Week 5 of the NFL Season is already here. It’s absolutely flying by, sadly, so make sure you sit back and enjoy it. Also, enjoy the chaos, as this fantasy football season is genuinely unlike anything we have ever experienced. It’s a scary sight. Please look below at my running back start/sit for Week 5.
Week 4 is in the books, and it was a chaotic week, again. We saw big-time performances from names like Miles Sanders, Rashaad Penny, Jamaal Williams, and Josh Jacobs. At the same time, we saw injuries occur to JT, Cordarrelle Patterson, and a season-ending ACL tear for Javonte Williams. Sigh. Now we are onto Week 5 in what will hopefully be a much better football week. I’ll be helping the NerdHerd out this season with some running back Start/Sit for that week of fantasy football. Analysis and reasoning will be provided for every player that I mentioned. I’m here to help you win your fantasy football week and, ultimately, the championship. You might remember me from last year as I covered whom to start/sit at tight end. This year, I’m covering the Running Back start/sit.
Be sure to follow our other start/sit articles and authors; they contain great advice to help you each week.
There is one thing I want to note. For this article and every running back start/sit article I write, I won’t be including players like Jonathan Taylor or Austin Ekeler. These are apparent starts so long as they aren’t on bye or injured. If you don’t start them, well, you’re a taco. I’ll be focusing on players that are a bit harder to decide whether to start or what to expect from them. All scoring in this article series will be PPR. All stats/RB# number finishes come from FantasyPros. So, let’s make this a great season as we get to watch over 200+ games of NFL football. It’s back! Good luck this dynasty fantasy football season.
Week 4 Recap
This is my recap of my picks from Week Four, and they qualify as a “win” if they finish among the top 30 running backs in PPR scoring. Hopefully, Week 5 running back Start/Sit fare better!
Dameon Pierce: I think you could say that starting Pierce was a week-winning move. He’s become a weekly start after having 131 yards on the ground with a touchdown and six receptions for eight yards.
Rhamondre Stevenson: He was a solid start with four catches for 23 yards and 66 yards on the ground.
Devin Singletary: Singletary got stifled in a bad game script where the Bills were down for most of the game. He had only 49 rushing yards but redeemed his week with four catches for 47 yards.
Miles Sanders: I hope you started Miles Sanders as he dominated a rainy Week 4 game against the Jags. Sanders racked up 134 yards on the ground and two touchdowns with two receptions for 22 yards.
Khalil Herbert: Herbert struggled to replicate what he did in Week 3 against a good Giants defense. However, he did have 77 yards on the ground and a catch for 24 yards. In this season, that’s a good line.
Rashaad Penny: Okay, who knew the Seahawks/Lions would be the battle of who can be a more inept defense? I wasn’t predicting those two teams to put up the most points of the season. Penny was a weekly winner with 151 yards, two touchdowns, and a reception for six yards.
Melvin Gordon III: MG3 is the Broncos’ future this season, but he struggled in Week 4 with only eight yards on the ground and a fumble. Ouch.
Travis Etienne Jr.: ETN just can’t get going this year so far with only 32 yards on the ground over eight carries with no catches.
J.K. Dobbins: I don’t think anyone expected Dobby to do what he did Sunday. He only had 41 rushing yards but had two touchdowns and four catches for 22 yards. Is he back?
Cam Akers: Hope you sat him as he had only 13 yards on eight rushes. Cakers is a bust.
Damien Harris: Harris got going on the ground with Zappe at quarterback. He had a reception for -2 yards but did have 86 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
Grade: 7/10, on the season 27/41 on the running back start/sit.
Start: Kareem Hunt, CLE
Hunt has been hit/miss this year, but I like his chances to rebound in Week 5. Hunt has cleared 8.8 points in every game this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get into the endzone against the Chargers. Los Angeles has been terrible against the run this year. Hunt has at least 12 touches in every game with plenty of red zone work. I’d say he’s due for a touchdown, too, having not scored since Week 1. Fire him up in your flex.
Start: Devin Singletary, BUF
Singletary has been a mixed bag this year. He does seem to be getting a lot of passing work, so if you’re in a PPR league, I’d start him. His rushing attempts have risen from Week 1. He had eight, six, nine, and eleven rushing attempts from Week 1-4. That’s good. The more touches he gets, the better for fantasy. Over the last two weeks, Singletary has 13 catches on 16 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. Against the Steelers, I like him to put up another productive week. This is especially true since the Steelers have been gashed on the ground this year. It’s setting up a good contact year for Devin Singletary.
Start: James Robinson, JAX
If you were to guess who would be top-5 in running backs in fantasy football after Week 4, I guarantee you no one predicted Robinson would be the guy. Coming off a torn Achilles, Robinson has been playing as no one has. Are we sure he tore his Achilles? Robinson’s averaging 4.4 yards per carry (ypc) with three touchdowns, six receptions, 33 yards, and another touchdown. He has 259 yards on the ground.
Now, Robinson had a bad game against the dominant Eagles. He only had 29 yards on eight touches. Plus, a fumble. However, don’t let that stop you from starting. He’s been excellent this year, and a one-off game can be safely ignored. This week, he faces the Houston Texans, who gave up three touchdowns to Austin Ekeler. Plus, they’ve given up the most points to running backs this year.
Honorable Mentions: Miles Sanders, Patriots RBs
Sit: Antonio Gibson, WSH
Brian Robinson is now practicing and off the NFI list. Plus, it’s not like Antonio Gibson has been doing good during his time as the starter. Over these four weeks, he has averaged a meager 3.3 ypc. That’s uninspiring. He has yet to put up more than 60 yards on the ground. He hasn’t crossed the 100-yard combined threshold since Week 1. If you start him, you’re praying he scores a touchdown.
Plus, with the uncertainty around how big a share Brob will get, Gibby is a sit. When you factor in his matchup, it gets worse. The Titans have been good against the run, ranking among the top-10 defenses. There’s far too much confusion around this Commanders’ backfield. The best thing you can do for your team is to bench Gibby to see how it all shakes out. Or trade him.
Sit: Tyler Allgeier, ATL
Cordarrelle Patterson was put on the IR, which means it’s Allgeier’s turn to show what he can do in this ugly Atlanta Falcons offense. However, he shouldn’t be sniffing your starting lineup in Week 5. Sure, he had a good Week 4 with 84 yards and a catch for 20 yards. However, I doubt he will average 8.4 ypc. Plus, he has a terrible matchup against the Buccaneers. The Bucs want to exercise their demons from Sunday night against the Falcons. Please don’t get caught starting Allgeier when he doesn’t reach 10 points.
Sit: Jamaal Williams, DET
This is more of a reminder to lower your expectations for the brilliant Williams. I doubt we see him continually put up 20+ point games, especially once Swift is back. However, Swift is likely out, so Jamaal should see plenty of the workload. He’s been effective this year with his touches, having scored five touchdowns on only 62 rushes. He’s averaging an effective 4.5 ypc.
So, why sit him? He’s got an extremely tough matchup against the Patriots. They mostly stifled the Packers this past week, along with the Ravens, Steelers, and Dolphins. The Lions can throw against the Pats, but I would lower your expectations for Jamaal. Expect an RB2/3 week compared to the RB1 weeks he has been putting up.
Honorable Mentions: Michael Carter, James Conner
Good luck this week with your running back start/sit dilemmas!
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As always, May the Force be with You…