Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Top 60 Running Backs
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On his first carry of his second NFL regular-season game, Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy gained 10 yards. Unfortunately for Lacy and his fantasy owners, Lacy sustained a concussion on that play and missed the remainder of that game.
To make matters worse, Lacy would have likely had a huge game that week.
After all, James Starks filled in for Lacy and rushed for a career-high 132 yards and ended the Packers' multi-year drought of having a 100-yard rusher.
Having sat out Week 3 before the team's bye in Week 4, Lacy will return to action in Week 5 against the Lions. And the good news is his matchup is nearly as good this week as it would have been in Week 2 against the Redskins.
Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Lions this season and two of those teams (Steelers and Redskins) are on bye this week.
The Lions have yet to allow 100 rushing yards in any game this season, but they have allowed a total of seven touchdowns — five rushing and two receiving — to backs this season.
Lacy is a low-end RB1 in his return this week as several top running backs are on bye this week — Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Tampa's Doug Martin, Washington's Alfred Morris and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell.
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Opportunity for MJD to get on track in Week 5
There has been little to celebrate for the Jaguars this year as their low-powered offense has struggled across the board.
Through four games, they rank last in the NFL in both scoring offense (7.8 points per game) and total offense (224.0 yards per game). They rank 30th in passing offense (175.0 YPG) and 31st in rushing offense (49.0 YPG).
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has 57 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown and four receptions for 25 yards. Not only is he averaging barely 40 yards from scrimmage and a mere 2.4 yards per carry, but he has failed to rush for more than 45 yards in any game this season.
There might be some relief for Pocket Hercules and his fantasy owners in Week 5 as the Jaguars head to St. Louis this week.
A big workload coming for Rice in Week 5?
The Dolphins have a solid defense, but they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. And three of the teams that have allowed more are on bye this week.
Ravens running back Ray Rice has had a disappointing start to the season as he missed Week 3 due to injury and is averaging only 2.97 yards per carry. He has yet to rush for more than 36 yards in a game and has only two fantasy points in his two games played since Week 1.
Not only does he have a favorable matchup, Rice should get a large workload.
"We need to get Ray involved in every single way," coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. "Passing game, run game, every single way. It's definitely important for us, we want to do that every week, and obviously we did not do a good job of that on Sunday."
Blount to get large workload with Ridley out and Bolden hobbled?
When the Patriots face the Bengals this week, they will be without running back Stevan Ridley, who was ruled out yesterday. In addition, Brandon Bolden (knee) is one of the 684 players (or something like that) listed as questionable on the Patriots' injury report.
Even though he is not much of a receiver out of the backfield, Blount could be in store for a significant workload on Sunday.
Both Ridley (28th) and Blount (29th) rank just inside the top 30 running backs in rushing yards through four games and Ridley has been losing carries to Blount recently. Over the past two weeks, Blount (23) actually has more carries than Ridley (22).
On the season, Blount has 34 carries for 155 yards, which is an average of 4.6 yards per carry, and a touchdown.
At a minimum, he's a decent flex option this week and he's currently owned in only 31 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
With DMC and Reece out, Jennings to be featured back vs. SD
Like Blount, Raiders running back Rashad Jennings is owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues and is in position for a significant bump in workload.
Both Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Marcel Reece (knee) left last week's game early and Jennings saw 22 touches. Although he rushed for only 45 yards on 14 carries, he caught eight passes for another 71 yards.
With McFadden and Reece out again this week, Jennings should see as many touches (or more) this week against the Chargers.
Through four weeks, the Chargers have allowed 120.5 rushing yards per game, 26th-most in the NFL, and 5.2 yards per carry. Only the Chiefs (5.4 YPC) and Saints (5.5 YPC) have allowed more.
Here are my Week 5 fantasy running back rankings (standard scoring):
1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (at TEN)
3. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (vs. NO)
4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (at IND)
5. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions (at GB)
6. Arian Foster, Houston Texans (at SF)
7. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (vs. HOU)
8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys (vs. DEN)
9. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (at MIA)
10. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (vs. KC)
11. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
12. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SEA)
13. David Wilson, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
14. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (at STL)
15. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints (at CHI)
16. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (at ATL)
17. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. BAL)
18. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers (at ARI)
19. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. NE)
20. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (at DAL)
21. Rashad Jennings, Oakland Raiders (vs. SD)
22. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (at OAK)
23. Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (at OAK)
24. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (at CIN)
25. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (at GB)
26. Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NYJ)
27. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (at CHI)
28. Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NYJ)
29. Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals (vs. CAR)
30. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. NE)
31. Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens (at MIA)
32. Johnathan Franklin, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
33. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (vs. CAR)
34. Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams (vs. JAX)
35. Ben Tate, Houston Texans (at SF)
36. Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins (vs. BAL)
37. Isaiah Pead, St. Louis Rams (vs. JAX)
38. Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
39. Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (at CIN)
40. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
41. Michael Bush, Chicago Bears (vs. NO)
42. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos (at DAL)
43. Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers (at ARI)
44. Mike Goodson, New York Jets (at ATL)
45. Benny Cunningham, St. Louis Rams (vs. JAX)
46. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (at DAL)
47. Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks (at IND)
48. Jackie Battle, Tennessee Titans (vs. KC)
49. Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers (vs. HOU)
50. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams (vs. JAX)
51. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SEA)
52. Ronnie Brown, San Diego Chargers (at OAK)
53. Khiry Robinson, New Orleans Saints (at CHI)
54. Alfonso Smith, Arizona Cardinals (vs. CAR)
55. Knile Davis, Kansas City Chiefs (at TEN)
56. Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (at IND)
57. Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars (at STL)
58. Tommy Bohanon, New York Jets (at ATL)
59. Michael Cox, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
60. Lance Dunbar, Dallas Cowboys (vs. DEN)
* Note: Bills and Browns RBs have been removed from these rankings. In addition, four teams (PIT, WAS, MIN and TB) are on bye this week.
For my Week 5 point-per-reception (PPR) RB rankings, click here.
More Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Week 5 Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Week 5 Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Week 5 Fantasy Football TE Rankings
Week 5 Daily Fantasy Football Salary-Cap Analysis: