Fantasy Football Week 15 Running Back Rankings

Welcome back. This week it's do-or-die time, folks. I added some a bit more news and notes than usual to help you in your decisions. Don't forget that you can always ask me anything you want on Twitter @MikeSGallagher. Especially since not everyone plays in the same exact league format.

Injury News and Notes

Felix Jones- Jerry Jones said that he expects Felix Jones to be a workhorse on Saturday against the Bucs. This should come as no surprise with Felix looking as spry as ever with 16 carries for 106 yards and six catches for 31 yards on Sunday Night Football. The Bucs have one of the worst groups of linebackers in the league that really lack the sideline-to-sideline speed to catch Felix on stretch and sweep plays. Their interior line isn't much better at stopping the run either. In fact, the Bucs just leapfrogged the Panthers to become the best matchup for fantasy running backs. Things have got much worse lately with the following headlining stats (starting with the most recent): MJD scored four times, the Panthers had 163 yards on the ground, Chris Johnson ran for 190 yards, the Packers don't count, Arian Foster had 186 yards from scrimmage and two scores, the Saints even ran for 195 rushing yards and Matt Forte had 183 yards from scrimmage. Pretty sure that makes it abundantly clear that Felix needs to be in all lineups. Period.

Kevin Smith- Silent Bob spoke in Tuesday and said he is ready to rock for Sunday's game against the Raiders. The Raiders are reeling on defense and the Lions should have no problem serving up a 30-burger. Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams didn't really do a great job keep his seat warm as the Detroit running back was seemingly nonexistent. Of course there's a risk of aggravating his ankle, but he needs to be in most lineups for the way the Lions have leaned on him while he's healthy lately.

Michael Turner- The Burner was held out of practice with the groin injury that has been nagging him all year. He's obviously good to go and should see a nice amount of work against the Jags. He might be on thin ice a bit with his owners by failing to clear 76 yards in any of the last three games and failing to score in those games as well.

Chris Johnson- Johnson is ranked very high for yet another week and if not for Arian Foster having a great matchup at home, he'd probably be the top dog. Johnson gets the Colts at Lucas Oil and should see an enormous work load. Javon Ringer had surgery on his broken hand and it's safe to say that Johnson is a lock for 25 touches. The Colts have some of the worst run-stopping players in their front seven and fantasy owners should expect over 20 points this week (not counting bonuses or PPR).

More news and the rankings after the jump:

Adrian Peterson- It is looking more and more likely that Adrian Peterson is going to suit up against the Saints. Peterson has missed close to a month with his high-ankle sprain. He'll probably have to go through a practice at some point to assure that he is good to go. High-ankle sprains can be really tricky because that part of the join really helps keep the foot from bending inward while running. It also is a bit more painful than your run-of-the-mill sprain. If he can go, his owners should not be bashful in starting him.

Darren McFadden- Run DMC is dealing with a lisfranc injury and he's very unlikely to face the Lions. Hue Jackson said that will not need surgery, so at least his damage is not as bad as Matt Schaub's. Plus considering he's a running back, where he'll feel the pain in his lisfranc more than any other position, should indicate it is very minor. Again, he's very unlikely to play this week and Michael Bush should be in just about all lineups even though Suh is back.

James Starks- Starks is still dealing with his ankle injury and the Packers are hopeful that he can practice and play this week. Ummm why? The Chiefs are terrible and one would think that they would like to keep him as fresh as possible for the playoffs. Even if he does play, the practical move is to keep him bench. In other GB RB news, Brandon Saine is dealing with a concussion. He will probably give it a go according to early reports though. This all sets up very well for Ryan Grant and he would be a nice RB2 with his backfield mates in NFL-approved street clothes.

Ahmad Bradshaw- Ahmad's owners were met with an unpleasant surprise on Sunday Night Football with his first-half punishment. The Giants said that his punishment is now over and he'll have his old workload against the Skins. The Giants might still have a bad taste in their mouths from the opening-day loss. Bradshaw had a rough day on the ground with only 44 yards on 13 carries. He should do much better at home and expect him to flirt with 20 touches.

Frank Gore- Coach Harbaugh showed his cards by saying that Gore is currently not at 100 percent. Gore has battled ankle and knee ailments all season and it's not exactly flabbergasting that he is starting to wear down. He has a horrible matchup against the Steelers that are stopping everything that moves wearing a jersey number from 20-to-49. Gore should probably be riding the pine this week.

Marion Barber- Barber had an all-time brain fart on Sunday by running out of bounds to save the Broncos 40 seconds of invaluable time. He then tried to trump himself by fumbling the ball well within Robbie Gould territory. Someone needs to teach that poor guy the five-point technique in carrying the football (HEY KIDS! Check out this video! This guy doesn't know how to protect his luggage though. You have to see the video to understand. Also need to be aware of this story). These instances were such massive faux pas that Barber will likely have his load reduce. Kahlil Bell is a sneaky play in PPR and should be added in some deeper formats for next week against the Pack too.

C.J. Spiller- Spiller is probably about as angry at the Dolphins as Ray Finkle. In his three games against them, he is averaging a paltry 1.3 YPC. He is coming off a bad game, but he should see a lot of work and should break off a big run based on the law of averages.

Ronnie Brown- Brown pulled his hamstring and will probably need some time to get back on track. The degree of the pull is not known, so it could be next to nothing. Dion Lewis is the handcuff to grab for deep leagues at this time.

Rank Running Back Opp.
1 Arian Foster CAR
2 Chris Johnson @IND
3 Ray Rice @SD
4 Adrian Peterson NO
5 LeSean McCoy NYJ
6 Felix Jones @TB
7 Marshawn Lynch @CHI
8 Maurice Jones-Drew @ATL
9 Cedric Benson @STL
10 Shonn Greene @PHI
11 Michael Turner JAC
12 Reggie Bush @BUF
13 Roy Helu @NYG
14 Michael Bush DET
15 Beanie Wells CLE
16 C.J. Spiller MIA
17 Kevin Smith @OAK
18 Ryan Grant (if Starks is out @KC
19 Steven Jackson CIN
20 Willis McGahee NE
21 Ahmad Bradshaw WAS
22 LaGarrette Blount @TB
23 Frank Gore PIT
24 Darren Sproles @MIN
25 Ryan Mathews BAL
26 Rashard Mendenhall @SF
27 Ben Tate CAR
28 Chris Ivory @MIN
29 Kahlil Bell SEA
30 Brandon Jacobs WAS
31 LaDainian Tomlinson @PHI
32 BenJarvus Green-Ellis @DEN
33 DeAngelo Williams @HOU
34 Marion Barber SEA
35 Peyton Hillis @ARI
36 Donald Brown TEN
37 Jonathan Stewart HOU
38 Montario Hardesty @ARI
39 Kendall Hunter PIT
40 Dexter McCluster GB
41 Maurice Morris @OAK
42 James Starks/John Kuhn @KC
43 Pierre Thomas @MIN
44 Jackie Battle GB
45 Lance Ball NE
46 Marcel Reece DET
47 Ricky Williams @SD
48 Daniel Thomas @BUF
49 Toby Gerhart NO
50 Danny Woodhead @DEN

Thanks for reading and post your comments below!

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