Week 5 Rankings (2013) – Top 40 Running Backs

by Ray Kuhn

This week the bye’s are in full swing as four teams will be taking Sunday off. There are also a few question marks to along with some under achievers, so setting your lineup will not get any easier in Week 5. With that being said, let’s take a look at where the running backs sit for this week.

1. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – at New York Giants
2. Reggie Bush – Detroit Lions – at Green Bay
3. Marshawn Lynch -Seattle Seahawks – at Indianapolis
4. Jamaal Charles -Kansas City Chiefs – at Tennessee
5. Matt Forte -Chicago Bears – vs. New Orleans
6. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at San Francisco
7. Trent Richardson – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Seattle
8. DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Denver
9. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Kansas City
10. Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
11. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Houston
12. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Miami
13. D’Angelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Arizona
14. CJ Spiller – Buffalo Bills – at Cleveland
15. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – at Dallas
16. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers – vs. Detroit
17. Bilal Powell – New York Jets – at Atlanta
18. Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins – vs. Baltimore
19. Daryl Richardson – St. Louis Rams – vs. Jacksonville
20. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – at St. Louis
21. Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – at Cincinnati
22. Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. New England
23. David Wilson – New York Giants – vs. Pittsburgh
24. Willis McGahee – Cleveland Browns – vs. Buffalo
25. Ryan Matthews – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
26. Jacquizz Rodgers – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New York Jets
27. Rashad Jennings – Oakland Raiders – vs. San Diego
28. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
29. Bernard Pierce – Baltimore Ravens – at Miami
30. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – at Cleveland
31. Danny Woodhead – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
32. Joique Bell – Detroit Lions – at Green Bay
33. Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
34. Jason Snelling- Atlanta Falcons – vs. New York Jets
35. Rashard Mendenhall – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
36. Montee Ball – Denver Broncos – at Dallas
37. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Baltimore
38. Branden Bolden – New England Patriots – at Cincinnati
39. Johnathan Franklin – Green Bay Packers – vs. Detroit
40. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. New England


  • After two weeks off, it appears that Eddie Lacy is good to go this week. The rookie running back was cleared for practice and already has a full session from Monday under his belt. After Johnathan Franklin emerged two weeks ago, I think he will still play a role in Green Bay’s offense, but I would expect Lacy to get the majority of the carries.
  • Reggie Bush proved this past week that regardless of how many ailments he already has under his belt this season; it will not affect his performance. In fact, he is one of the few top running backs that have lived up to or surpassed his draft value. Bush carried the ball 18 times for 139 yards and a touchdown while also catching four passes for another 34 yards. Detroit wasn’t kidding when they said this preseason that Bush would be a focal point of their offense, and he has certainly delivered. Joique Bell also had eleven touches (seven carries and four receptions), but he only gained 42 yards total and did not find the end zone. Unless you are in a bind or in a PPR league, I’m not sure you can start Bell when Bush is healthy.
  • For both the Raiders and your fantasy team, I’m not sure Rashad Jennings is much more than a warm body. Both Darren McFadden and Marcel Reese left Sunday’s game with injury and appear to be out for this week.  After replacing both backs Jennings carried the ball 15 times gaining only 45 yards, but he did catch eight passes for 71 yards. Do not get used to the receptions, as those came with Matt Flynn at quarterback. When Terelle Pryor returns this week, those “dump off” screen passes likely will be off the table. Jennings will have 20-25 touches and might find the end zone, but I’m not sure that he will be primed for a big game.
  • Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller left this Sunday’s game due to injury, and both are currently saying they plan to play this week. The problem is that their game is Thursday, so you must have a contingency plan at the ready. Spiller had a decent game this week carrying the ball 23 times before getting hurt, but he only gained 77 yards and did not catch one pass. His reception skills are a large part of what made him a first round pick this season. Jackson carried the ball another 16 times on Sunday gaining 87 yards and also scoring a touchdown, but he also did not catch a pass. I’m thinking Spiller might be more of an option this week, but the Browns actually have a tough defensive front so it will be difficult for either back to get much going. Tashard Choice also factors in here, but it is still a little early to tell. This might be a situation to stay away from entirely unless the picture clears up by Thursday.
  • David Wilson still looks like a back to stay away from. He actually looked pretty good on Sunday gaining 55 yards on 13 carries while catching another two passes for eight yards. He still is not playing on third downs and is not a true factor in the passing game. We didn’t even mention that as a whole the Giants are just a mess. Unless you have no choice, let Wilson play his way into your lineup.
  • Another situation to say away from is the Arizona Cardinals backfield. Andre Ellington might have gained more yards than Rashard Mendenhall this week, but he had eight less touches. Ellington only carried the ball four times, but he did look explosive and gained 29 yards while also catching three passes for another 22 yards. In his 12 carries, Mendenhall only gained 21 yards, so clearly something needs to be done here. I think Ellington is the back to own, but it might take another week or two before he is worthy of starting in fantasy leagues.
  • It finally happened. The Texans treated Arian Foster as the stud starter that he is, and Ben Tate was the backup. Tate fumbling certainly did not hurt that cause, but Foster had 33 touches compared to his 8. Foster carried the ball 27 times gaining 102 yards while also catching six passes for 69 yards a touchdown. Foster is back to being an unquestioned RB1.
  • I would not be too concerned that Ray Rice only carried the ball five times for 17 times this week. Baltimore fell behind early, and Rice clearly was not 100% healthy. The running back appears to have come out of the game in good health, and should only be healthier for this coming week against Miami. It’s still hard to think of him as an RB1, but you have to start him.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings:

Week 5 Rankings (2013) - Top 15 Defenses
Week 5 Rankings (2013) - Top 50 Wide Receivers


  1. Jesse says:

    I thought pitt was on bye, does that raise or lower Wilson’s fantasy value this week?

  2. Jeff P says:

    Brees and Sproles owner has offered Forte for Graham. My RBs are TRich, Moreno, Bell, McGahee and TEs are Fleener and Finley. Should I take the deal? PPR league. Am I overthinking this?

  3. Jesse – Pitt is on bye, Ray typo’ed. The Giants face the Eagles where Wilson is more of a FLEX

    Jeff P – How many points per reception? You ae downgrading at TE, but it’s a significant RB upgrade (especially if there’s a FLEX too)

  4. Jeff P says:

    1 ppr and yes we play with a flex position too.

    • I am a big Graham fan, but in that type of format it’s tough to turn away from Forte. I don’t think it’s a must make trade. But you are getting the better talent and can play matchups with your other Te

  5. Double G says:

    Pick one of the following three for a flex play.

    Sproles, Edelman, David Wilson

  6. RT says:

    RP – I got offered Reggie Bush, Matt Schaub and Erick Decker for Aaron Rodgers and Knowshown Moreno?

    I’m liking the deal, what do you think?


  7. Paul says:

    Sproles or Johnson? I don’t like Johnson’s chances against KC’s defense, and Bush tore up the Bears last week, you also saw Sproles go for 114 yards. Your input Sir?

  8. Double G – I’d go with Sproles as Edelman could be tough to trust depending on who is healthy.

    RT – It seems fair, but who are you leaving yourself at QB? I can’t I ago e it’s Schaub…

    Paul – I’m not the biggest Sproles person, but I would agreed. He has the higher upside this week.

  9. RT says:

    RP- My backup is Cutler, now he gave me a choice also between Eli Manning and Schaub.

    Another question for you, would you drop the Chicago D for the Atlanta D or do you think long term i should just stick with Chicago’s Defense?


  10. Andy says:

    Sone one just dropped CJ Spiller in my non PPR 8 teams. Should I drop QB Matthews Stafford to pick up Spiller? I just used Stafford to replace A Rodgers in week 4. Now Rodgers is back. Thanks.

  11. Chris says:

    Need a Flex option…starting t smith, j Nelson, Rice and fotre…thinking rashad Jennings but also have j Rodgers and Edelman….

    QB’s Romo (have starting) also have newton???any ideas

  12. Andy – it’s hard dropping Stafford, because he’s arguably a Top 5, but Spiller is a no-brainer grab due to the upside.

    Chris – Jennings may not be the best play, as Marcel Reece is looking like he will potentially play. Anyone else? It’s Jennings or Edelman from this group, so I guess Jennings by default

  13. James A says:

    Do you stand by your ranking of Deangelo Williams over Bilal Powell? Arizona’s run defense has been stout (ranked 3rd, I believe), while ATL is hovering around 100 yds a game. Is it because the Jets have no real passing threat, making the run game less reliable?

  14. Paul says:

    Terrance Williams or Nate washington? 1ppr league. Also joique bell or rashad Jennings?

  15. Paul says:

    Should I drop mendenhall for ellington?

  16. James A – I didn’t do the rankings, so I can’t speak for Ray. That said, I’d probably roll with Powell, who should be a major part of the offense,

    Paul – Jennings and Washington; as for the drop, it’s very close at this point, it would depend on who else you have, but the long-term play is Ellington (who could also become the main man in the near future)

  17. Jesse says:

    Playing the matchups, I have Wilson and Powell starting over CJ2K and Moreno. You have Wilson pretty low, I’m guessing this was before they dropped Scott? How does that affect his projections now? It has to give a reasonable bump right?

    • To an extent, but the Giants are still going to use Jacobs in short yardage and goal line situations, so I wouldn’t give Wilson such a huge boost,

      That said, I would probably go Wlson or Moreno, depending on your opinion.

  18. Alan says:

    I have CJ2K never have more than 9 pts. This week he will have trouble with KC Def. Should I start K Moreno or still keep him in Flex? My RB1 is Lynch and RB2 Is Gio Bernard. Thanks

  19. Walter says:

    Start stafford or rivers? Start Finley or Bennett (bears) te Have bolden sf 49s , Johnson texans , bowe chiefs. And Marshall bears. Which three should I start I’m leading toward Marshall,Johnson, and bolden.

  20. Alan – I don’t trust Moreno, but he has the higher upside this week

    Walter – Stafford/Bennett and I don’t trust Bowe so I agree

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