For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).
With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 5 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):
[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]
1. Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (15 percent)
Ranking 29th in the NFL in rushing offense, the Colts have essentially used Hines in the short passing game as an extension of their running game. Drawing comparisons to Darren Sproles, Hines is on pace for 88 receptions and only Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley and Melvin Gordon have more receptions this season than Hines. Much better in PPR formats, Hines is also on pace for 692 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. Almost a lock to fall short of the touchdown pace, Hines is currently the RB26 in standard-scoring formats (and RB15 in PPR) through Week 4.
2. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24 percent)
Not entirely his fault, but Peyton Barber and the Buccaneers ground game has struggled this season. Playing in the first game of his career, Jones had 10 carries for 29 yards, both of which were team highs. Neither the total (29 yards) nor the per-carry average (2.9) is impressive, but it's good that he had three more touches than Barber in Week 4. Beyond the team's bye (Week 5), Jones could continue to get the larger share of the workload.
3. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (19 percent)
Carlos Hyde has dominated touches in the Cleveland backfield with 22-plus touches in three of four games and at least 17 every game this season. On limited touches, however, Chubb has been highly productive. In fact, the rookie had three carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. Before Sunday's ridiculous 3/105/2 line, Chubb was averaging 5.86 YPC albeit on limited carries. At a minimum, I'd expect Chubb to get more work as the season progresses. Unless Hyde sustains an injury, however, Chubb is just a high-upside stash for now.
4. Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (5 percent)
Due to injuries in the backfield, Smallwood has eight-plus touches in three consecutive games and five targets in back-to-back games. If Darren Sproles (hamstring) and Corey Clement (quad) miss more time, Smallwood has flex upside as the team's RB2 behind Jay Ajayi. That said, I'd at least expect Clement to return for Week 5.
5. Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks (2 percent)
With Chris Carson inactive, it was Davis -- not first-round rookie Rashaad Penny -- that dominated snaps and touches on Sunday. Davis parlayed his opportunities into a 21/102/2 rushing line against the Cardinals, but it'd be unrealistic to expect that kind of volume and/or production going forward. Before this week, Davis had just three carries for three yards and two catches for six yards. In Week 3, Carson had 32/102/1 rushing. When the entire backfield is healthy, it's unclear how the workload will be split.
- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 5
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