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Fantasy Football 2011: Week 5 Running Back Rankings

What a weird weekend for running backs. You have to check out my Waiver Wire Scoops from Tuesday as I discuss the value of red-hot Stevan Ridley and Ryan Torain. Well, it's bye-week season and there is probably at least one team in your league that is in a jam. As I always say, the most desperate owners make the best trade partners. If you can swing some of your bench, then send out some offers in the next few days. Teams that are 0-4 and 1-3 are going to be really desperate.

For some asinine reason these rankings go all the way to 70 backs. It's completely pointless outside of the fact that we like claiming they're the deepest rankings on the net. Seriously, who is starting Danny Ware this week?

Notable Injuries

Rashard Mendenhall- Mendy is dealing with a hamstring and this has game-time decision written all over it. The Steelers will likely give him a questionable tag all week and his owners need to grab Isaac Redman. Mewelde Moore could also miss time with a high-ankle sprain. Redman would be a top-15 option this week with Mendy out of the picture. Moore is ranked at 57. Yes, that is a pure coincidence for Heinz 57.

Michael Bush- Bush messed up his ankle in the Week 4 loss to the Pats and he is highly questionable. This is music to McFadden owners' ears since Bush has been a vulture for the goal-line touches. Marcel Reese might get some carries at the goal line and the Raiders might turn to Taiwan Jones a little as well.

Frank Gore- The Inconvenient Truth had a global warming effect on the bench of a lot of owners' benches. He looked very healthy after the news came out Sunday morning that he wouldn't be starting. Start him with confidence and keep Kendall Hunter as his handcuff.

Ryan Grant- Grant has been cleared to play after bruising his kidney. A bruised kidney could affect the glomeruli (filters in the kidney) and cause them not to function properly due to scarring, which leads to hematuria (red blood cells in urine). We bring the knowledge here at, folks. No smooth transition from that one... Grant and Starks are going to spilt carries and one would think that Starks gets most of the work and Grant should be eased back to his old role. This is going to be a hot-hand tandem and it's best to sell high on either when they have a big game.

Shonn Greene- Well, I'm about as fed up as a fat boy. Shonn Greene is questionable.... a questionable talent that is! Zing.  He looks terrible and he's not the answer. I wouldn't be surprised if Joe McKnight usurps a larger chunk of carries/snaps against the Pats.

Daniel Thomas- The Dolphins don't play this week, but Thomas did say that he will suit up for Week 6 against the Jets. He is a borderline RB2 in most formats and it's all systems go on trying to get him on the cheap from his owner. Don't bother with Lex Hilliard and trade Reggie Bush for a pizza. You might be able to get some wings in a 2-for-1 deal, too.

Recent News

Willis McGahee- Coach John Fox said Willis McGahee is the guy for now. "What have you done for me lately," Fox said as he named the Miami product as his featured back. McGahee is at RB2 status right now, but don't forget he is 29 and suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in NCAA history (DO NOT click this). Knowshon Moreno is still worth owning as a handcuff in most leagues, but his value dropped behind guys like Stevan Ridley and Ryan Torain.

Cedric Benson- Benson should be able to play this week against the Jaguars (according to John Clayton). Bernard Scott should be owned in all competitive leagues and it's very unlikely that Benson's appeal will get him off the hook for all three games.


You can follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the week and a ton of instant analysis on Sunday.

Rank Running Back                                                              Team Opp.
1 Arian Foster HOU OAK
2 Darren McFadden OAK HOU
3 LeSean McCoy PHI BUF
4 Adrian Peterson MIN ARI
5 Fred Jackson BUF PHI
6 Chris Johnson TEN PIT
7 Matt Forte CHI DET
8 Ryan Mathews SD DEN
9 Frank Gore SF TB
10 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC CIN
11 Beanie Wells ARI MIN
12 Rashard Mendenhall PIT TEN
13 Michael Turner ATL GB
14 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG SEA
15 Jahvid Best DET CHI
16 LaGarrette Blount TB SF
17 Willis McGahee DEN SD
18 Cedric Benson CIN JAC
19 Joseph Addai IND KC
20 Darren Sproles NO CAR
21 Mike Tolbert SD DEN
22 James Starks GB ATL
23 Mark Ingram NO CAR
24 Jonathan Stewart CAR NO
25 Dexter McCluster KC IND
26 DeAngelo Williams CAR NO
27 Stevan Ridley NE NYJ
28 Shonn Greene NYJ NE
29 Ryan Grant GB ATL
30 Isaac Redman PIT TEN
31 Brandon Jacobs NYG SEA
32 Marshawn Lynch SEA NYG
33 LaDainian Tomlinson NYJ NE
34 BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE NYJ
35 Thomas Jones KC IND
36 Delone Carter IND KC
37 Michael Bush OAK HOU
38 C.J. Spiller BUF PHI
39 Marion Barber CHI DET
40 Knowshon Moreno DEN SD
41 Earnest Graham TB SF
42 Pierre Thomas NO CAR
43 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL GB
44 Justin Forsett SEA NYG
45 Kendall Hunter SF TB
46 Keiland Williams DET CHI
47 Joe McKnight NYJ NE
48 Javon Ringer TEN PIT
49 Toby Gerhart MIN ARI
50 Ronnie Brown PHI BUF
51 Marcel Reese OAK HOU
52 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI MIN
53 Bernard Scott CIN JAC
54 Ben Tate HOU OAK
55 Lance Ball DEN SD
56 Brian Leonard CIN JAC
57 Mewelde Moore PIT TEN
58 Alfonso Smith ARI IND
59 Jackie Battle KC IND
60 Kregg Lumpkin TB SF
61 Chris Ogbonnaya HOU OAK
62 Taiwan Jones OAK HOU
63 John Kuhn GB ATL
64 Le'Ron McClain KC IND
65 Jed Collins NO CAR
66 Jerome Harrison DET CHI
67 Danny Woodhead NE NYJ
68 Rock Cartwright OAK HOU
69 Maurice Morris DET CHI
70 Danny Ware NYG SEA


Thanks for reading and post your lineup predicaments below (provide league format info, so we can give you the best answer). You can also ask me on Twitter for a quicker response.