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 will 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 receiver |  Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

The most noticeable change in the rankings this week is Kareem Hunt’s spot as a standard RB1. Chubb (knee) is expected to miss six weeks, so Hunt will become an RB1 for the foreseeable future. That includes this tough matchup with a rock-solid Colts defense. Hunt 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 Kareem Hunt, 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 Devonta Freeman, NYG @ DAL
24 Melvin Gordon, DEN @ NE
25 Le’Veon Bell, NYJ vs. ARZ
26 Mark Ingram, BAL vs. CIN
27 Darrell Henderson, LAR @ WAS
28 Devin Singletary, BUF @ TEN
29 Phillip Lindsay, DEN @ NE
30 Sony Michel, NE vs. DEN
31 Jerick McKinnon, SF vs. MIA
32 Latavius Murray, NO vs. LAC
33 Leonard Fournette, TB @ CHI
34 Myles Gaskin, MIA @ SF
35 Malcolm Brown, LAR @ WAS
36 Zack Moss, BUF @ TEN
37 Gus Edwards, BAL vs. CIN
38 James White, NE vs. DEN
39 Justin Jackson, LAC @ NO
40 JK Dobbins, BAL vs. CIN
41 Chase Edmonds, ARZ @ NYJ
42 Dion Lewis, NYG @ DAL
43 Jordan Howard, MIA @ SF
44 Nyheim Hines, IND @ CLE
45 D’Ernest Johnson, CLE vs. IND
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 Anthony McFarland, PIT vs. PHI
64 Jalen Richard, LV @ KC
65 J.D. McKissic, WAS vs. LAR
66 Darrynton Evans, TEN vs. BUF
67 Reggie Bonnafon, CAR @ ATL
68 Benny Snell, PIT vs. PHI
69 Frank Gore, NYJ vs. ARZ
70 Royce Freeman, DEN @ NE
71 La’Mical Perine NYJ vs. ARZ