With fantasy football playoffs kicking off in some formats in Week 14 you’re going to need these projections to make sure you’re maximizing every position on your roster.
Luckily for you, there are a couple of can’t-miss matchups for running backs this week. Some teams just can’t defend the run and are prone to giving up huge days to opposing backs. That’s especially true as the weather gets colder and teams tighten up their game plans.
If you’ve got these guys on your roster, make sure they’re in the starting lineup before Sunday. And if you’re lucky enough to have them, sit back and enjoy the point explosion.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
The Cleveland Browns have shored up their rush defense in recent weeks, but the holes aren’t gone completely. Still, three straight teams have been held under 100 yards on the ground. Part of that may be due to the return of both Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor, the team’s starting defensive tackles. Taylor missed the first eight weeks while on the PUP list and Rubin recently returned from a calf injury that lingered for weeks.
The struggles of the unit can’t be denied, though, and much of the success has come as a result of the competition. Dallas was playing without DeMarco Murray, Pittsburgh without Ben Roethlisberger and Oakland without Darren McFadden during the last three impressive performances by the Browns’ defense.
Before the team’s Week 10 bye week, though, is a much, much different story. Teams were running the ball at ease and racking up the yards in the process. Charles is the type of runner that gives their defense fits. His speed and ability to cut back exposes the aggressiveness of its front and inability to react and pursue downfield.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
Richardson has been the lone stable fantasy asset on the Cleveland Browns this season. If you have to play someone from Cleveland, it has to be the No. 3-overall pick. He’s the fifth-best scoring running back in the league due to his steady production through both the passing and rushing games of the Browns.
This week, he is facing a Kansas City Chiefs defense that has been annihilated by the run at times this season. Fellow rookie Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount combined for 140 yards and one touchdown (25 points) against them in Week 6. In fact, KC has allowed double digit scores to running backs in all but three games and more than 20 points four times this season.
If ever there were a week for Richardson to have his signature break-out rookie performance, it would be Week 14 at home against the Chiefs.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
Bradshaw is coming off of one of his best games in weeks on the ground, although he didn’t get into the end zone. The fantasy potential for the Giants back against the worst-ranked rush defense in the NFL is limitless.
The Saints are allowing 154 yards per game on the ground and 21.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. That’s thanks to only holding rushers below 100 yards three times this season and also surrendering over 200 yards twice. Twice a running back has gone over 30 points and five more times over 20 points.
Bradshaw is the unquestioned go-to guy now in New York with Andre Brown out for the season. He will get the looks and the opportunity to be the top-performing rusher in Week 14.