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Week 15 Running Back Rankings- PPR Leagues

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Armando shares his top 50 PPR running backs for Week 15

Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 was filled with injuries and it couldn't have come at a worse time as in most fantasy leagues it was the first round of the playoffs. Thomas Rawls, T.J. Yeldon, LeGarrette Blount, David Johnson, and Jonathan Stewart were some of this weekend's notable injured running backs. The only one in that group who suffered a season ending injury was Rawls. The rest are questionable for this Week 15, which is something to monitor closely throughout the week.

As we head into the second round of the playoffs it's very important to have the most optimal lineup set to give you the best shot at advancing to the next round, for most, it's the championship after this week. That being said, let's go over this week's top 50 PPR backs.

RUNNING BACKS

Team

OPP

1

Adrian Peterson MIN

Minnesota Vikings

CHI

2

David Johnson ARI

Arizona Cardinals

@PHI

3

LeSean McCoy BUF

Buffalo Bills

@WAS

4

Lamar Miller MIA

Miami Dolphins

@SD

5

Devonta Freeman ATL

Atlanta Falcons

@JAC

6

Todd Gurley STL

St. Louis Rams

TB

7

Doug Martin TB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

@STL

8

DeAngelo Williams PIT

Pittsburgh Steelers

DEN

9

Matt Forte CHI

Chicago Bears

@MIN

10

Jonathan Stewart CAR

Carolina Panthers

@NYG

11

Eddie Lacy GB

Green Bay Packers

@OAK

12

Jeremy Hill CIN

Cincinnati Bengals

@SF

13

James White NE

New England Patriots

TEN

14

Chris Ivory NYJ

New York Jets

@DAL

15

Denard Robinson JAC

Jacksonville Jaguars

ATL

16

Javorius Allen BAL

Baltimore Ravens

KC

17

Tim Hightower NO

New Orleans Saints

DET

18

Darren McFadden DAL

Dallas Cowboys

NYJ

19

Matt Jones WAS

Washington Redskins

BUF

20

Charcandrick West KC

Kansas City Chiefs

@BAL

21

Darren Sproles PHI

Philadelphia Eagles

ARI

22

Brandon Bolden NE

New England Patriots

TEN

23

Bilal Powell NYJ

New York Jets

@DAL

24

DuJuan Harris SEA

Seattle Seahawks

CLE

25

Giovani Bernard CIN

Cincinnati Bengals

@SF

26

Shaun Draughn SF

San Francisco 49ers

CIN

27

Latavius Murray OAK

Oakland Raiders

GB

28

Theo Riddick DET

Detroit Lions

@NO

29

Melvin Gordon SD

San Diego Chargers

MIA

30

Danny Woodhead SD

San Diego Chargers

MIA

31

Frank Gore IND

Indianapolis Colts

HOU

32

Spencer Ware KC

Kansas City Chiefs

@BAL

33

Bryce Brown SEA

Seattle Seahawks

CLE

34

Alfred Morris WAS

Washington Redskins

BUF

35

Ronnie Hillman DEN

Denver Broncos

@PIT

36

Ryan Mathews PHI

Philadelphia Eagles

ARI

37

James Starks GB

Green Bay Packers

@OAK

38

Charles Sims TB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

@STL

39

Fred Jackson SEA

Seattle Seahawks

CLE

40

Jonathan Grimes HOU

Houston Texans

@IND

41

Jay Ajayi MIA

Miami Dolphins

@SD

42

Chris Polk HOU

Houston Texans

@IND

43

DeMarco Murray PHI

Philadelphia Eagles

ARI

44

Ameer Abdullah DET

Detroit Lions

@NO

45

Jeremy Langford CHI

Chicago Bears

@MIN

46

C.J. Spiller NO

New Orleans Saints

DET

47

Shane Vereen NYG

New York Giants

CAR

48

Antonio Andrews TEN

Tennessee Titans

@NE

49

Cameron Artis-Payne CAR

Carolina Panthers

@NYG

50

Mike Gillislee BUF

Buffalo Bills

@WAS

David Johnson was one of the backs I mentioned above that suffered an injury last week. Initial reports are that it's a bruised thigh and he is not expected to miss any time.  Johnson has 20+ touches and has totaled over 100 yards in each of the last two games. He also topped 17 fantasy points in each of the last two weeks. He has been receiving the bulk of the carries for the Cardinals in that span and playing plenty of snaps. This week he faces off against the Eagles who are surrendering 109.2 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. They're also allowing 5.2 receptions and 45.2 receiving yards per game to running backs, while allowing five receiving touchdowns (tied for most allowed by a defense).  Johnson averages 4.5 targets per game and has caught seven passes in the last two games. He has displayed his ability to catch the ball and make big plays as well as be an efficient runner. He's also received 100 percent of the red zone carries in the last two weeks. So long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks throughout the week and is able to play, he's one of this week's top backs.

Lamar Miller was running wild against the Giants before the team decided to limit his touches in the second half for some reason. As a Dolphins fan, it's really annoying that they cap the number of carries he receives (who knows why), because it's clear that this guy can be an efficient running back. Even though he received just 12 carries on Monday night, he ran for 89 yards and scored two touchdowns. He's averaging 5.1 yards per carry for the season. He's also capable of being a pass catcher as he's had some 5+ reception games this season, four to be exact. This week he heads to San Diego to take on one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. The Chargers are allowing 112 rushing yards per game and 4.95 yards per carry, while yielding 13 total touchdowns. Running backs are also averaging 4.7 receptions and 50.3 receiving yards per game against the Chargers. They've allowed 100+ rushing yards in all but three games this season and surrender 20 fantasy points per game. Miller should be able to run wild against this defense and even if his touches are once again limited, he should still do plenty of damage.

James White has now scored 14 or more fantasy points in three of the last four games. With LeGarrette Blount nursing a hip injury and questionable for this week, White could be in for a larger role. For the season he is averaging 3.5 targets per game, but in the last three weeks he's been targeted 24 times or eight targets per game. In that span, he has caught 16 passes. The Titans are not a terrible run defense by any means, but White's roll in the pass game gives him RB2 upside in PPR formats. He's also received 42.9 percent of the red zone carries in the last four weeks. He's definitely more involved in this high powered offense.

It's uncertain whether T.J. Yeldon will miss this week's game or not, but at this time it doesn't appear that he will give it a go. The team is not providing updates on his status and just signed Jonas Gray. Those are two red flags if you ask me. Denard Robinson filled in for Yeldon once he went down in Week 14 and received 14 carries. He rushed for 75 yards and scored a touchdown. He also caught a pass for 12 yards. If Yeldon does not play, Robinson makes a good option for those who owned Yeldon or even those owners who need a running back. He faces off against the Falcons who have surrendered the most rushing touchdowns to opposing backs this season (15). They're allowing 94.5 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards, 6.8 receptions, and 20.7 fantasy points per game to running backs. In their last three games, the Falcons have allowed five rushing touchdowns and an average of 157 rushing yards per game. This is a great spot for Robinson to be in if he gets the start.

Outside of the top 25, Theo Reddick and Danny Woodhead are two backs that continue to see plenty of targets on a weekly basis. Both have favorable matchups and could get something going this week. If you are in a tough spot and need a flier, they might be helpful.

Good luck to everyone in the second round of the playoffs!