Only two of the 25 running backs active in the most ESPN standard leagues for Week 5 perform for AFC East clubs, and both were New England Patriots: Sony Michel and James White. They scored nicely for fantasy managers on Thursday night, combining 41.7 PPR points. Meanwhile, fantasy managers desperate for running back aid mostly ignored other options from the struggling division clubs. In fact, several AFC East running backs showed up on the most dropped list, though that seemed a bit premature. Benching them seemed wiser.
Fast forward to Sunday when momentum changed. New York Jets starter Isaiah Crowell rushed four times for nary a yard in the Week 4 loss at Jacksonville, and over three weeks he gained 69 rushing yards. Bilal Powell, a better receiver, seemed the better option moving forward. On Sunday, Crowell broke the franchise record for rushing yards in a game with a startling 219 of them, including a pair of 50-plus yard rushes in the same game. The last player to do that was Crowell back in 2015. Crowell and Powell (99 rushing yards) embarrassed the Denver Broncos' once-stout defense for 318 rushing yards and Crowell averaged 14.6 yards per rush, the highest total with at least 15 attempts in league history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.