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Week 5 Choose or Lose: Running Backs

Running backs like Devonta Freeman and Jeremy Hill were dominant last week, they each combined for 6 TDs last week but will they make this week’s choose or lose? Let’s analyze the Week 5 matchups for running backs.

 

CHOOSE

TODD GURLEY VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS

The rookie running back out of Georgia was the first running back taken in last year’s draft. Fantasy owners were anxiously waiting to see if Todd Gurley could perform at a high level this season after his ACL tear last year. Gurley did that and more, he was vital in a win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Gurley finished with 146 yards on 19 carries on the 9th best team against opposing running backs.

 

This week the Rams take on the Packers in Green Bay where they will need to have a balanced offense. If Aaron Rodgers goes up big then Gurley will be taken out of the game but the Rams defense can give Rodgers trouble. Gurley could have a breakout game against the Packers.

 

CARLOS HYDE VS. NEW YORK GIANTS

Carlos Hyde and the 49ers were kept in check by the Packers last week but they will need to bounce back against the Giants this week. They have a quarterback that is clearly struggling and the best way to help out Colin Kaepernick is to get back to establishing the run.

The Giants are 22nd against opposing running backs, they allow for damage to be done on the ground and through the air and Hyde can exploit that. Carlos Hyde should get a lot of touches against an average defense.

FRANK GORE VS. HOUSTON TEXANS

Frank Gore has not been what the Colts have needed him to be this season and with Andrew Luck potentially not at 100% they will need to give Frank Gore the ball.

Gore has been a workhorse back his entire career and the Colts should be doing more of that, he’s had more than 20 carries all year long.

Hopefully the Colts can get on the front foot and build a lead against the Texans on Thursday night. The Texans are 29th against opposing running backs and they just allowed 3 TDs to Devonta Freeman last week. Gore should get back on track against the Texans.

LOSE

MARK INGRAM VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Mark Ingram made last week’s choose or lose against the Dallas Cowboys and had a solid day. Ingram had more than 120 total yards and proved that he’s a huge asset in standard and PPR leagues.

However, it was CJ Spiller who scored the game winning TD last week in overtime and will slowly be included in the offense. Mix that in with an Eagles defense that is 5th best against running backs and hasn’t allowed a touchdown this season, it’s not a great matchup. Mark Ingram will definitely get his fair share of touches but it’ll tough to accumulate yards against the Eagles.

MELVIN GORDON VS. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Melvin Gordon is another running back who was on choose or lose last week but that pick didn’t work out. Gordon only ended up 38 yards on 12 carries last week and he still hasn’t found the endzone this season.

Danny Woodhead continues to catch passes out of the backfield which makes it tougher for Gordon to produce. On top of that, the Steelers have been one of the best against the run ranking 3rd against running backs. It’s definitely a good idea to sit Melvin Gordon this week.

ON THE BUBBLE

ALFRED MORRIS VS. ATLANTA FALCONS

Alfred Morris continues to struggle in Jay Gruden’s offense. Gruden has consistently gone with a running back by committee approach which is bad news for fantasy owners.

Morris having to share carries isn’t a good thing but he might be able to take advantage of the minimal touches he has against a Falcons defense that is last in the league against opposing running backs.

DION LEWIS VS. DALLAS COWBOYS

Dion Lewis is primed to have a great day against a Cowboys defense that 30th against opposing running backs and has allowed four TDs the last two weeks. However, start him at your own peril because Bill Belichick can change anything at the drop of a hat.

There was a time last season when Stevan Ridley was coming off a great week and the next week Belichick went with unheralded Jonas Gray who scored 4 TDs and rushed for 200 yards that week.

That’s the kind of thing that fantasy owners need to be weary of and LeGarrett Blount can take Lewis’ place anytime. If Lewis gets the carries he’ll play well but there’s also a chance he just won’t play at all.

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