Week 5 RB Waiver Pickups & Adds: Joshua Kelley & Justin Jackson Must Have Pickups

The running backs continue to drop off as Austin Ekeler will miss time with a hamstring and knee injury, while Nick Chubb underwent an MRI to reveal an MCL injury. Sony Michel was just ruled out against the Chiefs without any lead-up news. Week 5 is also the start of bye weeks. Green Bay and Detroit are on bye, which leaves Aaron Jones out this week. If you are starting Detroit running backs regularly, woof. With the injuries this week there are a few names to keep in mind when waivers open up. I also talk about some names mentioned last week, including Latavius Murray, who is coming off of a great game.

Week 5 RB Waiver Wire Pickups

PlayerTeamWeek 5 OpponentRostered %FAAB%
Joshua KelleyLos Angeles Chargers@NO55%10%
Justin JacksonLos Angeles Chargers@NO9%8%
D'Ernest JohnsonCleveland BrownsIND1%8%
Devonta FreemanNew York Giants@DAL54%9%
Latavius MurrayNew Orleans SaintsLAC54%7%
Travis HomerSeattle SeahawksMIN2%4%
Chase EdmondsArizona Cardinals@NUJ24%5%

Los Angeles ChargersJoshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers

With the Austin Ekeler injury, this opens the door for Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson. Don’t judge the poor outing against the Buccaneers because this Tampa run defense is legit and has been top five against the run dating back to last season. Kelley had 12 touches to Jackson’s eight. Kelley has had some fumbling issues which is why Jackson is on the radar. Kelley saw 57% of the team snaps to Jackson’s 40%. Kelly has 174 yards on 52 carries this season, which doesn’t seem great but he has seen a lot of stacked boxes in comparison to Ekeler. He has also caught all seven of his targets for 83 yards. After the Saints matchup, the Chargers will have some easier matchups against the Jets and the Dolphins.

Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Jackson was a name you might have heard last year during the Melvin Gordon holdout fiasco. His career in small sample size has been decent, rushing for 4.8 yards per carry on 87 attempts. Jackson is a late-round pick who went 7th out of Northwestern. He will split some time with Kelley. Los Angeles has been using a committee. While we usually shy away from committees, the Chargers come up with some excellent matchups over the next few weeks. They get the Raiders who have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. The Jets and Jaguars have allowed the 8th and 9th most, while the Dolphins have allowed the 10th most. Even the Saints have been a bit off against the run this season.

Cleveland Browns

D’Ernest Johnson – Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb went to IR and while Kareem Hunt is going to be the name that gets a major bump, you have to look at the backups who will get some time now. D’Ernest Johnson is the guy in Cleveland and he came in against Dallas and rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries. Hunt should see a bulk of the workload but I doubt he gets 80% of the snaps and touches. While Hunt can be a workhorse, Cleveland will opt to keep him from getting bashed. Chubb is likely to be out for the next 5-6 weeks which leaves a lot of attempts up for grabs in that span. Now, this is a solid few weeks for the Browns minus the matchup with the Steelers. They have matchups with the Steelers, Bengals, Raiders, and Texans.

Devonta Freeman – New York Giants

I don’t love the situation for Devonta Freeman, but he had 15 touches against the Rams and generated nearly 70 yards of offense. He played 54% of the snaps, where Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman both played 30% or less. Freeman’s PPR value is decent if he is going to get a few targets a game moving forward. It has been a while since Freeman has had fantasy value as you have to go back to 2017 when he was fully healthy. Because of all the running back injuries, Freeman has to be on your radar given the 15 touches as a fill-in option for the next few weeks, especially as the bye weeks get heavier and heavier.

Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints

Latavius Murray was someone I talked about last week because of his usage in the red zone and the Saints using Alvin Kamara in various ways. He has double-digit rushing attempts in three of the four games this season. The Saints will have some matchups coming up where they are in control and Murray will have some chances. After this past week, Murray is now scoring as a top 30 back over prominent names like Kenyan Drake, Todd Gurley, and Mark Ingram. It partially shows how productive he has been but also how productive some of the others have been in what has been a weird scoring year.

Seattle SeahawksTravis Homer – Seattle Seahawks

For those with deeper rosters or those in 14 team leagues, Travis Homer is a potential stash back after Carlos Hyde was inactive on Sunday against the Dolphins. It was a bit odd for Hyde to be an inactive, especially given Chris Carson rushed back to play this week after what many thought was a pretty serious injury. Homer saw the second-most snaps and touches behind Carson on Sunday and given Carson’s offseason hip injury and already a scare, Homer would be a back many are rushing out to get if Carson was to end up injured. Get ahead of the rest and stash if you have free roster space. Obviously you are not breaking the bank for either Homer or Edmonds down below, nor are you kicking yourself if you do miss out.

Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals

Chase Edmonds is another stash prospect for this year with Kenyan Drake struggling alongside the Cardinals offense as a whole. Edmonds has gotten a lot of work out the backfield with 17 targets through the first four games. He has 16 carries on the ground, but Drake has been mostly the featured guy. Despite some strong matchups, Drake has failed to really break out. I don’t think a full change will be made but Edmonds could be the spark this offense needs at times and could get worked in more often. In addition to that, he is already a premium handcuff because he would get solid work if Drake was ever to miss time with an injury.

Jason has been playing fantasy football for 20 years, starting back when Marshall Faulk was the top fantasy pick. He is well versed in various fantasy formats, from dynasty to super-flex. Jason not only enjoys playing, but helping others further their game.

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