It’s a big bye week for some key running backs with Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Alfred Morris, and LeVeon Bell off the table as options for this week. If you find yourself in need of a flex play or a RB starter, here are the top five sleeper picks who normally wouldn’t be every-week starters but are in good positions to produce this week due to opportunity or matchup.
Here are the top 5 sleeper options in the order I would start them for week 5:
1. David Wilson-New York Giants
Since his fumble issues in week one, Wilson has been a fantasy pariah. He was drafted highly after he was the only prove RB headed into the season, but most owners have banished him to the bench after struggling early. That could be changing, though, as the Giants got him a season-high 15 touches last week and he finished with 63 total yards. Probably even more imptortantly, he hasn’t fumbled since week 1 and the Giants cut Da’Rel Scott meaning Wilson should be in the game more Sunday against Philadelphia. The Eagles have given up over 100 yards to opposing RB’s in their last three games and have allowed the 11th most fantasy points per game.
2. LeGarrette Blount-New England Patriots
Blount has led the Pats in rushing the last two weeks and in many ways is the last man standing after Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley went down with injuries and Brandon Bolden is questionable. Blount had an impressive 47 yard touchdown last week against the Falcons and has 65 and 64 yards the last two weeks. This week, the Patriots will head to Cincinnati in another tough road game. The Bengals run defense allowed the Packers run wild on them in week three and struggled a little bit with Cleveland’s RB’s last week. Blount could be a gamble that pays off if he gets the lion’s share of the workload Sunday.
3. Johnathan Franklin-Green Bay Packers
Don’t let the fact that Franklin was on a bye last week make you forget him. He was impressive against Cincinnati week 3 rushing for 103 yards and adding 23 yards receiving. The tricky thing about Franklin is that he’ll have to battle for time with Eddie Lacy who is returning from a concussion. It’s likely to be some kind of running back rotation, but how much time each back will get is impossible to say. If Franklin gets enough run, he should put together a solid game as the Packers host Detroit. The Lions have given up the fourth-most points to opposing running backs including allowing a rushing TD in every game so far this season.
4. Isaiah Pead-St. Louis Rams
After a curious healthy inactive last week, Pead has a real shot to be the starter and get a nice chunk of the carries against the Jaguars this Sunday. Daryl Richardson announced on twitter he’s not starting laving Pead and untested rookie Zac Stacy as the options as lead back. Pead had a nice week in week three rushing for 20 yards and catching seven passes out of the backfield for 43 more yards. Especially in PPR leagues, his matchup against Jacksonville is good enough to earn him consideration as a flier of a flex play.
5. Marcel Reece-Oakland Raiders
Reece is probably going to play this week even after injuring his knee last week in the Raiders game against Washington. Reece has been practicing on a limited basis this week while Darren McFadden hasn’t returned to practice and is officially doubtful for this week. The risk with Reece is how much of the workload he’ll get compared with Rashad Jennings who looked good last week in his fill-in duties. Reece had a nice game two weeks ago and makes plays when he gets touches. It’s a calculated risk especially since he doesn’t play until late, late Sunday Night, but he could put together a nice night against the Chargers if he plays and the Raiders use him as their main option in the backfield.
If you have any questions of who I’d start/sit on your roster for week 5, you can find me on twitter @ZT_Sports or drop the question in the comments at the bottom of the page. For information on other positions, starter rankings, and plenty of fantasy football goodness, check out our Fansided fantasy football page where there’s a treasure trove of information that can help you get the win this weekend.