Navigating the running back position in Fantasy Football is always tough. There are so few locked and loaded, every-down running backs remaining in the league that you have to sift through matchups and find the most favorable of duos and sometimes trios of running backs.
Heading into Week 5, we have a few players looking to cement their status as players that you should have in your lineups. Injuries have played a part, opening up larger roles in the process, but players still need to take advantage of those opportunities.
Who could you turn to this week if you are in need of help at the running back position? Here are five sleepers to keep an eye on in Week 5.
5. Nyheim Hines
The Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to take on the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. Already with the passing game role locked down, Nyheim Hines is someone that people will be keeping a close eye on up until game time.
Starting running back Jonathan Taylor was injured near the end of their Week 4 game against the Tennessee Titans. On a short week, Taylor may be forced to miss the game, which would be the first time in his football life that he was unable to play.
Even if he can suit up, there is reason to believe that his role will be scaled back. That is something Hines could be in a position to take full advantage of. Fewer touches for Taylor means more for Hines. The game script could also be in his favor as the Colts are underdogs currently in the game, making him a big Fantasy Football sleeper.
4. Caleb Huntley
All of the attention this week for Fantasy Football managers when it comes to the Atlanta Falcons has been on rookie Tyler Allgeier. With Cordarrelle Patterson being put on IR, there are a lot of touches up for grabs.
While going after Allgeier does make sense, as he is the presumed starter, Caleb Huntley is a sleeper to keep an eye on. Allgeier has been involved since Week 1, while last week was the first time that Huntley received extended playing time.
While the rookie out of BYU was on the field for 44 percent of snaps compared to only 22 for Huntley, they both received 10 carries in the game. Huntley also received the goal line work, scoring on a five-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.
Allgeier may be the starter, but Huntley will be involved. He gets the money touches as the goal line back and there should be plenty to go around for both. The Falcons are facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that just surrendered 155 yards and a score to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco.
3. Brian Robinson
Throughout the offseason and training camp, Brian Robinson was garnering praise for his performance. He looked like he had earned the starting role for the Washington Commanders, supplanting Antonio Gibson.
Unfortunately for Robinson, he was the target of a robbery and was shot twice in the leg. Miraculously, he is set to return to the field and all signs are pointing toward him making his debut this week against the Titans.
While Robinson could be eased back into action, he is someone that could surprise people this week. The Commanders have been scaling back Gibson’s touches every week, meaning there is a role for Robinson to step back into.
Robinson ran hard throughout training camp and preseason. Looking for a jolt, the coaching staff could turn to him to help get his teammates going. He isn’t a huge must-start guy in Fantasy Football yet, but he’s on his way.
2. Rachaad White
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rode running back Leonard Fournette hard. He was on the field for 85 percent of their offensive snaps, which is an unsustainable pace.
In Week 4, he had his role scaled back as he was on the field for 61 percent of the offensive snaps. In his place was rookie Rachaad White, who scored his first career rushing touchdown while also catching five passes for 50 yards.
Possessing an elite combination of size and athleticism, White is someone that could handle the starting role should Fournette miss time. At the very least, he has proven that he can perform in a role behind him to spell Fournette during the game.
While Fournette will assuredly be the go-to player in the backfield, there are matchups that White could see extended playing time in. One of those weeks could be Week 5, when the Buccaneers host the Falcons in what could be a blowout, putting White on the field for extra touches.
1. Mike Boone
The Denver Broncos lost more than just the game in Week 4 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Emerging star running back Javonte Williams was also lost for the season, tearing his ACL. That opens up a big spot in the Broncos’ offense which Mike Boone could seize.
Boone was being worked into games a little bit behind Williams and Melvin Gordon and now he will almost assuredly see an expanded role. While he may not step into Williams’ role right away, he certainly has a chance to establish himself as the team’s starter.
Gordon has battled some nagging injuries and fumbling problems this season. The team did sign Latavius Murray off the New Orleans Saints practice squad, but if given the chance, Boone can certainly hold him off as well.
On a short week, as the Broncos host the Colts for Thursday Night Football, Boone has a chance to cement a prominent role in the offense as the healthiest, most explosive option in the backfield.