Week 5 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Oct 05, 2022
 Week 5 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Wondering who to start and sit at running back this week? Below are two top-notch start and two sit options at the running back position for Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sits: QB | WR | TE

Week 4 Review – half-PPR scoring



Running Back – Starts

Melvin Gordon (Denver Broncos) vs. Indianapolis Colts

MGM Grand, 4for4’s promotional betting partner, currently has the Denver Broncos as -3.0-point home favorites against the Indianapolis Colts. Denver’s offensive coordinator Justin Outten named Melvin Gordon the Week 5 starter in place of Javonte Williams, who suffered a multi-ligament knee injury last week and is out for the remainder of 2022.

Denver will surely get No. 2 running back Mike Boone involved, and there is a chance that Tuesday-signee Latavius Murray also sees the field, but Gordon is the main man for the time being. The coaching staff’s public backing of Gordon is noteworthy, as Gordon has fumbled three times on 37 carries and has one drop on 10 targets. Boone dropped two passes on five targets and Murray (27 total snaps as a New Orleans Saint, 11 carries, and one target), has yet to record either a fumble or drop.

Per RotoViz’s NFL Pace App, own the league’s sixth-highest run rate when leading by three points or more, 55.0%, which helps solidify both Gordon’s fantasy floor and ceiling.

Gordon has earned himself a decent 25.0% targets per route run rate and a backfield-best 1.23 yards per route run rate. As a ballcarrier, Gordon had already established himself as the team’s primary rusher when Denver entered the opponent’s green zone (10-yards or less to the end zone), having earned 66.7% of the team’s carries in that zone, per 4for4’s NFL Player Stats Explorer.

Indianapolis will be without starting safety Julian Blackmon (ankle), starting linebacker Shaq Leonard (back, concussion, nose), who has earned First-Team All-Pro honors in all three years of his professional career, and rotational edge rusher Tyquan Lewis Concussion).

A.J. Dillon (Green Bay Packers) vs. New York Giants

The Green Bay Packers, playing in London’s Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium against the New York Giants, are -8.5-point favorites at MGM Grand. No. 2 running back A.J. Dillon has been held out of the end zone for three straight weeks, despite leading the team in carries (57), by a margin of nine.

New York has allowed the fourth-most running back rushing yards per game, 127.2, having allowed the league’s 10th-highest rate of explosive rushing plays, 5.7%. As mentioned in the Week 5 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Quarterbacks piece, New York may be without as many as four impact players in their defensive front seven, as well as strong safety Julian Love (concussion).

Nyheim Hines (Indianapolis Colts) @ Denver Broncos

As mentioned above, Denver sits as the -3.0-point home favorites in this one, which means No. 2 running back/passing-game specialist list was likely due for an increased workload even before lead running back Jonathan Taylor was ruled out (ankle). Hines will have to share rushing work with one of Deon Jackson or Phillip Lindsay but will dominate backfield pass-catching responsibilities.

Hines’ pass-catching profile pairs nicely with the Kansas City defense, which is currently allowing per-game league-highs in running back targets (12), receptions (10), and receiving yards (69.2). The Indianapolis running back sits third on the team in both target share, 12.7%, and targets per route run rate, 27.0%. Taylor, the lead running back, has commanded a healthy 10.7% target share of his own and Hines can be safely expected to command the vast majority of Taylor’s would-be receiving work in this one. It is the perfect situation for Hines to thrive.

* Full RB rankings can be found here.

Running Back – Sits

Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams) vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Los Angeles Rams have tinkered with their backfield usage each week but have most recently taken to using Cam Akers as the lead rusher and Darrell Henderson Jr. as the primary pass catcher. Though even the rushing role is tenuous for Akers. After leading Henderson in carries in Weeks 2 and 3, 27-to-14, but lost significant ground in Week 4 as his carry-lead margin shriveled to one (eight-to-seven).

Akers has also been less efficient than Henderson, averaging just 1.3 yards per carry before contact and 3.1 yards per carry overall. Los Angeles’ offensive line is worse than it was in 2021 but Henderson Jr. has managed respective averages of 2.1 and 4.1 in the same system. Akers is on shaky ground at the moment and is tough to trust as a fantasy RB3 at the moment.

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