Chris Wesseling

Goal Line Stand

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Week 15 Rankings

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week 15 Running Backs 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson at STL Probable (abdomen)
2 Doug Martin at NO -
3 Arian Foster vs. IND -
4 Jamaal Charles at OAK -
5 Marshawn Lynch at BUF Probable (back)
6 Ray Rice vs. DEN Probable (hip)
7 C.J. Spiller vs. SEA -
8 David Wilson at ATL -
9 Trent Richardson vs. WAS -
10 Alfred Morris at CLE Probable (illness)
11 Bryce Brown vs. CIN -
12 Matt Forte vs. GB -
13 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at PHI -
14 Ryan Mathews vs. CAR -
15 Shonn Greene at TEN -
16 Frank Gore at NE -
17 Stevan Ridley vs. SF -
18 Knowshon Moreno at BAL -
19 Steven Jackson vs. MIN Probable (foot)
20 Darren McFadden vs. KC Probable (ankle)
21 Chris Johnson vs. NYJ Probable (ankle)
22 Reggie Bush vs. JAC -
23 DeMarco Murray vs. PIT Probable (foot)
24 Mikel Leshoure at ARZ -
25 Joique Bell at ARZ -
26 Vick Ballard at HOU -
27 Jonathan Dwyer at DAL -
28 Darren Sproles vs. TB -
29 DeAngelo Williams at SD -
30 Montell Owens at MIA -
31 Michael Turner vs. NYG -
32 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. NYG -
33 Alex Green at CHI -
34 Bilal Powell at TEN Questionable (toe)
35 Mark Ingram vs. TB -
36 Beanie Wells vs. DET Probable (knee)
37 Pierre Thomas vs. TB -
38 Danny Woodhead vs. SF -
39 LaMichael James at NE -
40 Mike Tolbert at SD -
41 Marcel Reece vs. KC -
42 Shane Vereen vs. SF -
43 Ben Tate vs. IND -
44 Robert Turbin at BUF -
45 DuJuan Harris at CHI -
46 Bernard Pierce vs. DEN -
47 Ronnie Hillman at BAL -
48 Michael Bush vs. GB Questionable (ribs)
49 Lamar Miller vs. JAC -
50 Kregg Lumpkin at ATL -
51 Daryl Richardson vs. MIN -
52 Peyton Hillis at OAK -
53 Isaac Redman at DAL -
54 Tashard Choice vs. SEA -
55 Montario Hardesty vs. WAS -
56 Daniel Thomas vs. JAC -


RB Notes: A more patient runner this year with a dominant lead-blocker, Adrian Peterson has 1,101 rushing yards over the past seven weeks, which is more than the Jaguars, Raiders, Cowboys, and Cardinals have for the entire season. Over the last 28 years, CJ2K is the only back with more yards (1,112) over a seven-game span (Walter Payton holds the records with 1,152). Think it took awhile for Peterson to round into form this season? In the first eight games, he had just 42 yards outside the tackles compared to 393 on 28 rushes (14.0 YPC) over the past five weeks. If Peterson maintains his 157.3-yard average from the last seven games, he will finish with 2,072 yards -- 35 shy of Eric Dickerson’s record. The Rams can’t stop this train.

The Saints defense has given a double-digit fantasy performance to a running back every game but Week 10 versus the Falcons. … Peterson has rushed for 278 more yards in his last four games than Arian Foster has in his last five. Over that five-game stretch, Foster’s per-carry average is just 3.44 and his per-reception average is a paltry 4.5. In short, it’s hard to find a less effective per-play NFL starter. As long as he keeps getting heavy workloads and goal-line opportunities, it’s not a concern in redraft fantasy playoffs.

Jamaal Charles is second in rushing yards and fourth in fantasy points over the past five weeks, topping the century mark in all five. After regaining the AFC rushing lead, Charles is now on pace for a career-high 1,505 yards. … Marshawn Lynch faces his former team indoors in the cozy confines of the Rogers Centre. Lynch has essentially been 85 percent of Adrian Peterson this season. … Ray Rice has averaged 22.5 touches over the past six weeks. Don’t expect a major bump in value with Jim Caldwell replacing Cam Cameron. … You knew you were getting BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ homerun-hitting ability when you drafted Trent Richardson, right?  

C.J. Spiller has 11 runs of 20 yards or longer, second in the league behind only Peterson’s 18. Last week was first time since early October that Spiller did not have double-digit fantasy points in a game. Now that Fred Jackson is out, the off game isn’t going to happen again. Going forward, Spiller will “take almost all of the snaps until he gets tired.” Don’t put too much stock in the magical 20-carry figure being bandied about. As the always insightful @RumfordJohnny points out, Spiller has proven he can “make hobo chili out of table scraps.”

Perhaps David Wilson should fall asleep to highlights of Bo Jackson the night before every game. After doing so last week, Wilson exploded for a franchise-record 327 net yards while becoming the first player in NFL history with 200+ kickoff return yards and 100+ rushing yards as well as joining Maurice Jones-Drew as the only players since 1950 with two rushing scores and a kickoff return touchdown in the same game. With Ahmad Bradshaw out, Wilson is in store for a heavyearly-downworkload against a Falcons defense allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing backs. Wilson is the rare homerun threat who can also power his way between the tackles.

The Eagles apparently didn’t believe Brown could succeed between the tackles against the Bucs’ No. 1 run defense. Brown was directed outside on the majority of his Week 14 runs, only to be met by a wall of defenders. The rookie credits the Bucs’ stunts for shutting him down. The Bengals defense presents a prime opportunity for a bounce-back game. Cincinnati ranks 26th in Football Outsiders run defense DVOA and has allowed the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing backs. … BenJarvus Green-Ellis has averaged 109 rushing yards over the last four games after being held to 59.7 over the first nine. Only Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles have more yards over that span. The Lawfirm faces an Eagles defense that has allowed 100+ yards in nine consecutive games.

We’ve had Ryan Mathews ranked all week as if Ronnie Brown (doubtful, hamstring) would be out. The Chargers reportedly want Mathews “heavily involved” a week after handling a season-high 25 carries behind an injury-depleted offensive line at Pittsburgh. Mathews did a fine job of grinding for tough yardage last week even if the big plays weren’t there against a stout front seven. I have no reservations in recommending him as a high-end RB2 against a Panthers defense that has allowed 150+ rushing yards in three of the past four games.

The Jets’ newfound emphasis on the ground ‘n’ pound attack has produced a pair of top-20 fantasy backs over the past five weeks. Shonn Greene, who has more carries than Chris Johnson or Ray Rice this season, is a good bet for a heavy workload with Bilal Powell nursing a sore toe. It’s a fine matchup against a Titans defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing backs.

Frank Gore and Stevan Ridley both have tough matchups in the same game. They remain solid RB2 plays due to their consistency this season. … Workhorse Knowshon Moreno faces a Baltimore defense allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing backs. … Steven Jackson has been a top-10 fantasy back over the past five weeks. … Darren McFadden’s ankle is a non-issue this week.

Team Rotoworld is split on Chris Johnson’s prospects this week. Matchups guru Evan Silva likes Johnson’s speed against the Jets’ slow-motion front seven. I don’t like what I’ve seen from Johnson since his offensive linemen started dropping like flies three weeks ago. He’s been dancing at the line again, hesitant to hit what few open holes he does see. Johnson is just 31st in fantasy points over the past three weeks. As always, he’s the quintessential boom-or-bust fantasy back.

The Dolphins finally decided to line up Reggie Bush as a receiver last week against a stingy defense. Who knows if they will try it again versus the Jaguars? … Good luck guessing between Lions backs. Bell has been more productive of late while Leshoure has been indecisive. I can’t escape the feeling that the Lions will turn to Leshoure to kill the clock with a second-half lead. The Cardinals have allowed four 100-yard rushers in the past three weeks. … Vick Ballard is a good bet for 18-20 touches with Donald Brown and Delone Carter out.

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff is not only an excellent executive but also one of the most fascinating individuals in the NFL. That said, he may end up costing the Falcons a Super Bowl with his failure to cut the cord on an obviously washed-up Michael Turner, who can no longer move the chains, sustain a rushing attack, or consistently convert short-yardage attempts. … Alex Green has averaged 4.57 yards on his last 46 carries after being held to 2.88 yards per on his first 76 totes this season. The Packers may have found somethingspecial in change-of-pace back DuJuan Harris, but he’s unlikely to make a fantasy impact outside of playoffs leagues.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling

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