Patrick Daugherty


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Week 5 Rankings

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Week 5 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Todd Gurley at SEA -
2 Ezekiel Elliott at HOU -
3 Alvin Kamara vs. WAS -
4 Melvin Gordon vs. OAK -
5 Christian McCaffrey vs. NYG -
6 Saquon Barkley at CAR -
7 Kareem Hunt vs. JAC -
8 James Conner vs. ATL -
9 David Johnson at SF -
10 Marshawn Lynch at LAC -
11 Sony Michel vs. IND -
12 T.J. Yeldon at KC -
13 Carlos Hyde vs. BAL -
14 Joe Mixon vs. MIA -
15 Jay Ajayi vs. MIN -
16 James White vs. IND -
17 Chris Thompson at NO -
18 Mark Ingram vs. WAS -
19 Adrian Peterson at NO -
20 Devonta Freeman at PIT -
21 Chris Carson vs. LAR -
22 Phillip Lindsay at NYJ -
23 Alex Collins at CLE -
24 Kerryon Johnson vs. GB -
25 Matt Breida vs. ARZ -
26 Tevin Coleman at PIT -
27 Aaron Jones at DET -
28 Derrick Henry at BUF -
29 Alfred Blue vs. DAL -
30 Royce Freeman at NYJ -
31 Kenyan Drake at CIN -
32 LeSean McCoy vs. TEN -
33 Austin Ekeler vs. OAK -
34 Latavius Murray at PHI -
35 Bilal Powell vs. DEN -
36 Dion Lewis at BUF -
37 Isaiah Crowell vs. DEN -
38 Javorius Allen at CLE -
39 Nyheim Hines at NE -
40 Ty Montgomery at DET -
41 Alfred Morris vs. ARZ -
42 Jamaal Williams at DET -
43 Frank Gore at CIN -
44 Mike Davis vs. LAR -
45 Theo Riddick vs. GB -
46 Jordan Wilkins at NE -
47 Duke Johnson vs. BAL -
48 Robert Turbin at NE -
49 Chris Ivory vs. TEN -
50 Rashaad Penny vs. LAR -
51 Corey Grant at KC -
52 Jalen Richard at LAC -
53 LeGarrette Blount vs. GB -
54 Mark Walton vs. MIA -
55 Wendell Smallwood vs. MIN -

RB Notes: Ezekiel Elliott has 88 more yards than any other back in football. … So how will the Saints divvy up touches between Alvin Kamara and a returning Mark Ingram? Speaking Tuesday, coach Sean Payton said “we’ll figure out the balance,” and that “it will be good for us offensively to have (Ingram) back.” Although Kamara out-touched Ingram in the second half last season, Ingram averaged 18 touches for the year with Kamara managing 13 in non-injury shortened games. Proven to be one of the very best players in the entire league, we would expect that number to flip in favor of Kamara, perhaps in perfect reverse fashion. The RB1 overall through the season’s first four weeks, Kamara remains a safe top-three option. Ingram should be treated as a low-end RB2 for the time being. … Melvin Gordon is on pace for 1,900 yards from scrimmage, while his 5.11 yards per carry is more than a yard better than his previous career high. Austin Ekeler is averaging 10 weekly touches, but the Chargers’ backfield has proven to be big enough for the two of them.

Christian McCaffrey caught 14 passes in Week 2 before setting new career highs in rushes (28) and ground yards (184) in Week 3. His summer hype was deserved. Coming off the Panthers’ bye, CMC gets the Giants’ bottom-five run defense as a seven-point home favorite. Beautiful. … Opposing McCaffrey will be Saquon Barkley, who checks in as the RB6 by average points. A cooked Eli Manning has made for some harrowing game flow, but Barkley’s usage has been predictably foolproof. … Kareem Hunt finally exploded against the Broncos. A repeat against the Jaguars will be tough, but the Jags are softer on the ground than through the air. The Jags’ elite secondary could funnel passing-game looks Hunt’s way. … Fantasy players are growing understandably impatient with James Conner, though his Week 5 setup cannot be ignored. In addition to getting manhandled on the ground, the Falcons have allowed a disastrous 42/310/1 receiving line to enemy runners. With a 57 over/under as a three-point home favorite, Conner will be hard pressed to botch this one. … Slowly showing signs of life, David Johnson finished as the RB13 in Josh Rosen’s first start. He played 92 percent of the Cardinals’ snaps. Perhaps OC Mike McCoy is emerging from his stupor.

Marshawn Lynch has cleared 20 touches in three-straight games. Jon Gruden isn’t keeping the reins on the way Jack Del Rio did in 2017. … Knocking off more rust each week, Sony Michel flirted with dominance in Week 4. He looked both slippery and powerful as he ran over the Dolphins. Colts MLB Darius Leonard will be playing on a bum ankle Thursday night. … The talk of the Browns’ backfield in Week 4 was Nick Chubb’s home runs, but Carlos Hyde still out-carried his rookie teammate 22-3. Hyde has rushed the ball at least 22 times 3-of-4 games. Even if coach Hue Jackson follows through on his pledge to get Chubb more work, Hyde’s high-end RB2 case is not yet endangered. … T.J. Yeldon has been the RB29 and RB8 in Leonard Fournette’s absences. Allowing a pathetic 5.73 yards per carry, the Chiefs have silver plattered the second-most running back fantasy points. … Jay Ajayi’s back was not an issue as he handled the ball 18 times for 81 yards against the Titans. … Devonta Freeman (knee) is finally ready to return from his three-game absence. Tevin Coleman hardly set the world alight while Freeman was sidelined, but we would expect a tighter committee than usual as Freeman gets his legs back underneath him.

Tom Brady talked up James White before he got the ball 16 times for 112/2 in Week 4. Julian Edelman’s return could take a bite out of White’s usage over the middle of the field, but with Rob Gronkowski (ankle) likely to be limited, White is still needed for Week 5. … Giovani Bernard ran hot during Joe Mixon’s two-game absence but picked up some nicks and bruises. He’s looking dicey for Week 5 with a knee issue. It makes it rather uncontroversial for the Bengals to immediately plug Mixon back in as a bell-cow. If he can suit up, Bernard will be a stronger FLEX than he was before Mixon’s surgery. … With Adrian Peterson’s (ankle) status uncertain coming off the Redskins’ bye, Chris Thompson is in a potential blow-up spot against the Saints’ sub-par defense. If Peterson plays, both players will find themselves on the RB2/3 borderline. … Dalvin Cook’s status is uncertain after he tried to return from his hamstring issue too early in Week 4. If he needs another week on the shelf, a struggling Latavius Murray will be a risky RB2 against the Eagles’ stout ground defense. … Alex Collins’ fumbling is a legitimate issue, but the Ravens have little recourse with Javorius Allen averaging an abysmal 2.38 yards per carry. Collins is still an RB2.

Lamar Miller is slowly screwing up a situation that is difficult to screw up. With 25 percent of the season in the books, Miller is the RB34 by average points. … Phillip Lindsay has out-gained Royce Freeman in every game where he has not been ejected. He’s the better overall player. Freeman’s scoring opportunities keep him in the RB3 mix. … The fantasy community is trying to will “Kerryon Johnson, RB2” into existence. We are not far off, but Johnson has touched the ball more than 13 times only once. That’s not enough. … Chris Carson will be a rankings riser if it becomes clear he’s playing. Unfortunately, coach Pete Carroll’s updates are close to worthless. … Matt Breida/Alfred Morris is the poor man’s Phillip Lindsay/Royce Freeman. Breida has out-gained Morris every game. … Aaron Rodgers has been subtweeting Mike McCarthy on Aaron Jones, who has dramatically out-produced Jamaal Williams in back-to-back games. … Frank Gore running over Kenyan Drake in garbage time against the Patriots was more alarming than either of Drake’s awful Weeks 3 and 4 box scores. … At least any time soon, it’s hard to envision a scenario where LeSean McCoy rises above FLEX status. … Nyheim Hines is the only Colts running back with any Week 5 juice.           

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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