Pacheco, Kamara among 5 fantasy football RBs to avoid in Week 5

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco should be used only as a low-end RB2 or flex play in Week 5. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI
1 of 5 | Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco should be used only as a low-end RB2 or flex play in Week 5. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Isiah Pacheco and Alvin Kamara are among my five fantasy football running backs to avoid in lineups in Week 5.

If you need more options for your roster, check out my top add/drops. My Week 5 rankings for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will also be available and updated for Sunday's games.


Christian McCaffrey, Bijan Robinson, Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs and Joe Mixon lead my Top 30 rankings, which are listed below. Tony Pollard, D'Andre Swift, David Montgomery, Travis Etienne and Aaron Jones round out my Top 10 plays.

My running backs to avoid rank outside the Top 20 of my rankings.

Those who roster Javonte Williams, Kyren Williams and other injured running backs should monitor their status before plugging them into starting lineups. Saquon Barkley is among the running backs ruled out for Week 5.


Running backs from the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be benched or dropped, as those teams have Week 5 byes. Players from the Thursday's Chicago Bears-Washington Commanders game were removed from my rankings.

Running back Alvin Kamara (L) and the New Orleans Saints will face the New England Patriots on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI

Alvin Kamara

Kamara returned from suspension last week and logged 84 yards from scrimmage, but averaged just 2.5 yards per catch and 3.5 yards per touch. The veteran running back easily led the New Orleans Saints backfield in touches, but I expect a bit more of a split going forward.

The Saints will travel for a Week 5 game against the New England Patriots.

The Patriots allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to running backs through four weeks. They held Tony Pollard to 60 yards from scrimmage in Week 4. They surrendered just 18 yards to Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook each in Week 3.


Look for the Patriots to focus on limiting Kamara in this matchup, forcing the Saints to put the ball in the hands of other playmakers. I expect this to be a very low-scoring game, which also limits Kamara's upside.

He is my No. 22 play, but should only be used as a low-end RB2 in leagues with at least 12 teams.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (L) eclipsed 150 yards from scrimmage in Week 4, but I don't expect his production to reach that level in Week 5. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI

Isiah Pacheco

Pacheco erupted for 158 yards from scrimmage and a score on 23 touches in Week 4. He received an increase in touches every week so far this season, but I think that workload will lessen in Week 5 when the Chiefs face the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to running backs through four weeks. They were especially stingy in defending pass-catching running backs, holding the position to just 60 total receiving yards.

Limits to Pacheco's receiving upside, paired with a pass-heavy expected game script make me want to lean away from plugging him in.


He is my No. 23 option and should only be used as a low-end RB2/flex.

Running back Dameon Pierce and the Houston Texans will face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Atlanta. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Dameon Pierce

Pierce logged his best game of the season in Week 4, with 108 yards from scrimmage in a Houston Texans win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That performance was a positive sign for his stock owners, but his 2.83 yards per carry average remains a concern.

This week, the Texans will face the Atlanta Falcons on the road. The Falcons allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. They also are one of three teams that did not allow a touchdown to the position through four games.

Pierce should still get a lot of touches on Sunday, but I expect his struggles to continue. Look for the Falcons to dominate time of possession in this low-scoring matchup.

Pierce is my No. 24 play and should only be used as a low-end RB2/flex in standard scoring leagues.

Miles Sanders

Like Pierce, Sanders was very inefficient with his opportunities through four weeks, averaging just 2.93 yards per carry.


Sanders also now appears to be in a timeshare situation, with fellow Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard edging him 14-13 in carries in Week 4. Hubbard also was more efficient with his touches, logging 41 yards, compared to Sanders' 19.

This week, the Panthers will take on the Detroit Lions on the road. The Lions allowed the second-fewest rushing yards (181) and just two scores to the position through four weeks.

Sanders is the No. 25 player in my rankings. I would avoid him if you roster another player listed higher in my rankings.

Kyren Williams

Williams provided a great boost to his fantasy stock owners over the last few weeks, including his 127-yard, two-score performance Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

This week, Williams and the Los Angeles Rams will face a much tougher defense in the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles continue to allow great passing performances, but remain stingy against the run, surrendering the fewest fantasy points and third-fewest rushing yards to running backs this season.

Williams most likely will be slowed by that strong defense, in addition to a hip injury. He is the No. 27 player in my Week 5 rankings.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey celebrates after scoring his fourth touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Week 5 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers vs. DAL

2. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons vs. HOU

3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at IND

4. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. GB

5. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at ARI

6. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys at SF

7. D'Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles at LAR

8. David Montgomery, Detroit Lions vs. CAR

9. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars at BUF

10. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at LV

11. De'Von Achane, Miami Dolphins vs. NYG

12. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs. CIN

13. James Cook, Buffalo Bills vs. JAX

14. Breece Hall, New York Jets at DEN

15. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. NO

16. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings vs. KC

17. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins vs. NYG

18. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens at PIT

19. Matt Breida, New York Giants at MIA

20. Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN

21. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN

22. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at NE

23. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs at MIN

24. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans at ATL

25. Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers at DET

26. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL


27. Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams vs. PHI

28. Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers at DET

29. Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL

30. Dalvin Cook, New York Jets at DEN

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers hang on to defeat Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (C) dives into the end zone in second quarter at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on October 1, 2023. The Chargers beat the Raiders 24-17. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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