Fantasy football injury update, 8:30 p.m.
There are three notable running back injuries heading into Week 6. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is sidelined with his high ankle sprain. He could end up back in action on Thursday Night Football, but the Giants might choose to play it safe. Wayne Gallman is in the concussion protocol, leaving Jon Hilliman and Elijhaa Penny as the best options for New York.
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that Jaylen Samuels is sidelined for a month after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Monday. James Conner will be the workhorse against the Los Angeles Chargers, with Benny Snell likely to get some opportunities behind him. Snell is not a fantasy option.
The 49ers announced that fullback Kyle Juszczyk will miss four to six weeks with a sprained MCL. Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida remain solid starting options, but expectations should be lowered a little bit for the run game given how valuable Juszczyk has been to the ground game.
We are facing four teams on a bye in Week 6, which could leave fantasy managers short on options at running back. Among the players who won’t be playing are Marlon Mack and Josh Jacobs. If you’re in need of some help on the waiver wire, here are four players worth targeting who are still available in the majority of ESPN leagues.
Adrian Peterson, Washington (50 percent rostered)
Just when it looked like Peterson might find himself on the inactive list more often than not, Derrius Guice was lost yet again to a knee injury. While that’s opened up a role for Peterson, he only has 108 yards and one touchdown on 40 carries. Washington fired Jay Gruden on Monday and have Bill Callahan will be the interim head coach. With reports already circulating that he wants to run the ball more and a matchup against the listless Dolphins on tap, Peterson could has the potential for a productive stat line.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (three percent)
The Cardinals finally earned their first win of the season Sunday, but it wasn’t all good news as David Johnson is now battling a back injury. He was able to make it through the game, but his status for Week 6 is still uncertain. The time is now to make the speculative pickup of Edmonds, who would be in line for a starting role if Johnson is unable to play. He played well with Johnson battling the injury against the Bengals, turning eight carries into 68 yards and a touchdown.
Elijhaa Penny, New York Giants (one percent)
The Giants are running out of healthy running backs. With Saquon Barkley (ankle) already on the shelf, Wayne Gallman was lost to a concussion during their matchup against the Vikings in Week 5. They have a quick turnaround since they have to face the Patriots on Thursday, so it seems unlikely that Gallman will be cleared in time to play. There is some hope that Barkley will be able to return for this matchup, but in the event that he doesn’t or is limited, Penny could be in line to provide value. He’s a more viable pass-catching option than Jon Hilliman and the Giants might be forced to throw a lot to keep up with the Patriots.
Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins (0.4 percent)
This is more of a pickup for the long run than for Week 6. The Dolphins could trade Kenyan Drake at some point and Kalen Ballage has been a disaster. Walton already worked his way into an expanded role in Week 4, rushing six times for 23 yards against the Chargers. If the Dolphins do trade Drake, Walton would likely receive a significant increase in opportunities. If you’re in a deep league, this might be the time to act.