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Best available running backs on the Week 5 waiver wire

Looking for help at running back ahead of Week 5? We take a look at five players widely available in fantasy football leagues.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell celebrates his touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books and that also means fantasy managers have a more clear picture about how their team is performing and which areas need improvement. It’s also yet another opportunity to improve rosters through the waiver wire, which is surprisingly ripe with some talented running backs. Here are the best waiver options at the position heading into Week 5.

J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (49.4 percent in ESPN leagues)

Next upNew Orleans Saints

Antonio Gibson suffered an injury in Sunday’s win, meaning McKissic could take on some additional responsibilities in the run game if the Washington starter can’t go. McKissic is getting work as a receiver consistently, and has two games with five or more targets this season. There’s always a chance Washington starts playing from behind in this one, meaning more passing downs for McKissic to get opportunities.

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (24.7 percent)

Next upCarolina Panthers

Gainwell did most of his damage against the Chiefs in Week 4 as a receiver, but he has gotten work out of the backfield when it comes to carries. The Eagles have always had a muddled backfield even if there is a clear starter and Gainwell is the latest to benefit from that. If he continues to get touches, he could be a viable play for a team hurting at the position.

Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks (0.8 percent)

Next upLos Angeles Rams

The Seahawks gave Collins 10 carries Sunday, resulting in the running back accumulating 44 yards and a score. He also had two receptions for 34 yards. With Chris Carson struggling, Collins could be the change-of-pace back Seattle needs to keep its offense humming. He’s not going to deliver major fantasy points, but Collins can become a spot play if he continues to have this type of role in Seattle’s offense.

A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers (58.6 percent)

Next upCincinnati Bengals

Dillon saw 15 carries in a Week 4 win over the Steelers, something which might be difficult to replicate again. He was highly efficient with those touches, garnering 81 yards on the ground. As the Packers look to manage Aaron Jones’ workload, Dillon becomes a viable part of the offense. The second-round pick is finally starting to show why he was highly coveted. Look for him to continue to have a role this season.

Damien Williams, Chicago Bears (10.4 percent)

Next upLas Vegas Raiders

Williams got eight carries for 55 yards and a score and will be thrust into a bigger role if starter David Montgomery is unable to play. The Bears looked much more competent offensively and should continue to get better as Justin Fields acclimatizes to NFL defenses. The Raiders do have a solid front but Williams is an experienced back who can provide good production if Montgomery is sidelined.