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Elliott, Cook lead Week 5 fantasy football running back rankings

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Elliott, Cook lead Week 5 fantasy football running back rankings
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is my top fantasy football option for Week 5. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, James Robinson and Aaron Jones top my Week 5 fantasy football running back rankings for 2021.

Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler, Kareem Hunt and Jonathan Taylor round out my Top 10 options for Week 5.

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Damien Williams is another running backs to consider for your weekly lineup if you are in a league that features at least 14 teams.

Plenty of other running backs with great matchups this week are available aside from the elite names. Try to find a player who will get a lot of carries, targets in the passing game or goal line work and has a good Week 5 matchup.

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TOP SHELF

Ezekiel Elliott disappointed many fantasy football team owners to start the season, but bounced back with pristine performances over the last three weeks. The Dallas Cowboys star tops my Week 5 rankings as he heads into an NFC East division game against the New York Giants.

Elliott ran for 143 yards and a score on 20 carries in Week 4. He gained at least 97 yards from scrimmage in each of the Cowboys' last three games, which were all wins.

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RELATED Fantasy football: Damien Williams, Trey Lance among best Week 5 adds

Look for the Cowboys to hand the ball to Elliott even more this week when they face a Giants team that allowed the 10th-most rushing yards to running backs through four weeks. The Giants also allowed running backs to score in three of those four games.

I expect Elliott to run for more than 125 yards and score for a second-consecutive week. He is an elite RB1 going forward, regardless of matchup.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is the No. 2 player in my Week 5 rankings. Cook returned from an injury absence in Week 4 and struggled against the Cleveland Browns, but I expect a strong performance this week when the Vikings host the Detroit Lions.

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The Lions allowed the most fantasy points to running backs through the first four weeks this season. They also allowed a league-high six rushing scores and nine touchdowns overall to the position.

Cook should expose this unit for at least 120 rushing yards and find the end zone.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Kareem Hunt might be listed as the Cleveland Browns' second-string running back, but he can be used as an RB1 this week in fantasy football.

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Hunt ranks 14th amongst running backs in fantasy points per game. He scored touchdowns in three of the Browns' four games this season.

Hunt received 16 touches and scored in each of his last two games. Look for the Browns to split the workload between Nick Chubb and Hunt again in Week 5.

The Browns face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. The Chargers held Josh Jacobs to 40 yards in Week 4, but allowed at least 100 yards from scrimmage to running backs in their first three games this season.

Look for Hunt to gain at least 100 yards and score in this AFC matchup. He is my No. 9 option.

LONGSHOTS

Chicago Bears running back Damien Williams was my top waiver wire addition this week. He will assume lead running back duties due to starter David Montgomery's expected month-long injury absence.

Williams is a matchup-based play until Montgomery returns. He can be used as a low-end RB1 or a high-end RB2 in Week 5, when the Bears battle the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Raiders just allowed 145 yards from scrimmage and two scores to Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler in Week 4. I expect the Bears to use Williams in a similar way, as a runner and pass catcher, against the same defense.

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Williams should gain close to 100 yards from scrimmage. He is my No. 13 play in Week 5.

Week 5 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG

2. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. DET

3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at JAX

4. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. TEN

5. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at CIN

6. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at WAS

7. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at LAC

8. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. CLE

9. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at LAC

10. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at BAL

11. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions at MIN

12. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at DAL

13. Damien Williams, Chicago Bears at LVR

14. Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers vs. PHI

15. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. DEN

16. Damien Harris, New England Patriots at HOU

17. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. MIA

18. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills at KC

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19. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. CHI

20. Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals vs. SF

21. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs vs. BUF

22. Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens vs. IND

23. Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons vs. NYJ

24. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team vs. NO

25. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos at PIT

26. Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers at AZ

27. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG

28. Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals vs. GB

29. Miles Sanderson, Philadelphia Eagles at CAR

30. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills at KC

This week in the National Football League

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert waves his fist to the crowd after a 28-14 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Monday. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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