Some of you might be too young to recall waiting in line to buy movie tickets. The worries that would creep in: How big is the theater? Will there be a seat left for me? Because there might not be.
That certainly is how many fantasy managers are going to feel this week when they file waiver claims to fill running back holes. There aren’t nearly enough to go around. For those in that RB queue, instead of tickets to “Lethal Weapon,” will they have to settle for “Ishtar.”
But let’s see if we can do better in the 2021 fantasy running back waiver pool than a 1987 Warren Beatty box office flop.
Saquon Barkley has an ankle the size of the Gluttony guy in “Se7en.” It feels like we just got Barkley back, but now we’re likely going to have to replace him again, at least for a little while.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire had to be carried off the field Sunday night with a knee injury that will reportedly keep him out two to three weeks. He hadn’t been great, so maybe you had benched him already, but it is time to find a firm solution.
So where do fantasy managers turn to address any of these matters?
Devontae Booker is set to fill in for Barkley. Granted, he isn’t anything special, and that offense has a lot of injuries to deal with right now. Kansas City’s Darrel Williams is a better option. He is closer to CEH talent-wise than Booker is to Barkley, and the Chiefs offense offers better fantasy opportunity than the Giants — especially if QB Daniel Jones misses time for Big Blue.
Chicago recently lost David Montgomery for several weeks, but the presumed Damien Williams ascension didn’t look quite like we expected. Williams still got plenty of work and scored, so that’s good. But Khalil Herbert got more carries and yards. Perhaps Montgomery-Herbert can be a dollar-store version of Nick Chubb-Kareem Hunt or Ezekiel Elliott-Tony Pollard.
Speaking of Pollard, there’s Pollard. He will be more difficult to find, but he has double-digit touches four straight weeks. There’s also A.J. Dillon, who is getting a healthy dose of work behind Aaron Jones.
Plus, there was a Myles Gaskin sighting this week in the Dolphins offense. Perhaps a disgruntled manager previously dropped him in your league.
Chris Carson has struggled and is dealing with a neck issue. Alex Collins got significant use last week and could be in line for more if Carson is sidelined and with Geno Smith taking over at QB for injured Russell Wilson.
Damien Harris is remarkably “meh,” and he has a fumble problem and, now, a rib problem. You can take a chance on rookie Rhamondre Stevenson to steal some of Harris’ carries or choose the safer option of Brandon Bolden to expand beyond just the role of previously injured James White.
Injuries are never fun. This past week was like a bad fantasy movie. And the waiver wire is now your personal “Battlefield Earth” hell.
OK, we believe you
Courtland Sutton WR, Broncos
Had his first strong game since Week 2. His upcoming schedule features some weak defenses vs. fantasy WRs and others we think aren’t as good as their ranking.
Emmanuel Sanders WR, Bills
We were skeptical at first, but Sanders is consistently stealing Cole Beasley’s red-zone targets and has been more efficient.
Kadarius Toney WR, Giants
Looked like a stud Sunday vs. the Cowboys with all other WRs injured. But he is a Giant, so injury is an issue. Monitor a potential leg problem.
Dan Arnold TE, Jaguars
They traded for Arnold just a couple of weeks ago, and Sunday he had eight targets — tied for third highest in the league. Longer fantasy staying power than Washington’s Ricky Seals-Jones.
This sounds sketchy
Trey Lance QB, 49ers
He was QB18 in Week 5 heading into Monday. Yay rushing stats, boo passing stats. Now he has a knee sprain.
Chuba Hubbard RB, Panthers
Christian McCaffrey teased a Week 5 return. Fantasy managers should head into Week 6 expecting him to be back, which means Hubbard is back to the bench.
Marquez Callaway WR, Saints
Had a big fantasy game this week. But, unless you are projecting a 49-yard Hail Mary TD every week… Otherwise, he was 3-for-36 with one TD. Scored single-digits in PRR three of first four weeks.
David Njoku TE, Browns
Only shows up in shootouts. Bodes well for Week 6 vs. the Cardinals. After that, expect a long stretch of disappointment.
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