Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 15 Rankings

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 15 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Jamaal Charles at OAK -
2 LeSean McCoy at MIN -
3 DeMarco Murray vs. GB -
4 Matt Forte at CLE -
5 Marshawn Lynch at NYG Probable (shoulder)
6 Knowshon Moreno vs. SD Probable (shoulder)
7 Eddie Lacy at DAL Probable (ankle)
8 Alfred Morris at ATL -
9 Shane Vereen at MIA Probable (wrist)
10 Andre Brown vs. SEA -
11 Le'Veon Bell vs. CIN -
12 Steven Jackson vs. WAS -
13 Zac Stacy vs. NO -
14 Frank Gore at TB Probable (ankle)
15 Ryan Mathews at DEN -
16 Reggie Bush vs. BAL Questionable (calf)
17 Giovani Bernard at PIT -
18 Rashad Jennings vs. KC Probable (concussion)
19 Bobby Rainey vs. SF -
20 Chris Johnson vs. ARZ -
21 Ben Tate at IND Probable (ribs)
22 C.J. Spiller at JAC Probable (ankle)
23 Rashard Mendenhall at TEN -
24 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at PIT Probable (illness)
25 Montee Ball vs. SD -
26 Fred Jackson at JAC -
27 Ray Rice at DET -
28 Chris Ogbonnaya vs. CHI -
29 Danny Woodhead at DEN -
30 Pierre Thomas at STL -
31 Andre Ellington at TEN Probable (knee)
32 Jordan Todman vs. BUF Probable (shoulder)
33 Donald Brown vs. HOU -
34 DeAngelo Williams vs. NYJ -
35 Chris Ivory at CAR -
36 Darren Sproles at STL -
37 Joique Bell vs. BAL -
38 Matt Asiata vs. PHI -
39 Trent Richardson vs. HOU -
40 LeGarrette Blount at MIA -
41 Lamar Miller vs. NE -
42 Daniel Thomas vs. NE -
43 Stevan Ridley at MIA -
44 Fozzy Whittaker vs. CHI -
45 Marcel Reece vs. KC -
46 Mike Tolbert vs. NYJ -
47 Shonn Greene vs. ARZ -
48 Bilal Powell at CAR -
49 Roy Helu at ATL -
50 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. WAS Probable (ankle)
51 Bernard Pierce at DET -
52 Robert Turbin at NYG -
53 Mark Ingram at STL -
54 Bryce Brown at MIN -
55 Peyton Hillis vs. SEA -
56 Dennis Johnson at IND -
57 Michael Bush at CLE -
58 Brian Leonard vs. SF -
59 James Starks at DAL -
60 Kendall Hunter at TB -
61 Joseph Randle vs. GB -
62 Benny Cunningham vs. NO -
63 Edwin Baker vs. CHI -
64 Denard Robinson vs. BUF -
65 Joe Banyard vs. PHI -
66 Stepfan Taylor at TEN -
67 Ronnie Brown at DEN -
68 Jonathan Dwyer vs. CIN -
69 Bruce Miller at TB -

RB Notes: Adrian Peterson (foot) appears very unlikely to suit up for Week 15. That would leave Toby Gerhart as a potential RB2/FLEX, except he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. Matt Asiata, a third-year undrafted free agent with three career carries, is the next man up. At best, Asiata would be a hail mary FLEX option if Gerhart couldn’t go. … Remember Jamaal Charles’ mid-season lull? Neither does he. Charles has 436 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns over his past three games. … Having reclaimed the league’s rushing lead with his 217-yard demolition of Detroit in the snow, LeSean McCoy will not be slowed down by a Vikings defense allowing the seventh most fantasy points to running backs. … Playing the best football of his career, Matt Forte is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 123 total yards per game. His 65 catches are tied with Danny Woodhead for the league lead amongst running backs. Even against the Browns’ stingy run defense, Forte has the versatility to keep his top-five act going.     

The only Cowboy playing well of late, DeMarco Murray’s league-leading 5.3 yards per carry should play well against a Packers’ run defense coughing up 4.4 yards per tote. … Even as Montee Ball’s role has grown, Knowshon Moreno has averaged 19.5 touches over his past two games. The Broncos may start resting their starters in Week 16, but Moreno is locked into at least one more monster workload. … Zac Stacy has been erased in back-to-back tough road matchups, but is returning home to a date with New Orleans’ leaky run defense (4.7 yards per carry). A big workload will be predicated on the Rams keeping things close, but the time should be right for Stacy to bounce back from a quiet two weeks. … Eddie Lacy (ankle) is a player with potential to tumble down the ranks. The “earliest” he’ll practice is Friday, while it looks like the Pack will be without Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) for another week. Lacy has largely struggled as the focal point for opposing defenses, averaging just 58.2 rushing yards per game and 3.13 yards per carry.    

Receptions are a risky recipe for RB1/2 value, but Shane Vereen is getting so. damn. many. of. them. Both Vereen’s 12 catches and 153 receiving yards in Week 14 were new single-game highs for a running back this season, as well as new Patriots’ franchise records. Vereen’s path to high-end fantasy value is unconventional, but only the destination — an average 13.0 points the past three weeks — matters. … Will Robert Griffin III’s deactivation help or hurt Alfred Morris? There’s no easy answer, but at the very least, things figure to be less chaotic for the Redskins in what should be a majorly stripped-down gameplan. Then there’s the matter of Morris’ opponent, a Falcons team that’s been an absolute doormat for opposing runners. Morris is a solid bet to shake his slump. … Averaging 23 touches per game, Andre Brown’s massive weekly workloads keep him in the RB1 conversation, even against Seattle’s stout defense. … We still haven’t seen vintage Steven Jackson in Atlanta, but he’s looked far more like himself over the past three weeks, averaging 73 yards per game and 4.03 yards per carry while scoring three touchdowns. S-Jax a strong bet to find the end zone against a Washington defense that’s allowed the most rushing scores in the league (19).   

Reggie Bush (calf) expects to suit up for Monday night’s game against the Ravens, but owners need to proceed with caution after Bush was a last-minute no go against the Eagles. That being said, Bush cannot be benched at Ford Field. Owners should have a firm grasp on his status by Sunday morning. … Playing his best football in two years, Ryan Mathews will be going for his second straight 100-yard rushing performance against the Broncos on Thursday, and fifth of the season. With a recently-increased role in the passing game, Mathews’ downside is not what it was earlier in the year. … Rashad Jennings (concussion) is returning to a 4.7 YPC, but will be doing so against a defense that’s much stouter against the run than its 4.5 YPC against would indicate. Kansas City is 16th in rushing yards against, and has allowed the sixth fewest scores on the ground (six). The Raiders will have to keep things close for Jennings to have another big day. … Bobby Rainey boomed for the second time in four games in Week 14, but will have a hard time making it three out of five against San Francisco’s elite defense. … Chris Johnson and C.J. Spiller are either going to homer or strike out looking. For CJ2K, the matchup is prohibitive in Arizona. For Spiller, it’s inviting in Jacksonville. Be prepared for anything.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has more RB2 appeal than usual because he’s been playing well of late (202 yards, three touchdowns over his past three games), and getting a Steelers defense that’s allowed the fifth most scores on the ground (14). … Montee Ball is a cinch top-30 play, it’s just a matter of whether or not he’ll score a touchdown. He’s a preferable option to the chaos in Minnesota, Jacksonville and Cleveland’s backfields, to name a few. … With Willis McGahee (concussion) looking unlikely to play, Chris Ogbonnaya is in line to lead the Browns’ backfield in touches against the Bears’ league-worst defense. Even with the plum matchup, Ogbonnaya is an exceedingly-desperate FLEX option. … If Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) sits — which is appearing likely — Jordan Todman will be a low-ceiling RB2/3. … Stevan Ridley still can’t be trusted. You think the Pats are going to use him near the goal line? … Whatever FLEX appeal DeAngelo Williams earned with Jonathan Stewart’s (knee) injury is largely erased by the fact that he’s facing the Jets’ league-leading run defense. … The Dolphins’ backfield is back in all out “who even knows” mode. Lamar Miller’s time as an RB2 is already through. … Chris Ivory can’t be trusted against the Panthers’ run-erasing defense.   

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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