Gregg Rosenthal

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Week 5 Rankings Update

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 5 Running Backs

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Adrian Petersonat STL -
2Maurice Jones-Drewat SEA -
3Chris Johnsonvs. IND -
4Brandon Jacobsvs. OAK -
5Brian Westbrookvs. TB Probable(ankle)
6DeAngelo Williamsvs. WAS -
7Steve Slatonat ARZ -
8Michael Turnerat SF -
9Steven Jacksonvs. MIN -
10Clinton Portisat CAR -
11Rashard Mendenhallat DET -
12Ronnie Brownvs. NYJ -
13Glen Coffeevs. ATL -
14Marion Barberat KC Probable(quadriceps)
15Fred Jacksonvs. CLE -
16Ray Ricevs. CIN -
17Cedric Bensonat BAL Probable(hip)
18Tim Hightowervs. HOU -
19Kevin Smithvs. PIT Probable(shoulder)
20Tashard Choiceat KC -
21Knowshon Morenovs. NE -
22LeSean McCoyvs. TB -
23Jerome Harrisonat BUF -
24Ahmad Bradshawvs. OAK Probable(ankle)
25Marshawn Lynchvs. CLE -
26Donald Brownat TEN -
27Willis McGaheevs. CIN -
28Thomas Jonesat MIA -
29Julius Jonesvs. JAC -
30Joseph Addaiat TEN Questionable(hand)
31Carnell Williamsat PHI -
32Larry Johnsonvs. DAL -
33Mewelde Mooreat DET -
34Jonathan Stewartvs. WAS Questionable(heel)
35Sammy Morrisat DEN -
36Leon Washingtonat MIA -
37Michael Bushat NYG -
38Chris Wellsvs. HOU -
39Derrick Wardat PHI Probable(knee)
40Laurence Maroneyat DEN -
41Ricky Williamsvs. NYJ -
42Jamal Lewisat BUF Questionable(hamstring)
43Chester Taylorat STL -
44Jamaal Charlesvs. DAL -
45Jerious Norwoodat SF -
46Justin Fargasat NYG -
47LenDale Whitevs. IND -
48Ladell Bettsat CAR -
49Chris Brownat ARZ -
50Kevin Faulkat DEN -
51LeRon McClainvs. CIN -
52Peyton Hillisvs. NE -
53Rashad Jenningsat SEA -

RB Notes: There hasn't been a lot of separation at running back this season. With so few people on pace for 300 carries, the position is more about depth and matchups. You just need to be the guy that's not starting Willie Parker or Larry Johnson essentially. … PPR rankings to this point are remarkably in line with preseason rankings: Chris Johnson, Mo-Jo, and Adrian Peterson are the top three. As bad as Matt Forte has been, he's still in the top-15 and the conditions around him make us confident that he'll end up solidly in the top ten. … Steven Jackson is a player Rotoworld would rank a tier lower if the season started today. He's still plenty valuable because of his consistent touches and the touchdowns will come, but it will tough to carve out many explosive days playing on that offense.

Michael Turner hasn't really answered or dismissed any concerns about a hangover of his heavy workload last year. But any case for him as the top fantasy pick was silly to begin with, and he certainly doesn't look like one. In this pass-heavy league, a running back that can't catch passes OR make people miss can't be the top overall back. … The rankings this week reflect how valuable backup running backs are this year, especially when a NFC East powerhouse is playing a weaker sister. Ahmad Bradshaw and LeSean McCoy are great options in the right matchup. McCoy is proving to be the best value of all the rookie runners. Knowshon Moreno still has the highest ceiling, but I'm not sure his workload will increase that much even without Correll Buckhalter in the lineup. Moreno is a good, not great RB2. McCoy can be a highly useful flex. Donald Brown is exactly what we thought he might be, just outside the top-25, but there are signs he could improve as the season goes along. Beanie Wells has been a disappointment through three games, but remains a fine buy-low option. He's not going to live up to his draft slot, but we wouldn't bet against some monster games in his future for patient owners.

All things considered, DeAngelo Williams is doing a good job producing considering his passing game and backup. He's not going to produce like the 2008 DeAngelo, but we knew that going in. Signs are encouraging thus far, and he's certainly looking like a better pick than LaDainian Tomlinson and Clinton Portis. … We took a lot of heat for ranking LT2 outside the top-15 overall picks, but we didn't rank him nearly low enough. I actually thought he showed signs of bounce and health despite his ugly Sunday night numbers, but his ceiling is low and his injury risk remains high. … The same goes for Clinton Portis, who owners should deal after the Redskins get through with the soft part of their schedule.

We had Fred Jackson ranked high, but not high enough, which kills me after nurturing him on my dynasty league roster for the last three years. I'm not sure what to expect from Marshawn Lynch, although he will improve. But Jackson has earned a half share of the Bills workload, even if the coaching staff seems more eager than fans to go back to Lynch. … Because the Steelers are loyal to Willie Parker and the schedule will get much tougher, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to see what you can get for Rashard Mendenhall after he runs over the Lions and the Browns the next two weeks. But you may as well get your value from him while you can. … We've knocked Cadillac Williams plenty as an injury risk and he's certainly in a difficult situation. But anyone that has watched him run this year has to be impressed. Put him on another team and he'd be racking up 100-yard games; he's still very talented. I am not comfortable with Derrick Ward as my RB3 in one league, so I'm resisting trading the guy in front of him on my depth chart (Willis McGahee.)

Week 5 Wide Receivers

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Larry Fitzgeraldvs. HOU -
2Andre Johnsonat ARZ -
3Reggie Wayneat TEN -
4Randy Mossat DEN -
5Calvin Johnsonvs. PIT Probable(thigh)
6Roddy Whiteat SF -
7Steve Smithvs. WAS -
8DeSean Jacksonvs. TB -
9Anquan Boldinvs. HOU -
10Chad Ochocincoat BAL -
11Steve Smithvs. OAK -
12Brandon Marshallvs. NE -
13Hines Wardat DET -
14Santonio Holmesat DET -
15Wes Welkerat DEN Questionable(knee)
16Mike Sims-Walkerat SEA -
17Jerricho Cotcheryat MIA -
18Santana Mossat CAR -
19Kevin Walterat ARZ -
20Derrick Masonvs. CIN Probable(neck)
21Terrell Owensvs. CLE -
22Bernard Berrianat STL -
23Lee Evansvs. CLE -
24Dwayne Bowevs. DAL -
25Pierre Garconat TEN -
26Braylon Edwardsat MIA -
27Mario Manninghamvs. OAK -
28Nate Burlesonvs. JAC -
29Mohamed Massaquoiat BUF -
30T.J. Houshmandzadehvs. JAC -
31Percy Harvinat STL -
32Patrick Craytonat KC -
33Antonio Bryantat PHI Questionable(knee)
34Kenny Brittvs. IND -
35Nate Washingtonvs. IND Probable(concussion)
36Josh Morganvs. ATL -
37Sidney Riceat STL -
38Justin Gagevs. IND -
39Torry Holtat SEA -
40Donnie Averyvs. MIN Questionable(hamstring)
41Isaac Brucevs. ATL -
42Miles Austinat KC -
43Mark Claytonvs. CIN -
44Steve Breastonvs. HOU Questionable(knee)
45Mike Wallaceat DET -
46Eddie Royalvs. NE -
47Ted Ginn Jr.vs. NYJ -
48Jeremy Maclinvs. TB -
49Louis Murphyat NYG -
50Deion Branchvs. JAC -
51Laveranues Colesat BAL -
52Andre Caldwellat BAL -
53Kelley Washingtonvs. CIN -
54Chansi Stuckeyat BUF -
55Bobby Wadevs. DAL -
56Mark Bradleyvs. DAL -
57Davone Bessvs. NYJ -
58Jabar Gaffneyvs. NE -
59Antwaan Randle Elat CAR -

WR Notes: This was supposed to be the year of the wide receiver. And it has at times, but they haven't always been the ones drafted highly. The three highest scoring wideouts in Week 4 were Steve Smith, Mike Sims-Walker, and Mohammad Massaquoi. Smith and Sims-Walker are both in the top-ten in PPR points. … It almost seems too obvious to say, but owners need to stay patient or buy low on bonafied producers like Greg Jennings and Roddy White. Players like Dwayne Bowe, Roy Williams, Lee Evans, and Terrell Owens are bigger long-term concerns because of the situation around them. Of that group, I like Bowe to snap out of it the best.

Eddie Royal's total lack of production isn't going to stay this bad. We'd pick him up off waiver wires if available. … Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry are both under 80 yards for the season. Owners in 12-team leagues can give up. … T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson are both quietly getting a boatload of consistent targets. A return from Matt Hasselbeck will help, but they are solid WR3s. As long as he stays healthy, Burleson should prove to be a good draft value.

The Titans wide receivers as a group have been far more valuable than expected because they have been trailing in games and throwing a ton. Kenny Britt is a keeper and Nate Washington is a fine bye week option, but a change to Vince Young eventually isn't going to help. Not sure you can sell that high on either player, but now wouldn't be a bad time to try. … I wasn't sure how Joe Flacco could have a second year leap with the players around him, but Kelley Washington has emerged from nowhere and Derrick Mason doesn't look like he's aged a day. This is nothing new for Mason, but he's still going to wind up being a great draft value if he puts up 1,000 yards and 5+ touchdowns as I expect.

Owners who took Brandon Marshall early had to deal with an expected slow start, but they should feel good about the investment now. He's worked himself back into shape. There is a big hole every week in the rankings after the top 12-15 players and Marshall slides right in behind that. And he may move up. … Chad Ochocinco is living up to his preseason promise, but he needs more help from Carson Palmer to put up 2004-2007 era numbers. At worst, he's a rock solid WR1/2 and there aren't that many of those. … Santonio Holmes is in line for a huge year, but it hasn't happened yet. Now would be an excellent time to trade for him.

Sidney Rice enters the countdown this week in a fairly high position. There just isn't a huge difference right now between him, Bernard Berrian, and Percy Harvin. … The trade to the Jets should ultimately help Braylon Edwards, starting this year. They will probably try to feature him on a handful of plays in his first game, so the deal didn't move his value much this week. Jerricho Cotchery moved down. … Lance Moore has quietly been a bust. He should bounce back to usefulness, but there are probably too many options around him to live up to his preseason draft slot.

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Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for and Catch him on Twitter.
Email :Gregg Rosenthal

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