Fantasy Football RB Report: James Conner Set to Feast, Plus Week 5’s No. 1 and Matchup Downgrades

Fantasy Football RB Report: James Conner Set to Feast, Plus Week 5’s No. 1 and Matchup Downgrades article feature image

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Conner

  • The Action Network ranked fantasy football running backs across standard, PPR and half-point PPR leagues for Week 5.
  • Here's a deeper dive on three RBs you should start, including James Conner and Melvin Gordon -- plus two you should consider fading.

Which running backs have the most favorable fantasy matchups? Who should you consider sitting?

Here’s a breakdown of five notable running backs featured in Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman’s Week 5 fantasy football rankings.

The No. 1 RB

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Alvin Kamara held this title last week, but now it belongs to Gurley with his 1.7 average rank. The Rams head to Seattle, where they’re implied for 29 points, checking in as seven-point favorites against a mediocre Seahawks defense.

Gurley leads all running backs in median and floor projections in the FantasyLabs Player Models.

The Most Favorable Matchups

Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon gets a plus draw for the second week in a row, this time against a Raiders defense that’s allowing 139.3 rushing yards per game and 5.6 yards per attempt and is Pro Football Focus’ No. 30 rush defense.

Gordon boasts some of the best touchdown equity on the slate as the Chargers are 5.5-point home favorites and he represents 38% of their red-zone market share of touches.

Gordon carries an average rank of 3.7 among our rankers.

James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Falcons are already without Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones. Now defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (ankle), PFF’s No. 18 interior defender this season, isn’t expected to play on Sunday.

Conner’s 6.0 targets per game ranks third on the team, and the Falcons have allowed a league-high 42 receptions per game to opposing backfields through four games. He has yet to see less than five targets in a game this season.

Raybon is optimistic about Conner in Week 5 with a No. 3 ranking among RBs.

Matchup Downgrades

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Cook admitted on Monday that his hamstring still isn’t 100%, and if the Vikings continue to run him out there, it’s likely that he’ll remain on a pitch count like he was this past Thursday night against the Rams.

Additionally, PFF has the offensive line graded as the No. 31 run-blocking unit with a matchup against PFF’s No. 6 run defense in Philadelphia.

Cook carries a scary 2.8-point projected floor in the FantayLabs Player Models.

Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles

Ajayi is handling 50% of the Eagles’ running back carries this year, but the overall volume is concerning as he’s averaging only 13.7 touches per game. On deck is a Vikings defense that grades as PFF’s No. 2 rush defense.

Ajayi carries an average rank of 19th or worse in standard, half-PPR and PPR formats.

Want another edge? Be sure to keep up with the week’s news on FantasyLabs.