Week 5 is almost here, and it’s time to start setting lineups and making sure you’re ready to win your fantasy matchup.
Every week, Fansided will bring you rankings compiled by our duo of fantasy experts. This week, the list was derived from averaging rankings from myself and Zachary Thompson.
Let’s take a look at the running backs and how they rank for Week 5.
1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
With no Adrian Peterson this week, the top of the rankings are a bit more unclear. So let’s turn our attention to McCoy, who will face the active dumpster fire known as the New York Giants. The Eagles are going to want to score and score often against their division rivals, and I’m not sure New York has the power to stop them.
2. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
The Colts aren’t a sturdy enough defense to stop Beast Mode. I’m not sure ANY defense is sturdy enough to stop it. This should be yet another solid week for Lynch.
3. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City will need Charles involved to take down a surprisingly defense Tennessee defense. Luckily, Andy Reid is in charge, and he knows how to use his star running back more efficiently and competently than the previous regime in KC.
4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Forte and the Bears take on Rob Ryan’s New Orleans defense this week, which has been improved compared to last year’s awful Saints’ D. But it’s still the Saints, who don’t have much talent on defense, and that means Marc Trestman can find a way to break them down and involve his star running back.
5. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Zachary is very, very high on Bush this week, ranking him as the second best running back for fantasy football. I don’t have him quite as high, but it’s so close that if you need a tiebreaker between Bush and Forte (which would mean you have a loaded roster), Zach says Bush is the pick.
6. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Who would have ever thought that Foster would be a good play against the 49ers this early in the season during Arian’s injury drama this offseason? But the Niners aren’t as strong against the run as they should be, and the Texans have to get their running game going to keep Matt Schaub out of tough spots.
7. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
Houston’s defense is no slouch, either, but Gore is definitely the focal point of a disappointing 49ers offense to this point. Expect him to get his touches and find his way to a score in what should be a very good game.
8. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints
It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges by putting Sproles in with running backs, but this week Zachary and I agree, Sproles is a top 10 option. The Saints won’t be able to run the ball, which benefits Sproles (despite being a running back). The short passing game will help keep the Bears’ defense on guessing.
9. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones-Drew is eventually going to get things going, right? MJD has a decent matchup yet again this week, but an awful offense (that just lost a key offensive lineman) and injuries have slowed him down so far. Don’t be dismayed. Give him another chance.
10. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Murray is still healthy and has been surprisingly good at times in 2013. He and his Cowboys take on Denver this week, which means Tony Romo may throw a good amount to keep up with Peyton Manning. But Murray should still get involved, especially if he’s going to pick up five yards per carry as he has so far this year.
11. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
Zachary and I disagree on Richardson, as I have him much higher. With Ahmad Bradshaw’s status in doubt, I want Richardson in my lineup as the safety valve receiver for Andrew Luck against the Seattle pass rush, plus I’ll take his ability to punch in a close score. Zachary has a bit of doubt, but still has him in the top 15. Take that for what it’s worth.
12. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Coming off an injury against a decent Miami defense, I’ll be reluctant to use Rice this week. Zachary says he’s a top-10 option, however. If he’s featured, he’s a solid option. But if he’s in pain and being rotated in and out of the game, it seriously reduces his point potential.
13. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
This game will feature a good amount of offense, as the Chargers and Raiders will both have plenty of success moving the ball against the other defense. Mathews has a huge opportunity to benefit from that. With many good runners on bye weeks, don’t hesitate to slot Mathews in as a RB2 or Flex this week.
14. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Continue to check his health, but if he can go against the Lions this week he’s a solid RB2 option. Detroit has a formidable front seven, but Lacy will benefit from the matchup advantages the Packers create with their plethora of receivers they use to spread the field.
15. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning creates so many great opportunities for Moreno to run the football. Look for more of the same this weekend against the Cowboys.
Honorable Mention: David Wilson, New York Giants; C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills; Bilal Powell, New York Jets