Running Backs Week 5: Start Em or Sit Em

Edwards Offers Potential as Week 5 Deep Option

De’Von Achane had an exceptional performance in Week 4, following his incredible performance in Week 3. Although he only had eight carries, he played 66 percent of the snaps, ran 26 routes, and received five targets. This resulted in an impressive total of 120 yards, two touchdowns, and 27 fantasy points. Moreover, Achane proved to be a valuable asset near the goal line for the Dolphins, significantly boosting his fantasy value. With over 350 yards, six touchdowns, and nearly 80 fantasy points in his last two games, benching Achane would not be a wise move, especially when facing the Giants.

James Conner had a relatively quiet week against the 49ers, but it was his first underwhelming performance this season. Prior to that, he averaged 16 fantasy points per game. In the upcoming matchup against the Bengals, Conner benefits from a much more favorable situation. The Bengals defense has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards to running backs this season. They recently allowed Derrick Henry to have a remarkable game, and Conner is poised to follow in his footsteps. Considering the struggles of the Bengals’ offense, this game script could be quite favorable for Conner, making him an appealing choice for fantasy teams.

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Brecce Hall delivered a solid performance in Week 4, despite not having a breakout game. Leading the Jets’ running backs, he played 46 percent of the snaps, carried the ball six times, ran 17 routes, and received four targets, resulting in a total of 69 yards and 9.9 fantasy points. Hall’s explosiveness was evident throughout the game. Furthermore, he faces the Broncos in the upcoming week, who have surrendered the most rushing yards to running backs this season, surpassing any other team by over 100 yards. Additionally, they have allowed the most rushing touchdowns and rank among the top five in receiving yards, touchdowns, and catches allowed to running backs. With all these factors in mind, Hall is worth considering for Week 5, despite the limitations of the Jets’ offense.

Brian Robinson bounced back in Week 4, recording over 13 fantasy points for the third time in four games. With an involvement in 54 percent of the snaps and 14 carries, Robinson showcased his versatility. Moreover, he ran more routes and received more targets than Antonio Gibson. The Bears, their upcoming opponents, have allowed the 11th-most rushing yards to running backs and have given up four rushing touchdowns in four games. Additionally, they hold the record for the most receiving yards allowed to the position and are tied for the most receiving touchdowns allowed to RBs. Based on this favorable matchup, Robinson has the potential for a massive fantasy day while still maintaining a safe floor week after week.

IF YOU NEED A DEEPER OPTION: Gus Edwards had an impressive workload in Week 4, playing 71 percent of the snaps, carrying the ball 15 times, running 12 routes, and receiving three targets. Although he only gained 50 yards, his volume is what stands out. Going up against the Steelers in the upcoming week, Edwards faces a team that has allowed the second-most rushing yards to running backs. Moreover, this game presents an opportunity for Edwards and the rest of the Baltimore rushing attack, as it could quickly turn into a favorable game script for them.

Rhamondre Stevenson, unfortunately, has not met the expectations so far this season. He has yet to surpass 60 rushing yards in a game and has scored less than eight fantasy points in the last two weeks. Additionally, his receiving performance since Week 1 has been inefficient, hindering his overall production. The Saints, his upcoming opponents, have allowed the eighth-fewest rushing yards to running backs and have not conceded a rushing touchdown yet. If there’s another option available that you like, it would be advised to explore it rather than relying on Stevenson in Week 5.

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Najee Harris had his best game of the season in the previous week, although he only managed to score 11.3 fantasy points. Surprisingly, he was outscored by his teammate Jaylen Warren (11.5), who has been dominating the pass-game usage. Warren has received 22 targets compared to Harris’ eight. Consequently, Harris heavily relies on ground work, facing a Ravens defense that has allowed only 85 rushing yards per game to running backs and has not given up a rushing touchdown to the position. With both a low floor and limited ceiling in this matchup, it would be wise to consider other options and look for alternative players.

Jahmir Gibbs has displayed impressive metrics, outperforming David Montgomery in yards per carry, rush yards over expectation, yards before contact per carry, yards after contact per carry, and the percentage of runs that gain 10-plus yards. Unfortunately, the volume still goes in favor of Montgomery, who receives the majority of the workload and goal-line opportunities. With the Lions expected to play with a lead in their upcoming game, Montgomery is poised to receive a significant share of the work. While Gibbs maintains a high upside for the season, he is not currently a starting player option.

Miles Sanders’ performance in Carolina has been inconsistent thus far. He has averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game and failed to surpass 12 points in three occasions. In the previous week, he struggled to gain yards both as a rusher and receiver, possibly affected by a groin injury. With Chuba Hubbard cutting into his workload, Sanders faces the Lions defense, which has allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to running backs and maintained an impressive 2.9 yards per carry average. Considering his recent underwhelming performance and the challenging matchup, it would be wise to keep Sanders on the bench for now.

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