Week 13 Rankings (2015): Top 40 Running Backs

by Ray Kuhn

This is the week. While the playoffs don’t technically begin for another week, for some teams this is the playoffs. Decisions must be made, and they are likely not the same ones you envisioned making a few weeks ago. As muddled as they look and how different they are than Week 1, here are how the running backs rank as we make the playoff push:

  1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Seattle
  2. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
  3. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
  4. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills – vs. Houston
  5. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
  6. DeAngelo Williams – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Indianapolis
  7. Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams – vs. Arizona
  8. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
  9. Chris Ivory – New York Jets – at New York Giants
  10. Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks – at Minnesota
  11. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
  12. Darren McFadden – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  13. Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins – at Baltimore
  14. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. San Francisco
  15. DeMarco Murray – Philadelphia Eagles – at New England
  16. C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos – at San Diego
  17. Charcandrick West – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  18. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at St. Louis
  19. Buck Allen – Baltimore Ravens – at Miami
  20. Giovanni Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
  21. LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots – vs. Philadelphia
  22. Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
  23. T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
  24. Shaun Draughn – San Francisco 49ers – at Chicago
  25. Danny Woodhead – San Diego Chargers – vs. Denver
  26. Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
  27. Ronnie Hillman – Denver Broncos – at San Diego
  28. Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
  29. Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  30. Alfred Blue – Houston Texans – at Buffalo
  31. Antonio Andrews – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
  32. Ameer Abdullah – Detroit Lions – vs. Green Bay
  33. Duke Johnson – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati
  34. Jeremy Langford – Chicago Bears – vs. San Francisco
  35. Spencer Ware – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  36. Matt Jones – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  37. James White – New England Patriots – vs. Philadelphia
  38. Charles Sims – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
  39. Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
  40. Shane Vereen – New York Giants – vs. New York Jets

Notes:

  • Raise your hand if you expected to see Chris Johnson have this level of success with the Cardinals. That’s right, I thought so. After looking sluggish last season with the Jets he has appeared rejuvenated and quickly grabbed a hold of the starting job. The 30-year old has gained 814 yards on 196 carries for an average of 4.2 yards per carry, which includes four 100-plus games and three touchdowns. Now he is sidelined for at least the next few weeks with a fractured tibia, creating an opening in Arizona’s backfield. In a limited role Andre Ellington has also shown some flashes of success, averaging 6.9 yards per carry on 36 carries, but he is also slated to miss time with turf toe. That vaults rookie David Johnson into the starting role. Johnson has shown the propensity for big plays in his brief career, finding the end zone seven times on 54 touches. He is averaging four yards per carry and 12.7 yards per reception and is now slated to receive 20 touches this Sunday. The Rams are 21st in yardage allowed on the ground, and you have to like Johnson based on opportunity alone.
  • In the Denver backfield it appears that things might have gone full circle. C.J. Anderson, after being drafted in the first round in some leagues, had more touches than Ronnie Hillman last week and is averaging 5.9 yards per carry over his past four weeks. Anderson gained 113 yards on 15 carries while finding the end zone twice, including a 48 yard game winning run. Running like he did at the end of last season, Anderson also caught four passes for 40 yards while being on the field for more snaps than Hillman. Hillman also scored on a 19 yard touchdown run and, even with Anderson’s resurgence, will continue to be a factor. The Chargers have allowed 12 touchdowns on the ground so far this season, and both running backs deserve a spot in your starting lineup, with the edge going to Anderson.
  • Originally Tevin Coleman was expected to play a large role in Atlanta’s offense with Devonta Freeman supporting him. Instead Coleman has yet to impress and Freeman simply ran away with the job and became a Top-5 running back. However, with Freeman sidelined by a concussion Coleman got his chance and carried the ball 18 times for 110 yards. That accounts for about a third of his 341 yards on the ground this season. The rookie did score on a one yard run, but a penalty negated the effort. Coleman showed explosiveness as he busted off a 46 yard run, but he ended the run by fumbling. So far he has been a non-factor in the passing game, catching just one pass for 10 yards, and that continued on Sunday as he dropped both of the passes thrown his way. Freeman is going to be back and Coleman will fade away from fantasy relevance.
  • Who honestly thought you would be submitting your lineup to jockey for playoff position with Shaun Draughn? With Carlos Hyde sidelined, that is the case as Draughn has that all important thing we talk about; opportunity. He was on the field for all 56 of the 49ers’ snaps on Sunday and gained a combined 86 yards (51 on the ground and 35 through the air). By no means is that an impressive performance, especially when he has yet to find the end zone, but in PPR league there is some value when you factor in his five receptions. Due to a lack of options he will continue to get the ball as long as Hyde is out.
  • Matt Forte returned on Thursday and it was a pretty even split between the veteran and rookie Jeremy Langford. Langford had success when filling in for Forte, but he is not yet up to the veteran’s level. However, with Forte returning in a time-share, each running back gained 53 yards while the veteran was on the field for seven more snaps and had three more touches. While Langford will likely hold on to a role that is bigger than the one he had prior to Forte’s injury, that gap will likely increase moving forward. Just keep in mind that Forte wasn’t exactly dominating opponents (3.9 yards per carry and two touchdowns) prior to his injury.
  • With the firing of Bill Lazor you have to think that the fortune’s of Lamar Miller will improve as new offensive coordinator Zac Taylor has already alluded to the ground game. While the Dolphins were trailing for most of the afternoon, they rushed the ball just nine times. In fact Miller has touched the ball just 12 times over the past two weeks. When given the chance this season he has had success, averaging 4.8 yards per carry with five touchdowns while catching 38 passes for 341 yards and two more touchdowns. Rookie Jay Ajayi will continue to be a factor as a change of pace option between tackles, but Miller is still the back to own. It might just take another week for Miller to make an impact as Miami faces the Ravens and their second ranked run defense (entering action on Monday).

*** Want a chance to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with a “Thor” inscription?  Find out how by clicking here!! ***

Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 13 Rankings (2015): Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 13 Rankings (2015): Top 25 Quarterbacks

26 comments

  1. Joe says:

    Need assistance deciding which 3 RB’s are going to produce the most:
    Standard League: L. McCoy, D. Williams, D. McFadden or T. Rawls. Need 3?

  2. Haggy says:

    Starting Rawls and Buck Allen at RB. Who would you use at Flex.. Lamgford, Hill, Ware or Ajay.

    • Haggy says:

      Also have Chandler And Gates. Who starts at TE. Could maybe use one at flex but believe the Running Backs above would probably be better. Leaning Langford or Hill Flex and Chandler at TE. Which way would yougo Prof.

  3. Haggy says:

    Would you continue to keep Ajayi.

  4. Joe – I’d probably sit McFadden, but can’t go wrong with any of them

    Haggy – for FLEX, I’d use Ware assuming West is out. I’d probably use Gates at TE, but it’s extremely close so go with your gut. As for Ajayi, I’m absolutely holding him.

  5. Sheldon says:

    Hi Professor! It seems West will start for KC. I have Ware. I was wondering what are your thoughts on whether KC will use both RBs this week as a 1-2 punch, both getting 8-10 touches. I think that in such a scenario, Ware could still do some damage. If you suggest not starting Ware as a Flex, I have a choice between RB Abdullah and WR Davante Parker. Thanks.

  6. jim says:

    I need some line up help.
    I have RB’s – Lacy, J. Allan, CJ Anderson, C. West, F. Gore. WR’s – J. Jones, AJ Green, M. Evans, D. Amendola.
    I need to start 2 RB’s, 2 WR’s 1 Flex.
    SuggestionS??

  7. Sheldon says:

    In fact, here’s what I have. Stevie Johnson at WR, Devante Parker at Flex. If I have to get Abdullah or Ware in my lineup, who do you think I should drop? Should I move Parker to start at WR and get Abdullah in the lineup at Flex? Abdullah plays on Thursday night I believe. Thanks.

  8. Sheldon – I think Ware is too risky, with West back. As for Parker/Abdullah, it’s a bit of a coin flip. I’d lean Abdullah, but it could go either way.

    jim:
    RB – Lacy/Anderson (it’s tough sitting Allen and I could see sitting Lacy for him, but it’s close for all 3)
    WR – Jones/Green
    FLEX – Amendola

  9. Haggy says:

    You tell Sheldon Ware is too risky. You sure I should start him instead of Langford or Hill…??? Think West is back from what I hear.

  10. John says:

    Hey prof, my rbs are lacy and Langford. Honestly that’s it besides Ellington. I’m stacked at Wr and wanna trade for rb. You like ivory or Freeman ros? I know the obvious is Freeman but he’s got a rough schedule with Panthers twice. Which one would you target ros? Thanks

  11. Sheldon says:

    Professor, looks like we have an updated version of our RB problem. It’s giving me a headache. So now they’re saying West and Ware will get equal touches; but, Ware is the TD vulture, if they have to hand the ball to a RB at the goal-line. Now, quite clearly, if Ware gets 10-12 touches, including couple at the goal-line, do you think he’s startable over Devante Parker at FLEX? I would certainly think so. It’s very intriguing indeed. Thanks.

  12. Tom says:

    Thomas Rawls, Buck Allen, Darren Mcfadden, Danny Amendola, Tj Yeldon, Jeremy Maclin.
    Which 3 to play?

  13. Sheldon – Yes, if that’s the plan I’d go Ware over PArker, but it’s a big risk

    Tom – Rawls/McFadden/Amendola

  14. Duendz says:

    Which 2 would you pick to start! PPR

    Mark Ingram
    Darren McFadden
    Buck Allen
    CJ Anderson

    Appreciate the feedback!

  15. Ian says:

    Start Mcfadden or Buck Allen?

  16. Jesse says:

    I need 3 who should I start D Williams, D Martin, Rawls,C West, D Johnson?

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