Entering Monday Night Football, Alvin Kamara was already the season-long RB1 overall in half-PPR and PPR formats despite having one less game played than much of the competition. So although his 15.9-point performance in half-PPR represented his weakest game of the season, it did very little to change his standing atop the top 60 rest of season running back rankings. Kamara rushed 11 times for 45 yards on Monday, fulfilling his usual role in the passing game with eight catches on 10 targets for another 74 yards. Latavius Murray (eight carries, 34 yards; two receptions, 23 yards) was effective but unspectacular, as it was the QB-duo of Drew Brees and Taysom Hill that punched in both of the Saints’ rushing touchdowns in the red zone. Yep, just how the fantasy gods drew it up.

As for the Chargers, the one-two replacement punch of Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson didn’t exactly play out the way many anticipated. Although Kelley was the popular pick to step into startable RB2 status with the absence of Austin Ekeler, he averaged a measly 2.6 YPC while totaling 29 yards on 11 carries, catching just one pass for nine yards. In fact, it was Jackson who handles lead back duties, out-touching Kelley 19-to-12. Jackson rushed 15 times for 71 yards (4.7 YPC), but the major takeaway was how much more effective he was in the passing game: five receptions on six targets for 23 yards. Both look to be risky plays until Ekeler returns, likely lending no value outside of weekly Flex consideration — but the unpredictable split between the two makes even that risky.

In other news, Le’Veon Bell is back, Todd Gurley finished as an RB1, Raheem Mostert’s return rendered Jerick McKinnon all-but-irrelevant and Chase Edmonds appears to be overtaking Kenyan Drake in Arizona. Before we get into the Week 5 rankings, let’s take a look at all of that and more via a quick trip around the league.

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On Monday Night Football (the second one, not the first one), Todd Gurley finally broke out for fantasy owners (kind of). By “broke out,” I mean that he found the end zone not once, but twice — despite averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. That’s as hot as a lukewarm cup of coffee — as sexy as assless chaps with patches sewn in. It was the kind of performance that you had to be pleased with if you had him in your lineup, but at the same time, you were probably also clapping slowly while shooting those around you sneaky glares out the corner of your eyes to see if they were equally excited. On the plus side, Gurley out-touched Brian Hill 17-to-six, one week after Hill appeared to be the much more explosive back even as Gurley rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown. On the down side, Gurley caught just one pass for the second consecutive week (Ito Smith and Hill combined for five grabs), bringing his season total to a measly four receptions. Gurley clearly isn’t the back he once was, however, he did show some elusiveness inside the green zone on his first rushing touchdown, even shaking a second would-be tackler for the score. This is the point we’re at with running backs in 2020, as both Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb went down in Week 4 with significant injuries. I am actually, tentatively, kind-of excited about Gurley. This is not good.

On the opposing sideline, Aaron Jones enjoyed yet another strong week, rushing 15 times for 71 yards (4.7 YPC) and hauling in five passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. The Packers look like the cream of the crop in the NFC (right alongside Seattle), as the Super Bowl could (I said could) potentially pit two State Farm figureheads against one another in Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. Can you imagine the marketing potential for State Farm!? Let’s all buy stock now! *does quick Google search* It’s already up 4.2% since Sept. 23 — people must really be catching on. Unfortunately, my popularity stock over on Reddit — and in life — is doing the exact opposite. My parents visited last week, and somehow, my father locked himself in the stairwell three different times. Again, this is 2020. This is real. And this is not good.

Before I lose everyone’s attention, let’s get into the Week 5 rest of season top 60 running back rankings. But first — a quick trip around the league.

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Thursday’s thrilling Broncos/Jets matchup was overshadowed by the unfortunate COVID developments in Tennessee which have resulted in the postponement of Sunday’s Titans’ game against the Steelers. This Titans fiasco got me thinking about a picture I snapped during the NFL Draft back in April:

Take your time, there’s a lot to digest in this shot. Someone in this picture has to be responsible for the viral outbreak in Tennessee this week, right? Vrabel’s spandex-hooded son and Joe-Dirt-mullet son are solid candidates, just look at those two goons. And Vrabel himself can’t be counted out either based on the offspring he produced. But the odds on favorite has to be the dude on the crapper in the back left corner—that guy’s up to no good. Where is he pooping? Is that even a toilet? Alas, one player who didn’t take a dump during Thursday night’s game was Melvin Gordon who handled 23 carries for 107 yards, 2 catches for 11 yards and his 3rd and 4th touchdowns. Pigskinonator was all over this one, ranking Gordon as it’s #9 RB this week. Now might be a decent time to sell Gordon since Phillip Lindsay (toe) may be ready to swoop in and steal half the carries in week 5. Don’t forget, we have a free trade analyzer to help you brainstorm deals and dominate your league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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There’s a very important place that I want to start today’s fantasy football conversation. Imagine getting fined $100K at work, just like Pete Carroll, Vic Fangio, Jon Gruden, Sean Payton and Kyle Shanahan did this past week. Not by Feds. Not by the IRS. Not by your local county judge. Think about that — just for one second. Fined 100-grand, at work. For me, this would bring up a concerning follow-up meeting: “So, uhh… are you asking me to quit? No? Ok… so the next three years are just pro-bono? Got it. Okay. I’ll be over here pummeling my head into this wall. Forever.” Although I don’t have a vendetta against any of those five head coaches, it’s an absolutely insane concept to even consider. In Green Bay, head coach Matt LaFleur actually has an assistant whose job it is to make sure he’s wearing a mask at all times. That’s literally his job! I don’t know if this is better or worse than Sean McVay’s “Get Back” assistant. I guess better, because this at least helps promote safety. Meanwhile, we’ve got reigning Super Bowl Champion Andy Reid looking one step away from being the next Power Ranger with the face shield he’s donning out there. Can you imagine being the intern that was tasked with finding a face covering that would please Andy Reid? Bet you it took weeks. I’d rather work as Philip Rivers’ governess. It’s just like I always say, if Julie Andrews can do it, so can I!

Shame on me for using the NFL’s current sideline mask fiasco for a lede two weeks in a row, but everything starts to get hazy on these late Monday nights. There’s a lot of movement in the rankings this week and even more question marks with certain running backs going down with injuries for undetermined periods of time, but it’s a job that has to be done nonetheless. Am I a hero in plain man’s cloth? No, I am but a man. Before we get into the rankings, let’s take our weekly trip around the league.

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What’s the difference between Jon Gruden in September and an overripe California-grown tomato? The tomato doesn’t have to put up with Mark Davis for the next seven years, who, coincidentally (or not?), also looks like an overripe tomato — except Davis does for all 12 months of the year. For Gruden, it’s just about a two-month sweet spot, and who can blame him for wanting to get his bronze on to complete that irresistible visor look? From the TV, he looks like he’s yap-yap-yapping from the first whistle to the last, the same way Pete Carroll is chomping at the bit from the moment he comes out of the tunnel.

Both Carroll and Gruden have attractive fantasy running backs at their disposal as they prepare week after week in the form of Chris Carson and Josh Jacobs. They also appear to be staring at pretty hefty fines from the league office after looking somewhat lax with their mask usage during gameplay on Sunday and Monday. No matter how you spin it, the NFL was hit with a plethora of unfortunate story lines in Week 2, with stars on both sides of the ball doing down with seemingly every ailment underneath the moon. That makes my job entering Week 3 of the season as difficult as it’s going to get (*knock on wood, although Gruden’s mid-section as of late Monday night would suffice*), so let’s fast-forward through the pleasantries and get to the ever-controversial top 60 ROS running back rankings. First, let’s take a quick trip around the league via some player news and updates.

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I have been doing a lot of thinking about week 1 and what we can trust and what we should throw away. It’s a tough thing to not trust your eyes for future projections. I guess that’s what makes sports gambling so difficult. New casinos don’t pop up from everybody winning. How does one pick who to double down on off of a blah performance? The same goes for breakout performances. How do we know it wasn’t a one-off occurrence? Instincts plays a big role. When you’ve been playing fantasy football for over a decade you pick up on trends and apply it to new situations. Another thing, I’m really excited to be writing the start/sit column every week. Yes, the title alone brings a lot of eyes, but also I want to challenge myself to put personal biases aside to try and help build lineups for you, the reader. I had a BIG whiff last week on Ben Roethlisberger. That was a failure on my part to not weigh the matchup heavier than the overall narrative that I have for him in 2020.

The results from last week weren’t bad at all outside of that misstep. Shout out to Will Fuller! Nobody outside of him really popped. Taylor, Garappolo, and Ronald Jones were fine, I suppose. Desean Jackson didn’t do diddly squat, but that’s on his QB. Everyone outside of Roethlisberger that I suggested sitting did absolutely nothing. We’re on to week 2.

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As the final night of Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season winds to a close, I find myself updating Razzball’s top 60 running back rankings with some unusual sights dancing in front of my eyes. Stephen Gostkowski has missed three kicks and a field goal, Noah Fant looked like the best player on the field in the first half, Corey Davis is shredding the Broncos defense and my dog is licking his butt in the corner of the room as I scream about all of these things. Also on Monday were some unusual running back performances, highlighted by Saquon Barkley’s six-yard game on the ground and a breakout day for Benny Snell of Pittsburgh. Oddly enough, it looked for a little while like we really might see a 50-50 workload split in Denver before Melvin Gordon took over in the fourth quarter. If you’re already losing your mind over realities such as these, it might be a long 16 weeks to follow for you. On the plus side, we’re here to help you navigate the rest of the way with your running backs, as the weekly top 60 picks back up today with some drastic changes including some movement inside the top 10. First, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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Two days, football fans! Two days! That means the 2020 NFL Season will be upon us in a smaller span of time than your average game of cricket. Quicker than your seven round NFL Draft. And much faster than it takes Kirk Cousins to get rid of the ball on a typical pass play. Just two days and we’ll have NFL football. Two days until you get to turn months of research and late-night draft parties into something that actually matters as all the projection slowly turns into production. Today, we’ll begin with the former as I reveal my top 60 running backs heading into week one of the 2020 season. As a general baseline, I’ll be using half-PPR scoring for these rankings. Moving forward, I will continuously update these 60 backs on a weekly basis to provide an up-to-date snapshot at the top options at the position moving forward. Before we get into the actual rankings, here are some highlights from the opening list.

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Every year there are a handful of players that can elevate a fantasy team to the championship or sink it to the depths of the standings. All players are unique in their skill sets, team context, and career trajectory but some profiles do line up. 

As we get into draft season, we’re all trying to avoid the next big bust. With injuries, it’s often just bad luck but often times we can see a storm brewing around a player. Last year Le’Veon Bell was returing after a season off on a new team with a lackluster coach and a disappointment was almost too easy to spot, but many fell for it anyway. In the name of value, drafters will hold their nose and take players they know they shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s just best to avoid a bad situation.

So who will be this year’s not NEXT team? (ADPs via fantasydata)

Jared Gofftop 10 QB who is demoted to streamer

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The Sub-Saharan grasslands are native to an appropriately named predator, the boomslang. Boom meaning “tree” and slang defined as “snake,” naturally, this is a tree snake. Measuring anywhere from three to six feet in length, with their trademark gigantic pupils, they pose a considerable risk to researchers in the area as their venom is both slow-acting and lethal. Reports claim their attacks are amongst the least predictable of any animal too.

Yes, you clicked on RazzBall and not NatGeo. You see, the boomslang is more predictable than the Denver Broncos organization. Since 2014, the Mile High football club hasn’t entered a new season with the same head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators, and quarterback as the year prior. Chew on that, all you venomous reptiles of the jungle! So let’s predict how Denver will utilize their running backs in 2020.

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