In The Backfield: Top 5 Fantasy Running Backs of Week 5

Last week, a Darren McFadden injury made me wish I didn’t bench a stagnate Frank Gore, who finally came to life.  Reggie Bush surprised many coming off of an injury that I felt would give him a slow comeback, but such was not the case.  Fantasy owners were also glad to see their high investment Arian Foster come to life.  He was issued far more carries than Ben Tate, and such should be the case moving forward at San Francisco.  And how about my man Danny Woodhead?  We miss him over in New England.  He pulled through for the Chargers as well.  Peterson topped the fantasy charts once again, but you’ll need to explore other options as Minnesota enters their bye week.  Onward to week 5 shall we?

5.  Matt Forte

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

The first quarter of the NFL season has shown that Matt Forte is a solid bet for fantasy owners, especially in PPR leagues.  So far in each of his games, he’s either hitting 100 all-purpose yards, and/or scoring a touchdown.  He’ll be tested against a hot Rob Ryan Saints defense, but I give the edge to Forte to continue with his consistency that he brings each week.  What he doesn’t accomplish on the ground will be made up through the air.  I love me a multi-purpose back, and Forte fits the bill.  Survey says:  Start Em!

4.  Ray Rice

Bill Wippert/AP

Bill Wippert/AP

The Ravens were embarrassed by the sub-par AFC East Bills last week.  One of the reasons for that was the lack of carries Rice was given.  I think Baltimore will correct this critical error, allowing Rice to make a fantasy comeback this week.  John Harbaugh gave me reason to believe so Wednesday.  “We need to get Ray (Rice) involved in every single way,” said Harbaugh.  That’s enough for me to start Rice this week in Miami.  I watched Sproles run all over Miami, and Rice is certainly capable of much the same.

3.  Reggie Bush

Jose Juarez/Associated Press

Jose Juarez/Associated Press

I really did not expect Bush to give fantasy owners a whopping 22 points last week coming off of an injury.  Reports indicated that he was up to speed in practice, but with Bell’s success, I felt he’d be used less with a legit back-up, allowing him time to come back at a slow pace.  Bush decided to forget all of that and just roared right back against a tough Bears defense.  If he can have that kind of success against Chicago, I expect no less in Green Bay this week.  I’m sorry I excluded you from last week’s top 5 Reggie.  Welcome back.  It’s still not a bad idea to play Bell, as both Detroit running backs rank in the top 10 RB’s in the first quarter of the season.  They both get work done, and both have similarities in play, as well as stats and fantasy numbers.

2.  Marshawn Lynch

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

It’s quite the gamble for me this week to throw Lynch in here.  Indy’s rush defense hasn’t allowed too many rushing yards, but if there is a back in the league that can ruin those numbers for the Colts, it’s Seattle’s backfield beast Marshawn Lynch.  He’s also been a reliable option in the passing game as well.  Being left off the top 5 list last week, and performing likewise, he’s sure to pound the ball on this Colts defense.  Seattle is vulnerable on the road this week in what could be their first potential loss.  This will add extra incentive for the Seahawks to allow Lynch to do what he does best.  I got Seattle going 5-0, and Lynch finishing as a top 5 running back this week.  Stamp it.

1.  LeSean McCoy

RON CORTES

RON CORTES

I’m sorry Giants, is this a bad time?  Apologies, for there’s no stopping the storm to come.  Although they’re not showing it in the win column, the Eagles offense is effective so long as they can come up with a way to not turn the ball over.  Thankfully, Philly’s record doesn’t reflect McCoy’s fantasy numbers.  Although he hasn’t been utilized in the passing game as much as we’re used to, he’s been a monster in this heavy spread read option Kelly offense.  The Giants are as awful as they come thus far in a wide open NFC East division.  I expect many changes of possession, lots of turnovers, and continued success barring injury from ‘Shady’ McCoy (or another Chris Polk theft).  The Giants are in trouble this week, and so is your fantasy opponent should you start McCoy.

Extra Points:

As I mentioned above, Arian Foster received the vast majority of carries last week over Ben Tate.  It is only in desperation that you start Tate, as Foster should continue to take the bulk of the carries.  If you do have Foster, start him.  He had a great fantasy week despite a sad loss in overtime to the comeback kids from Seattle.  Foster is heating up.

If you paid attention last week, you noticed that La’Veon Bell is back in action for the Steelers, and pulled through for fantasy owners that saved a spot on the bench for him during the first quarter of the season.  He will get a week’s rest after his first regular season start as Pitt enters their bye week.  Come week 6, I’d enter him back into your lineup.  The Steelers aren’t clicking at all, but Bell is trending up, and will be a solid option following the bye.  Welcome back Bell.

I would strongly suggest sitting both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson this week.  Both are pretty banged up, and are actually against the odds as they face a surprising Browns team who is showing life in the AFC North.  Week 6 is a different story perhaps for the Bills RB duo, but if you have any other viable options for week 5, entertain the idea of it.  This is your caution flag.

Darren Sproles man!  There you are!  Much thanks to this man for putting me over the edge in what was looking to be a loss in one of my leagues.  Pierre didn’t look so hot.  I wouldn’t get too happy on him now that Sproles is complimenting that dangerous aerial assault that the Saints have going for them. Start Sproles, and steer clear of Pierre.

If you’re a Raiders fan and you just have to have one of your team’s running backs on your fantasy starters, I’ll tell you that you’re not getting a trophy, and you probably shouldn’t put all your chips on the Black Hole’s Darren McFadden.  Both him and Marcel Reece are pretty banged up.  The Raiders will look to Rashad Jennings to get the bulk of the action.  This is in a moment of total desperation if, let’s say, you have AP and Spiller, and are thin and in need of something to fill the void.  Maybe in the circumstances of a deep 14-team league would I recommend such an action, but that’s a stretch.

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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Austin Peat  @PistolPeat187





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