Fantasy football, Week 5: Running back waiver wire rankings

The waiver wire begins late Tuesday, so it is time to figure out your best options. We’ve got rankings for all four major positions.

Week 4 of the 2017 regular season is just about coming to a close. Most fantasy football leagues will run their waiver wires late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but we are here to help you get a jump on the best options to consider.

We will be ranking the top five players likely to be available in your league at each of the four major positions. Some weeks there might not be five good options available, but we’ll scour for the best we can find. Additionally, throughout the week, we will update each of these articles as ownership percentages change and news arrives. The following ownership percentages come via CBS Sportsline entering Week 4.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (62 percent ownership)

Kamara has been a big part of the Saints passing game since the season began, averaging six targets per game over his first three weeks in the NFL. On Sunday, Kamara had his breakout game, catching all 10 of his targets for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins in London. There are a lot of mouths to feed in the New Orleans backfield – Mark Ingram had eight targets and out-rushed Kamara 14-5 — but Kamara has his role and is excelling in it. He is flex-worthy on any roster.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (48)

Ellington’s big day on Sunday might have been even bigger if his touchdown reception hadn’t been overturned on replay. As it was, Ellington was PPR gold with nine receptions on a whopping 14 targets. Ellington had eight targets last Monday against the Cowboys and it’s clear Ellington is Carson Palmer’s preferred pass-catching back to replace the injured David Johnson. If you’re in a PPR league, Ellington is a must-have with his high usage out of the backfield.

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings (22)

A moment of silence four our friends who own Dalvin Cook. A brilliant rookie season ended with a gruesome twist of the knee on Sunday, and his owners are left looking elsewhere. Some will certainly turn to Murray, whom the Vikings added as a free agent in the offseason after his years in Oakland. He was the handcuff (with Jerick McKinnon also in the mix), and he did rack up 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons, with a 1,000-yard season in 2015. But his best days seem to be behind him, so temper expectations.

Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens (13)

The Baltimore backfield appears as unsettled as ever, with neither Terrance West nor Javorius Allen stepping up to claim the primary job. Filling the void appears to be Collins, who out-touched West and Allen combined 9-6 and rushed for 82 yards. Collins has fumble issues that could derail his ascendancy, but if he can get that under control, this could be his job to lose in the coming weeks.

Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (10)

Bilal Powell went bonkers on Sunday with Matt Forte sidelined, but what McGuire is doing cannot be ignored. The rookie carried 10 times for 93 yards and a touchdown, and of all the backs on the Jets, he has the most long-term value to the franchise. As long as Forte is out, McGuire is going to have a prominent role, and might retain one even with Forte healthy. The Jets are surprisingly competitive and have some struggling defenses (Patriots, Browns) on the horizon.

Eddie Lacy (16), Thomas Rawls (28), J.D. McKissic (2) – Seattle Seahawks

Rookie Chris Carson had emerged as the Seahawks starting running back, but he suffered what looked like a brutal injury during Week 4 Sunday Night Football. The team took him off on a cart after putting on an air cast. It looked like a fracture, which would likely cost him the rest of the season. Lacy led the team in carries the rest of the season, while Rawls was a healthy scatch. McKissic could be the PPR option of the bunch.