Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 16 Rankings

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week 16 Running Backs

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

RB Notes: LeSean McCoy has 122 more rushing yards than anyone else. The Bears have allowed 279 more rushing yards than anyone else. Get excited. … Jamaal Charles has 58.6 more fantasy points than any other running back. … The matchup isn’t the greatest for Adrian Peterson, but here’s where we apply the Rodgers Logic: If Adrian Peterson plays for the Vikings, he plays for your fantasy team. The Vikes have insisted Peterson’s foot injury isn’t an issue, and he wouldn’t be playing if it was. … Riding a wave of strong matchups, DeMarco Murray has averaged 6.4 yards per carry over his past four games, bringing his season average to a crisp 5.5. Murray’s past 36 rushes have gone for 280 yards (7.7 YPC). The Redskins, who are allowing the third most fantasy points to running backs, aren’t going to slow him down. … Riding a wave similar to Murray’s, Matt Forte will be squaring off with an Eagles run defense that’s more formidable than it’s given credit for (3.8 yards per carry, 111 yards per game). That being said, owners should know by now that Forte’s all-purpose game is matchup proof. Only LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles have more yards from scrimmage, while Forte’s 66 catches are tied for second amongst running backs.  

Eddie Lacy ate against the Cowboys’ inept run defense, but will find things tougher going against the Steelers if Aaron Rodgers isn’t there to invite soft fronts. Either way, Lacy’s monster workloads keep his floor high, and while the Steelers aren’t a doormat against the run, they aren’t exactly stout. Lacy is a legit RB1 for the fantasy finals. … Le’Veon Bell’s yards per carry (3.3) leaves much to be desired, but his usage does not. Bell has rushed the ball fewer than 15 times only once all season, and is averaging four catches. He’s a low-risk option that gives owners guaranteed points in an unpredictable game. … Averaging just 3.16 yards per carry over his past four games, Marshawn Lynch will do battle with a Cardinals defense with the second lowest YPC against (3.6). Lynch’s workload keeps him locked in as an RB1 in what will likely be a hard-fought game, but he should get a rest come Week 17. … Reggie Bush rushed 17 times for 86 yards and a touchdown in proving his calf was no longer an issue in Monday’s loss. He’s not even on the Week 16 injury report. Averaging 5.0 yards per carry and 137.6 yards from scrimmage at home, there’s no reason to worry about Bush for the fantasy finals.

Alfred Morris has proven to be a source of frustration for fantasy owners, but how do you bench a guy averaging 4.8 yards every time he rushes the ball against a defense serving up 4.9 yards per carry? You don’t. … This time last year, Ryan Mathews had crushed more dreams than William Shatner at a “Star Trek” convention. This season, he’s tied with LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson for the most 100-yard games (five), and is leading the league in rush attempts over the past five weeks (105). Old ghosts are hard to kill — and could always haunt again — but Mathews cannot be benched for the fantasy finals. … Rashad Jennings’ hostile takeover of the Raiders’ backfield has included five touchdowns in his past four games. He’ll be in position to score against a Chargers defense allowing 4.7 yards per carry. … Owners have to shake off Shane Vereen’s Week 15 dud. He means too much to the Patriots’ offense to post back-to-back clunkers. … Ray Rice is averaging 4.2 yards per carry and 87 yards from scrimmage over his past two games. That’s something, right? Right? … Rice should be good for at least FLEX production against a Pats defense allowing a weekly 147 yards from scrimmage to enemy running backs.

To trust Jordan Todman or not to trust Jordan Todman, that is the question. The answer is probably yes. Todman entered Week 15 with 193 yards from scrimmage. He exited it with more yards rushing (109) and YFS (153) than Maurice Jones-Drew had managed in a game all season. Guaranteed a huge workload for a team that has little interest in passing the ball, Todman should have success against a Titans club allowing the second most fantasy points to running backs. Todman is an ideal FLEX option who can produce like an RB2 if you enter the ‘ship low on runners. … Steven Jackson has five touchdowns over his past four games, but is still averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. He’s a tough sell against a 49ers defense that’s allowed only four rushing scores all year. … DeAngelo Williams had the best game by any Panthers runner this season in last week’s win, rushing 15 times for 81 yards while adding three grabs for an additional 87 yards and a touchdown. Now he gets a Saints defense allowing 4.6 yards per carry. Even with Mike Tolbert vulturing goal-line work, D-Will is a strong FLEX option.

Andre Brown got erased by the Seahawks last weekend, and things aren’t going to go much better against the Lions’ No. 4 run defense. Only Brown’s likely workload is keeping him on the RB2 fringe. … Want to walk on the wild side for the fantasy finals? Plug C.J. Spiller in against a Dolphins’ run defense allowing the 10th most points to rival runners. … Want to really walk on the wild side? Start Dennis Johnson in a game that could be a blowout. Be that as it may, the Broncos are allowing the ninth most fantasy points to running backs, while the Texans will likely keep feeding Johnson the rock even if things get out of hand early. Evaluation, not winning, is the priority in Houston for Weeks 16 and 17. … What’s the point in “trusting” Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas. … Stevan Ridley: Still unlikely to be used near the goal-line. … Donald Brown is going to play through his stinger, but with 130 total yards over his past four games, he isn’t much of a FLEX option. … Willis McGahee will probably “start” for Cleveland, but look for him to split carries with Edwin Baker. Avoid.

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

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