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It was another big week for Christian McCaffrey, but a lot of top backs struggled. Nick Chubb and Leonard Fournette were certainly not part of that group however. Miami and Detroit are on bye this week, which means you will have to find a replacement for Kerryon Johnson. If you are in need of help, check our fantasy football positional rankings. If you are looking for some permanent adds for Week 5 and moving forward, check out the waiver wire breakdowns. These are the top ranked running backs, with season long stats, and their projections for Week 5.
Week 5 Running Back Rankings + Stats & Projections
|Week 5 Ranking||Player||Week 5 Opponent||Rushing Attempts||Rushing Yards||Rushing Touchdowns||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Receiving Touchdowns||Week 5 Projection|
Week 5 Studs
This is a great week to be a top back. Christian McCaffrey is coming off back-to-back strong weeks, and takes on a Jaguars defense that ranks 23rd against the run. McCaffrey’s volume is also very reliable. On the other side of that game, Leonard Fournette should continue last week’s form. Carolina ranks 29th against the run this season. Ezekiel Elliot had a quiet week on the road against New Orleans, but stands to face a Green Bay defense that is funneling everything into their rush defense that ranks 27th in the league. Dallas should ride Elliot at home this week, and his ceiling is one of the highest. Dalvin Cook should get back on track this week, as slight favorites against a below average Giants defense.
David Johnson is in a great spot alongside the rest of the Cardinals offense. He takes on the Bengals, and they have been trashed on the ground and through the air by running backs this season. On the flip side, Joe Mixon has a chance to get things going after a slow start to the season. However, he is still at a disadvantage because of the poor offensive line play.
As long as Damien Williams sits out practices and games, Darrel Williams is worth a plug and play. The Chiefs backfield is split up right now, but with a team putting up 30+ points, there is plenty of exposure to be had. A home matchup against Indy is going to likely be an easy win, and they should be up comfortably to get the ball to the backfield. Williams has produced 15 and 18 PPR point games in the last two weeks. The Saints rush defense has been stout dating back to last year, and over the last two weeks this defense has really picked up their play. However, Ronald Jones continues to be the best back in Tampa, and is less than 50% owned right now. Not only is he a streamer, but he is a pickup worth hanging onto. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of the four weeks, and has seen 14, 4, 15, and 20 touches.
Melvin Gordon & Austin Ekeler ROS Outlook
The Melvin Gordon holdout is over, and he was active last week, but did not see the field. This was only due to Justin Jackson missing time, and he was an emergency back. With Week 5 on the horizon, Gordon’s draftees will be rewarded with the risk. Ekeler also rewarded fantasy players with a strong first four games. Ekeler’s fantasy value is about to drop, especially in non-PPR leagues. He is a FLEX option at most moving forward. We should see a decent split in Week 5 and even possibly Week 6, as Gordon gets back up to game speed. Ekeler is still worth a start in Week 5, where I am more hesitant to get Gordon going. There is some injury and rust risk for Gordon after the holdout as well. Moving forward past the next few weeks, Gordon should see around 18 touches a game, with Ekeler in the 8-12 range depending on game flow.
Wayne Gallman had a solid return for those who blew their FAAB money on the Giants back. However, this week he runs into a 4th ranked Minnesota rush defense. They are allowing just 15.6 fantasy points per game, and that is not an appealing number. Gallman might have some PPR appeal still, but the Vikings are strong on that front too. You might be wondering if this 49ers defense is for real, and they certainly are. The 6th best rush defense in the land, and they are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing backs. Nick Chubb is a workhorse, so you will continue to start him regardless of matchup, but the ceiling is a bit capped this week. As for Le’Veon Bell, he was going to have a lot of tough weeks given the state of the offensive line and offense overall. Philadelphia is a strong defense against the run, ranking 5th overall this season. Volume is still the factor for starting him though. Josh Jacobs, Washington backs, and Devonta Freeman are all in tough spots as well.
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