AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
The Kansas City Chiefs announced Tuesday that they have placed running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on injured reserve.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Edwards-Helaire suffered an MCL sprain during his team’s 38-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and he is expected to be out a “few weeks.” He’s eligible to return off IR as soon as the Chiefs’ Nov. 7 game against the Green Bay Packers.
Hopefully Edwards-Helaire is 100 percent for that matchup after missing just three weeks. Until then, Darrel Williams is expected to be Kansas City’s lead back.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the top Week 6 waiver-wire running back options. Every suggested running back below is rostered in 49 percent or fewer of Yahoo! fantasy football leagues.
Chiefs RB Darrel Williams (20% Rostered)
The obvious choice to replace Edwards-Helaire is his real-life replacement in Williams, who has 144 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 33 touches this year.
Williams hasn’t been the most efficient back during his career (3.8 yards per carry), but he’s going to get his opportunities to produce for a Chiefs team averaging 30.8 points per game this year (fifth in the NFL).
In Week 5, though, Williams is a great choice simply because he’s facing a Washington Football Team defense that has severely played below expectations, allowing 31.0 points per game. The Chiefs could have their foot on the gas all game against Washington’s floundering defense, giving Williams ample opportunities to make plays and score touchdowns.
The downside is that the Chiefs’ offense obviously revolves around the passing attack, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and featuring wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.
However, Edwards-Helaire averaged 16.3 touches per game over his first four contests as the Chiefs’ RB1. Williams could see the same volume as the starter too, making him an excellent plug-and-play option over the next few weeks.
Washington Football Team RB J.D. McKissic (44% Rostered)
There’s a clear correlation between the Washington Football Team’s offensive success and running back J.D. McKissic’s involvement.
Washington has won two games: a 30-29 result against the New York Giants and a 34-30 win over the Atlanta Falcons. McKissic amassed 10 catches for 127 receiving yards and one touchdown in addition to 25 rushing yards and another score on the ground.
WFT has lost three games and failed to eclipse 22 points in each matchup. McKissic hasn’t fared well in defeats with just 53 total yards and no scores.
It’s a small sample size, but McKissic does much better when his team scores 30 or more points. On Sunday, Washington just so happens to be playing the Chiefs, whose 32.6 points per game allowed is the worst mark in the NFL.
Kansas City is also a scoring machine, so Washington could be inclined to pass more to keep pace with the pass-happy Chiefs. If that’s the case, McKissic could get some more action out of the backfield and rack up cheap points in point-per-reception leagues.
Giants RB Devontae Booker (9% Rostered)
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that New York Giants starting running back Saquon Barkley suffered a “low” left ankle sprain against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 10. He is “likely” to miss the Giants’ game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
As ESPN’s Field Yates noted, Giants backup running back Devontae Booker played 88 percent of the snaps against the Cowboys. He touched the ball 19 times (16 carries, 42 rushing yards; three catches, 16 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown).
That usage makes Booker a decent enough waiver-wire option alone, although there are some notable concerns.
Like Williams, Booker hasn’t been efficient this year, running for just 2.8 yards per carry (23 rushes, 64 yards). He has caught six passes for 30 yards, making him an intriguing option for PPR leagues. Still, Booker doesn’t have the explosiveness of Barkley. He’s not likely to break out for a huge catch-and-run or a massive gain on the ground.
Booker will also be part of a shorthanded offense that will likely be missing quarter Daniel Jones (concussion protocol) and definitely will be sans wideout Kenny Golladay (hyperextended knee) in addition to Barkley.
And the Giants are playing a 4-1 Los Angeles Rams team that featured some defensive superstars in lineman Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Still, if Booker gets close to 20 touches, he could rack up some cheap points and maybe even score one touchdown to make for a good enough fantasy play in a pinch.