by Ray Kuhn
And now here we are. Week 5 brings with it the first two, scheduled, bye weeks of the season as fantasy owners look to replace Aaron Jones and Adrian Peterson this week. The injury bug has also struck as Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler will both be sidelined for multiple weeks so replacements are in order. Let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week:
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. NY Giants
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. LA Chargers
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Seattle
- Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Radiers – at Kansas City
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Buffalo
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Las Vegas
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Minnesota
- Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – vs. Indianapolis
- James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Philadelphia
- Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – at Atlanta
- James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Houston
- Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
- Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – at Cleveland
- Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at Pittsburgh
- David Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville
- Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers – at New Orleans
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. Tampa Bay
- Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – at NY Jets
- Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
- Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Miami
- Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – at New England
- Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Chicago
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at Tennessee
- Le’Veon Bell – New York Jets – vs. Arizona
- Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team – vs. LA Rams
- Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Miami
- Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins – at San Francisco
- James White – New England Patriots – vs. Denver
- Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – at Cleveland
- Devonta Freeman – New York Giants – at Dallas
- Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
- Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – vs. LA Chargers
- Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – at Washington
- Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers – at New Orleans
- Damien Harris – New England Patriots – vs. Denver
- Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – at NY Jets
- Reggie Bonnafon – Carolina Panthers – at Atlanta
- D’Ernest Johnson – Cleveland Browns – vs. Indianapolis
- Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville
- Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
- With Nick Chubb sidelined for roughly the next six weeks, there is opportunity to be found in Cleveland’s backfield. To say that Chubb was having success to start the season would be an understatement and it’s pretty clear that the Browns are both highly committed to run as well as being successful at it. Kareem Hunt will be the main option and Sunday he rushed for 71 yards on 11 carries while scoring two touchdowns. For the season Hunt has carried the ball 50 times for 275 yards and three touchdowns while also catching eight passes for another 42 yards and two more touchdowns. With Chubb’s absence he will get busier and his ranking will reflect that, but D’Ernest Johnson is also a name to be aware of. Last week, with the game well in hand, Johnson gained 95 yards on 13 carries after carrying the ball just once in the past three weeks. He is more of an option in deeper leagues but it’s possible we saw his best performance of the season last week as well.
- Our other injury replacement situation will be taking place with the Chargers and the good news is that we know who the beneficiary will be; Joshua Kelley. The problem though is that prior to last week, I would have felt a lot better about Kelley than after he gained just seven yards on nine carries. For the season Kelley has had success though rushing for 167 yards and a touchdown on 43 carries and he did catch three passes for 26 yards last week so there is some receiving ability is there. Before we judge Kelley too harshly though, it should be noted that he did face a Tampa Bay team last week that has a strong front seven as things should get better this week for Kelley against the Saints.
- While Devonta Freeman is “the guy” for the Giants, does that really matter? Of course Freeman does deserve to be rostered in all leagues, but how confident can we feel while he struggles to find his footing with New York. I’m not saying we should right him off, but it’s possible there are better options out there. He did face a tough Rams defense last week, but Freeman also struggled to find room to run gaining 33 yards on 11 carries. Freeman was targeted four times and he caught all four of his targets for an additional 35 yards. Things should get a lot better for Freeman this week against a Dallas defense that allowed 307 rushing yards against the Browns last week. But I’m just not sure how much better?
- Devin Singletary could have done a better job taking advantage of the absence of Zach Moss but the volume is there for the second year running back. Last week Singletary rushed 18 times for 55 yards while picking up his first touchdown of the season to go along with five receptions for 21 yards. What Singletary is missing though is the explosiveness as he averaging just 4.2 yards per carry and 7.1 yards per reception. There is value with Singletary, I’m just not sure there is upside.
- We try to stay away from crowded backfields, and the Rams are no different. After his performance two weeks ago, it seemed like Darrell Henderson was the running back to own in Los Angeles, but that quickly changed last week. Henderson followed up a 100-plus yard effort by gaining just 22 yards on eight carries while adding one catch for 16 yards. Malcolm Brown is another option, but with just 46 yards on 14 touches, I’m staying away here too. At this point, it’s Cam Akers or bust once the rookie comes back from his rib injury and proves himself capable.
- While I’m not sure how exciting it truly is, it does appear that Myles Gaskin has grabbed a hold of the job in Miami’s backfield. Gaskin did see his carries drop from 22 two weeks to just 10 last week, but game flow was in play. As the Dolphins were playing catchup against the Seahawks, Gaskin gained 40 yards on his 10 carries but he did catch three passes for 22 yards as well. The job does belong to Gaskin, or at least the majority of the touches, but this week things will be tough for him against a tough San Francisco running back.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: