Through five weeks of the season, one thing we know we should do is start our running backs against the Philadelphia Eagles.
No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Eagles, who have allowed 25-plus fantasy points to running backs in all five games this season.
In addition, they have allowed a running back to rush for 86 yards or more every week, and three of them have gone over 100 rushing yards.
This week, the Eagles head to the nation's capital to take on their NFC East rival Redskins.
Will Mike Shanahan ruin this opportunity for fantasy owners?
After all, Redskins running back Tim Hightower had 20-plus carries in Weeks 1 and 2 after a strong preseason and then saw his workload drop to 15 carries (Week 3) and eight carries (Week 4).
In Week 4, Ryan Torain, who had no rush attempts in the first three weeks of the season, carried the ball 19 times for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Rams in Week 4.
While Shanahan has said that he would go with the "hot hand," it's difficult to predict who will get the most work for the Redskins later in the season. It would seem logical that Torain has the "hot hand" going into this week's game after last week's 7.1-yards-per-carry performance.
Here are some more running back notes for Week 6:
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was a true workhorse in Week 5. All Day carried it 29 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He is currently tied with Beanie Wells for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns (six), leads the NFL in carries (110) and is second in rushing (498 yards).
Assuming Colts running back Joseph Addai, who left last week's game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, won't play, the workload will likely be split between Donald Brown and Delone Carter. The duo combined for only 60 yards on 20 carries last week. Carter had more carries (12) and scored a touchdown, but Brown had more yardage (38).
DeAngelo Williams followed up last week's strong performance with another one. He rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on only nine carries. He has 197 rushing yards (but only 19 carries) in his past two games.
Bills running back Fred Jackson rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He also led the team in receiving with six receptions and 85 yards. Meanwhile, teammate C.J. Spiller had two carries for 13 yards and two receptions for three yards.
After two strong performances by rookie Stevan Ridley, it was The Law Firm's turn to shine. BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 27 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5. BJGE now has five touchdowns in five games.
Jets running back Shonn Greene carried it 21 times for 83 yards and a touchdown last week. It was the first time this season that Greene reached at least 60 rushing yards.
49ers running back Frank Gore had 20 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown in Week 5. After three disappointing performances against the Seahawks, Cowboys and Bengals, Gore now has 125-plus yards in back-to-back games. Backup running back Kendall Hunter, who had nine carries for 65 yards, had a solid game as well.
The Giants continue to struggle running the ball as they ran it 25 times for 69 yards (2.8 yards per carry) last week. Ahmad Bradshaw had 58 yards and no touchdowns on 17 carries. Safety Antrel Rolle described the knee of Brandon Jacobs, who missed last week's game, as the "size of a volleyball."
Running back Darren Sproles finished with 91 yards from scrimmage and led the team in carries (11). Going into this game, Sproles had 15 carries in four games. Teammate Mark Ingram had only nine carries, but he scored for the second time in three games.
After carrying the ball 49 times in two games, as one would expect in a blowout loss, Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount only carried the ball 10 times for 34 yards. But, Blount suffered a knee injury in the third quarter and his status for Week 6 is in jeopardy.
Raiders running back Darren McFadden finished with a season low in rushing yards (51) and yards from scrimmage (68). On the season, McFadden has a league-high 519 rushing yards, 17 receptions for 149 yards and four total touchdowns.
Falcons running back Michael Turner has three straight games with 70 rushing yards or less after having back-to-back 100-yard games to open the season. During that three-game span, Turner is averaging only 2.75 yards per carry.
That said, Turner has three rushing touchdowns in the past two weeks and has a favorable matchup against the Panthers, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points in 2011.
Even though the Chiefs are on a bye in Week 6, the guy at the top of most (if not all) waiver wire lists is Chiefs running back Jackie Battle. (He was on ours.) Not only did he have sleeper written all over him going into this game, he delivered with a 19-carry, 119-yard performance against the Colts. He also caught two passes for 21 yards.
The Chiefs are one of six teams on a bye this week. The other teams (running backs) on a bye are: Denver (Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno), Tennessee (Chris Johnson), Arizona (Beanie Wells), San Diego (Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert) and Seattle (Marshawn Lynch).
Here are our top 40 fantasy running backs for Week 6:
1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (at CHI)
2. Ray Rice, Ravens (vs. HOU)
3. Darren McFadden, Raiders (vs. CLE)
4. Arian Foster, Texans (at BAL)
5. Fred Jackson, Bills (at NYG)
6. Matt Forte, Bears (vs. MIN)
7. LeSean McCoy, Eagles (at WAS)
8. Michael Turner, Falcons (vs. CAR)
9. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (at PIT)
10. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants (vs. BUF)
11. Frank Gore, 49ers (at DET)
12. Cedric Benson, Bengals (vs. IND)
13. Peyton Hillis, Browns (at OAK)
14. Ryan Torain, Redskins (vs. PHI)
15. Steven Jackson, Rams (at GB)
16. Jahvid Best, Lions (vs. SF)
17. Felix Jones, Cowboys (at NE)
18. Darren Sproles, Saints (at TB)
19. Shonn Greene, Jets (vs. MIA)
20. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots (vs. DAL)
21. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (vs. JAC)
22. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (at ATL)
23. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (at NYJ)
24. Mark Ingram, Saints (at TB)
25. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (at ATL)
26. LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers (vs. NO)
27. James Starks, Packers (vs. STL)
28. Tim Hightower, Redskins (vs. PHI)
29. Ryan Grant, Packers (vs. STL)
30. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers (vs. NO)
31. Delone Carter, Colts (at CIN)
32. LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets (vs MIA)
33. Michael Bush, Raiders (vs. CLE)
34. Stevan Ridley, Patriots (vs. DAL)
35. Brandon Jacobs, Giants (vs. BUF)
36. Pierre Thomas, Saints (at TB)
37. Montario Hardesty, Browns (at OAK)
38. Isaac Redman, Steelers (vs. JAC)
39. Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (vs. JAC)
40. Ben Tate, Texans (at BAL)
We will update our rankings, as necessary, throughout the week. In addition, our rankings for other positions will be available at TheTipDrill.com, our fantasy section, later today.
If interested, here is our free Week 6 fantasy football contest.
Good luck in Week 6!
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