There was a lot of speculation in the runup to Week 7’s games about who the Rams would lean on as their No. 1 running back in the wake of Kyren Williams’ ankle injury, but there really wasn’t much doubt once the game started.
Darrell Henderson got the start for the Rams, and while Royce Freeeman was involved, Henderson ended up leading the team in carries (18) and got the only goal-line touchdown the offense managed, while touching the ball on all three of the plays the Rams ran from inside the 10-yard line. He finished the game with 61 yards on 18 carries with his touchdown, and got the only two targets for either back, too.
Henderson wasn’t exceptional, to be clear, and he didn’t just step in as the Williams replacement; Williams had 72% of the Rams running back touches entering Sunday, and Henderson was at 61% Sunday. But it was very encouraging usage from a player who wasn’t even on any roster until this week. And that’s especially true with the passing game usage, as Henderson played 18 of 32 pass snaps, compared to 14 for Freeman; I thought if Freeman was going to have any role, it would be as a pass-blocker/passing downs option, but Henderson beat him out there.
With Williams out for at least three more games, Henderson looks like he’s got a real path to being a top-24-ish RB for at least the next couple of weeks. The Rams have a tough matchup with the Cowboys in Week 8, so Henderson probably comes out on the lower end of the RB2/3 range there, but against the Packers in Week 9? He could be a very useful option.
There is, of course, an expiration date on Henderson’s value, and there’s even a chance they opt not to bring him back from the practice squad next week, or that some other team opts to sign him to a much less valuable role, though that seems pretty unlikely given how much he was used Sunday. So, you probably don’t want to break the bank for him with your FAB bids this week. But, if you’re desperate for a running back on waivers, Henderson looks like the best guy to have this week.
Here’s who else we’ll be looking to add ahead of Week 8, including a bunch of rookie pass catchers who look like they might be breaking out.
Week 8 Early Waiver Targets (Add/Drop)