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2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running backs for Week 5

Tiered RB rankings for Week 5.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 5 is here and as such, it’s time to talk running backs. Here are my tired running back rankings for fantasy football this week.

The running back crop has thinned with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers going on bye in Week 5. Mike Davis, Chris Carson, and James Robinson storm their way into the position’s Top 12. Kyle Shanahan has no fear of Jerick McKinnon’s injury history, making him a high-end RB2. Miles Sanders and Joe Mixon tumble to the mid-tier of the RB2 rankings with brutal match-ups against the Steelers and Ravens, respectively. Antonio Gibson has arrived. Chase Edmonds’ passing game usage is now more valuable than Kenyan Drake’s rushing work and Latavius Murray appears to carry standalone value.

Week 5’s Tiered Running Back Rankings

Rank High Floor/High Ceiling RB1s Team Opponent Breakdown
Rank High Floor/High Ceiling RB1s Team Opponent Breakdown
1 Alvin Kamara NO LAC Kamara is this year's CMC. He's a head and shoulders above the competition.
2 Dalvin Cook MIN at SEA The King of Minnesota's usage is bulletproof. Seattle's D-Line is as bad as it gets.
3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL NYG Dallas will want to put a stamp on a victory over their division rival.
4 Mike Davis CAR ATL Atlanta is paradise for pass-catching running backs and Carolina has directly transfered CMC's workload to Davis.
5 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC LV Kansas City should have no issue leveling Vegas' D.
6 James Conner PIT PHI Conner's 2 weeks off have him in outstanding shape.
7 Chris Carson SEA MIN Seattle's living in opponent red zones.
8 Kareem Hunt CLE IND Tough match-up but Hunt has a 20+ touch floor with heavy receiving game usage.
9 James Robinson JAX at HOU Robinson should rock the house against Houston's hapless front-seven.
10 Jonathan Taylor IND at CLE Unimposing match-up but Taylor's usage hasn't been what we though it would be.
11 Derrick Henry TEN BUF If this game actually happens, we're still in the dark as to the state of the Titans.
12 Josh Jacobs LV at KC Gruden should fall prey to Kansas City's invitation to run.
Rank High Floor/High Ceiling RB2s Team Opponent Breakdown
13 David Johnson HOU JAX Outstanding match-up.
14 Todd Gurley ATL at CAR Carolina's Fountain of Youth defense could yield multiple scores to Gurley, ATL's red zone king (sourced below).
15 Devin Singletary BUF at TEN Singletary has the lead backfield duties locked up for now and Tennessee's front has been underwhelming.
16 Ronald Jones TB at CHI Chicago's run-funnel defense should serve Jones well this week.
17 Melvin Gordon DEN at NE Touch match-up but Gordon is the team's focal point for the time being.
18 Raheem Mostert SF MIA Jerick McKinnon played well enough to deserve 1B duties. It's a great match-up though so both should eat.
Rank High Floor/Capped Ceiling RB2s Team Opponent Breakdown
19 Miles Sanders PHI at PIT Brutal match-up for the flailing Eagles.
20 Joe Mixon CIN at BAL Mixon finally has a redemption game in Week 4 but has to turn around and face Baltimore's vaunted defense in Week 5.
21 Darrell Henderson Jr. LAR at WAS Henderson remains the nominal starter, which could pay off in a good match-up.
22 Joshua Kelley LAC at NO Kelley should inherit 1A duties with Austin Ekeler likely headed to Injured Reserve (sourced below).
23 Antonio Gibson WAS LAR After last week's explosion against the Ravens, Gibsion should see a solid increase in usage against an unimposing Rams' front-seven.
24 Myles Gaskin MIA at SF Miami's lead back should have game script in his favor this week.
Rank High Floor/Capped Ceiling RB3s Team Opponent Breakdown
25 Jerick McKinnon SF MIA Great match-up but he's no longer the lead back with Raheem Mostert now ready to play.
26 Chase Edmonds ARI at NYJ Arizona's passing game weapon should have himself a day against the Jets' hapless defense.
27 David Montgomery CHI TB 20 touches are in order, against an albeit tough defense.
28 Mark Ingram BAL CIN Great match-up for Ingram to turn 12-15 touches into a touchdown.
29 James White NE DEN A weekly flex with PPR-upside.
30 D'Ernest Johnson CLE IND Another DJ with fantasy value.
31 Kenyan Drake ARI at NYJ The Cards' rush-only back has a great shot to rebound against the Jets but can only be trusted as a flex option for now, given his complete lack of production.
32 Le'Veon Bell NYJ ARI The team's theoretical lead back returns this week. Gase's hatred of him -- and inability to run an offense -- complicates things.
33 J.D. McKissic WAS LAR The coaching staff much love him because he keeps getting work despite ho-hum results.
34 Travis Homer SEA MIN Great match-up for the pass catcher to make some low-end flex noise.
35 Justin Jackson LAC at NO Jackson takes on Kelley's former 1B role with Ekeler out.
36 Latavius Murray NO LAC Murray's role in this offense is undeniable now. He's a lightweight 1B rusher.
Rank Shaky Floor/Capped Ceiling RB4s Team Opponent Breakdown
37 Damien Harris NE DEN Harris assumes the rush-only role with Michel on IR.
38 Malcolm Brown LAR at WAS Brown's still a factor in this backfield.
39 Nyheim Hines IND at CLE Cleveland's offense is humming so Hines should be a factor.
40 Reggie Bonnafon CAR at ATL Another spot where both Bonnafon can pick up enough scraps for flex-appeal.
41 K'Shawn Vaughn TB at CHI Assuming Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy can't go on Thursday, Vaughn is the No. 2 back in TB.
42 Devonta Freeman NYG at DAL Dallas' front-seven is dreadful and the Giants' coaching staff is intent on shoehorning Freeman into the starting role.
43 Jalen Richard LV at KC Jacobs isn't the team's passing game back when the Raiders have to pass.
44 J.K. Dobbins BAL CIN A match-up good enough for everyone to get involved.
45 Frank Gore NYJ ARI He'll see enough work to do "something" against the Cards' terrible offense.
46 Tony Pollard DAL NYG A match-up good enough for both backs to appear in the box score.
47 Wayne Gallman NYG DAL Should see 8-10 touches.
48 Dion Lewis NYG DAL Zero floor but could see passing work as Dallas blows them out.

Source links: Todd Gurley’s red zone usage, Austin Ekeler is headed to Injured Reserve according to Ian Rapoport, Antonio Gibson’s box score explosion in Week 4 versus the vaunted Baltimore Ravens’ defense, Chase Edmondspassing game usage, and Latavius Murray’s 2020 usage.