clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy football waiver wire: 5 running backs to look at for Week 5

The waiver wire plays a bigger role this week with four teams on bye.

We are entering the main grind of the fantasy football season with the bye weeks starting up in earnest. Last week saw only two teams on bye, but the number is bumped to four in Week 5, which will have a trickle-down effect on the waiver wire.

This week's bye teams: Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, and Jacksonville Jaguars. So fantasy owners will be without Christine Michael and Mark Ingram, who are every-week starters in most formats. They also won't have quality assets in Spencer Ware, T.J. Yeldon, or Chris Ivory. On the bright side, Jamaal Charles will have an extra week of rest after making a brief cameo in Sunday night's beatdown loss, so fantasy owners should stand pat with him.

For everyone else, they'll likely have to turn to the waiver wire to fill spots (or pick up players who could be useful during bye week crunches), and here are our top recommended adds at running back for Week 5. All players are owned in 50 percent or less of Yahoo! standard leagues.

Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

The Ravens benched Justin Forsett and gave West a chance to be the lead back last week. He responded with an outstanding performance, rushing for 113 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and giving Baltimore's running game a much-needed spark. West should be entrenched as the starter going forward and has a good matchup with Washington this week, but he's not out of the woods yet.

Kenneth Dixon, Ravens (25 percent)

The fourth-round rookie missed the first four games with a knee injury, but he's expected to make his debut this week. Dixon has a lot of potential and the coaching staff has been high on him, but he'll likely play a small role at the beginning. Look for him to replace Javorius Allen on passing downs and spell West. Dixon is worth a bench stash in deeper leagues at the moment.

Bilal Powell, New York Jets (23 percent)

Matt Forte's huge early workloads may already be catching up to him. He couldn't do anything against the Seattle Seahawks, rushing for just 27 yards on 14 carries. Powell is playing a bigger part in the offense and even outsnapped Forte last week, 37-34, albeit with the Jets playing catch-up most of the game. Powell is a must-hold in PPR leagues and carries some flex value if Forte gets hurt. He's a valuable handcuff.

DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (13 percent)

The Raiders reportedly planned to give Washington more work in Week 4, and although he played just 10 snaps to Latavius Murray's 34, it's becoming increasingly clear who the more talented back is. Murray had another poor performance, recording just 24 total yards on 10 touches against the Baltimore Ravens, while Washington turned eight touches into 46 total yards. It seems like only a matter of time before Oakland puts more on the talented fifth-round rookie's plate, especially if Murray keeps struggling. Keep him on hold in 12-team leagues.

Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (12 percent)

Ryan Mathews missed most of Week 3 with an ankle injury, but he's since had the bye week to rest up and is expected to make the start this week. That said, the Eagles look headed toward a committee and Smallwood is due for longer looks after exploding for 79 yards and a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago. Smallwood isn't worth starting in fantasy leagues yet, but he's a good lottery ticket to keep on your bench.