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Week 5 DFS Running Back Rankings: Mid-Tier RBs to Roster

There's a handful of running backs with plenty of upside and relatively low salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Last week the best running back plays in the daily market came from this range of options. Josh Jacobs rose from the “Hubbard Curse” to post his best game ever in the NFL (175 combined yards with two scores and five catches). His success helped one lucky person win the Millionaire Maker at DraftKings.

Detroit's offensive line has already produced four explosive runs (50, 50, 49, and 51 yards) while also blocking well at the goal line (six scores). Jamaal Williams came into last week’s game with one other career run of 40-plus yards (796 carries) and two games with more than 100 yards rushing (2017 – 21/113/1 and 2019 – 14//104). He finished last week with 109 yards, two scores and one catch. 

Miles Sanders appeared to be an easy avoid after a less-than-impactful first three games (45/222/1 with six catches for 13 yards), and Jalen Hurts running the ball well (37/167/3). Sanders finishes Week 4 with a heavy workload (27/134/2 and two catches for 22 yards), enabling him to regain a pulse in the fantasy market.

Rashaad Penny broke loose on two scoring plays (35 and 41 yards), helping him to his best game (157 combined yards with two touchdowns and one catch) of the season.

Week 5 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (DraftKings – $6,600/FanDuel – $7,000)

After missing two games and watching the Saints run their offense, Kamara looks like an avoid in Week 5. He did turn in a couple of limited practices this week, giving him a reasonable chance to play on Sunday. Kamara gained only 119 combined yards with five catches in his first two appearances this season. In 2021, New Orleans featured him out of the backfield against Seattle (10/128/1) while also adding 20 rushes for 51 yards. The Seahawks slipped to 29th defending running backs (121/616/6 and 24 catches for 186 yards and one score) while facing DEN, SF, ATL, and DET). Kamara fits based on his salary and favorable matchup. Before taking a flier on him, he needs to be cleared from his rib injury.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (DraftKings – $7,300/FanDuel – $7,300)

Cook’s matchup against the Bears screams upside, but the Vikings have shown a willingness to air the ball out early in the year with their new coaching staff. Minnesota gave him 22 touches last week while being on the field for 63 percent of their snaps, a week after suffering a minor shoulder issue. Cook has yet to gain more than 100 yards rushing, with his only score coming in Week 3. Chicago ranks 21st in defending running backs (116/571/3 with 14 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown). The Giants (35/164) and Packers (37/103/1) had the best success on the ground against the Bears. I have Justin Jefferson rated as the top wideout this week, but I can’t dismiss a great game by Cook.

Related: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Advice for RB/WR in Week 5

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (DraftKings – $5,700/FanDuel – $7,200)

After three relatively quiet games (8.30, 9.10, and 14.70 fantasy points), Jacobs turned into a beast against the Broncos while delivering the best game (28/144/2 and 5/31) of his career. He averaged 16.3 touches over the first three weeks. Denver has him on the field for a season-high 89 percent of their plays in Week 4. Last year Jacobs struggled in two games (106 combined yards and 10 catches) against Kansas City. The Chiefs held running backs to 209 yards and two touchdowns on 66 rushes over the first four weeks. On the positive side, backs have 40 catches for 277 yards and two scores. Sometimes in the daily games, winning can be helped by finding players with two-game winning streaks. Not ideal, but a high-scoring game would create more scoring chances for Jacobs.