Fantasy Football Week 5 Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups: Joshua Kelley, D’Ernest Johnson, More

Joshua Kelley

Another week of fantasy football action is in the books, as owners everywhere scour the waiver wire to find the best available running back pickups. Looking around the league shows that players like Joshua Kelley and D’Ernest Johnson offer the best chance of positive performance in the upcoming week.

Note that in order to be eligible for this list, the player needed to be available in at least 50% of fantasy leagues. Obviously, there is some variation from league to league, so make sure to peruse all available players before making your claims. There could be a better streaming option available in your specific league that didn’t qualify for this list.

Week 5 Waiver Pickups: Running BackWide ReceiverQuarterback Defense

Joshua Kelley, D’Ernest Johnson Highlight Fantasy Football Week 5 Running Back Waiver Wire Claims

Joshua Kelley (or Justin Jackson)

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler suffered an injury and is going to be sidelined for the next few weeks. This opens the door for rookie sensation Joshua Kelley to take over as the lead back. Through the first four games of the season, Kelley has recorded 52 carries for 174 yards and one touchdown while adding another 84 yards on seven receptions. While the efficiency isn’t anything special, the volume should rise substantially in the coming weeks.

Of course, there is a chance someone in your league already rosters Kelley. If that’s the case, then you should go after backup Justin Jackson. Jackson isn’t going to be anything more than an emergency flex play, but he’ll still see the field. Last week, Jackson saw eight touches after Ekeler left the game, and we know Anthony Lynn likes to use two running backs whenever possible. Again, he’s nothing more than a desperation claim, but he should be rostered.

D’Ernest Johnson

Keep the eye on the injury report. Cleveland Browns star running back Nick Chubb suffered an injury early in Week 4 and did not return to the field. As of this posting, we do not know the severity of the injury, although the team appears to be cautiously optimistic. If Chubb is to miss any amount of time, then backup running back D’Ernest Johnson is going to carry some fantasy relevance.

Last week, Johnson played in 23% of the offensive snaps while recording 95 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Game script definitely played a role in this, as Cleveland jumped out to a massive lead in this contest. In ordinary circumstances, Kareem Hunt will be the three-down back. However, he can’t play 100% of the snaps, and Johnson is the next man off the bench.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn

If you’re looking for a Week 5 start, you should probably look somewhere else. However, if you’re looking for a stash that could pay off down the line, then Ke’Shawn Vaughn is the right guy for you. The 2020 third-rounder started his career on the bench but has a chance to earn a big role as the season progresses. With Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy fighting injury, Vaughn finally had a chance to prove he belonged in the lineup. While on the field, Vaughn recorded an unremarkable four yards on three carries but managed to record two receptions for 22 yards and a touchdown.

The Buccaneers drafted Vaughn to be the pass-catching back of the future. Ronald Jones is objectively bad as a receiver, but he still found a way to earn 10 targets in Week 4. If McCoy is gone for a while, or if the Buccaneers simply feel Vaughn is ready for a larger role, those targets will eventually start going to him. Despite the underwhelming start to his career, Vaughn could end up being the 2020 waiver wire league-winner.

Zack Moss

This is another down the road play. Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss missed the past few weeks to injury, leaving Devin Singletary alone atop the depth chart. However, Moss is steadily moving back towards health and should be back in the lineup before long. Once he is, he should return to being the primary receiving back and goal line back.

Josh Allen is going to steal plenty of rushing touchdowns, but this high-powered offense should give Moss all the opportunity he needs to be a viable flex play. He should have standalone value when healthy and has league-winning potential should Singletary go down with an injury of his own.

Week 5 Waiver Pickups: Running BackWide ReceiverQuarterback Defense

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