Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 12 Rankings

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 12 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 David Johnson at ATL -
2 Le'Veon Bell at IND -
3 Ezekiel Elliott vs. WAS -
4 Jay Ajayi vs. SF -
5 Melvin Gordon at HOU -
6 DeMarco Murray at CHI -
7 Spencer Ware at DEN -
8 Thomas Rawls at TB -
9 Lamar Miller vs. SD Questionable (ankle)
10 Matt Forte vs. NE -
11 LeSean McCoy vs. JAC Questionable (thumb)
12 Rashad Jennings at CLE -
13 Doug Martin vs. SEA -
14 Devonta Freeman vs. ARZ -
15 Rob Kelley at DAL -
16 Frank Gore vs. PIT -
17 Jeremy Hill at BAL -
18 Todd Gurley at NO Questionable (illness)
19 LeGarrette Blount at NYJ -
20 Jordan Howard vs. TEN -
21 Carlos Hyde at MIA -
22 Devontae Booker vs. KC -
23 Jonathan Stewart at OAK -
24 Tim Hightower vs. LAR -
25 Latavius Murray vs. CAR Questionable (ankle)
26 James Starks at PHI -
27 Wendell Smallwood vs. GB -
28 Mark Ingram vs. LAR Questionable (concussion)
29 Tevin Coleman vs. ARZ -
30 Chris Ivory at BUF -
31 Darren Sproles vs. GB Questionable (ribs)
32 Theo Riddick vs. MIN Questionable (ankle)
33 Terrance West vs. CIN -
34 Kenneth Dixon vs. CIN -
35 Bilal Powell vs. NE -
36 Duke Johnson vs. NYG -
37 Jerick McKinnon at DET -
38 Isaiah Crowell vs. NYG -
39 James White at NYJ -
40 Paul Perkins at CLE -
41 Dion Lewis at NYJ -
42 Matt Asiata at DET -
43 Jeremy Langford vs. TEN -
44 T.J. Yeldon at BUF Questionable (ankle)
45 Dwayne Washington vs. MIN -
46 Ty Montgomery at PHI Questionable (illness)
47 Chris Thompson at DAL -
48 Kapri Bibbs vs. KC -
49 Jalen Richard vs. CAR -
50 Damien Williams vs. SF Questionable (illness)
51 Jonathan Williams vs. JAC -
52 Derrick Henry at CHI -
53 DeAndre Washington vs. CAR -
54 Alex Collins at TB -
55 Peyton Barber vs. SEA -
56 Akeem Hunt vs. SD -
57 DuJuan Harris at MIA -
58 Alfred Morris vs. WAS -
59 Fitzgerald Toussaint at IND -

RB Notes: David Johnson is third in rushing (863). Impressively, he’s 51st in receiving (501). Johnson has at least five receptions in each of his past four games. The Falcons have hemorrhaged a league-worst 79 running back receptions. … Le'Veon Bell is averaging 142 yards from scrimmage. The Colts are serving up 144 weekly yards from scrimmage to running backs. … Matchup-proof, Ezekiel Elliott dropped 97 yards on the Ravens’ No. 1 (by yards) run defense. The leaky Redskins have silver plattered the second most ground scores (13). … Jay Ajayi has “just” 156 rushing yards over his past two games. He could get that in the first half against San Francisco. Chip Kelly’s “defense” is allowing 180 ground yards per game. No defense allowed more than 135 weekly rushing yards in 2015 (also Chip Kelly, lol). … Melvin Gordon’s YPC (3.86) stubbornly remains below 4.0, but the Chargers’ lead back is averaging a stunning 167 yards from scrimmage over his past four games. Despite stiffening a bit in recent weeks, the Texans are still permitting the eighth most running back fantasy points. Gordon will get his.


DeMarco Murray’s production has faltered a bit as he’s battled through a toe injury. A Bears defense missing NT Eddie Goldman and ILB Jerrell Freeman should have the antidote. … With a struggling Alex Smith likely to get buzzsawed by the Broncos, the Chiefs will lean on Spencer Ware. Already one of the league’s most locked-in workhorses, Ware won’t have Charcandrick West (concussion) to steal away touches this week. Despite installing a no-fly zone in the air, the Broncos are quite permissive on the ground, conceding 124 yards per game. … Some fantasy owners faded Lamar Miller in Week 11. He responded with 24/104/1, one of his best games of the season. The centerpiece of the Texans’ offense, Miller has a juicy matchup in a Chargers defense coughing up the fifth most RB fantasy points. … With the Jets’ passing game in the gutter, it’s hard to see Matt Forte receiving fewer than 20 carries against a Pats run defense that’s been stung by injury, suspension and trade. … Devonta Freeman struggled during Tevin Coleman’s three-game absence, and is merely the QB16 by average points over the past five weeks. It’s difficult to envision his slump being busted against a Cardinals Run D allowing the fewest running back fantasy points.


Even though he’ll be playing with one thumb, all signs point toward LeSean McCoy remaining the engine of the Bills’ offense against the Jaguars. The Jags are leakier on the ground than through the air, and the Bills will be missing Robert Woods (knee) as they break in Sammy Watkins (foot). The potential cherry on top is Mike Gillislee’s (hamstring) health. For now, Gillislee seems likely to play. … Rashad Jennings is this week’s “just add water” top-15 option. With 238 yards on 44 touches over his past two games, Jennings will be doing battle with the Browns’ No. 31 run defense. RB1 numbers are quite possible in a game New York should control from start to finish. … The Seahawks are a forbidding matchup, but playing at home, Doug Martin should see at least 20 touches. Volume is king in fantasy football. Here’s hoping it includes a touchdown for the Muscle Hamster. … Rob Kelley has 67 carries over his past three appearances. Volume can be hard to come by against the Cowboys, but 15 is Kelley’s over/under in a game where he should see more than one goal-line opportunity.  


The Colts’ defense threatens to go off the rails with Scott Tolzien at quarterback, but it’s hard to envisage fewer than 15 touches for Frank Gore. A touchdown is likely against a Steelers defense surrendering the third most running back fantasy points. … Todd Gurley had a 24-yard touchdown run in Week 11 and then … nothing else. Gurley’s 19 other carries produced 52 scoreless yards. Gurley is a hope and a touchdown prayer at this point. … With Giovani Bernard (ACL) done for the season, Jeremy Hill is now the clear foundation of the Bengals’ offense. Big games should be in the offing … just not Sunday against the Ravens’ No. 1 run defense (3.39 YPC, 76 yards per game, four touchdowns). … For all their problems, the Jets have maintained an elite run defense. LeGarrette Blount is touchdown or bust this week. … With Matt Barkley under center, Jordan Howard will be the Bears’ primary means of moving the ball. His has immense upside, but scary downside on an afternoon where Chicago will have to claw for every first down. … Carlos Hyde has re-established order in the 49ers’ backfield. It’s usually empty, but his fantasy owners can keep counting on volume.


Wendell Smallwood will be a plug-and-play RB2 if Darren Sproles (rib) joins Ryan Mathews (MCL) on the inactive list, as is looking likely. … The Broncos tried to claim Ronnie Hillman off waivers. Coming off their bye, they probably aren’t completely satisfied with Devontae Booker. The rookie fourth-rounder maintains an obvious advantage over Kapri Bibbs, but struggling to put good runs on film, he has considerable downside. … Tim Hightower chewed up yards after Mark Ingram went down with a concussion last Thursday night. Coach Sean Payton should use it as his latest excuse to feature the 30-year-old back. … Latavius Murray has rushed for more than 60 yards once in eight games. … The Packers’ only legitimate running back, James Starks is no worse than 50-50 to vulture a goal-line score. … Tevin Coleman needs only 8-10 touches to produce RB2 numbers. … “Running back” Theo Riddick has notched more than 11 carries once all season. … Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon have just about merged into a 50-50 committee. I’d be lying if I said I knew how to forecast the situation. … I made the case for Duke Johnson over Isaiah Crowell Monday, but there’s been no indication coach Hue Jackson is considering such a move. … In the contest between James White and Dion Lewis, there could be no winners for the foreseeable future.         


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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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