Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: 3 Running Backs That Will Lead You to Victory

Joseph HealyCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2011

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 02:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans breaks loose for a 42 yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Reliant Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 17-10.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Running backs are the backbone of any successful fantasy team. You can get plenty of good production from other positions, but more often than not, your team goes as your top running backs go.

Owners of the following three running backs are in good shape this week, as they are the top-three running backs headed into Week 5.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans

I figured there was no way that Foster would be back to full strength last week after missing considerable time with a hamstring injury. As it turns out, I was dead wrong.

Foster carried the ball 30 times for 155 yards in the Texans' big win over the Steelers. If that's not proving he's back, I'm not sure what will.

This week, even more will be asked of him as star wide receiver Andre Johnson will be out with a hamstring injury of his own. This time, I'm not going to make the mistake of underestimating what he can do.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

At this point, we know exactly what the Vikings need to do to be successful. Adrian Peterson has to be the first, second and third option on offense without a doubt. Donovan McNabb can only be trusted to make plays in the choicest of spots.

The matchup with the Cardinals in Week 5 works out well for Peterson as well. The Cardinals don't have a good defense and that's what it requires to stop a running back like Peterson.

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 02:  Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings leaps into the air against pressure from defensive linemen Amon Gordon #99 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter on October 2, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles offense still goes as Mike Vick goes, but I really like LeSean McCoy this week. He only got nine carries last week, but a lot of that was because Vick was hot and they didn't want to take the ball out of his hands.

This week, I expect the Eagles to get the ball into his hands more consistently when they take on the Buffalo Bills.

Playing the Bills will help McCoy and every player on the Eagles' offense. The Bills have scored a ton of points this season, but they have given up their share as well.

Joseph Healy's Running Back Rankings for Week 5

1. Arian Foster

2. Adrian Peterson

3. LeSean McCoy

4. Darren McFadden

5. Fred Jackson

6. Chris Johnson

7. Ryan Mathews

8. Matt Forte

9. Maurice Jones-Drew

10. Michael Turner

11. Frank Gore

12. Ahmad Bradshaw

13. Jahvid Best

14. Darren Sproles

15. Beanie Wells