With Jay Ajayi being placed on injured reserve, the Eagles backfield is a bit foggy as Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Darren Sproles all in the mix. Earlier this week, I ranked Smallwood above Clement in waiver wire priority but noted both players are worth a pickup.
If you landed Clement on your fantasy team, sit tight as we see how the Eagles are going to split up carries. You should not be starting Clement or any other Eagles running back in most circumstances for Week 6. Clement is active and is expected to get carries tonight against the Giants. The question is just how many touches he will get as Smallwood is expected to get the majority of carries.
Clement missed the last two weeks with a quad injury, but Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Clement will return tonight.
“He’s doing well,” Pederson told the Philly Voice. “He’s 100 percent. He’s full go, and he’s excited to have an opportunity.”
Clement is hoping to play well enough to encourage the Eagles front office not to make a move to acquire a veteran back.
“It’s definitely unfortunate to have Jay out, but at the same time, I have to be able to step up,” Clement explained to The Morning Call. “Whether it’s me taking a bigger role, Wendell taking a bigger role, Josh Adams taking a bigger role, somebody has to take the lead. I think that’s what the front office is looking for: Who’s going to be the guy in this group to bring this pack on?”
While I still recommend sitting Clement, NJ Advance Media’s Zack Rosenblatt reported that Clement is expected to get the bulk of carries tonight. Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews had a different report noting that Clement will be on a “pitch count” tonight against the Giants, while Smallwood will get the start. This uncertainty is why the Eagles backfield should remain on your bench for Week 6 except in deeper formats.
Clement Is Hoping to Become the Eagles Lead Running Back, But He Should Stay Out of Your Lineup for Now
Clement has shown signs of light this season in limited action. Clement’s best game came against the Colts earlier this season when he had 16 carries for 56 yards along with three receptions.
“I know who we have in this building, I know who we have in our running back room,” Clement told The Morning Call. “So there’s no need to look outside the room. We know what our strength is, we know the type of dedication each and every running back has put into this room, especially training camp, offseason, just to get to this point. So I trust in Wendell, I trust in Josh Adams, I trust in Darren Sproles, I trust in [running backs coach] Duce Staley to keep this train rolling.”
Pederson offered little clarity as to how the team will use Clement and the other backs, making the entire Eagles backfield a sit this week in traditional fantasy formats. Pederson also did not rule out bringing in another back.
“I’m sure that’s [bringing in another running back] a possibility,” Pederson told Yahoo Sports. “Howie (Roseman) is going to continue to look and see what’s out there, see what’s available and see if there’s somebody that we need to bring in. In the short-term, we’re very confident in the guys we have and the guys have worked extremely hard and we’re excited for their opportunity…We’re very comfortable and confident with those three. We’ve made it work so far this part of the season. We’re going to continue to make it work.”
We should have a better idea about who will be the lead Eagles running back after tonight. For now, leave Clement on your bench. Be sure to check out this week’s edition of Start-Sit for a full breakdown of the difficult Week 6 lineup decisions.