Fantasy Football Week 5: Running Backs (RB) Rankings and Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIOctober 2, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs crosses the goal line for a 37-yard touchdown ahead of Atari Bigby #26 of the San Diego Chargers during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It looked like Jamaal Charles might flop, after his monster performance against the Saints, with two fumbles in the first half against the Chargers. While the Chiefs fell big to San Diego, Charles finished strong with two touchdowns and other solid performances for fantasy owners.

While I have some concerns about the Chief's offense long-term if Matt Cassel should lose his job, Charles should be fine as long as he can stay on the field. If anyone was still doubting Charles' ability because of a disappointing performance against the Bills, it’s time to squash that and consider him one of the elite fantasy backs, once again.

What Did We Learn From Week 4?

- After a terrific performance against the Panthers, Andre Brown fell off the radar as Ahmad Bradshaw stayed in for most of the snaps on offense. I was surprised Bradshaw played as much as he did, especially receiving red zone work coming off the neck injury and Brown looking so effective the week before.

Brown also suffered an injury in the second half, but I would hold onto him for the future. At any point, Bradshaw could have another setback to his neck or feet, opening the door for Brown again.

- Willis McGahee was rotated in and out, with Lance Ball and Ronnie Hillman subbing in. Playing in Denver’s thin air, it appeared McGahee was struggling to catch his breath, as he’s currently dealing with a rib injury. Despite the rotation, McGahee ran for over 100 yards and added a score.

He will be just fine for a big matchup against the Patriots this week.

- Some fantasy owners may have been a little worried about LeSean McCoy after an ineffective first half against the Giants. McCoy came back and looked just as good as ever in the second, going for over 100 yards on the ground in the final two quarters.

It appears McCoy has a minor tweak to his knee, but he is expected to be fine for a big game against the Steelers.

- I can’t tell you how many people were hesitant to take my advice to start Trent Richardson last week. Consider Richardson matchup proof going forward after a nice game against the Ravens. Sure, he didn’t run for a bunch of yards, but he was active in the passing game and scored a touchdown.

Richardson will find a way to score at a RB2 level or better most weeks and is worthy of starting without reservations.

- Stevan Ridley was used in a committee with Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead. Bolden had a terrific game, but so did Ridley, and it was Ridley that received the work around the goal line this week. You will need to be patent with Ridley in his usage, but at the end of the day, he should run for over 1,000 yards and score double digit touchdowns.

Sean’s Week 5 Watch List

- We’ve seen Chris Johnson come out of his shell in the past only to go back and hide as soon as fantasy owners have him in the lineup. Hopefully when you drafted Johnson your expectations were to see him go through some slow stretches, because that is going to be the case all year.

Perhaps the Titans running offense just does better with Matt Hasselbeck under center, but Johnson played well enough to at least be a flex this week. Let’s see if he can put two respectable games together against good run defenses.

- Rashard Mendenhall is expected back this week but it’s hard to imagine he will see enough work to be more than a desperation play.

- It was Jackie Battle, not Ryan Mathews, that received a majority of the Chargers' workload until the fourth quarter. The Chargers have a good running matchup against the Saints this week, so let’s see if Mathews gets his starting job back.

1 Jamaal Charles Ravens
2 Ray Rice @ Chiefs
3 Arian Foster @ Jets
4 Maurice Jones-Drew Bears
5 Adrian Peterson Titans
6 Marshawn Lynch @ Panthers
7 LeSean McCoy @ Steelers
8 Alfred Morris Falcons
9 Trent Richardson @ Giants
10 Frank Gore Bills
11 Willis McGahee @ Patriots
12 Reggie Bush (I) @ Bengals
13 Ahmad Bradshaw Browns
14 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Dolphins
15 Cedric Benson @ Colts
16 Michael Turner @ Redskins
17 Stevan Ridley Broncos
18 Matt Forte @ Jaguars
19 Ryan Mathews @ Saints
20 Darren Sproles Chargers
21 Steven Jackson (I) Cardinals
22 Chris Johnson @ Vikings
23 Fred Jackson (I) 49ers
24 Kendall Hunter Bills
25 Donald Brown Packers
26 Ryan Williams @ Rams
27 Jackie Battle @ Saints
28 Jonathan Stewart Seahawks
29 Bilal Powell Texans
30 DeAngelo Williams Seahawks
31 Brandon Bolden Broncos
32 Michael Bush (I) @ Jaguars
33 Jacquizz Rodgers @ Redskins
34 Rashard Mendenhall (I) Eagles
35 C.J. Spiller (I) @ 49ers
36 Ben Tate (I) @ Jets
37 Andre Brown (I) Browns
38 Mark Ingram Chargers

Week 5 Standard Rankings – | RB | WR | TE | K | D |