Fantasy Football Rankings Week 14: Best Running Backs to Start in Playoffs

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IDecember 5, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 23: Running back DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks free for a 91-yard touchdown run against the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Ah, the fantasy playoffs. A time when the money that each owner put in the pot at the beginning of the year seems to be just out of grasp. Or maybe a time when some teams are striving to avoid every league's equivalent of the "Toilet Bowl."

I hope that everyone reading this article is on the former side of this conversation.

Without further ado, here are the top 20 running backs for this week followed by an in-depth look at the three best running backs to start in Week 14 of the fantasy season.

Best Running Backs of Week 14
1DeMarco MurrayDAL@ CHI
2Matt ForteCHIDAL
3Jamaal CharlesKC@ WAS
4Eddie LacyGBATL
5Adrian PetersonMIN@ BAL
6Marshawn LynchSEA@ SEA
7Ben Tate (Whoops)HOU@ JAX
8Knowshon MorenoDENTEN
10Andre BrownNYG@ SD
11Le'Veon BellPITMIA
12Reggie BushDET@ PHI
13Ray RiceBALMIN
14Alfred MorrisWASKC
15Frank GoreSFSEA
16Maurice Jones-DrewJAXHOU
17Giovani BernardCININD
18C.J. SpillerBUF@ TAM
19Zac StacySTL@ ARI
20Chris JohnsonTEN@ DEN

Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (24) during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

Murray has been a consistent back over the last three games and seems to be hitting his stride at the end of the year. After a 28-point game against the Oakland Raiders last week, he faces a disastrous Chicago Bears rush defense that is allowing 153.6 yards per game and 15 touchdowns on the season, which rank 32nd and 29th in the league, respectively.

After he had a three-touchdown performance against the Raiders, it's unreasonable to expect a similar performance. But against the Bears rush defense, every running back looks like Emmitt Smith.

Nov 4, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) rushes with the football as Green Bay Packers safety M.D. Jennings (43) lines up the tackle during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Chicago won 27-20.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff H
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Another spot down, another dependable back down. Forte has failed to amass double-digit points just twice this season, with one being due to a fumble. This week, he is on the other side of DeMarco Murray against an equally awful rushing defense in Dallas.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune points out that Forte is nearing a career high in rushing yards for the season:

The Cowboys have given up more yards per game (126.7) than Forte averages per game (118) and have allowed 13 touchdowns this season through 12 games. Look for the Bears running back to roll for another 20-plus-point week.

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 24:  Running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes up field against the San Diego Chargers during the second half on November 24, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  San Diego won 41-38. (Phot
Peter Aiken/Getty Images


Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

The best fantasy running back this season by the numbers, Charles has averaged more than 120 yards and nearly one touchdown per game. 

This week, he faces the Washington Redskins defense, which ranks 14th in the league with 108.8 yards allowed per game. But Charles will likely exploit the Redskins in the red zone, as they have allowed a league-high 17 touchdowns on the ground this season.

Look for yet another double-digit game from Charles and maybe more than 20 points if he can touch paydirt multiple times for the Chiefs.