1. LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) – He has yet to show the high level of consistency that we are accustomed to seeing from him in seasons past, but Tomlinson is still the best RB option out there on a weekly basis. He matches up well against a Raiders defense that he has had more success against than any other team in his career. It does not hurt that the Raiders rush defense is ranked a pathetic 26th in the league.
2. Brian Westbrook (PHI) – Westbrook is highly probable to return this week after missing week 5 with an abdominal injury. It appears as though he will be at full strength, and he should have a monster day against a sad Jets run D. (Check injury report: abdomen)
3. Ronnie Brown (MIA) – Brown is coming off of three consecutive 100 yard games and faces the Brown’s 30th ranked run defense. He has also been valuable out of the backfield as a receiver. Look for Brown to have another huge game in his quest to return to stud RB status.
4. Willis McGahee (BAL) – McGahee has been on a pretty solid streak of success as far as yardage, but he is struggling to make his way into the end zone. It is highly possible that will change this week against the Ram’s 28th ranked rush defense. A defense that is prone to giving up rushing TD’s on a weekly basis. He is a very solid start this week.
5. Larry Johnson (KC) – We realize that he is coming off probably his worst game ever, mustering up a lazy 12 yards rushing last week, but we really like the match up. Johnson faces a Bengal defense that he has torched for 370 total yards and 3 TD’s in two career games. The Bengal run defense has not exactly excelled and Johnson’s pride should kick in. We expect him to rebound in week 6.
6. Edgerrin James (ARI) – James has had a strong resurgence in his career this season, leading the NFC in rushing yards. He should continue his strong and consistent play against a Carolina defense on the down slide.
7. Adrian Peterson (MIN) – He will have a tough challenge this week against one of the NFL’s most frightening defenses. The good news is that injuries up front have really hampered the Bears run defense of late, and they are not as scary as in seasons past. Peterson will likely give up some carries to Chester Taylor, but we look for him to be the focal point of the Vikings offense in week 6.
8. Shaun Alexander (SEA) – He is looking at a really promising match up this week at home against a slacking Saints defense. Alexander is still nursing a bad wrist, and he is coming off of a poor showing last week. Coach Holmgren has promised to give back up Maurice Morris more carries, but we anticipate Alexander will get plenty of touches, and bounce back with a solid performance.
9. Reggie Bush (NO) – There is no question that Bush has been a better NFL WR than he has a RB, but it is now up to him to carry the load. He has a decent match up at Seattle. The majority of his fantasy value will likely come from his receiving abilities, but Bush’s full time running duty, can only add to his production totals this week.
10. Brandon Jacobs (NYG) – He looked great last week returning from a knee injury. Jacobs will continue to share duties with Derrick Ward, but he will receive the majority of the carries, including those at the goal line. The RB rotation with Ward could prove beneficial for both backs and fantasy owners alike. Good match up against the 21st ranked Falcons run D.
11. Clinton Portis (WAS) – He is not putting up huge figures on a weekly basis, but Portis has been a consistent performer. He faces a mild challenge this week in the Packers 14th ranked run defense, but it is a challenge that he should be up for. Portis will likely have another solid day.
12. Marion Barber (DAL) – Barber has taken a step backwards the last two weeks in terms of fantasy value, but he is still a very appealing option. He is a triple threat as a solid yardage back, a great receiver out of the back field, and a goal line juggernaut. Barber will have an up hill battle against the stingy Patriots defense, but he should be a focal point in the Cowboys game plan, and receive plenty of touches.
13. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) – He looked pretty solid last week and the sophomore slump could be over for him. It is hard to put a lot of faith in Jones-Drew after only one nice game, but we all know he has what it takes, and this weeks match up is very promising.
14. Sammy Morris (NE) – He has done an excellent job spelling the injured Laurence Maroney, coming off of two consecutive 100 yard performances. It is probable that Maroney will return to his starting role this week, but expect Morris to see plenty of action in spite of the Maroney’s return. He should continue to see the goal line carries, and is at the very least an excellent candidate to find the end zone this week at Dallas.
15. Rudi Johnson (CIN) – Johnson is still nursing a bad hamstring, and is listed as questionable for this week’s game. If he is unable to go, look for Kenny Watson to be a nice fill in. If Johnson does play, he is looking at a pretty nice match up against a Chiefs run defense giving up roughly 126 ypg. (Check injury report: hamstring)
16. Jamal Lewis (CLE) – ****UPDATE**** HE WILL NOT PLAY. Lewis went down with a sprained foot last week, and appears to be questionable for week 6. If Lewis is unable to go, look for Jason Wright to fill in, and he should do a nice job. If Lewis plays, he will be looking at a very favorable match up against the NFL’s second worst run defense.
17. LaMont Jordan (OAK) – Jordan has shredded opposing defenses all season as a runner and receiver. He is a very risky start with his back issues, and even if he does start, Jordan is unlikely to finish the game. The back up situation is up in the air, but it is likely that Dominic Rhodes and Justin Fargas will share the load if Jordan can not go. Keep an eye on this situation as Sunday approaches. We suggest keeping him out of your starting line up unless he is given a completely clean bill of health. (Check injury report: back)
18. Laurence Maroney (NE) – Maroney’s injury situation is still up in the air, he has been limited in practice, but looks likely to be in the starting line up. He faces a pretty tough match up in Dallas, but if he is healthy, Maroney should produce fair numbers. (Check injury report: groin)
19. Fred Taylor (JAC) – Taylor has not gotten off to his best start this season, and has yet to score a TD. He has a decent match up against Houston this week, but at this point he is unlikely to garner big fantasy points. He is also questionable this week with a groin injury. (Check injury report: groin)
20. Derrick Ward (NYG) – It looks as though he will now split carries with Jacobs from here on out. Ward made the most of his back up role last week, even finding the end zone. He could have another solid week in mop up duty against a low end Falcons run defense. (Check injury report: ankle)
21. DeShaun Foster (CAR) – Foster has had a couple of really nice games this season, but for the most part, he has been very inconsistent. With the Panthers passing game struggling, it is likely that the Cardinals will stack the line to stop the run. He should produce a few points for you this week, but do not expect much.
22. Ahman Green (HOU) – It looks as though Green will be back in the starting line up for Houston this week. Green could have picked a better week to return as he faces a very tough Jacksonville defense. It is not the best week to have him in your starting line up.
23. Thomas Jones (NYJ) – Jones has really struggled throughout much of this season. He has been hampered by nagging injuries, and limited in carries. He is not a top option for week 6; in fact, look for Leon Washington to get a good number of carries. Jones is a capable back, but he is not getting the job done.
24. LenDale White (TEN) - He has had a couple of decent games, but he lacks the carries and receiving skills to be a premier fantasy back. He faces a Buccaneer defense that was torched on the ground last week, but they have been pretty solid otherwise. White could provide a few points this week, and is a threat to find the end zone any week, but he is still a risky start.
25. Earnest Graham (TB) – Graham should pretty much have the RB duties all to himself this week. He has performed pretty well when called upon in back up duty, but he faces a very stingy Titans ground D this week. Keep a close eye on him this week; it should say a lot about his future fantasy value.
26. Brian Leonard (STL) – Leonard should see plenty of touches this week, and he is coming off of a very respectable week 5. Unfortunately, he matches up with the leagues second best run defense. Do not expect much this week at Baltimore.
27. Cedric Benson (CHI) – He has managed to find the end zone 2 out of the last 3 weeks, but has been mediocre otherwise. Benson will match up against the NFL’s #1 run defense in week 6. If you have the luxury, it would be a good week to sit him against the Vikings.
28. DeShawn Wynn (GB) – It appears as though Wynn has earned the starting RB job in Green Bay, at least for now. He has posted some pretty decent numbers, but is not a great fantasy option at this time. The Packers rely more on the pass, and Wynn does not get the carries necessary to be an elite fantasy back. He is also not a big receiving threat, but can produce near the goal line. Tough match up vs. Washington.
29. Julius Jones (DAL) – He is not a good option even as the Cowboys starting RB. He faces a great Patriots run defense, and lacks the carries (especially at the goal line) to be a serious contender for your fantasy line up in week 6.
30. Warrick Dunn (ATL) – This is a really bad week to consider Dunn as a starting fantasy contender. The Falcons O-line has been decimated over the last couple of weeks, and may be forced to start three rookies. The Giants run defense is pretty tough to boot. If you can afford to bench him, do it!
31. Chris Brown (TEN) – We still feel that Brown is the better of the two platooning RB’s in Tennessee. The problem is that Lendale White typically gets the majority of the carries, and White is the type of back that needs a lot of carries to really be successful. Despite the fact that he is averaging 5.3 ypc and scored a TD last week, we have to suggest using him only in an emergency situation.
32. Chester Taylor (MIN) – Taylor should receive few carries this week despite being a very capable back. That said, his fantasy value is limited and he is best suited for the bench this week. It is very possible that Taylor could be moved to another team (possibly Tampa?) in the near future, so he is someone to keep a close eye on.
33. Vernand Morency (GB) – He may be limited as a back up, but Morency has fair upside in reception heavy leagues. He will likely be the Packers’ third down back, and should again see plenty of action in the passing game.
34. Leon Washington (NYJ) – With the poor play of starter Thomas Jones, Washington is starting to see more action in the Jets backfield. He is still a very risky option for your starting line up at this point, but you should keep an eye on him in future weeks. Washington also has upside as a return specialist.
35. Justin Fargas (OAK) – Even if LaMont Jordan starts and plays, Fargas is likely to steal a few carries. He was amazing in relief of Jordan in week 4, and it is possible he may even start the game. If that is the case, he could have a solid day. We suggest you monitor the situation closely as Sunday approaches. We also recommend you do the same with Kenny Watson and Jason Wright who may also be in the starting line ups for their respective teams.