Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: RB
In Week 3, Brian Westbrook had the pleasure of sitting out and watching his heir apparent run wild on a terrible Kansas City defense (who I like to call the Swiss Chiefs). In Week 4, the Eagles had a bye week, and Westbrook went ahead and got himself healthy. He's also likely a bit motivated to prove he's still the superior back in Philly, as he's always done after missing a game or two due to injury. In Week 5, the Eagles play the Buccaneers, who are even worse defensively than the Chiefs. The Bucs are allowing 4.8 yards per carry, over 170 rushing yards per game and 28 points per game.
1. Adrian Peterson, MIN at STL
2. Chris Johnson, TEN vs. IND
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX at SEA
4. Brian Westbrook, PHI vs. TB
5. Brandon Jacobs, NYG vs. OAK
6. Michael Turner, ATL at SF
7. DeAngelo Williams, CAR vs. WAS
8. Clinton Portis, WAS at CAR
9. Rashard Mendenhall, PIT at DET
10. Steve Slaton, HOU at ARI
11. Marion Barber, DAL at KC
12. Ronnie Brown, MIA vs. NYJ
13. Ray Rice, BAL vs. CIN
14. Steven Jackson, STL vs. MIN
15. Marshawn Lynch, BUF vs. CLE
16. Jerome Harrison, CLE at BUF
17. Glen Coffee, SF vs. ATL
18. Knowshon Moreno, DEN vs. NE
19. Willis McGahee, BAL vs. CIN
20. Fred Jackson, BUF vs. CLE
21. Tim Hightower, ARI vs. HOU
22. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG vs. OAK
23. Tashard Choice, DAL at KC
24. Thomas Jones, NYJ at MIA
25. Cedric Benson, CIN at BAL
26. Kevin Smith, DET vs. PIT
27. Julius Jones, SEA vs. JAX
28. Joseph Addai, IND at TEN
29. Sammy Morris, NE at DEN
30. Cadillac Williams, TB at PHI
31. Larry Johnson, KC vs. DAL
32. LeSean McCoy, PHI vs. TB
33. Jonathan Stewart, CAR vs. WAS
34. Mewelde Moore, PIT at DET
35. Beanie Wells, ARI vs. HOU
36. Ricky Williams, MIA vs. NYJ
37. Chester Taylor, MIN at STL
38. Leon Washington, NYJ at MIA
39. LenDale White, TEN vs. IND
40. Michael Bush, OAK at NYG
• With both teams seriously needing to take care of the ball -- and get a victory -- we expect the Bills and Browns to offer a heavy dose of running back fantasy points. Marshawn Lynch has always had good success against the Browns and we've seen how well Fred Jackson played in the early weeks. Last week against Miami, the Bills ran into the second-best run defense in the NFL. The Browns rank 31st. Not to be overly outdone, the Bills rank 27th against the run, and Jerome Harrison is emerging as a quality back for the Browns.
• Watch Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower this week, specifically the split in carries and average gain per carry. The Cardinals are coming off a bye week, so they've had two weeks to think about how they couldn't stop the Colts' high-powered offense. Keeping them off the field would have been a start, but the Cards rank 31st in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Enter another high-octane opponent (the Texans) and it's evident the Cards need to find a way to run the football. It doesn't hurt that everyone -- other than the pathetic Raiders -- has run all over the Texans. If Beanie has a good game, he could cement himself as the No. 1 RB in Arizona.
• The Denver-New England game will be interesting as well. Knowshon Moreno's true competition is hurt (Correll Buckhalter) and Sammy Morris glides by an injured Fred Taylor on the Patriots' depth chart. These two backs are each facing a tough task, but have the chance to solidify themselves.
• If you listened to our podcast, you know why we love Rashard Mendenhall so much.
• Finally, don't even think about losing faith in Adrian Peterson. To beat the Rams, the Vikings won't have to pass the ball more than about 10 times. They'll save No. 4's arm and just pound the "Lambs." AP will run wild and Chester Taylor will also get some action.