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Austin Ekeler, Melvin Gordon

Fantasy Football Week 5 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

Similarly to recent seasons, the first four weeks of the regular season has been dominated by running backs in fantasy football, which provides some intriguing start ’em sit ’em options for Week 5.

For the people who own Christian McCaffrey, congratulations on securing first or second place in your league.

The Carolina Panthers versatile running back leads all players with 111.9 fantasy points to begin this season. In Week 4, McCaffrey joined the legendary Jim Brown as the only running backs to total 175 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in at least three of his team’s first four games.

Along with McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler has been remarkable this season with a league-high six total touchdowns. Sadly, Ekeler could see his role in the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense decrease as Melvin Gordon returns to the field.

Aside from that, let’s delve into the running backs who should see some success in Week 5. Prior to that, all of the picks are based on PPR (points per reception) scoring and can be used in season-long or DFS (daily fantasy sports) leagues.

With that in mind, here are the start ’em sit ’em running backs for Week 5.

RBs to Start in Week 5

Chris Carson

Chargers’ Melvin Gordon or Austin Ekeler (vs. Broncos): Melvin Gordon returned to the Los Angeles Chargers before Week 4 but he failed to log a snap against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Instead, Austin Ekeler was able to thrive in the offense for the fourth consecutive week.

It remains to be seen if Gordon assumes his role as the starter in Week 5 but regardless of who starts, Los Angeles should have success running the ball this weekend. The Chargers get to face a Denver Broncos defense that was just gashed for 225 yards by Leonard Fournette in Week 4.

Seahawks’ Chris Carson (vs. Rams): The Seattle Seahawks have stayed true to their core by running the ball abundantly to begin this season. Despite his early fumble issues, Chris Carson has been the main beneficiary of the Seahawks rushing attack.

At the completion of four games, Carson is currently the 15th highest scoring running back this season in fantasy. This week, the third-year running back will go up against a Los Angeles Rams defense that has allowed five rushing touchdowns this season (second-most in NFL).

Colts’ Marlon Mack (vs. Chiefs): With Jacoby Brissett being the Indianapolis Colts starting signal-caller, the offense has become run-oriented in 2019. As a result, Marlon Mack is the focal point of the Colts offense this season.

The young ball-carrier has gotten 72 carries in the first four games of the season and he has a favorable matchup in Week 5. On Sunday night, Mack will travel to take on a Kansas City Chiefs defense that is allowing a whopping 5.9 yards per attempt to RBs this season (most in NFL).

Other RBs to Start: Falcons’ Devonta Freeman (vs. Texans), Patriots’ James White (vs. Redskins), Bengals’ Joe Mixon (vs. Cardinals)

RBs to Sit in Week 5

Wayne Gallman, Giants, Redskins


Giants’ Wayne Gallman (vs. Vikings): Wayne Gallman was a phenomenal waiver wire add prior to Week 4 as he replaced Saquon Barkley as the New York Giants starting running back. Gallman proceeded to score 27.8 fantasy points as he totaled 118 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.

The Clemson product will get his second consecutive start for the Giants in Week 5 but with a less-than-ideal matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings defense has only allowed one rushing touchdown to RBs this season (second-least in NFL).

Raiders’ Josh Jacobs (vs. Bears): Besides Kyler Murray, Josh Jacobs would probably be considered as a frontrunner for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. The Oakland Raider rookie rusher has two weeks where he has garnered double-digit fantasy football performances.

As the rookie gradually gets adjusted to the NFL, it won’t get any easier for him in Week 5 versus the stingy Chicago Bears defense. The Bears defense held the NFL’s leading rusher, Dalvin Cook, to just 35 yards rushing on 14 carries in Week 4.

Buccaneers’ Peyton Barber (vs. Saints): For the people who own Peyton Barber in fantasy football, hopefully you own Ronald Jones as well as his handcuff. Over the past two weeks, Jones has out carried Barber 33 times to 22 times.

At the same time, Jones has rushed for 150 yards while Barber has 67 yards in the last two games. Regardless of who gets the nod in Week 5, they will have a tough time against a New Orleans Saints defense that allows just 18.4 fantasy points per game this season (fourth-least in the NFL).

More Week 5 Fantasy Advice