Week 14 Rankings (2019): Top 40 Running Backs

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Let’s get right to it, it’s playoff time! You got this far, so it’s certainly not time to let your foot up off the gas yet. We should remember that if you made the playoffs, you must have done something right. So let’s just keep it up as we jump right into how our options rank:

  1. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – at Atlanta
  2. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Oakland
  3. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. LA Chargers
  4. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
  5. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati
  6. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Jackers – vs. Washington
  7. Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – at Philadelphia
  8. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Chicago
  9. Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – vs. Tennessee
  10. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Carolina
  11. Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – at Jacksonville
  12. Le’Veon Bell – NY Jets – vs. Miami
  13. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. San Francisco
  14. James White – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
  15. Todd Gurley – LA Rams – vs. Seattle
  16. Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – at Buffalo
  17. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – at Houston
  18. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at LA Rams
  19. Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – at Tampa Bay
  20. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Pittsburgh
  21. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. NY Giants
  22. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
  23. Aaron Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Jacksonville
  24. John Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Arizona
  25. Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans – vs. Denver
  26. Sony Michel – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
  27. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Washington
  28. Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers – at New Orleans
  29. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – vs. Baltimore
  30. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. Dallas
  31. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati
  32. Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – vs. Dallas
  33. Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Denver
  34. Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins – at Green Bay
  35. LeSean McCoy – Kansas City Chiefs – at New England
  36. Patrick Laird – Miami Dolphins – at NY Jets
  37. Bo Scarbrough – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
  38. Jaylen Samuels – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Arizona
  39. Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – at New Orleans
  40. Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Indianapolis

Thoughts:

  • It’s now two straight weeks that Dalvin Cook has dealt with an injury, as he left Monday’s game early with a shoulder injury. All indications are that there won’t be any issues with him suiting up in Week 14. While there might be some missed practice time, Cook and his 4.7 yards per carry (1,046 rushing yards) along with 12 touchdowns and 48 receptions for 490 yards, clearly doesn’t need to work on much. I wouldn’t read much into the fact that he managed just 32 yards on nine carries last week, his touchdown and three receptions for 35 yards helped to preserve his value as the Seahawks are a tough opponent. This week things should get easier (once again) against the Lions, and we have to operate under the assumption that he will be at full strength. If not, and even if Cook doesn’t have any additional health issues, Alexander Mattison and his 4.8 yards per carry do have some FLEX appeal.
  • Don’t look now but Derrick Henry is a top-five running back, and he doesn’t appear to be showing signs of slowing down. That is important to note, because it is despite the fact that Henry isn’t much of a receiving threat as he has 17 receptions for 200 yards. When it comes to rushing the ball there are few better than Henry as he has 1,140 rushing yards (4.9 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. While Dion Lewis has his role, it is clear who the bell cow and he is positioned for success against Oakland’s weak defensive front.
  • By means am I going to shy away from Alvin Kamara, he is still a borderline RB1 and has to be in your starting lineups, but for DFS purposes that is no longer the case and expectations must be adjusted accordingly. In facing the 49ers things aren’t going to get much easier. While he is still stuck on just one rushing touchdown for the season, things have gotten better for him as of late as he is averaging more than five yards per carry over his last four games. The problem is that he has just 39 carries over that stretch with 587 rushing yards for the season. Even from the receiving end of things, while Kamara does have 64 catches, he has 444 yards and only one touchdown.
  • The good news is that Devonta Freeman returned to action last week with no restrictions and jumped right back into his role with 21 touches; 17 carries and four receptions. The bad news is that he gained 64 yards and didn’t find the end zone. The caveat is that he was facing the Saints and their stingy rushing defense. This week things are going to get a lot easier as he faces the Panthers who have made opposing running backs top-five options. Perhaps Freeman’s first rushing touchdown of the season will come in Week 14?
  • Miles Sanders had a career high 17 carries last week and the rookie delivered as he gained 83 yards while also adding another 22 yards on five receptions with a touchdown. He took advantage of a weak Miami defense, but what was more important is the fact that Philadelphia trusted him in the running game and Sanders was also up to the task. With Jordan Howard’s status up for debate next week, and even if does take the field I’m not all that concerned, Sanders is set to feast against another weak defense in the Giants.
  • Previously Patrick Laird’s value has come more in the passing game, but with Kalen Ballage now hitting Injured Reserve I would expect that to change. However this is more for deeper leagues, as Laird did get 10 carries last week and he was only able to turn that into five yards. Granted he did find the end zone, but on 16 carries he has just 36 rushing yards. However, Laird did impress in the passing game as he caught four passes for 43 yards a few weeks after he caught six passes for 51 yards against Buffalo. The volume should be here this week, but Laird is a play left more for deeper leagues as the track record as a runner is still lacking despite the fact the he ranks as a FLEX option.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses



20 COMMENTS

  1. 1/2PPR: starting Ekeler and need a second. My choices (none are very appealing): Guice, Cohen, Mostert or Snell (only if Conner is out.)

  2. Hey roto!!
    Thanks for all your help! I’m in 2 playoffs out of 3!
    I need 2 rb and a flex. Chubb, Mixon, Montgomery, Guice, Jonathan Williams, DJ.

    Need 2 rb, 2 wr and a flex. I have an idea but want your opinion. Barkley, Lindsay, Evans, Landry, Guice, cooks, boyd, Shepard, McCoy

    Thanks again!

    • First off, congrats!

      RB – Chubb/Mixon
      FLEX – Montgomery

      RB – Barkley & Lindsay
      WR – Evans & Landry
      FLEX – Guice (though Boyd is right there)

  3. Is it too ballsy to start Carson and penny? Rb 1 & 2 and eckler as my flex

    I have Lindsey and Jwilliams on my bench

    My opponent is starting Rogers at qb

    I’m facing a good team so need to take some chances here thoughts?

  4. Hi Professor,

    Standard league.

    Joe Mixon, Le’Veon Bell, Sony Michel, Austin Ekeler, Benny Snell, Damien Williams, Alexander Mattison, Adam Thielan, Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffrey.

    Need 2 RB, 2 WR and a flex.

    Thanks.

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