Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 5: Breaking Down Running Back Hits and Misses

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2013

Sep 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) rushes with the against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 52-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season is already upon us, and fantasy owners are trying to decipher which running back they must start and which duds they must sit.

The running back position continues to be the toughest to decipher, but the following rankings and analysis will help fantasy players through the struggles

All stats and projections based on standard-scoring leagues.


RankNameTeamOpponentProj. Stats
Top 10 Running Backs in Week 5
1LeSean McCoyPhiladelphia EaglesNew York Giants23
2Jamaal CharlesKansas City ChiefsTennessee Titans20
3Reggie BushDetroit LionsGreen Bay Packers19
4Matt ForteChicago BearsNew Orleans Saints17
5Marshawn LynchSeattle SeahawksIndianapolis Colts17
6Frank GoreSan Francisco 49ersHouston Texans16
7Trent RichardsonIndianapolis ColtsSeattle Seahawks16
8Arian FosterHouston TexansSan Francisco 49ers15
9Ray RiceBaltimore RavensMiami Dolphins14
10Lamar MillerMiami DolphinsBaltimore Ravens14


Biggest Start 'Em: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

With Adrian Peterson on bye this week, there is no better running back than Philadelphia Eagles star LeSean McCoy.

Add in a favorable matchup against a New York Giants defense struggling in every facet of the game (ranked 20th against the pass and 28th against the run), and McCoy will be a fantasy juggernaut.

McCoy is coming off his worst game of the season—just 94 yards from scrimmage and zero touchdowns—and head coach Chip Kelly will do everything in his power to get the ball to his running back in open space.

Start McCoy with supreme confidence every week.

Predicted Stat Line: 18 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns, four receptions for 40 yards and zero touchdowns.


Biggest Sit 'Em: DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Fantasy owners are looking to hop on the DeAngelo Williams hype train this week with the Carolina Panthers coming off a bye and playing the Arizona Cardinals, but all that glitters is not gold.

Williams’ numbers can't be ignored—at least 85 yards from scrimmage with at least 20 touches in each of the first three weeks—but the stingy run defense in Arizona (second in the league allowing just 75 yards per game) will make it a long day for the veteran.

The Cardinals defense won’t be able to keep Williams from getting around 20 combined carries and catches Sunday, but the team will reduce his effectiveness and limit him to around six fantasy points in Week 5.

Predicted Stat Line: 16 carries for 40 yards and zero touchdowns, two receptions for 20 yards and zero touchdowns.


Sleeper Start 'Em: Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins and top running back Lamar Miller will square off against the vaunted defense of the Baltimore Ravens, but this isn’t the same defensive unit that won the Super Bowl last year.

Baltimore comes into this matchup ranked 16th and 17th against the pass and run respectively, and Miller will have ample opportunities to shine as Miami’s top runner. Backup Daniel Thomas has been mediocre at best, and the Dolphins must begin feeding the ball to Miller more.

With 62 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown last week against an impressive New Orleans Saints team, fantasy owners should expect more touches this week and a similar fantasy output.

Miller is an ideal flex play this week.

Predicted Stat Line: 14 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown, two receptions for 10 yards and zero touchdowns.