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Running Back Rankings for Week 5 Fantasy Football

Ezekiel Elliott is back to being an elite RB1! Running back rankings for 2021 Week 5 fantasy football.

Welcome to the fantasy football Week 5 running back rankings hub!

Los Angeles Chargers’ back Austin Ekeler has proved the doubters wrong at this point. He’s an elite RB1. Najee Harris’ fantasy points totals should stay inflated via the short-area receptions. Pittsburgh is still dealing with a banged up receiving corps and Ben Roethlisberger’s “hip issues” have him moving like Hagrid. No. 2 RBs Damien Williams and Samaje Perine are prepped to plow the soft defensive-fronts of the Raiders and Packers, respectively. Michael Carter is quietly putting distance between himself and the rest of the Jets backfield. A date with the hapless Falcons should put the league on notice.

Below you will find my top-60 running backs for Week 5. These rankings are geared toward .5PPR scoring formats for Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season but should aid those who play in both non-PPR and full-point PPR formats. I’ve also included my top RB streaming option this week and DFS play of the week (cost via FanDuel).

Check back throughout the week to see how expectations have changed as news continues to roll in, enhancing our prognostication abilities. Feel free to hit me up on twitter @Ginger__Nic for any fantasy related advice.

Stream of the Week: Damien Williams at Las Vegas Raiders

Former Super Bowl 54 MVP snub, Damien Williams, is set to take on lead back duties in Chicago for the next four to five weeks as David Montgomery rehabs a knee sprain. Williams’ 2021 starting debut comes against a Raiders’ front-seven that is sorely missing off-season signee DT Gerald McCoy (suspension).

Through four contests, Vegas is allowing 24.4 .5PPR PPG to opposing backfields (7th most). Other highlights include an allowance of 1.0 RB rushing TD (T-7th most), 5 RB receptions, 35.2 RB receiving yards, and 0.5 RB receiving TDs (T-3rd most). Vegas’ 42.7% NEFF run defense efficiency score is 24th in the NFL and the Bears have been heartily committed to the run this year.

In Weeks 1 and 2 with Andy Dalton at the helm, Chicago ran the ball on 50% of first-half early-downs (FH/ED, T-8th most). In Weeks 3 and 4 with Justin Fields under center, their 67% FH/ED run rate led the entire league by a margin of 6%, per SharpFootballStats. No matter who Matt Nagy names as the starting QB, Williams is going to get fed.

DFS Play of the Week: Damien Harris ($6,500) at Houston Texans

Harris’ rostership should be low after a Week 4 flop (4 carries for -4 yards and 2 catches for 30 yards). The Buccaneers’ defensive-front is just that good though—they even held Ezekiel Elliott to 33 yards on 11 carries and 6 receiving yards on 2 catches in Week 1. Week 5 offers screaming get-right potential for Harris though.

The Texans are allowing the 12th-most PPR points to backs to start the year. They’re also giving up 113.8 rushing yards (6th most) and 0.8 rushing touchdowns (T-9th most) to opposing running backs. Their 34.3% NEFF run defense efficiency rating ranks dead last.

A revenge narrative is also at play. Belichick lost to his former 20-year disciple, Tom Brady, last week, and he’ll face another two-decade mentee again this week Texans GM Nick Caserio. The Patriots’ head coach assuredly does not want to lose to two protégés in a row. It’s the perfect storm for a Harris hit-week.

Week 5 Running Back Rankings
RankNameTeamOpp
1Derrick HenryTENat JAC
2Ezekiel ElliottDALvs. NYG
3Saquon BarkleyNYGat DAL
4Alexander MattisonMINvs. DET
5Austin EkelerLACvs. CLE
6Aaron JonesGBat CIN
7Darrell Henderson Jr.LARat SEA
8Antonio GibsonWASvs. NO
9Alvin KamaraNOat WAS
10Jonathan TaylorINDat BAL
11Nick ChubbCLEat LAC
12D'Andre SwiftDETat MIN
13Najee HarrisPITvs. DEN
14James RobinsonJACvs. TEN
15Damien WilliamsCHIat LV
16Kareem HuntCLEat LAC
17Damien HarrisNEat HOU
18Chase EdmondsARIvs. SF
19Alex CollinsSEAvs. LAR
20Cordarrelle PattersonATLvs. NYJ
21Joe MixonCINvs. GB
22Josh JacobsLVvs. CHI
23J.D. McKissicWASvs. NO
24Kenneth GainwellPHIat CAR
25Trey SermonSFat ARI
26Elijah MitchellSFat ARI
27Chuba HubbardCARvs. PHI
28Zack MossBUFat KC
29Clyde Edwards-HelaireKCvs. BUF
30Javonte WilliamsDENat PIT
31Melvin Gordon IIIDENat PIT
32Michael CarterNYJat ATL
33Mike DavisATLvs. NYJ
34Jamaal WilliamsDETat MIN
35Latavius MurrayBALvs. IND
36James ConnerARIvs. SF
37Leonard FournetteTBvs. MIA
38Samaje PerineCINvs. GB
39Darrel WilliamsKCvs. BUF
40Tony PollardDALvs. NYG
41Miles SandersPHIat CAR
42Devin SingletaryBUFat KC
43Nyheim HinesINDat BAL
44Chris EvansCINvs. GB
45Brandon BoldenNEat HOU
46Sony MichelLARat SEA
47Gio BernardTBvs. MIA
48AJ DillonGBat CIN
49Rodney SmithCARvs. PHI
50Ronald Jones IITBvs. MIA
51Ty JohnsonNYJat ATL
52Travis HomerSEAvs. LAR
53Kyle JuszczykSFat ARI
54Jeremy McNicholsTENat JAC
55Darrynton EvansTENat JAC
56Myles GaskinMIAat TB
57Malcolm BrownMIAat TB
58Khalil HerbertCHIat LV
59Kenyan DrakeLVvs. CHI
60Le'Veon BellBALvs. IND