Is this the week that Jay Ajayi finally has a big fantasy day?
A blistering start for running backs in fantasy came to a halt in Week 5. Other than Leonard Fournette and Melvin Gordon, no individual running back tallied 20 fantasy points in Week 5.
And the names that followed them aren't necessarily household ones – Aaron Jones, Marlon Mack, Javorius Allen, Duke Johnson, Doug Martin, Charcandrick West and Orleans Darkwa all were top-10 fantasy options in Week 5.
Don't expect that kind of production to continue. Instead, here are the running backs you might want to consider starting in Week 6, and a few you may want to leave on your bench.
Good Calls for Week 5...
Sit Frank Gore (8.6 FP) – It looks like Gore really has nothing left and it might be the Marlon Mack show moving forward
I said it might be worth the risk to start Andre Ellington (15.3 FP), especially in PPR leagues and he turned 10 targets into nine catches for 65 yards. You’ll take that all day in PPR.
Bad Calls for Week 5...
Start Isaiah Crowell (6.7 FP) – I meant to say Duke Johnson. The Browns can’t ever get a lead, so Crowell is useless.
Start Carlos Hyde (1.8 FP) – The game was all set up for Hyde to do well, but for whatever reason he barely played and was out-snapped by Matt Breida. This is something to watch moving forward.
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle
START THESE RBs...
Elijah McGuire, NYJ (vs. NE)
It’s come to this. The weird part of the fantasy season when your lineups look nothing like preseason projections. If Bilal Powell and Matt Forte are out again, It’s McGuire time, and he could be solid. The rookie looked bad with his 11 carries for 20 yards and two catches for 10 yards against Cleveland, but the Browns have been solid against the run. If McGuire gets a full workload against the Patriots, he should be an RB3 in standard or an easy RB2 in PPR.
Jay Ajayi, MIA (at ATL)
He’s getting work and he’s going against the soft Atlanta run D (seventh-most fantasy points given up to RBs this season). He may have disappointed over the last few weeks, but if he doesn’t get it done here, when will he? He had 25 carries in Week 5. With DeVante Parker possibly out, Jay Cutler could lean on his RB even more so he doesn’t have to work too hard.
C.J. Anderson, DEN (vs. NYG)
The Broncos are coming off their bye week, which means Anderson should be healthy and ready to go against a Giants defense that has allowed an average of 28.1 PPR fantasy points per game to running backs over their past two games.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Aaron Jones, GB (at MIN)
Hopefully you got him last week when we suggested doing so, because he’s going to demand way more FAAB now that Ty Montgomery may miss more time. Jones averaged 6.6 yards per carry and looked like an actual running back that can handle the workload. He likely won’t steal the job outright, but if he gets the start with Montgomery out for a second straight game, you’re looking at a starter who will play at least 90 percent of the snaps.
SIT THESE RBs...
Isaiah Crowell, CLE (at HOU)
It’s a rough bye week for running backs. We’re missing out on the Bengals, whatever is happening in Seattle, Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy, so you can’t get too cute with the running backs you sit. Sadly, if you can handle it, Crowell should stay on the bench. I was so high on Crowell coming into the season, but the Browns can never get a lead (which they won’t have this week in Houston), so Crowell is useless.
Adrian Peterson, ARI (vs. TB)
Please, please don’t fall for this. Just because Peterson has been traded away from a terrible situation with the Saints and is now the starter in Arizona does not mean he is going to be the AP of years past. He’s averaged only 2.13 yards per carry since last season and faces a tough Buccaneers defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards this season.
Wayne Gallman, NYG (at DEN)
If you picked Gallman up off the waiver wire last week and started him, you were happy with the 13.2 PPR fantasy points he got you. You also might be excited to start him this week because you figure that the Giants are really slim on offensive weapons. Too bad their playing the Broncos, who have given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Carlos Hyde/Matt Breida, SF (at WAS)
Breida was another waiver wire favorite this week after he took over the fourth quarter against the Colts. Head coach Kyle Shanahan says he went with the hot hand and there is nothing changed about the status of Hyde. There won’t be a hot hand against the Redskins this week, as they come back from their bye to the realization they have as good a chance as any NFC East team to take the division title. Washington’s defense has been incredible two weeks in a row. Look for that to continue against San Francisco.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.