The NFL season is officially a quarter of the way over and we are on to Week 5. Bye weeks are beginning and the waiver wires in fantasy football are going to be as busy as ever. This is what separates the true managers to people who just join for the social aspect.
Week 5 has some interesting matchups all over the league and the running back position is once again highlighted. With four games done, teams have shown whether they will feature a primary runner or use a committee. Both can be productive, especially in Cleveland. When looking through your matchup, remember these names on both lists.
RBs to Start in Week 5
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
With Nick Chubb out for the next few weeks, Hunt is the likely candidate to step into the starting role. D’Ernest Johnson turned some heads against Dallas, but it is unlikely that he makes the jump over Hunt. The Browns have been using a two-back set all season and both have been extremely productive. Hunt has scored five touchdowns over the last two weeks. His work as a receiver makes him valuable in PPR formats.
Cleveland has tough matchups over the next two weeks when they take on the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers. This should not shy you away from starting Hunt. He has proven that he can be a big point option as a backup, now he will have a chance as the starter.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
In Week 4, Robinson totaled over 100 yards from scrimmage. This was the third straight week where he reached that number. Robinson has been very consistent through four games. He has been a workhorse for the Jaguars, who have not been using another back. This was clear since Week 1 when Robinson was the only running back to get a carry.
Robinson is a duel-threat receiver who can put up big numbers in the passing game. This is important given the fact that the Jaguars will be behind in games and will have to pass. This week, they will face the 0-4 Houston Texans. This is a defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Robinson is a start every week and expect a big performance in this one.
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
Fantasy managers who jumped on the Davis train are getting more than they expected. He has filled in for Christian McCaffrey nicely over the last two weeks. Davis has scored a touchdown in each of the last two games. He has totaled 130 rushing yards with 13 catches.
On Sunday, the Panthers face one of the worst defenses in football in the Atlanta Falcons. Davis could do damage in many ways in this one. Carolina has used Davis as a receiver and a runner which means more points. Passengers on the train, it is not time to get off yet. Try and squeeze as many points out of Davis as you can before McCaffrey returns.
Other fantasy football running backs to start: Buffalo Bills’ Devin Singletary (at Tennessee Titans), New England Patriots’ Damien Harris (vs. Denver Broncos), Arizona Cardinals’ Kenyan Drake (at New York Jets)
RBs to Sit in Week 5
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Chargers
The backfield in Los Angeles has been a complete fantasy football nightmare. Cam Akers was the hot topic entering the season, but it quickly changed to Malcolm Brown after he scored twice in the opener. That did not last a week as Henderson began taking over shortly after. Henderson was expected to have a big game against a mediocre New York Giants defense, but that did not happen.
Henderson played 39 percent of the snaps against the Giants. He was targeted just once in the passing game. This week, they will face Washington, who is allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. They also might be getting Chase Young back in the mix. Regardless of the opponent, Henderson is not reliable. Do yourself a favor and avoid the Rams’ backfield. It is too difficult to figure out.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins
Gaskin has showed flashes this season. He has proven to be the No. 1 option within the offense. He can carry the ball effectively and is a reliable pass catcher. Moving forward, Gaskin is a flex option, but not this week. He has not risen to the ranks of a RB1 or RB2 yet. Gaskin has not cracked 15 fantasy points in any game this season.
It is hard to imagine that he will against the San Francisco 49ers. This is a defense that has allowed the fewest points to running backs this season. The Dolphins will be throwing the ball in this game. Gaskins is a strong pass-catcher, but that is not enough to start him this week. If you believe he will find the end zone, take a chance. If not, Gaskin could rest on your bench in this one. He is a matchup player and this is an awful matchup.
Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens
Ingram has turned into a bench option in all formats. This is surprising after scoring 10 touchdowns a year ago and leading the way for an offense that averaged 206 yards per game on the ground. This season, Ingram has just 34 carries and has been given the ball 10 or more times once. He is a touchdown dependent back, but even with a touchdown in Week 4 against Washington, he failed to score 10 points in regular formats.
The Ravens feature four runners. Lamar Jackson is an elite rushing quarterback while Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, and Gus Edwards all get carries in the offense. The Ravens will face the Cincinnati Bengals this week, who give up fantasy points at a high rate. There will only be one ball in this game and that is the problem for Ingram. He just will not see enough carries to be trustworthy as a starter this week.
Other fantasy football running backs to sit: Indianapolis Colts’ Jonathan Taylor (vs. Cleveland Browns), Los Angeles Chargers’ Joshua Kelley (at New Orleans Saints), Philadelphia Eagles’ Miles Sanders (at Pittsburgh Steelers)