate for Duke Johnson. Only Alvin Kamara has been better in that regard. His teammate, Carlos Hyde, is at 11%.
  • 40.8% - of Derrick Henry's rush attempts have come with eight defenders in the box. That only makes his production that much more impressive. 
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
WAS Washington • #26
Age: 34 • Experience: 12 yrs.
Week 6 matchup
@
MIA
Bill Callahan has said Washington will run the ball more and it should have no problem doing just that against a Dolphins team giving up 175 yards per game on the ground.
PHI Philadelphia • #24
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Week 6 Matchup
vs.
MIN
Howard has played very well of late, but it's tough to trust him against a Vikings defense that has only allowed one running back to score double-digit Fantasy points this season.
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 6 Adds
ARI Arizona • #29
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
51%
Edmonds has top-10 upside if Johnson is ruled out. The one advantage he has over Brown is that I wouldn't expect him to have to sharing passing downs.
LAR L.A. Rams • #34
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Ownership
52%
Brown is a top-15 option with Gurley ruled out.
ATL Atlanta • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
38%
Smith has been much more productive than Freeman on a per-carry basis, and this is a good matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. At the very least, Smith has a chance to score a short-yardage touchdown, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts to see a bigger share of the work in Atlanta. He's averaging 2 more yards per attempt than Freeman.
Stashes
MIN Minnesota • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
55%
I don't have any new justification, but Mattison is going to remain at the top of this list because of his situation. He's the clear handcuff to a back who has yet to play 16 games in a season. He's also on a team that strives to be one of the most run-heavy teams in the league and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
DAL Dallas • #20
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
47%
Much like Mattison, Pollard is just one injury away from a featured role in a very good situation. I prefer Mattison because of Cook's injury history, but both Pollard and Mattison need to be rostered virtually everywhere.
LAR L.A. Rams • #27
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
21%
Sean McVay mentioned this could be the week Henderson gets more involved if Gurley is out. There's no way you could start him but it's definitely time to stash him again.
RB Preview
DFS Plays
Top Plays
LAR L.A. Rams • #34
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Week 6 Prices
FanDuel
$4,800
DraftKings
$4,300
Brown will be chalky because he's priced like a backup but I'll have a hard time fading him. He'll be in 100% of my cash lineups and close to 75% of my tournament lineups. I'd rather be heavy on him than light on him in comparison to the field. Locking him in as your RB2 allows you to play just about anyone you want this week.
Contrarian Plays
DEN Denver • #30
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Week 6 Prices
FanDuel
$6,700
DraftKings
$5,300
We're always guessing when it comes to contrarian plays on a Tuesday, but I feel pretty confident Lindsay's ownership will be low. He's in a time share against a good defense, right? Kind of. Lindsay had 19 touches last week. He had 25 in Week 3 against the Packers. He only has one game this season with fewer that 15. As for the matchup, the Titans are good defensively but they're also allowing 4.6 yards per carry to running backs. I'll take Lindsay's volume and big-play upside at this cost and low ownership.
RB Preview
Heath's Projections

Non-PPR Rank 

PPR Rank 

RB 

FPTs 

PPR FPTs 

Christian McCaffrey 

25.04 

31.63 

Dalvin Cook 

20.50 

24.66 

Alvin Kamara 

18.91 

24.45 

Leonard Fournette 

16.51 

20.70 

Nick Chubb 

17.02 

19.45 

Le'Veon Bell 

14.07 

19.45 

Aaron Jones 

15.11 

19.42 

David Johnson 

14.26 

18.46 

18 

James White 

11.89 

17.71 

17 

10 

James Conner 

11.95 

17.66 

11 

Ezekiel Elliott 

14.65 

16.97 

13 

12 

Phillip Lindsay 

13.63 

16.80 

12 

13 

Chris Carson 

13.78 

16.60 

11 

14 

Mark Ingram 

14.00 

15.59 

21 

15 

Austin Ekeler 

10.85 

15.22 

10 

16 

Derrick Henry 

14.03 

15.11 

15 

17 

Malcolm Brown 

13.44 

14.38 

14 

18 

Sony Michel 

13.55 

14.26 

19 

19 

Melvin Gordon 

11.31 

14.25 

27 

20 

Devonta Freeman 

9.80 

13.97 

30 

21 

Chris Thompson 

9.40 

13.77 

16 

22 

Kerryon Johnson 

12.05 

13.69 

25 

23 

Damien Williams 

10.03 

13.40 

24 

24 

Joe Mixon 

10.10 

13.17 

29 

25 

Jon Hilliman 

9.40 

13.00 

31 

26 

Royce Freeman 

12.69 

20 

27 

Tevin Coleman 

11.15 

12.44 

22 

28 

Matt Breida 

10.27 

12.42 

34 

29 

Kenyan Drake 

9.12 

11.98 

23 

30 

Jordan Howard 

10.11 

11.86 

32 

31 

Lesean McCoy 

9.33 

10.85 

26 

32 

Carlos Hyde 

9.99 

10.73 

33 

33 

Ronald Jones 

9.25 

10.61 

35 

34 

Jamaal Williams 

7.35 

10.58 

28 

35 

Adrian Peterson 

9.65 

10.05 

37 

36 

Chase Edmonds 

7.23 

9.92 

38 

37 

Duke Johnson 

7.16 

8.95 

39 

38 

Miles Sanders 

6.93 

8.38 

36 

39 

Peyton Barber 

7.27 

8.32 

43 

40 

Darrell Henderson 

5.31 

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising running back could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 6 Fantasy rankings for every position, plus see which RB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 20, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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