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Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 5: Top Free Agent Adds Include Mike Boone, Nyheim Hines, Tyler Allgeier, Brian Robinson

Isiah Pacheco - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Rookies

As you now read this week’s recommendations from the waiver wire, the planning process for your Week 5 roster construction has already begun. The matchups of Week 4 included a whopping nine different 100-yard performances from running backs, while the injuries that have been sustained by Jonathan Taylor, Javonte Williams, and Alvin Kamara have become critical developments that will also influence the roster decisions of many managers.

Some of you are also contending with health issues that have been encountered by other backs, or you might be impacted by production-inhibiting timeshares or unproductive outings. These factors have all contributed to unfulfilled expectations surrounding the scoring potential of backs that were contained on your rosters. If you are incentivized to explore this week’s fantasy football waiver wire pickups, this article will help you locate the best options entering Week 5.

These recommendations will appear in three tiers - beginning with the most enticing and progressing to options for managers that are struggling with desperation. You will also find a group of backs that can be dropped for you to secure your replacements. After you've finished this breakdown, you can also find NFL news and injury updates along with data-fueled analysis that is designed to help you maximize the scoring potential of your rosters.

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Fantasy Football Rushing Leaders

Week 4 Rushing   Attempts Yards YPA
Rashaad Penny 17 151 8.9
Saquon Barkley 31 146 4.7
Josh Jacobs 28 144 5.1
Miles Sanders 27 134 5
Dameon Pierce 14 131 9.4
Nick Chubb 19 118 6.2
Derrick Henry 22 114 5.2
Aaron Jones 16 110 6.9
Jamaal Williams 19 108 5.7


Frontrunners - Week 5 Waiver Wire Running Backs

These running backs should be your top priorities among the options that are available on most waiver wires. Some will be more beneficial in PPR leagues.

Mike Boone, Denver Broncos - 1% Rostered

Javonte Williams had rushed for 28 yards with his 10 carries in Week 4 before he sustained a torn ACL. That elevated Mike Boone into a rotation with Melvin Gordon for the remainder of Denver’s matchup with Las Vegas, as the fifth-year back garnered four touches and assembled 29 total yards. While those numbers are hardly astronomical, Boone's role will expand considerably due to the abrupt, and unfortunate conclusion of Williams' season.

Boone will continue to share opportunities with Gordon, who experienced a forgettable outing against the Raiders. Gordon carried three times but was limited to eight yards. He also fumbled for the fourth time this season, while his game-changing miscue also resulted in a 68-yard touchdown for Las Vegas.

A Thursday Night matchup with the Colts is looming which will require the Broncos to quickly adjust their rotation due to the absence of Williams.  Boone will become an integral resource for Denver's reshaped backfield and should operate with a sizable weekly touch total. He is available in 99% of all leagues and has secured his place among the backs to prioritize from this week’s waiver wire.

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts - 62% Rostered

Hines’ availability currently resides just below 40%. However, during a week in which the health of Jonathan Taylor and several other starting backs remain in question, it seems appropriate for Hines to be included among the backs who are recommended from this week’s waiver wire.

The fifth-year back would secure an increased role with Indianapolis if Taylor’s ankle injury keeps affixed to the sideline during the Colts’ Thursday Night matchup in Denver.

Hines has not been operating with a sizable workload, although he did attain a 45% snap share in Week 3. He has only carried eight times from Weeks 1-4 while managing just 11 rushing yards. He has also averaged 4.8 targets per game, although his usage as both a rusher and receiver will expand during any absence by Taylor.

Hines would most likely share touches with undrafted free agent Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay if the Colts are required to reconstruct their backfield. That should not deter you from pursuing Hines, as he should be operating with an expanded role this week.

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons - 14% Rostered

Allgeier's stock was already surging following the career-best numbers that he attained in Week 4. The placement of Cordarrelle Patterson on injured reserve (knee) has now vaulted Allgeier among this week's top three options to targets on all waiver wires.

Allgeier was inactive during Atlanta’s season opener before the rookie averaged 8.0 attempts and 27.5 yards per game in Weeks 2-3. Allgeier also carried 10 times for the second time in three weeks, when the Falcons hosted Cleveland, and his 84 rushing yards easily surpassed his previous season-high. Allgeier also completed the game with 104 total yards, after assembling 20 yards with his lone reception.

Arthur Smith had deployed Patterson extensively from Weeks 1-3 (49 attempts/16.3 per game), and the 31-year Patterson had also ascended to third overall with 302 yards (100.7 per game). He had also been contending with a knee issue, and registered season-lows in carries (nine), and rushing yardage (38) against the Browns.

Second-year back Caleb Huntley tied with Allgeier for the team lead with 10 carries and generated his first career touchdown. However, Allgeier remains a strong candidate to commandeer the largest workload within Atlanta's backfield while Patterson while remains unavailable.

Allgeier is available in over 85% of all leagues, and the combination of his promising performance and his expanding role have launched him among this week’s most enticing backs to prioritize for your rosters.


In The Running - Week 5 Waiver Wire Running Backs

These running backs remain available on the waiver wire but are not necessarily must-adds.

Brian Robinson, Washington Commandeers - 53% Rostered

Robinson has been included among the weekly recommendations in this column for the past three weeks as his recovery from a shooting incident should soon reach its completion. The Commandeers are expected to activate him off the non-football injury list, which will launch a three-week window for him to emerge on the field.

Updates surrounding Robinson's status should be monitored, but the promising rookie should be included among this week’s top four priorities if he is available in your leagues. His workload could be managed initially once he does resurface, but he should quickly seize a sizable role while reclaiming the early down responsibilities that he earned during the summer.

Robinson will instantly elevate into RB2 territory for fantasy managers once that transpires. Antonio Gibson has been averaging 13.3 carries per game since the Commanders’ season opener, but a large percentage of those rushing attempts should be distributed to Robinson when the first-year back reemerges.

Managers in nearly 50% of all leagues still have an opportunity to secure him, but that percentage will diminish rapidly this week.

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins - 50% Rostered

Mostert has now captured a higher snap share than Chase Edmonds in three consecutive games, after attaining a 72% share when Miami traveled to Cincinnati in Week 4. His share has also risen each week (42%/55%/56%/72%).

Mostert also commandeered a larger workload than Edmonds as he accumulated a season-high 15 carries. That also propelled Mostert to a season-high 69 yards (4.6 per attempt). He also ran a season-high 26 routes, while collecting two of his three targets, and producing 12 yards as a receiver.

Edmonds was involved on just 28% of the Dolphins’ snaps and only manufactured six rushing yards on five attempts (1.2 per attempt). Edmonds also ran fewer routes (nine), although he caught two of his three targets and scored on a seven-yard reception.

However, Mostert’s expanding role in Mike McDaniel's offense should not be dismissed, nor should Mostert’s previous history with McDaniel in San Francisco (2017-2021). He is still attainable in 50% of all leagues and can operate as an RB3/flex option for anyone who prioritizes him this week.


Dark Horses - Week 5 Waiver Wire Running Backs 

This group consists of running backs that can be added if you are willing to wait for the possibility of a larger role during the year or consider your situation to be desperate due to injuries.

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens - 2% Rostered

Hill would have been included among this week’s frontrunners if he had not suffered an injury during Baltimore’s matchup with Buffalo. However, he is a viable roster addition if his issue will not cause an extended absence.

Even though J.K. Dobbins has re-emerged as the Ravens’ lead back, Hill had ascended into relevance after performing effectively in a rotation with Dobbins during Baltimore’s last two contests.

Hill operated with a 47% snap share - which was the second highest of his career - and also established a new career best in rushing yardage (60/10.0 per attempt) in Week 3.

Hill played on 36% of Baltimore’s offensive snaps and was also entrusted with eight carries when the Ravens hosted Buffalo in Week 4. He responded by generating 45 yards (5.6 yards per attempt). Hill also collected both of his targets before departing with his leg injury.

Hill’s ability to perform effectively with an expanded workload should keep him involved in the Ravens’ rotation - if he has eluded a serious health issue. That would also provide your motivation to secure him this week, as he remains available in 98% of all leagues.

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 26% Rostered

White’s status remains unchanged, as he provides fantasy managers with the ultimate protection for your investment if you have secured Leonard Fournette on your rosters.

White has only accumulated 11 carries, 21 rushing yards, and nine targets, as Fournette continues to function as the Buccaneers’ workhorse back. Fournette has now 60 times and generated 224 rushing yards. He has also accrued 19 targets while producing 111 yards as a receiving weapon.  However, Fournette did register season-lows in snap share (61%), and rushing attempts (3) when Tampa Bay visited Kansas City.

White also establish season highs in snap share (38%), targets (5.0), and receiving yards (50) in Week 4. His value will also skyrocket instantly if Fournette is unable to evade health issues throughout the remainder of the season. This would vault White into an extensive role as Tampa Bay’s lead back, while he would operate without any discernible threat to siphon his touches. If that scenario develops, interest in seizing White from the waiver wire will ignite.

You can avoid that unwanted scenario by stashing White on your bench this week. He is entrenched among this year’s most effective handcuffs and is currently available in 74% of all leagues.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers - 10% Rostered

Warren’s usage and production were unexceptional until his final season at the collegiate level, which combined with his status as an undrafted free agent to leave him largely undetected by the fantasy radar throughout most of the offseason. However, he continues to operate as the unchallenged backup to Najee Harris, which has elevated him among the most enticing handcuffs that are available to fantasy managers.

Harris continues to function as the Steelers' workhorse back, as he has accumulated 58 rushing attempts while assembling 202 yards on the ground entering Week 5.

Warren has carried 14 times and generated 70 rushing yards, but he would instantly confiscate a significant touch total if Harris would become unavailable for any reason. Warren’s stock would also skyrocket if that scenario were to develop, which would elevate him to the periphery of RB1 status for fantasy managers.

That should incentivize anyone who is depending on Harris as a mainstay in their lineups to seize Warren, as that will avert a sizable crisis if Harris is sidelined. All other managers can also stash Warren as a potential resource if Harris encounters a health issue during the season.


Also-Rans - It Is Time To Say Goodbye

These running backs can be dropped in order to secure an RB with greater potential to bolster your scoring during the year.

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles - 32% Rostered

Optimism emerged during the offseason surrounding Gainwell’s prospects of attaining an expanded role during his second season. However, that has yet to transpire during Philadelphia's first four matchups. Gainwell has failed to surpass a 31% snap share, while Sanders has operated with shares of 52+.

Gainwell has also averaged 2.8 rushing attempts and 2.0 targets while Miles Sanders has averaged 18.0 carries and 2.3 targets. Boston Scott had also averaged 3.3 attempts per game from Weeks 1-3 while being limited to one target during that sequence.

Sanders continued to commandeer the majority of touches when the Eagles hosted Jacksonville in Week 4. He reached a season high 67% snap share and also established new career highs in rushing attempts (27) and rushing yards (134). Gainwell was limited to a 27% snap share while his  numbers were constricted once again (five carries/19 rushing yards/-2 receiving yards) - even though Scott was sidelined with a rib issue.

Gainwell’s versatility and talent remain intact but they will not be beneficial to fantasy managers unless Nick Sirianni is inclined to allocate more opportunities to the second-year back. Anyone who is participating in leagues that do not operate with deep benches should consider alternative options from this week’s waiver wire.

James CookZack Moss, Buffalo Bills - (Cook 35% Rostered), (Moss 12% Rostered)

If either of these backs is on your roster, you may not be inclined to remove them. However, the weekly limitations in their usage and production are an ongoing reality for Cook and Moss as a consequence of the Bills’ three-man backfield rotation.

Moss reached a 37% snap share in Week 1 and also attained season highs in carries (6.0) and targets (6.0). His involvement has decreased significantly since Week 2 as he has been relegated to just 10 rushing attempts and two targets. His snaps share has steadily declined, which included the season low 9% that he registered in Week 4 (37%/19%/17%/9%).

Cooks reemerged from his one-touch outing in Week 1 to garner 11 rushing attempts during the Bills’ blowout of Tennessee in Week 2. Since that game, he has been limited to one carry and six targets. He was also limited to a 3% snap share in Week 4.

Devin Singletary has led the backfield with averages of 8.5 attempts and 5.3 targets per game since Week 1, and easily led the unit in attempts (11), rushing yards (49), targets (5.0), and receiving yards (47) in Week 4. He also attained a season-high 88% snap share in Week 4.

The touch totals for Moss are not sufficient for anyone to trust him in their lineups which should fuel the decision to drop him. Anyone who has suddenly been confronted by a roster crisis can consider dropping Cook.

Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans - 23% Rostered

Several factors will prevent Burkhead from functioning as an option that can be inserted into starting lineups with even a shred of confidence. This is due to the combination of his restricted involvement and Houston’s frequent need to adjust their offensive strategy when negative game scripts emerge.

14 of Burkhead’s 17 carries this season were accrued during the Texans’ season opener, as were 40 of his 49 rushing yards. The 32-year-old Burkhead has been deployed almost exclusively as a pass-catching specialist while collecting 21 targets and assembling 99 receiving yards.

Rookie Dameon Pierce continues to operate as Houston’s primary back, as he has now accumulated 60 attempts, with 49 of those opportunities being accrued since Week 2. Pierce has also capitalized as his yardage total has increased during all four of his matchups (33/69/80/131) which includes his season-high 131 in Week 4.

It should require an extreme set of circumstances for anyone to be considering Burkhead as a deployable starting option, and the substandard output that would ensue would create massive disappointment. That should compel managers to locate more favorable options that remain available on this week’s waiver wire.

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