Fantasy Football Week Five Rankings: Running Backs

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 8, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 04:  Running back Brandon Jacobs #27 of the New York Giants during pregame warm-ups just prior to the start of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 4, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Week Five is here, and leagues are starting to take shape as some teams are starting to pull away from the pack, while other squads have made themselves comfortable occupying the role of cellar dweller. Odds are, that part of the reason for this separation of power is due to the play of those teams’ running backs.

With four weeks officially in the books, It is more important than ever that you pay attention to the Bruno Boys weekly rankings as there is no longer any room for stumbling. As always, we are here to get you the win. Let’s get that going by jumping into the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week Five Running Back Rankings.

1. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) @ St. Louis

Adrian Peterson has started off 2009 the same way he finished 2008, on a high. Last Monday was no different as he once again scored a solid 9 fantasy points, which by the way is his low for the season. This week, the best running back in fantasy football clashes against the Rams’ and their 24th ranked rush defense. It isn’t hard to see the writing on the wall; Peterson will have another dominating week. Just hope that you have him on your roster, and if that’s not the case, hope that your opponent doesn’t have him, as a very good week is in the making.
Point Projection: 22 points

2. Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ Seattle

Just when it looked like Maurice Jones-Drew was about to become the back everyone thought he would be prior to the season thanks to a 31 point effort in week three, things took a big hit last week. Although, he did have 9 fantasy points, the majority of the points came via a touchdown. Without the score, he is sitting at a mere three point effort. But, not to worry, this cat is a gamer; no pun intended. Look for Jones-Drew to get back on track this week against a Seattle Seahawks defense that ranks in the lower third of the league. If you have him on your team, Jones-Drew is a must play.
Point Projection: 21 points

3. Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants) vs. Oakland

Disappointed in his season to date, Brandon Jacobs came out before last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs and stated that if he didn’t start doing better that he would retire at the end of the year. While we all know that Jacobs isn’t seriously considering retirment, you have to love his confidence, especially since he backed up the statement by rushing the ball 21 times for a four plus average. While he did not reach pay dirt, it was still a solid showing and one that shows the confidence that the New York Giants have in him. This week, he faces the Oakland Raiders; a team that is worse than the Chiefs when it comes to rush defense. Look for Jacobs to put it all together in Week five, making him one of the better plays of the week.
Point Projection: 19 points

4. DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) vs. Washington

Coming off a bye-week, DeAngelo Williams looks to continue his solid season in which he is averaging 12 fantasy points per week. Looking to stop him right in his tracks though are the Washington Redskins, a solid, but unspectacular rush defense that ranks 22nd in the league against the run. Look for Williams to get the better of the matchup this week. Williams may have only had eight fantasy points in his only previous career match up against Washington, but that was before he turned into the beast we all know today.
Point Projection: 18 points

5. Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) @ Kansas City

Until Marion Barber suffered a quadriceps injury, he was on his way to another solid season. After missing a week due to the injury, Barber saw himself back in the lineup against the Denver Broncos. He did not disappoint his fantasy owners as in limited duty he was able to touch the ball 13 times for 68 yards and a touchdown; good for 12 fantasy points. As long as Barber’s health keeps improving, he will once again start seeing the majority of the touches out of the Cowboys’ backfield. This would be an excellent week for that to happen as the Kansas City Chiefs rush defense is pretty average, giving up 128.5 rush yards per game.
Point Projection: 18 points

6. Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) vs. Indianapolis

It is pretty much official now; barring injury, Chris Johnson is the every down back for the Tennessee Titans. He once again received the majority of the touches against the Jacksonville Jaguars and did not disappoint as he went for 94 all-purpose yards. While not an exceptional showing, a touchdown would have produced a great week. Against the Indianapolis Colts, he has a chance for a big day as their defense has been less than stellar, giving up a rushing touchdown a game as well as over 100 yards. Look for another great week from this outstanding young back.
Point Projection: 17 points

7. Clinton Portis (Washington Redskins) @ Carolina

Why shouldn’t you trust the NFL injury reports? Case in hand: in week four, Clinton Portis was a game time decision and then carries the ball 25 times. Hmm… sounds like some coaching mischief there. Either way, I can’t blame Jim Zorn as I would want to have as much of an advantage as possible as well when my job was on the line. With those 25 carries, Portis ran for 98 yards; just short of a 10 point week. Against a Carolina Panthers’ defense that ranks dead last against the run, look for him to have a very nice week.
Point Projection: 16 points

8. Michael Turner (Atlanta Falcons) @ San Francisco

Michael Turner has not gotten off to the quick start that many expected after a glorious 2008 season, yet he has averaged nearly 80 yards a contest and has two touchdowns in three games. He looks to pick up (and then some) from where he left off before the bye-week. His challenge will be the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off an inspirational high after a dominating performance against the St. Louis Rams. This will be a good test on just where Turner (and the Niners’ defense) stands. I am looking for solid yardage and a touchdown minimum. Turner is a solid RB1 for Week five.
Point Projection: 14 points

9. Tim Hightower (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Houston

Tim Hightower is averaging 93 total yards per contest in 2009, while also punching in one touchdown. Coming off a bye-week, he gets to face a horrible Houston Texans rush defense that ranks at the bottom of the NFL at 29. Despite the presence of Chris Wells, Hightower has maintained the lead back position for the Arizona Cardinals. Look for him to continue where he has left off; plenty of yardage and a touchdown is likely.
Point Projection: 14 points

10. Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Tampa Bay

Brian Westbrook has lost some clout in fantasy football circles because of the abilities of rookie running back LeSean McCoy. Having rested some on the bye-week though, Westbrook looks to get back into the thick of things against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; a team that has struggled mightily on defense this year, especially against the run where they rank 30th in the league. Even if Westbrook splits his playing time, he will produce enough to be a RB1 play in deeper leagues.
Point Projection: 14 points

11. Glen Coffee (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Atlanta

With Frank Gore out with injury, Glen Coffee had an opportunity to show what he could do against the St. Louis Rams. In the game, Coffee touched the ball a remarkable 28 times and had a combined 106 yards of offense. While that is not overly impressive, there is no doubt that Coffee will see plenty of playing time during Gore’s absence. This week he takes on a Atlanta defense that has struggled against the rush in 2009, ranking 25th, but is coming off a bye-week in which they were able to rest up. Look for less touches as the 49ers are most likely going to have to air the ball out this week as the Falcons will score, something the Rams did not do, but Coffee should be able to sneak into the end zone in Week five.
Point Projection: 14 points

12. Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos) vs. New England

Knowshon Moreno continued his mission of becoming one of the better backs in the NFL last week as he went for 76 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. Having started the season slow due to injury, Moreno has come on as of late and looks to be an even bigger part of the offense as Correll Buckhalter got banged up in the team’s week four game. Depending on Buckhalter’s status for this week, Moreno could be a really nice play. Look for him to put up another week of double-digit fantasy points for the third straight week.
Point Projection: 13 points

13. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Cincinnati

After scoring his first touchdown in his career, Ray Rice made more strides this week by going for 152 all-purpose yards against the New England Patriots; a team that had been very solid against the rush before the match up. This week Rice faces the Cincinnati Bengals who have also been solid against the rush, but just allowed a huge game to Jerome Harrison of the Cleveland Browns. Look for Rice to be a huge factor on the ground once again, but the chances of a touchdown are not very good. Either way, Rice is a nice RB2 play.
Point Projection: 13 points

14. Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) vs. Minnesota

Steven Jackson is in an unfortunate situation. He has all of the talent in the world but his counterparts do not allow him to showcase it. In fact, against the San Francisco 49ers, Jackson was able to get his hands on the ball 26 times but struggled to 85 all-purpose yards. There were times that he almost broke away, so the possibility is always there for an outstanding week. Against the Minnesota Vikings, though, it will be tough, but with his talent you can’t bet against him. And, after the shellacking that the 49ers put on the St. Louis Rams last week you can all but guarantee a renewed energy after the embarrassing loss. Play Jackson as a high-end RB2 in deeper leagues.
Point Projection: 13 points

15. Julius Jones (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Jacksonville

This year it has been either hit or miss with Julius Jones. One week he looks like he will be great from here on out, the next he looks as if he is in danger of losing carries. This past week against the Indianapolis Colts, he went for 25 rushing yards with no touchdowns. The silver lining is that the Jacksonville Jaguars are rated near the middle of the pack as far as rush defenses go around the NFL. The opportunity is there for him to have a very nice week, but as I had recently stated; it is hit or miss. If you have a option that is near the same Bruno Boys projected points, go with them over the inconsistent Jones.
Point Projection: 13 points