Week 5 RB Fantasy Rankings PPR: Antonio Gibson’s Breakout Party

Week 4 gave us quite a few impressive RB performances. We saw flashes of Antonio Gibson emerging into a star, Dalvin Cook tearing up defenses like his old self, Kareem Hunt carrying the load with an injured Nick Chubb, and Joe Mixon obliterating the Jacksonville defense.

Going into Week 5 the top 20 is in for a shake-up from the top to the bottom. New faces are emerging all over the rankings as players begin to prove themselves as real fantasy monsters or take over for injured starters. If you are looking for who to play this week, or where you should expect your RB to land when Week 5 is said and done, then look no further than my Week 5 RB rankings.

RankRunning BacksTeamOppProjected Points
1Alvin KamaraNOvs. LAC20.9
2Ezekiel ElliottDALvs. NYG18.5
3Dalvin CookMINat SEA17.6
4Clyde Edwards-HelaireKCvs. LV17.2
5Josh JacobsLVat KC16.9
6Jonathan TaylorINDat CLE16.5
7James RobinsonJACat HOU16.2
8Kareem HuntCLEvs. IND16
9Derrick HenryTENvs. BUF15.7
10Kenyan DrakeARIat NYJ15.4
11Joe MixonCINat BAL15
12Chris CarsonSEAvs. MIN15
13James ConnerPITvs. PHI14.7
14Miles SandersPHIat PIT14.6
15Mike DavisCARat ATL14.6
16Antonio GibsonWASvs. LAR14.5
17David JohnsonHOUvs. JAC14.4
18Devin SingletaryBUFat TEN14.3
19Todd Gurley IIATLvs. CAR14.34
20Melvin Gordon IIIDENat NE14
21Jerick McKinnonSFvs. MIA14.01
22Ronald Jones IITBat CHI13.9
23David MontgomeryCHIvs. TB13.86
24Mark Ingram IIBALvs. CIN13.64
25Joshua KelleyLACat NO13.53
26Myles GaskinMIAat SF12.65
27Devonta FreemanNYGat DAL7.7
28Nyheim HinesINDat CLE12.54
29Darrell HendersonLARat WAS10.5
30Latavius MurrayNOvs. LAC10.3
31Rex BurkheadNEvs. DEN10.2
32J.K. DobbinsBALvs. CIN10.1
33Chase EdmondsARIat NYJ9.9
34James WhiteNEvs. DEN9.9
35Alexander MattisonMINat SEA9.5
36Boston ScottPHIat PIT9.4
37J.D. McKissicWASvs. LAR9.2
38Frank GoreNYJvs. ARI8.9
39Chris ThompsonJACat HOU8.7
40Dion LewisNYGat DAL8.7
41Giovani BernardCINat BAL8.6
42Malcolm BrownLARat WAS8.3
43Jeff Wilson Jr.SFvs. MIA8.1
44Brian HillATLvs. CAR7.7
45Jordan HowardMIAat SF7.4
46Sony MichelNEvs. DEN7.3
47Tony PollardDALvs. NYG6.8
48Duke Johnson Jr.HOUvs. JAC6.5
49Damien HarrisNEvs. DEN6.1
50Gus EdwardsBALvs. CIN5.1

The Top 3

The top three plays this week surprise no one. First off, Alvin Kamara had two touchdowns poached by Latavius Murray and still ended the day with 21 points. I have to reiterate that even with Michael Thomas’s return imminent, Kamara’s workload is everything you can ask for in fantasy. He will continue to get tons of targets with Brees’ arm looking weaker and weaker. On the ground, no one has been as efficient as Kamara has these past few games. There is no way that Kamara is moving off this number 1 spot until CMC returns to the field.

Then there is Ezekiel Elliot and Dalvin Cook. Dalvin Cook looks like he could make the case for the best pure RB in the NFL. His speed, vision, and hands have looked so good these past two weeks. However, he is still not getting the target share that we fell in love with last year, and this is stopping him from entering the Kamara-tier of play this week. Meanwhile, Zeke is getting an unexpected target share. He has been okay on the ground, but the 30 targets through 4 games make him one of the only players that can be considered in that Kamara #1 tier.

 

Back-end RB1s and High-end RB2s

The first name we need to talk about is Kenyan Drake. I was beating the drum for Drake to be a top 6 player for the past two weeks. He had the two best RB matchups in Detroit and Carolina and yet did just about nothing in the games. Again, I will be tested on where to place Drake in a ridiculously favorable matchup against the Jets. However, Drake is simply not getting targeted at all. While on the ground he has been seemingly used exclusively in outside zone runs and stretch plays. Drake does wonders between the guards, he has a shiftiness and power to break those runs open. I just do not like his usage right now, and he is doing nothing with his opportunities. The matchup screams Top 6, but I am finally placing him down my list after 4 disappointing performances.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I am so excited to play Antonio Gibson this week. Gibson hauled in 4 receptions on 5 targets for 82 yards against the Ravens, all season highs. He also was given the ball on the ground 13 times, including a couple of goal-line touches that resulted in a touchdown. His usage has trended up every week and now we are starting to get to the place that Gibson needs to be with his touches to be an RB2. Every touch with Gibson is electric, he makes men miss, he is a great receiving threat as an ex-WR, and his acceleration is scary. He will be in a plus matchup against a weak Rams’ LB core that cannot cover him in the receiving game. This very well could be the week that Gibson explodes onto the scene, but I think that his floor going forward is a bottom-end RB2.

Mike Davis is another odd name to be so high on this list. However, after two weeks of being the starter, taking over for CMC in Carolina, he is coming away with two wins and two 20+ point performances. Those were against decent defenses in the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals. Now he gets to play the putrid Atlanta Falcons’ defense who gave up good nights to both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on Monday Night Football. Mike Davis’ usage allows him to have RB1 potential and this matchup will surely allow him every opportunity to get that RB1 label.

 

Lower Tier Plays That I Like

I have Joshua Kelley a little lower than I wanted to place him based on his poor performances in the past two weeks. With Ekeler gone his usage will go slightly up, but I do think that Justin Jackson will replace a lot of Ekeler’s touches. However, Kelley brings an extremely nice floor for a backup and bench RB this week. It is rare that I get excited about floor plays; however, with all the COVID scares, all the injuries, and all this uncertainty, Kelley is a guy that should be getting decent yardage on the ground and enough targets flowing his way that you can confidently play him as an RB3. Of course, Kelley does have an extremely high-ceiling because he is a good runner, and we do not know what the full game plan will be with Ekeler out. I just do not see the ceiling for Kelley as a likely outcome in this Saints matchup.

I also think that Devonta Freeman falls into the same category as Kelley. Freeman got over 50% of the snaps for the NYG on Sunday against the Rams. While he was not super efficient on the ground the touches were there, and he made up for it in the passing game. He caught 4 passes on 4 targets for 35 yards to help propel him over the 10 point mark. Against a bad Dallas defense, I think that Freeman is a perfectly reasonable RB3 play with an extremely safe floor. His role is defined in that offense as the 1st and 2nd down back, and I think that after shaking off the rust he should be a great play against Dallas.

Matthew has been playing fantasy football for over ten years now. He is experienced in playing and writing about both daily and season-long fantasy. He is both commissioner and former champion of several different types of high stakes money leagues.

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