Start/Bench--Week 5



James Williams, RB-Washington State vs USC
Williams has yet to top the 50-yard rushing mark this season, but he has caught at least ten passes in three of the Cougars’ first four games.  Expect the sophomore back to have a significant role in the run game and pass game Friday night against USC, making him a very solid fantasy option in PPR leagues.


Andy Davidson, RB-Army v UTEP
Last week at Tulane, Davidson filled in for an injured Darnell Woolfolk and rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries.  Woolfolk is expected to miss this week’s game too, so don’t hesitate to start Davidson against a UTEP defense that is giving up 247.8 yards per game on the ground and has allowed 15 rushing touchdowns, third-most in the FBS.
Damien Harris, RB-Alabama vs Ole Miss
In P5 leagues, Harris has probably been a constant in your lineup as a RB2 or FLEX option, but we’ve been a little hesitant to start Alabama running backs in Full-FBS leagues because their touches have been limited.  However, if Harris is going to find the end zone every week, you at least need to fit him in at the FLEX spot against an Ole Miss defenses that is giving up 184.0 yards per game on the ground and 4.6 yards per rush attempt.


Warren Ball, Akron at Bowling Green
In the two competitive games in which Akron has played this year, Ball had at least 20 carries, 100-plus rushing yards, and a touchdown.  This week, the Zips should be in another competitive game, as they face a Bowling Green defense that is giving up over 243 yards per game on the ground. 
Teddy Veal, WR-Louisiana Tech vs South Alabama
Veal’s numbers have improved since he was moved back to one of the IR positions after an injury to Alfred Smith.  In the past two weeks, the junior receiver has hauled in 19 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.  Expect his positive trend to continue this week against a South Alabama defense that is giving up 286.0 yards per game in the air.


Larry Rose, RB-New Mexico State at Arkansas
It’s difficult to sit Rose after what he did against UTEP last week and after what the Texas A&M offense did to the Arkansas defense.  However, Rose frustrated fantasy owners over the first three weeks of the 2017 season and this week’s matchup could look more like those performances than the one he gave us last week.


Jordan Chunn, RB-Troy at LSU
It’s easy to make an argument that LSU’s defense would be statistically better if their offense was more efficient.  Still, the Tigers are only allowing 106.0 yards per game on the ground and have held three of their four opponents to less than 80 yards rushing.  Even if Chunn contributes in the passing game, his ceiling is still incredibly too low to risk starting him in Week 5.
Ty Johnson, Maryland at Minnesota
After the first two weeks of the season, Johnson had 256 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.  In last week’s loss to Central Florida, the junior running back was held to 25 yards on 11 carries.  Of course, the loss of two starting quarterbacks has limited the offense, but that’s not going to change.  This week, the Terrapins hit the road and face a Minnesota defense that leads the nation in rushing yards allowed per game at 59.0.
Ralph Webb, RB-Vanderbilt at Florida
Webb averaged 4.2 yards per carry in 2015, which was his lowest yard-per-carry average in his first three seasons at Vanderbilt.  This year, the senior running back has carried the ball 64 times and is only averaging 2.6 yards per carry.  As a team, Vanderbilt is only averaging 3.0 yards per rush attempt, so the problem may not be Webb, it’s likely the offensive line.  Don’t expect those numbers to change much after this weekend’s matchup at Florida, so we suggest leaving Webb on your bench.
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