At the start of the Fantasy Football season, who would’ve thought that Thomas Rawls, DeAngelo Williams, David Johnson and Shaun Draughn would be Top 15 RBs in the Week 14 running back rankings? Admittedly, I did not predict such a scenario, but here we are.
Now, your misfit RB from weeks or months ago is possibly a reliable play! Rawls, Williams and Johnson were second-string RBs until injuries rattled their superiors. Draughn didn’t have a job five weeks ago, until the San Francisco 49ers needed something to put in their backfield once Carlos Hyde’s foot injury never ceased, Reggie Bush tore his MCL and Mike Davis broke his hand.
Fortunately, Week 13 didn’t deliver a bevy of injuries to RBs. The Denver Broncos’ C.J. Anderson could miss Week 14, opening the door for Ronnie Hillman to have a big game. Juwan Thompson could take some carries away from Hillman, but Hillman is sure to be the lead back regardless.
LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills got cleared of a concussion on Sunday and mid-week reports indicated he won’t miss this week. After all, he’s the No. 1 player in the Week 14 running back rankings. For more Fantasy Football preparation tools, check out the Game Previews and the Injury Report.
So, given the lack of injuries this week, the running back rankings reaction keeps it simple seeing as most Fantasy owners are in win-now mode for the playoffs. Running backs with recent standout performances and favorable matchups end up on the “Like” list. Meanwhile, ugly performances and stingy defense matchups land RBs on the “Dislike” list. Take a look!
Week 14 Running Back Rankings Reaction
Who I Like
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He’s the top-tier RB who has the best matchup against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. He’s in the tier of must-start RBs for Week 14: LeSean McCoy, Jonathan Stewart, Adrian Peterson and a few more listed atop the running back rankings. The Saints have allowed the second-most rushing yards (1,456) and second-most receiving yards (715) to RBs in 2015. Expect Martin and stud-RB peers to perform at their levels.
Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers
This Sunday the 49ers go to Cleveland to play the Browns, a defense that’s allowed the most rushing yards (1,543) and second-most rushing attempts (322) to RBs. Draughn is a nice FLEX play in PPR leagues. He’s had at least four receptions in his four games with the 49ers, and as many as 11 targets from QB Blaine Gabbert. Draughn’s totaled at least 77 yards of total offense in each of those games, too. At 12th in this week’s running back rankings, Draughn has low-end RB1 upside and a mid-tier RB2 floor.
Shaun Draughn put up 18-plus touches, 80-plus yards & four-plus receptions for 4th consecutive game. Has earned backup role for 2016.
— Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) December 6, 2015
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
If the Jaguars keep giving Yeldon the rock inside the 10 yard line like they did in Week 13, his next three games could be monstrous against weak run defenses (vs. Indianapolis, vs. Atlanta, at New Orleans). Of Yeldon’s four carries in the red zone last week, three were inside the 10. He’s had at least 82 total yards in his three games, and at least three receptions every game since Week 9. He’s a reliable RB2 with more upside against his next three opponents depending on his red zone workload.
Who I Don’t Like
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
In Week 13, the Dolphins relied on Miller, who ran 20 times for 113 yards. However, it was the third straight game that Miller had zero touches inside the red zone. The Dolphins have used Miller frustratingly. Even if he does get more than 20 touches and 150 yards of total offense against the weak New York Giants’ run defense, his misuse in the red zone limits his upside that would make him a top-tier RB. Still, he earned the 11th ranking among running backs, eighth in PPR formats.
Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs
Although West is back from his hamstring injury, the Chiefs are deploying chance-of-pace-back Spencer Ware in goal line opportunities. That’s not to say West cannot get a score in Week 14, but it hurts his chances. Ware’s had five, two and three rushing attempts in the red zone in his last three games, and three TDs to show for it.
— Chris Fickett (@ChrisFickett) December 3, 2015
Before his hamstring injury, West was playing 80 to 88 percent of snaps, a numbers that’s fallen between 60 and 66 percent in the last two games. West is no longer an RB1 because of the split time with Ware. Still, West is the 16th ranked RB. The Chiefs do face a San Diego Chargers team that’s allowed RBs to score 22.9 Fantasy points per game. Handcuffed together, I love West and Ware, but not on their own.
Eddie Lacy and James Starks, Green Bay Packers
For weeks, the Packers’ backfield situation oscillated. Lacy was hot. Then Starks was the lead back. Then it was Lacy again. No matter the case anymore, these two guys are hard to trust in the 2015 Fantasy Football playoffs. In terms of touches, Starks will get a consistent 40 percent of snaps or higher.
Lacy could earn that snap total too, but he’s also had four games with fewer than 40 percent of snaps, including three games below 30 percent of snaps. At 29th and 32nd in the running back rankings, Lacy and Starks, respectively, both come with high ceilings and dangerously low floors.
Not only is that a wrap on the Week 14 running back rankings reaction, but it’s a season wrap on the running back rankings reports. With that said, don’t forget you can reach us on Twitter or by using the comments section below. We’re still here to help you!
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