Week 5 of the fantasy football season is officially underway for 30 of the NFL’s 32 teams. The Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots appear to be ready to play, which means this should be a relatively normal week of football. With that in mind, fantasy football owners won’t have quite as difficult a time making their running back start/sit decisions. Kenyan Drake deserves one more chance, while Raheem Mostert should probably stay on your bench for one more week.
Kenyan Drake, Raheem Mostert Highlight Fantasy Football Week 5 Running Back Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Start: Kenyan Drake
This is the final shot for Kenyan Drake. Widely drafted as a first- or second-round pick in fantasy drafts, the former Miami Dolphin has largely disappointed. Through four weeks, Drake is the RB34 in PPR formats, which is obviously not what fantasy owners signed up for. However, there is hope that he can turn it around in Week 6.
Arizona faces off against an absolutely atrocious New York Jets team that will be without their starting quarterback. Joe Flacco is under center, which means that it’s hard to imagine the Jets putting up too many points. This should lead to a favorable game script for Drake, as he’s still the clear option for early-down work. While he might not have pass-catching upside, he should receive 15-20 carries and has a good shot and landing in the endzone.
Sit: Raheem Mostert
San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert is expected to return to the lineup in Week 5. While he certainly has the potential to be a solid starter, it’s probably best to leave him on your bench for a week. Jerick McKinnon has thrived in Mostert’s absence, and it’s hard to see Mostert taking McKinnon’s starting job right out of the gate.
Kyle Shanahan loves to use a committee approach to the backfield, so Mostert will see the field. However, he’s clearly behind McKinnon on the depth chart, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him split work with Jeff Wilson. After all, this is his first game back after a multi-week injury.
Start: Devin Singletary
Devin Singletary carries some risk, as he plays on Tuesday night and a positive COVID test could end cancelling the contest. However, it looks like that game should happen, which means Singletary is going to be a good play for fantasy. If rookie running back Zack Moss isn’t ready to return to the field, Singletary should have a huge night. Since Moss’ injury, the second-year pro has played in 89% of the offensive snaps while averaging 21 opportunities per game.
Even if Moss returns, Singletary should have enough opportunities for fantasy relevance. With Moss healthy in Week 1, Singletary still managed to record a combined 14 touches and a 59% snap share. Moss probably won’t immediately jump back into his Week 1 role, so Singletary should have enough volume to get by against a rusty Tennessee Titans team that has seemingly half their roster on the COVID-19 list.
Sit: Zack Moss
See above. Zack Moss is a great talent in a high-powered offense, and he should have plenty of fantasy football relevance down the stretch. However, he’s far too risky to start in Week 5. For one, he’s a game-time decision and his game isn’t until Tuesday. If he ends up sitting, you physically cannot pivot to somebody else.
Making things worse is the projected workload. Entering the season, Moss looked like the guy that would see most of the goal line work and targets in the passing game. However, Singletary has performed well in both aspects with Moss sidelined, and he’ll need to re-earn that role. He should be able to do it in time, but he probably won’t earn it right out of the gate.
Start: Le’Veon Bell
Normally, you don’t want to start a running back on their first week back from injury. However, Le’Veon Bell is the exception. The two-time All-Pro should be fully recovered from his IR stint, and he has no real competition for targets. Frank Gore is one of the least efficient players in the league, and Bell should have no trouble winning back the starting job.
Bell won’t be efficient by any stretch of the imagination, but volume alone should make him a solid RB2. Joe Flacco is under center and the modern version of him is one of the least aggressive quarterbacks in the league. Flacco has been at or near the top of the league in checkdown rate for quite some time now, and the Jets aren’t exactly flush with options in the passing game. Bell should see 20+ touches and will be New York’s entire offense.
Sit: D’Ernest Johnson
D’Ernest Johnson had a fantastic game in relief of Nick Chubb, running the ball 13 times for 95 yards at an absurd 7.31 yards-per-carry. Even though Chubb is out, you’re still better off leaving Johnson on your bench.
The biggest reason for Johnson’s high usage last week was the score. Cleveland ran out to an early lead on Dallas, and head coach Kevin Stefanski let the backup take most of the work. Kareem Hunt will be the primary running back in what should be a much closer game against the Indianapolis Colts. Johnson isn’t going to average over 7 yards-per-carry for the second straight week, and he won’t have the volume to ensure a safe floor. Chances are, you already have a better option on your bench.
Embed from Getty Images