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Week 5 CFL Runningback Rankings, 3 Stars of the Week

CFL running back rankings ahead of week 5, stars of week 4. Every team that lost had 1 thing in common in week 4, handing the ball 10 times or less to their running backs.

Stars of the Week:

1st Star: De’Montre Tuggle

17 carries for 126 yards, 7.4 yards per carry, and 1 touchdown.

2nd Star: Brady Oliveira

20 carries for 120 yards, 6.0 yards per carry, and 2 receptions for 19 yards.

3rd Star: A.J. Oulette

14 carries for 70 yards, 5.0 yards per carry, and 1 touchdown.

1. Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Previous Ranking #RB1

Oliviera had another big game on the road. Winnipeg handed the ball off a lot in a game that was delayed by weather. Oliveira had 120 yards on 20 carries (6 yards per carry). He also caught both of his targets for 19 yards. Oliveira put up great numbers against a Montreal defense that was very stingy against the run in their first 2 games. Montreal had allowed only 92 rushing yards from running backs in their first 2 games.

2. Dedrick Mills, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking #RB3

On the bye in week 4. Calgary will play Winnipeg in week 5.

3. Taquan Mizzell, BC Lions, Previous Ranking #RB2

I have a common criticism for all 3 teams that lost in week 4. Failure to commit to establishing the run. Montreal handed the ball off to their runningbacks just 10 times in their loss. Edmonton only handed it off 9 times. The teams that won their games committed to establishing the run and that was not just to run out the clock but for the full duration of the football game.

BC handed the ball just 6 times to Mizzell who rushed for 22 yards (3.7 average) and caught all 3 of his targets for 23 yards. BC also handed the ball off 3 times to Kienan Lafrance who picked up 22 yards and 1 time to their fullback David Mackie who lost 2 yards. That’s just 10 plays handing it off to a back for a run play compated to the 39 passing plays. That is a very lopsided ratio that creates a high level of predictability that can be exploited by defenses. Mizzell didn’t have a good yards per carry in this game, but 6 carries isn’t enough of a body of work to call it a bad day and he passed the eye test as he looked good on his touches.

Maybe your quarterback is slightly less likely to throw 6 interceptions when you commit to providing him with run support instead of having the entire offense rest on his shoulders. Coming into this game Mizzell was 2nd in the league in rushing yards. This game was not so out of reach that there was not time to run the ball. Pound the rock!

4. Jamal Morrow, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Previous Ranking #RB4

Saskatchewan will play Edmonton at home in week 5 following their bye week.

5. A.J. Oullette, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #RB6

A.J. Oulette had 14 carries for 70 yards (5.0 average) and caught one of his targets for 4 yards. Rushing 5 yards per carry is a good accomplishment against a tough BC defense. A lot of his best runs came late in the game when BC was expecting the run as Toronto was aiming to kill clock, yet Oullette seemed to just do better during this time.

6. William Stanback, Montreal Alouettes, Previous Ranking #RB5

Stanback had 8 carries for 42 yards (5.3 average) and caught 1 of his 3 targets for 6 receiving yards. Montreal needed more production out of Stanback in week 4 yet they gave him a very limited amount of carries despite him having success on his carries. Montreal was chasing this game and it only made it more difficult to take back control.

7. James Butler, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Previous Ranking #RB7

Hamilton will host Ottawa in week 5 following their bye week.

8. De’montre Tuggle, Ottawa Redblacks, Previous Ranking Unranked

Tuggle had a fantastic performance against Edmonton in what was his second CFL game. He racked up 126 yards on 17 carries (7.4 average) and a touchdown. He also caught his only target for 6 yards. Edmonton has struggled against the run this season. Tuggle’s performance was a major factor in Ottawa breaking their 14-game at-home losing streak. In his first game, Ottawa only handed him the ball 4 times and he gained 20 yards. Ottawa committed to establishing the run in week 4 and it greatly helped them control the game.

9. Kevin Brown, Edmonton Elks, Previous Ranking #RB8

Kevin Brown only had 7 carries for 28 yards (4 yards per carry). Brown caught his lone target for 6 yards. With struggling quarterback play it should be a greater priority for Edmonton to establish the run. Edmonton visits Saskatchewan in week 5.

10. Andrew Harris, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #RB10

Harris rushed 3 times for 9 yards in the victory over Toronto. He also caught his lone target for 13 yards.

Harris had an incompletion on a run play that was going nowhere on an outside run that he was boxed in on. Instead of taking a tackle for a loss Harris passed the ball for an intentional incompletion rather than losing yards which was a very heads up play from the veteran.

11. Walter Fletcher, Montreal Alouettes, Previous Ranking Unranked

Fletcher had his first game of the season against Winnipeg in week 4 after missing the first 2 games with injury. He was very effective when Stanback had to miss time last year and could be utilized somewhat frequently throughout the season at RB2. He had 2 carries for 11 yards in week 4 and caught 1 of his 2 targets for 4 yards.

12. Johnny Augustine, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Previous Ranking #11

Augustine did not have a carry in week 4’s win against Montreal.

Greg McCrae had 4 carries for 49 yards despite lining up at receiver. McCrae is listed as a running back but has played in games for Winnipeg at slotback and appeared to be playing the role of RB2 in addition to his receiving duties.

Injured players are not included in this ranking but are listed below with their previous ranking.

(IR) 1. Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking #RB1

Had only 7 carries for 43 yards (6.1 average) before suffering an injury in week 1.

(IR) 9. Devonte Williams, Ottawa Redblacks, Previous Ranking #RB10

Has been on the 1-game injured list since week 2.

You might also like:

Week 5 Quarterback Rankings

Mike Mitchell’s Week 5 Power Rankings

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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