Week 11 Rankings (2015): Top 40 Running Backs

by Ray Kuhn

We know all about the injuries that fantasy owners have been forced to deal. Along with those, for the past seven weeks we have had to manage bye weeks further complicating the picture. While that ends with Week 11, the injuries will not be going away anytime soon.

Owners will likely not miss miss the options from the Browns and Giants, but Mark Ingram and D’Angelo Williams will leave holes in fantasy lineups. As we continue to push towards the playoffs, let’s take a look at how those who are playing rank for this week:

  1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  2. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Indianapolis
  3. Charcandrick West – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Diego
  4. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
  5. Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams – at Baltimore
  6. Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins – vs. Dallas
  7. DeMarco Murray – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Tampa Bay
  8. Chris Ivory – New York Jets – at Houston
  9. Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders – at Detroit
  10. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills – at New England
  11. LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots – vs. Buffalo
  12. Jeremy Langford – Chicago Bears – vs. Denver
  13. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. Washington
  14. Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts – at Atlanta
  15. Justin Forsett – Baltimore Ravens – vs. St. Louis
  16. Darren McFadden – Dallas Cowboys – at Miami
  17. Chris Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Cincinnati
  18. Danny Woodhead – San Diego Chargers – vs. Kansas City
  19. Giovanni Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – at Arizona
  20. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Philadelphia
  21. T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
  22. Matt Jones – Washington Redskins – at Carolina
  23. Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals – at Arizona
  24. Ronnie Hillman – Denver Broncos – at Chicago
  25. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
  26. Melvin Gordon – San Diego – vs. Kansas City
  27. Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
  28. Joique Bell – Detroit Lions – vs. Oakland
  29. Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Tampa Bay
  30. Antonio Andrews – Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville
  31. Alfred Blue – Houston Texans – vs. New York Jets
  32. Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Cincinnati
  33. Charles Sims – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Philadelphia
  34. James White – New England Patriots – vs. Buffalo
  35. Karlos Williams – Buffalo Bills – at New England
  36. Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – at Carolina
  37. C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos – at Chicago
  38. Kyle Juszczyk – Baltimore Ravens – vs. St. Louis
  39. Denard Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
  40. Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins – vs. Dallas

Notes:

  • Since returning and getting into a groove, Todd Gurley has been a flat out beast. The rookie running back has been money in the bank for the Rams and is certainly proving worthy of the 10th overall pick. However, Sunday wasn’t his day as he struggled to find much room to run against the Bears. He gained 45 yards on the ground on 12 carries and caught three passes for another 44 yards, but the fact that he found the end zone helped salvage some of his value. The Rams simply could not move the ball on offense, and they were trailing the entire game which took Gurley out of the game plan. With the quarterback switch away from Nick Foles, perhaps the Rams offense will get some sort of spark; although I wouldn’t bank on much. What I would expect is for Gurley to once again play a large part in the Rams’ offense.
  • Coming of the 49ers’ bye week, it is possible that Carlos Hyde returns. At this point in the week his status is in question, but I have Hyde ranked as if he will take the field. Prior to getting hurt he was averaging 4.7 yards per carry and scored 3 TD. The 49ers are facing the Seahawks, who are not the same team they once were. Earlier in the season he carried the ball 11 times against Seattle for 40 yards. Should Hyde not take the field, then Shaun Draughn would get the call and should be ranked a few spots below where Hyde currently sits. Two weeks ago when the 49ers were pretty much out of options, Draughn had some success gaining 58 yards on 15 carries and catching four passes for another 38 yards.
  • The way LeSean McCoy ran last week, you really have to wonder why the Eagles traded him. He looked healthy, was shifty, showed a great burst and was able to find holes without issue. He gained 112 yards on 19 carries while catching five passes for another 47 yards, with the only thing missing being a touchdown. There is no reason not to consider McCoy an RB1 for this week, but you would like to see him have a better match-up than the Patriots and their number two ranked run defense.
  • Will this be the week that David Cobb returns? He was activated off the short term IR list last week, but he was inactive as there were still some concerns about his calf and conditioning. While the value is there, and he should be owned in just about all leagues, I wouldn’t rush to get him in your lineup . The Titans have yet to generate much of a run game, and even though Antonio Andrews is in control of playing time iit hasn’t translated to much in the way of performance. So far this season Andrews has just 298 yards on 84 carries with two touchdowns. While Cobb is more talented, you have to give at least a week or two.
  • At this point it is safe to presume that there are some questions to be asked about Green Bay’s offense. One of the biggest disappointments has been Eddie Lacy, who sat out last week with a groin injury. He did practice, but ultimately the Packers decided to give him a rest, as James Starks gained just 42 yards on 15 carries. While he has been nursing some injuries this season, Lacy hasn’t found much success on the ground even while healthy as he is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry with 2 TD. If Lacy is in the lineup you have to start him, but I’m staying away in DFS.
  • With Matt Forte’s impending free agency and Jeremy Langford’s success, I would expect the veteran to stay sidelined another week. After gaining 142 yards in his starting debut last week, Langford picked up 73 yards on the ground and a TD while catching seven passes for 109 yards and another TD this week. This is the one situation where I would not rank the running backs differently depending on which one takes the field.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 11 Rankings (2015): Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 11 Rankings (2015): Top 25 Quarterbacks

28 comments

  1. JayRizzle says:

    Prof,

    With LeSean McCoy looking healthy and running well, tell me your end of season feelings on Karlos Williams?

    Plus, what’s your 1,2 & 3 on these guys remainder of season: Romo, TyRod and Cutler?

    Thanks!

  2. Haggy says:

    Ajayi or cobb to stash a RB.

  3. SMOKE says:

    Got a trade proposal to receive Johnathan Stewart for Matt Forte. Stewart is averaging less but Forte’s still healing. Is there an advantage for either, in the upcoming week’s?

  4. Vmoney says:

    Hey Professor,

    I need FLEX help.

    Doug Martin or Jeremy Langford if Forte is out another week?

    Thanks!

  5. Jaden says:

    Hey Professor,

    Would you start Chris Johnson, Brandon Lafell, Stevie Johnson or Delanie Walker in the Flex this week? Just 1, Standard scoring. I have AJ and Alshon in my wr 1 and 2 spots, very tough matchups but dont think i can bench them?

    Thanks in advance

  6. Eric says:

    Hey Professor, Flex help— Stevie Johnson or Ronnie Hillman? Thanks

  7. Vmoney – If no Forte, I’m going Langford

    Jaden = Given the matchup I’d lean Stevie Johnson, but he’s a gamble. Chris Johnson would be the “safest” choice.

    Eric – Stevie Johnson, just no guarantee Hillman gets enough opportunities

  8. L says:

    Looking at a possible change regarding my team’s depth.

    Roster:

    QB: D.Carr
    QB: J.Cutler
    RB: J.Forsett
    RB: TJ.Yeldon
    RB: Duke Johnson
    RB: T.Coleman
    RB: J.White
    WR: D.Hopkins
    WR: D.Bryant
    WR: A.Robinson
    WR: D.Adams
    WR: D.Green-Beckham
    TE: R.Gronkowski
    TE: J.Tamme
    K: B.Walsh
    DST: Jets

    Thinking about stashing B.Powell for his use as a 3rd down back as well as for the potential that C.Ivory goes down to injury which potentially could turn Powell into solid RB2 option. The question is who to drop for him if I were to add him: J.White or J.Tamme? I like having T.Coleman stashed because of the RB1 role he’d be in-line for if D.Freeman were to go down, so I eliminate him from the options. J.White has an opportunity to become valuable on a high scoring offense, but I’m not enamored by his skillset and I hate relying on any RB on the Patriots. J.Tamme is somewhat expendable due to having Gronkowski, but if I were to lose Gronk **knock on wood** there’s extremely thin pickings on the wavier wire so I’ve been somewhat less inclined to drop him as an emergency option to remain somewhat competitive in a scenario such as that.

    What’s your thoughts/advice? Wait till after this week before pulling the trigger on dropping White for Powell?

    • I wouldn’t be going crazy trying to fit Powell in, because I wouldn’t expect him to get the lead back role anyways. If Ivory were to go down, it’s more like that Stacy/Ridley get the early down work with Powell staying in his third-down type role

      • L says:

        Stacy is done for the season so he’s automatically eliminated from consideration and besides neither he or Ridley bring a 3rd down back skillset to the position. Ridley could be first in line to absorb 1st down back duties if Ivory were lost, but in all honesty he hasn’t really shown much this season in his limited time where as Powell looked okay earlier in the season when he was splitting some of the 1st down duties with Ivory as well as taking most 3rd down opportunities.

  9. Kermit says:

    Hey Prof – I notice that you don’t have James Starks in your rankings here. You obviously consider Doug Martin a safer start week 11. So Ivory and Martin in a PPR league? Thanks!

  10. Donnie says:

    Looking to pick up David Cobb, but I need to drop a player. I have Travis Kelce as my tight end, so I was thinking about dropping Jason Witten, who is on on my bench. I know it sounds crazy. Just thinking ahead to the playoffs.

  11. Haggy says:

    Prof. Would you put Cobb or Rawls on your bench if you wanted to stash a RB.

  12. Matthew Summerlin says:

    Hey Prof,
    Should I drop Davante Adams or Chris Johnson and pick up Lacy off waivers? Adams and Johnson both are on my bench. Think Lacy is worth picking up over one of those two?

    Thanks

  13. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Professor! How many touches do you see Bilal Powell receiving this week? My guess is 6-8 touches, 35 yards, and maybe a TD. What are your views on Powell? Any point grabbing him off of waivers? This is critical. I am playing another week Forte-less. Thanks for your help. Cheers.

  14. Drew says:

    Hey professor I got destroyed with injuries. I’m looking at my flex. I have forte(if he plays) alshon, moncrief or Melvin Gordon. I could also drop duke Johnson/ moncrief for Shaun draugn or Andre Ellington. I’m also starting Langford. If forte plays and alshon does not would it be crazy for me to start both rb from the Bears. I’m dying here n e help would be greatly appreciated.

  15. Sheldon says:

    Hey, Prof. What about Ameer Abdullah? He’s available on waivers. I think Detroit must hand him the ball more often moving forward…like 12-15 touches. I don’t understand why they haven’t already handed him the starting job, instead of plodding and probing around with Joique Bell. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

  16. Drew – The Bears are going to share carries, if Forte plays, but it’s still tough to go with both backs (though not the craziest thing). If Jeffrey goes he’s the choice, though. If both are out? I’d go Gordon over Moncrief, though neither are really spectacular options.

    Sheldon – Yea, I would agree. At this point he’s worth the gamble.

  17. Sheldon says:

    Good morning, Professor! Hope you are doing well! I did get Abdullah and stashed him for this week on my bench. That’s ’cause I’m starting WR Diggs at Flex. My 2 starting RBs are Woodhead and Forssett. Forte is sitting out again this week. I’m hoping he returns on Thursday! Another interesting development I’m keeping an eye on is Turbin, in Dallas. but I guess I’m overthinking it. Cheers.

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