The 2021-22 NFL season has already been extremely entertaining. It has shown fantasy trends that have started to develop and show what could happen the rest of the season. Already some players have proven to be fantasy relevant while some fantasy stars have been alarmingly disappointing to this point. Injuries have started to mount up this season. It is always a great idea to evaluate backup options so that way fantasy managers are prepared if star players miss time. Here are the Week 5 fantasy football running back rankings.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*
(Check out the section below for details on players already rumored to possibly miss this week and how their replacement options rank for the week)
Must Start- a player who is in your lineup regardless of the matchup or most circumstances. They Will likely finish near the top of the league in points that week and in most weeks.
Starting RB1- a player who makes fantasy owners comfortable starting week after week. Regardless of the matchup, this player has a high floor.
High-End RB2- a player who may isn’t likely to carry a lineup that week, but has the ability to have a breakout game and is teetering between RB1 and RB2 category.
Starting RB2- a player who should be started in most lineups and should reach their point projection. This player is started is because of their consistency and moderately high floor
Low RB2- a player who may not be a lock to start for a team every week, but will start more times than not. Their production may not be pretty or win a person their lineup but the production is consistent enough to make a fantasy owner comfortable starting them.
Flex- a player who could float around the territory of being benched, but is started due to the potential to play better than their point projection. However, this player has the potential to flop and causes a fantasy team to lose if he has a bad game.
Deep League Flex- a player who is more of a Hail Mary throw at the position. There are enough reasons to leave this player on the bench, but their upside makes them an attractive option. Desperate times may call for a player like this to be inserted into starting lineups.
Leave on the Bench- a player who should be avoided in all lineups that week. Many times this player could even be left on waivers.
|Must Start||Christian McCaffrey*||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB1|
|Must Start||Dalvin Cook||vs Detriot Lions||RB2|
|Must Start||Derrick Henry||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB3|
|Starting RB1||Ezekiel Elliott*||vs New York Giants||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Alvin Kamara||vs Washington Football Team||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Austin Ekeler||vs Cleveland Browns||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Aaron Jones||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB7|
|Starting RB1||Saquon Barkley||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB8|
|High-End RB2||Jonathan Taylor||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB9|
|High-End RB2||D’Andre Swift||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB10|
|High-End RB2||Darrell Henderson||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB11|
|High-End RB2||James Robinson||vs Tennessee Titans||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Nick Chubb||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Chase Edmonds*||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Najee Harris||vs Denver Broncos||RB15|
|Starting RB2||Damien Williams||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB16|
|Starting RB2||Chris Carson*||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB17|
|Low RB2||Kareem Hunt||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB18|
|Low RB2||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs New York Jets||RB19|
|Low RB2||Joe Mixon*||vs Green Bay Packers||RB20|
|Low RB2||Leonard Fournette||vs Miami Dolphins||RB21|
|Low RB2||Antonio Gibson||vs New Orleans Saints||RB22|
|Flex||Mike Davis||vs New York Jets||RB23|
|Flex||Damien Harris||vs Houston Texans||RB24|
|Flex||Zack Moss||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB25|
|Flex||Elijah Mitchell*||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB26|
|Flex||Josh Jacobs||vs Chicago Bears||RB27|
|Deep League Flex||Jamaal Williams*||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB28|
|Deep League Flex||Michael Carter||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||vs Buffalo Bills||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Latavius Murray||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Miles Sanders||vs Carolina Panthers||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Melvin Gordon*||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Tony Pollard||vs New York Giants||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Brandon Bolden||vs Houston Texans||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Ronald Jones||vs Miami Dolphins||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Devin Singletary||vs Houston Texans||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Nyheim Hines||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||James Conner||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB39|
|Deep League Flex||Javonte Williams||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB40|
|Deep League Flex||Myles Gaskin||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB41|
|Deep League Flex||Mark Ingram||vs New England Patriots||RB42|
|Leave on the Bench||Alex Collins||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Kenneth Gainwell||vs Carolina Panthers||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeremy McNichols||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||David Johnson||vs New England Patriots||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Tevin Coleman||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Giovanni Bernard*||vs Miami Dolphins||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||J.D. McKissic*||vs New Orleans Saints||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Kenyan Drake||vs Chicago Bears||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Samaje Perine||vs Green Bay Packers||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Trey Sermon||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Ty Johnson||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Sony Michel||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Carlos Hyde||vs Tennessee Titans||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juszczyk||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Darrel Williams||vs Buffalo Bills||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||A.J. Dillon||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Khalil Herbert||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Detriot Lions||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Chuba Hubbard||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Le’Veon Bell||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||Travis Homer||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||Demetric Felton||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Malcolm Brown||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||Chris Evans||vs Green Bay Packers||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||Marlon Mack||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||Peyton Barber*||vs Chicago Bears||RB68|
|Leave on the Bench||Rodney Smith||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB69|
|Leave on the Bench||Larry Rountree III||vs Cleveland Browns||RB70|
|Leave on the Bench||Salvon Ahmed||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB71|
|Leave on the Bench||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs Houston Texans||RB72|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB1 Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey misses last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys because of a hamstring injury. After returning to practice this week he has a legitimate chance to play this week. However, if McCaffrey sits out again this week Chuba Hubbard moves up to RB21 between Leonard Fournette and Antonio Gibson. Also, Rodney Smith would jump up to RB58 between Darrel Williams and A.J. Dillon.
RB4 Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott missed practice Wednesday because of discomfort with his knee. He is planning on returning to practice Thursday and playing this weekend. However, if something were to happen to Elliott then Tony Pollard would start. Pollard would move up to RB9 between Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift.
RB14 Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
Chase Edmonds didn’t practice Wednesday because of a shoulder injury. It is uncertain the extent of his injury and if he will play against the 49ers on Sunday. If Edmonds misses this week James Conner would move up to RB29 between Michael Carter and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Also, Eno Benjamin would slot in at RB56 between Carlos Hyde and Kyle Juszczyk.
RB17 Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks running back Chris Carson missed practice Tuesday because of a neck injury. If he misses Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams Alex Collins would bump up to RB22 between Antonio Gibson and Mike Davis. Travis Homer would also get a boost to RB50 between J.D. McKissic and Kenyan Drake. DeeJay Dallas would join the list at RB62 between Chuba Hubbard and Le’Veon Bell.
RB20 Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
After Thursday night’s game, Joe Mixon was diagnosed with a low-grade ankle sprain. His status is week to week so it is likely that he misses at least this week. If Mixon is out this week against the Green Bay Packers Samaje Perine would likely start and get the boost to RB26 between Elijah Mitchell and Josh Jacobs. Also, Chris Evans would become RB47 between David Johnson and Tevin Coleman.
RB26 Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell missed the last two weeks with a shoulder injury. He was limited in practice Wednesday so it is unclear if he will play against the Arizona Cardinals or not. If Mitchell misses his third game in a row Trey Sermon would bump up to RB39 between James Conner and Javonte Williams. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk would bump up to RB43 between Mark Ingram and Alex Collins.
RB28 Jamaal Williams, Detriot Lions
Lions running back Jamaal Williams was limited in practice Wednesday because of a hip injury. If he was to miss this week it wouldn’t change D’Andre Swift’s ranking but confirm that he is a top-10 running back this week. Jemar Jefferson would emerge on the list at RB69 between Peyton Barber and Larry Rountree III.
RB33 Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon didn’t practice Wednesday because of a lower leg contusion. If he was to miss this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers Javonte Williams would boost up to RB28 between Josh Jacobs and Jamaal Williams.
RB45 Jeremy McNichols, Tennessee Titans
Jeremy McNichols led the team in targets and catches last week. However, he was limited in practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury. It is uncertain if McNichols will play this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars or not. If he cannot play either Khari Blasingame or Mekhi Sargent would take his role unless Darrynton Evans returns from IR this week. Either way, it isn’t recommended to start a Titans backup running back in fantasy this week.
RB48 Giovanni Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers’ running back Giovanni Bernard missed last week’s game because of a sprained MCL. He was limited in practice Wednesday. If he is inactive expect Leonard Fournette to continue to get most of the passing down for Tampa Bay.
RB49 J.D. McKissic, Washington Football
J.D. McKissic was limited in practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury. If he was to miss this week against New Orleans Antonio Gibson would take a slight boost to RB19 between Kareem Hunt and Cordarrelle Patterson.
RB68 Peyton Barber, Las Vegas Raiders
On Wednesday Peyton Barber was diagnosed with turf toe. The injury is being described as a “mild case”. It is uncertain if Barber will play against the Bears this weekend or not. If Barber misses this week expect Kenyan Drake to see more work behind Josh Jacobs.