Week 5 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back

It’s never a good thing when injuries become the primary story at the running back position, but that’s exactly what happened last week. Nick Chubb (knee), Kenyan Drake (chest), and Austin Ekeler (hamstring) all went down with injuries. Their statuses will have a big-time impact on our Week 5 fantasy RB rankings, but the good news is that some reinforcements could return to the rankings in the form of Le’Veon Bell, Raheem Mostert, and Phillip Lindsay. Still, some fantasy owners might have to find sleepers and streamers to offset some of the injuries and bye weeks.

Weekly top-10 back Aaron Jones willl be idle this week, while the Lions trio of Adrian Peterson, D’Andre Swift, and Kerryon Johnson will be unavailable, as well. Jones’ absence will have the biggest impact on our rankings, but Peterson and Swift both garner flex consideration, so the position as a whole is a bit thinner.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiverTight end | D/ST | Kicker

The most noticeable change in the rankings this week is Kareem Hunt’s spot as a standard RB2. Chubb (knee) hasn’t yet been ruled out, but if he is, Hunt will instantly become an RB1, even in a tough matchup with a rock-solid Colts defense. He can do damage as a runner and as a pass-catcher, so he should have a solid week. D’Ernest Johnson will be a potential flex play after he racked up a lot of yardage splitting carries with Hunt. Meanwhile, Joshua Kelley, who will take over most of the work with Ekeler (hamstring) absent, can be trusted as a solid RB2 though the Saints are stronger against the run than they are against the pass.

Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Other risers this week include Todd Gurley (vs. Panthers), David Johnson (vs. Jaguars), and Antonio Gibson (vs. Rams). All three are high-volume players in favorable matchups, so they can be trusted as top-25 plays.

If you’re looking for sleepers, Devonta Freeman could be in for a nice game, as he’s in a favorable matchup with the Cowboys. It will be his third game with the Giants, so if he’s comfortable enough and the Giants can stay close in that contest, he should have a chance to post some solid numbers. Latavius Murray (vs. Chargers) and Gus Edwards (vs. Bengals) could also be sneaky flex plays — Murray for his steady role in a high-scoring offense and Edwards for his bigger-than-you-think role in a highly favorable matchup.

Reminder: As always, we expect to make plenty of changes to these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for updates and further analysis.

Week 5 Fantasy RB Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues.

Rank Player
1 Alvin Kamara, NO vs. LAC
2 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. NYG
3 Dalvin Cook, MIN @ SEA
4 Josh Jacobs, LV @ KC
5 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs. LV
6 Derrick Henry, TEN vs. BUF
7 James Robinson, JAX @ HOU
8 Todd Gurley, ATL vs. CAR
9 Chris Carson, SEA vs. MIN
10 Jonathan Taylor, IND @ CLE
11 Nick Chubb, CLE vs. IND
12 Raheem Mostert, SF vs. MIA
13 Mike Davis, CAR @ ATL
14 Kenyan Drake, ARZ @ NYJ
15 David Johnson, HOU vs. JAX
16 David Montgomery, CHI vs. TB
17 James Conner, PIT vs. PHI
18 Joe Mixon, CIN @ BAL
19 Miles Sanders, PHI @ PIT
20 Joshua Kelley, LAC @ NO
21 Antonio Gibson, WAS vs. LAR
22 Ronald Jones II, TB @ CHI
23 Kareem Hunt, CLE vs. IND
24 Devonta Freeman, NYG @ DAL
25 Melvin Gordon, DEN @ NE
26 Le’Veon Bell, NYJ vs. ARZ
27 Mark Ingram, BAL vs. CIN
28 Darrell Henderson, LAR @ WAS
29 Devin Singletary, BUF @ TEN
30 Phillip Lindsay, DEN @ NE
31 Sony Michel, NE vs. DEN
32 Jerick McKinnon, SF vs. MIA
33 Latavius Murray, NO vs. LAC
34 Leonard Fournette, TB @ CHI
35 Myles Gaskin, MIA @ SF
36 Malcolm Brown, LAR @ WAS
37 Zack Moss, BUF @ TEN
38 Gus Edwards, BAL vs. CIN
39 James White, NE vs. DEN
40 Justin Jackson, LAC @ NO
41 JK Dobbins, BAL vs. CIN
42 Chase Edmonds, ARZ @ NYJ
43 Dion Lewis, NYG @ DAL
44 Jordan Howard, MIA @ SF
45 Nyheim Hines, IND @ CLE
46 Alexander Mattison, MIN @ SEA
47 Cam Akers, LAR @ WAS
48 Duke Johnson, HOU vs. JAX
49 Damien Harris, NE vs. DEN
50 Carlos Hyde, SEA vs. MIN
51 Wayne Gallman, NYG @ DAL
52 Matt Breida, MIA @ SF
53 Tony Pollard, DAL vs. NYG
54 Darwin Thompson, KC vs. LV
55 Giovani Bernard, CIN @ BAL
56 Rex Burkhead, NE vs. DEN
57 Boston Scott, PHI @ PIT
58 LeSean McCoy, TB @ CHI
59 Chris Thompson, JAX @ HOU
60 Brian Hill, ATL vs. CAR
61 Jordan Wilkins, IND @ CLE
62 Jeff Wilson Jr., SF vs. MIA
63 D’Ernest Johnson, CLE vs. IND
64 Anthony McFarland, PIT vs. PHI
65 Jalen Richard, LV @ KC
66 J.D. McKissic, WAS vs. LAR
67 Darrynton Evans, TEN vs. BUF
68 Reggie Bonnafon, CAR @ ATL
69 Benny Snell, PIT vs. PHI
70 Frank Gore, NYJ vs. ARZ
71 Royce Freeman, DEN @ NE
72 La’Mical Perine NYJ vs. ARZ

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