After a month of NFL action, we’ve seen countless storylines unfold, many of which were completely unpredictable just a few weeks ago. As we approach the middle of the season, both in real life and fantasy football alike, it’s slowly becoming crunch time for our favorite teams.
Use my Running Back rankings to decide who to start this week — remember to check back throughout the week, as I’ll be updating them as headlines emerge.
Take a look at my Top 50 RBs for Week 5 compared to FantasyPros’ ECR ranks:
Fantasy Football rankings - Week 5View Available Players
|#||Player (team)||Matchup||ECR™||vs. ECR|
|1||Le'Veon Bell (PIT)||vs. NYJ||2||+1|
|2||David Johnson (ARI)||at SF||1||-1|
|3||Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)||vs. CIN||4||+1|
|4||C.J. Anderson (DEN)||vs. ATL||5||+1|
|5||DeMarco Murray (TEN)||at MIA||3||-2|
|6||Melvin Gordon (SD)||at OAK||6||0|
|7||Todd Gurley (LA)||vs. BUF||8||+1|
|8||LeSean McCoy (BUF)||at LA||7||-1|
|9||Lamar Miller (HOU)||at MIN||11||+2|
|10||LeGarrette Blount (NE)||at CLE||10||0|
|11||Carlos Hyde (SF)||vs. ARI||12||+1|
|12||Jeremy Hill (CIN)||at DAL||17||+5|
|13||Eddie Lacy (GB)||vs. NYG||13||0|
|14||Jordan Howard (CHI)||at IND||9||-5|
|15||Jerick McKinnon (MIN)||vs. HOU||20||+5|
|16||Isaiah Crowell (CLE)||vs. NE||16||0|
|17||Devonta Freeman (ATL)||at DEN||14||-3|
|18||Matt Jones (WAS)||at BAL||22||+4|
|19||Frank Gore (IND)||vs. CHI||15||-4|
|20||Matt Forte (NYJ)||at PIT||18||-2|
|21||Rashad Jennings (NYG)||at GB||36||+15|
|22||Latavius Murray (OAK)||vs. SD||23||+1|
|23||Terrance West (BAL)||vs. WAS||19||-4|
|24||Theo Riddick (DET)||vs. PHI||24||0|
|25||Tevin Coleman (ATL)||at DEN||27||+2|
|26||Charles Sims (TB)||at CAR||21||-5|
|27||Ryan Mathews (PHI)||at DET||25||-2|
|28||Giovani Bernard (CIN)||at DAL||26||-2|
|29||Wendell Smallwood (PHI)||at DET||32||+3|
|30||Duke Johnson (CLE)||vs. NE||28||-2|
|31||Cameron Artis-Payne (CAR)||vs. TB||30||-1|
|32||Darren Sproles (PHI)||at DET||29||-3|
|33||Bilal Powell (NYJ)||at PIT||34||+1|
|34||Dwayne Washington (DET)||vs. PHI||42||+8|
|35||Derrick Henry (TEN)||at MIA||39||+4|
|36||Kenneth Dixon (BAL)||vs. WAS||43||+7|
|37||Fozzy Whittaker (CAR)||vs. TB||31||-6|
|38||DeAndre Washington (OAK)||vs. SD||35||-3|
|39||Matt Asiata (MIN)||vs. HOU||38||-1|
|40||James White (NE)||at CLE||33||-7|
|41||DeAngelo Williams (PIT)||vs. NYJ||41||0|
|42||Alfred Morris (DAL)||vs. CIN||45||+3|
|43||Andre Ellington (ARI)||at SF||57||+14|
|44||Orleans Darkwa (NYG)||at GB||37||-7|
|45||Chris Thompson (WAS)||at BAL||44||-1|
|46||Josh Ferguson (IND)||vs. CHI||52||+6|
|47||Jay Ajayi (MIA)||vs. TEN||40||-7|
|48||Bobby Rainey (NYG)||at GB||47||-1|
|49||Zach Zenner (DET)||vs. PHI||49||0|
|50||Kenyan Drake (MIA)||vs. TEN||46||-4|
Notes & Analysis:
- Le’Veon Bell made his highly-anticipated return in Week 4 and proceeded to rack up the most rushing yards in the NFL (144), while also chipping in 34 receiving yards. He’s an elite RB1 from here on out.
- Ezekiel Elliott has seen his YPC rise each week in the NFL. He’ll have a tough task at home this week against the Bengals, but he’s locked into a hefty workload behind a quality offensive line.
- DeMarco Murray has been a pleasant surprise in fantasy thus far, currently sitting as the No. 1 back in standard scoring. He’s the lone bright spot in Tennessee’s offense and seemingly has goal line duties to himself.
- Melvin Gordon hasn’t ran with much effectiveness, but his TD total is saving him in fantasy football. He has a good chance to turn in another performance against a bottom-three run defense in Oakland.
- LeGarrette Blount’s workload may be lightened with TB12 returning to action, but he’s still the Patriots’ bell-cow with a firm grip on goal line carries, which could come in bunches now that the usual offensive cast is back together.
- Jordan Howard ran hard last week and was given 26 touches while the Lions struggled to get anything going on the other side of the ball. Indy’s weak defense bodes well for Howard, but Luck will likely force Chicago to throw more than they did last week.
- Jerick McKinnon flashed his electric rushing abilities against a tough NYG run defense on MNF in Week 4 and even scored a short TD around the goal line. Now he’ll get a much easier task when he takes on the Texans at home, a defense that has given up 100+ yards on the ground for the past three weeks.
- Devonta Freeman has been running with authority as of late, but he’ll be a low-end RB2 against a fierce Broncos defense in Week 5.
- Matt Jones has seen both his carry total and rushing yardage increase over each of the past four weeks. After a sketchy start to the season, he looks like an RB2 with a steady workload for the time being.
- DeAndre Washington is primed for heavy involvement in Week 5 while Latavius Murray deals with a toe issue. He’s a very intriguing RB2/3 this week who carries decent upside.
- Terrance West ran away with the starting job last week and Forsett was just released, but Kenneth Dixon is on the mend and should eat into his touch total immediately. Still, West should be treated as a solid flex until we see proof of that happening.
- It’ll be interesting to see how the Eagles divvy up carries in their backfield coming out of the bye. Ryan Mathews should be treated as a risky RB3 for now, and I think Wendell Smallwood could end up being the more valuable RB sooner than later. Darren Sproles will have big games every once in a while, but you can’t trust him in fantasy.
Good luck this week!
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