Patrick Daugherty


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Week 15 Rankings

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Week 15 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Todd Gurley vs. PHI -
2 Ezekiel Elliott at IND -
3 Saquon Barkley vs. TEN -
4 Joe Mixon vs. OAK -
5 Christian McCaffrey vs. NO -
6 Alvin Kamara at CAR -
7 Nick Chubb at DEN -
8 Leonard Fournette vs. WAS -
9 Phillip Lindsay vs. CLE -
10 Dalvin Cook vs. MIA -
11 Chris Carson at SF -
12 David Johnson at ATL -
13 Justin Jackson at KC -
14 Lamar Miller at NYJ Sidelined (ankle)
15 Aaron Jones at CHI -
16 Tarik Cohen vs. GB -
17 Jaylen Samuels vs. NE -
18 Sony Michel at PIT -
19 Damien Williams vs. LAC -
20 Tevin Coleman vs. ARZ -
21 Mark Ingram at CAR -
22 James White at PIT -
23 Derrick Henry at NYG -
24 Elijah McGuire vs. HOU -
25 Jordan Howard vs. GB -
26 Matt Breida vs. SEA -
27 Marlon Mack vs. DAL -
28 Josh Adams at LAR -
29 Doug Martin at CIN -
30 Kenneth Dixon vs. TB -
31 Gus Edwards vs. TB Questionable (ankle)
32 Kenyan Drake at MIN -
33 Adrian Peterson at JAC -
34 Dion Lewis at NYG -
35 Ito Smith vs. ARZ Questionable (knee)
36 Jalen Richard at CIN -
37 Frank Gore at MIN -
38 Jeff Wilson vs. SEA -
39 Peyton Barber at BAL -
40 Zach Zenner at BUF -
41 Marcus Murphy vs. DET -
42 Theo Riddick at BUF -
43 Stevan Ridley vs. NE -
44 Royce Freeman vs. CLE -
45 Nyheim Hines vs. DAL -
46 Darren Sproles at LAR -
47 LeGarrette Blount at BUF -
48 Mike Davis at SF -
49 Chris Thompson at JAC -
50 Giovani Bernard vs. OAK -
51 Latavius Murray vs. MIA -
52 Alfred Blue at NYJ -
53 T.J. Yeldon vs. WAS -
54 Rex Burkhead at PIT -
55 Darrel Williams vs. LAC -
56 Keith Ford vs. DET -
57 Detrez Newsome at KC -
58 Charcandrick West vs. LAC -

RB Notes: If you survived Todd Gurley’s Week 14 disaster to advance in the fantasy playoffs, he’s facing an Eagles defense permitting 4.89 yards per carry. Timmy Jernigan (back) is hurt again. … Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 172 yards from scrimmage during the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak. Although reasonably strong on the ground, the Colts have coughed up the second-most running back receptions (96). … Similar to Elliott, Saquon Barkley is averaging 159 total yards over his past four appearances. The Titans are stout on the ground, meaning it could be more of a quantity over quality week for the G-Men’s sensational rookie. … Christian McCaffrey had his 50/50 streak snapped at five, but he still totaled 101 yards and two scores in Cleveland. He will need receptions against the Saints, who are surrendering the league’s fewest weekly rushing yards (77.6). … Amazingly, Alvin Kamara has been the poor man’s McCaffrey. Thankfully for fantasy players, he is finding the end zone at the same rate. He has the better Week 15 matchup. The Saints have leaned on their run game on the road.

Nick Chubb is coming off touch totals of “just” 12 and 17. Game flow was to blame both times. The Browns got down too big, too early in Week 13 and flukily ran only 45 plays in Week 14. Chubb should get back on track against a soft Broncos run defense that appears poised to be without DT Derek Wolfe (concussion) on a short week. … Leonard Fournette was limited to 16 Week 14 touches as the Jags got boat raced by the Titans. That should not be a problem versus the Redskins. Washington’s once solid run D has withered thanks to injury and tough matchups. Fournette is another one. He will push for 25-30 handles. … Phillip Lindsay had his first true dud in Week 14. Thankfully, he had the decency to find the end zone. Allowing 4.70 yards per carry and the sixth-most running back fantasy points, the Browns are a prime bounce-back spot. With Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles’) done, the Broncos really need to lean on their ground attack. … Dalvin Cook had one of his better overall performances in Seattle. He is averaging 88 total yards over his past three games. He will look to get that number above 100 versus the Dolphins’ permissive run D.

A bit of a 2018 rollercoaster, Chris Carson posted 108 yards from scrimmage against the 49ers two weeks ago. With Carson healthy right now, that should be easily attainable in a contest where the 8-5 ‘Hawks are 5.5-point favorites. … Jeffrey Wilson posted 134 yards against the Seahawks in Week 13 before handling a whopping 24 touches in Week 14. His Week 15 will depend on Matt Breida’s health. If Breida sits, I’m probably going to move Wilson into the top 10 versus a run defense hemorrhaging 4.97 yards per carry. … David Johnson caught eight passes for 12 yards against the Packers. That’s hard to do. Eight will be his receptions over/under versus a Falcons defense that’s allowed a hard to fathom — and league worst — 97 running back catches. His supporting cast is just so bad that it’s hard to rank him in the top 12. … Austin Ekeler (concussion) is out against the Chiefs. Melvin Gordon (knee) is a game-time decision. If Gordon joins Ekeler on the sideline, Justin Jackson will push for 20-plus touches in an affair with a 53 over/under. If Gordon suits up, it will presumably be for something close to his normal role in a game the Chargers have to have to keep their AFC West hopes alive.

Joe Philbin restored Aaron Jones order in Week 14, giving his sophomore back 20 touches. That’s not an unrealistic expectation against the Bears, but they will be of low quality versus a defense that has conceded the fewest running back fantasy points. … Tarik Cohen has surpassed James White as fantasy’s most consistent third down back. There is still legitimate risk that comes with his potential reward. … Sony Michel has averaged more than four yards per carry just once in four games since returning from his knee injury. Provided James Develin’s vulturing is merely a two-week fad, Michel is still seeing more than enough work to return RB2 value. … Jaylen Samuels was a Week 14 dud on the ground but predictably compensated with 7/64 through the air. Even if Stevan Ridley operates as the Steelers’ goal-line back, Samuels is a safe RB2 against a Patriots defense in the bottom five in RB receptions allowed (81). … With Spencer Ware (shoulder, hamstring) out for Thursday night’s likely shootout, Damien Williams slides in as the Chiefs’ latest instant RB2. He’s a strong play against a defense whose ability to stop the run has been severely hampered by a wave of front seven injuries.     

Tevin Coleman has done nothing for two months. Hopefully he does against the Cardinals’ bottom-three run defense. The Cards have Ito Smith on the map as a desperation FLEX. … Yes, Derrick Henry is point chasey, though as the Lord points out, when the Giants give up touchdowns, it is usually on the ground. Henry is a last-gasp RB2 following last week’s eruption. … The Texans have a lockdown run defense, but the Jets won’t have much choice but to feed Elijah McGuire the ball. It’s better to chase volume than touchdowns. … Speaking of chasing touchdowns, Josh Adams won’t be the worst person to do it with. There will be drives to finish in a game with a 53.5-point over/under. … John Harbaugh has said Kenneth Dixon’s role will grow going forward. A more versatile back than Gus Edwards, Dixon gets a slight rankings advantage. … The Lions have stiffened against the run, but LeSean McCoy fill-in Chris Ivory offers legitimate FLEX appeal. If there’s one thing we know about the Bills, it’s that they will establish the run. … #NewCharacter alert. Zach Zenner has emerged to make the Lions’ backfield even less appealing. … Don’t assume Charcandrick West will be ahead of Darrel Williams on the depth chart.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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