Week 15 Fantasy Rankings: Top 50 RBs Have Some Great Matchups for Your Playoffs
Figuring out who the best running back plays are from week to week is a little easier than doing so for wide receivers, but by no means is it simple. With some of the league's top players injured and a few playoff implications to consider, Week 15 is certainly no walk in the park.
That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give the reader a gauge of what to expect from his or her players on any given Sunday.
With that, here are the weekend's top -50 running backs, along with some detailed analysis on the five best plays for the week:
50. Maurice Morris (@ Oak)
49. Jackie Battle (vs. GB)
48. Keiland Williams (@ Oak)
47. Toby Gerhart (vs. NO)
46. Montario Hardesty (@ Ari)
45. Marcel Reece (vs. Det)
44. Danny Woodhead (@ Den)
43. Jacquizz Rodgers (vs. Jax – Thursday Night)
If you could only start one RB for the entire fantasy playoffs, who would it be?
42. Kendall Hunter (vs. Pit – Monday Night)
41. Kahlil Bell (vs. Sea)
40. LaDainian Tomlinson (@ Phi)
39. BenJarvus Green–Ellis (@ Den)
38. John Kuhn (@ KC)
37. Mike Tolbert (vs. Bal – Sunday Night)
36. Daniel Thomas (@ Buf)
35. Pierre Thomas (@ Min)
34. DeAngelo Williams (@ Hou)
33. Rashard Mendenhall (@ SF – Monday Night)
32. Peyton Hillis (@ Ari)
31. Chris Ivory (@ Min)
30. Jonathan Stewart (@ Hou)
29. Frank Gore (vs. Pit – Monday Night)
28. Ryan Grant (@ KC)
27. Donald Brown (vs. Ten)
26. Brandon Jacobs (vs. Was)
25. Marion Barber (vs. Sea)
24. Ben Tate (vs. Car)
23. C.J. Spiller (vs. Mia)
22. Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. Was)
21. Ryan Mathews (vs. Bal – Sunday Night)
20. Darren Sproles (@ Min)
19. LeGarrette Blount (vs. Dal – Saturday Night)
18. Steven Jackson (vs. Cin)
17. Willis McGahee (vs. NE)
16. Kevin Smith (@ Oak)
15. Michael Turner (vs. Jax – Thursday Night)
14. Shonn Greene (@ Phi)
13. Marshawn Lynch (@ Chi)
12. Cedric Benson (@ StL)
11. Felix Jones (@ TB – Saturday Night)
10. Roy Helu (@ NYG)
9. Reggie Bush (@ Buf)
8. Chris Johnson (@ Ind)
7. Beanie Wells (vs. Cle)
6. Michael Bush (vs. Det)
THE TOP FIVE
5. LeSean McCoy (vs. NYJ)
The Jets rush D has been up and down this season, but dynamic, speedy backs like McCoy can usually get the job done against them.
To be honest, with the way he’s been putting the ball in the end zone this year, I don’t think it matters too much what team McCoy faces at this point—the guy simply gets the job done.
Last week against a Miami defense that had allowed only two TDs to opposing RBs on the season, McCoy decided to double that number and rush in two more of his own.
Granted, the Dolphins pretty much stuffed him for the rest of the game, but I can’t see the Jets doing the same seeing as how they’ve allowed six different guys to put up more than 100 total yards against them this season.
4. Adrian Peterson (vs. NO) – PROBABLE TO PLAY
Putting Peterson this high up in the rankings after missing the last three games with an ankle injury may be a bit risky, but it’s also warranted.
First of all, the Vikings will be at home where AP28 absolutely loves to play. In fact, in five home games this season (actually four; Peterson left after one quarter in Week 11), not only has Peterson averaged more than 100 rushing yards a game with three 100-yard games, but he’s also accumulated eight TDs on the ground.
Secondly, the Saints have allowed opposing RBs to rush for more than five yards a carry and let guys like DeAngelo Williams and Earnest Graham each go for more than 100 yards on them.
Basically, even if he’s only 85 percent right now, Purple Jesus is still a good bet to roll on Sunday.
3. Maurice Jones–Drew (@ Atl – Thursday Night)
The Wrecking Ball still leads the league in both carries and yards at this point, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the slightest.
In fact, MJD’s two biggest fantasy days have come in the last two weeks, accumulating a combined 182 rushing yards, 12 catches, 142 receiving yards and five touchdowns!
Granted, Atlanta has one of the tougher defenses in the league to run on, but seeing that Jones-Drew ran for a combined 300 yards against Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Houston, there’s no reason to believe he can’t do it against the Falcons.
Since it looks like the Jaguars aren’t going stop riding him until the final snap of the season, neither should you.
2. Ray Rice (@ SD – Sunday Night)
In Week 10, Ravens coach John Harbaugh made a monumental mistake by giving Ray Rice just five carries in a 22-17 loss to the Seahawks. Since then, Rice has gone four straight games with 20 or more rushing attempts in which he put up three 100-yard games and four rushing TDs.
Oh, and the Ravens also won each of those four games.
Basically, more than a month later, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Mr. Harbaugh understands that in order for his team to win, he has to get the ball in the little guy’s hands.
In a tough road game against a hot San Diego team, Rice will be needed more than ever and should end up with around 25 touches—which should be enough to get him 150-plus total yards. Two weeks ago, MJD put up 188 total yards and a touchdown with 26 touches.
I expect about the same out of Rice with that sort of play.
1. Arian Foster (vs. Car)
Ever since T.J. Yates took over at quarterback for the Texans, Foster has had a tough time finding holes to run through with opposing defenses stacking up against the rush.
However, that won’t be the case this Sunday against the Panthers.
Not only will he be playing at home where he has put up 10 100-yard games and 13 rushing touchdowns in his last 13 games, but the Carolina defense also allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season.
Carolina might also lay off the line a bit now after seeing Yates throw for 300 yards and two TDs against the Bengals last weekend. It seems everything is in line for Foster to have one of those huge fantasy games of his.
Click here to see the Rankings for QBs, WRs and TEs
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