Week 15 Rankings (2020): Top 40 Running Backs

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1908

by Ray Kuhn

As we enter what is likely the semi-finals for most leagues the stakes and the stress only increase. Every decision becomes that much more critical and we have busy week ahead of us with a Thursday night game and two more on Saturday. The best thing we can do is to stick with our process and continue to make the most informed decisions possible. Let’s jump into how our options rank:

  1. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Detroit
  2. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Chicago
  3. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at NY Giants
  4. Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers – at Las Vegas
  5. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. Kansas City
  6. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
  7. James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Baltimore
  8. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Carolina
  9. Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams – vs. NY Jets
  10. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – vs. LA Chargers
  11. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at Arizona
  12. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Philadelphia
  13. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Washington
  14. Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – at Green Bay
  15. Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – at Dallas
  16. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at Minnesota
  17. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. San Francisco
  18. J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Jacksonville
  19. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – at Tennessee
  20. Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – vs. Cleveland
  21. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at NY Giants
  22. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cincinnati
  23. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – at New Orleans
  24. J.D. McKissic – Washington Football Team – vs. Seattle
  25. David Johnson – Houston Texans – at Indianapolis
  26. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
  27. Jeff Wilson – San Francisco 49ers – at Dallas
  28. Damien Harris – New England Patriots – at Miami
  29. Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – vs. Buffalo
  30. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at Denver
  31. Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
  32. Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Philadelphia
  33. Salvon Ahmed – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  34. Peyton Barber – Washington Football Team – vs. Seattle
  35. LeSean McCoy – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
  36. James White – New England Patriots – at Miami
  37. Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Jacksonville
  38. Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – vs. Kansas City
  39. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Carolina
  40. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Buffalo

Notes:

  • Finally!! Or at least we thought. At this point all Christian McCaffrey owners can do is hold their breath and hope for the best. The fact that the Panthers play on Saturday makes things easier as then you still have 24 other teams to work with should you need to replace your stud running back. We have only seen McCaffrey for three weeks so far this season, but with five touchdowns he has made his presence felt. He is simply too talented to leave on the bench if he is active and if not, back to Mike Davis we go. Last week Davis had 93 combined yards and 2 TD as he continues to have a role in the passing game as well as a ball carrier. If you need FLEX help Davis should still have a role in Carolina’s offense even with McCaffrey’s return as pass catcher (Green Bay’s weakness), as you would think the Panthers would take things slow with their superstar. Without McCaffrey Davis is an RB2 option, but if you have both on your roster only one should be active if both are on the field. If you have any questions as to who that should be, look back to your draft board from August. For simplicity sake, McCaffrey is not included in my rankings as if he plays, he starts.
  • For as much as I like Nick Chubb, who by the way scored two more touchdowns while rushing for 82 yards last week, there is still plenty of room for Kareem Hunt. Hunt also reached the end zone twice against Baltimore (once threw the air and once on the ground) which gives him 10 total touchdowns on the season (five of each). Even after Chubb’s return from his knee injury a few weeks ago, Hunt has retained a role in Cleveland’s backfield while also adding a few receptions each week. Hunt is mildly touchdown dependent, but with 10 so far this season he doesn’t exactly struggle to find the end zone.
  • He’s going to reach the 1,000 yard mark this season (currently 823 yards) but Aaron Jones leaves me wanting more for the most part each week. The double digit carries are there and it is clear who the lead ball carrier is in Green Bay’s backfield, but Jones is also far off his 16 TD pace from a year ago with just seven to this point. No one truly expected him to match last year’s production so that might not be a fair statement, but with just two games of greater than 100 rushing yards and 285 receiving yards to this point, the upside simply isn’t there. At the same time he is still one of your better options each week because you know he is going to get the ball.
  • Fantasy owners were left holding their breath regarding Josh Jacobs’ status for last week but he ultimately took the field against the Colts. While he was only on the field for just under half of the Raiders’ offensive snaps (29 of 68) he still touched the ball 16 times for 49 rushing yards while adding 25 yards through the air with three receptions. With just 3.9 rushing yards per carry Jacobs is reliant on quantity (219 carries) as he sits within striking distance of his second straight season of eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark (831 to this point). hi nine rushing TD is already more than his seven from last season as he has proven to be a workhorse, but that might be the best we can say about him.
  • Did it even matter that James Conner was back in action last week? Granted the Steelers were trailing throughout the second half and Buffalo has a strong defense, but all Conner managed was 18 rushing yards on 10 carries. Based on his struggles it shouldn’t be entirely surprising as he has just 663 rushing yards and 5 TD through 11 games. He is still the main rusher in Pittsburgh’s backfield and things will get easier this week against Cincinnati, so Conner has to remain on your radar and likely in your starting lineup.
  • With Ronald Jones having surgery on his finger, let’s assume for the purposes of Week 15 that he will be sidelined. So then who will pick up the slack? With Leonard Fournette inactive last week, my assumption is that we need to keep on searching. Last week LeSean McCoy appeared back on our radars as he carried the ball four times for 32 yards while looking good after entering the week with just six carries on the season. Aside from Jones there hasn’t been much else going on in Tampa Bay’s backfield, so for now we are just going to take the assumption that McCoy will be the beneficiary.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Professor,

    I am in deep trouble for my Semi Finals this week. Wondering if you could give me some recommendations to boost my spirits.

    QB Mahomes
    RB James Robinson Bench Lesean McCoy
    RB Ronald Jones Kenny Golloday
    WR Keenan Allen Marvin Jones
    WR Juju Smith Shuster Robert Tonyan
    Flex Christian McCaffrey Rob Gronkowski
    TE Eric Ebron Lynn Bowden

    If Rojo and CMC are unable to suit up. Should I roll with Shady and Tonyan at flex. Monitor the Miami situation for Bowden or is there a sleeper you are really into this week?

    Thank you as always.

    -Concerned fantasy owner

  2. Prof, need to choose my flex this week (full point PPR): Tyler Lockett or Jeff Wilson? I am starting TY Hilton over Lockett as my WR2. Thank you.

  3. 14 Team, 1/2 PPR

    WR 1/2 DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs.

    RB 1/2 Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt

    1. Teddy Bridgewater or Andy Dalton?

    2. Flex of Ty Hilton, JD McKissic or Emmanuel Sanders (also Marquez Valdez Scantling or Gus Edwards…but guessing the choice is really among the first three)?

    3. Thank you again for all your help this season… let’s. do. this!!!!!

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