On the first full week of byes, there are three running backs (Adrian Peterson, Alfred Morris and Doug Martin) that were routinely drafted in the first round that will not be available for their fantasy football owners. That’s a lot of production to replace especially in deeper leagues, and savvy owners will be searching the waiver wire to find a potential one-week gem to fill the void.
Enter Rashad Jennings.
The name is familiar to fantasy owners who drafted Maurice Jones-Drew over the past three seasons, as Jennings served as the backup and fantasy handcuff.
Now a member of the Oakland Raiders, Jennings is third on the depth chart, but with Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Marcel Reece (knee) not likely to suit up, he figures to be the bell cow against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night football this weekend in a game that won’t kickoff until 11:35 a.m. ET as a result of the Oakland Athletics‘ playoff game on Saturday night.
I’m not making a habit of rostering players that the worst team in the NFL didn’t feel was worth a contract, but if you’re in a tough spot this week, Jennings is your man.
He registered 116 yards on 23 touches last week as the Raiders called his number after multiple injuries, and he faces a porous Chargers defense this week. San Diego is surrendering 5.2 yards per carry this season (third-worst rate in the league), and with Terrelle Pryor recovering from his Week 3 concussion, a heavy workload should be in store for the overmatched Raiders.
He’s a capable pass catcher (caught eight balls last week and hauled in 13 passes in his two games last season as a “feature” back), so I’m looking for Oakland to work the screen game against a weak defense that will be without Dwight Freeney (quad).
I’m not expecting Jennings to have great long term value, but if you own one of those stud running backs and need some help filling out your roster, Jennings (0.9 percent ownership in ESPN leagues and 6.0 percent on Yahoo) is as solid a plug-and-play option as you’ll find for Week 5.
Need more week five insights? Drop me a tweet @unSOPable23.