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Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Playoffs -- David Johnson Enters Top-10

Ranking NFL RBs for the Weeks 14 through 16 playoffs of the 2015 fantasy football season.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

There is nothing makes the NFL more fun than fantasy football and few things make fantasy sports more fun than rankings, rankings, and more rankings. RBs are ranked in this post with the ESPN and Yahoo! standard fractional scoring. Playoff schedules minus Week 17 are heavily equated into the rankings.

Players who receive point-per-reception (PPR) bumps are noted with the asterisk. Consult my weekly Depth Charts and Volatility post, where we analyze all of the timeshares where multiple backs are involved for teams. The top of these ranks generally favor backs involved in the receiving game, as it is, because the bellcow RBs who largely are involved in the passing game are largely unaffected when their respective teams abandon the run.

Rank Player Team Last Week
1 Adrian Peterson Vikings 1
2 Thomas Rawls Seahawks 5
3 DeAngelo Williams* Steelers 6
4 Jonathan Stewart Falcons 8
5 LeSean McCoy* Bills 7
6 Doug Martin Buccaneers 9
7 Devonta Freeman* Falcons 4
8 Todd Gurley Rams 2
9 David Johnson* Cardinals 20
10 Charcandrick West* Chiefs 3
11 Latavius Murray Raiders 18
12 Darren McFadden* Cowboys 12
13 Chris Ivory Jets 14
14 T.J. Yeldon Jaguars 15
15 Lamar Miller* Dolphins 16
16 Mark Ingram* Saints 13
17 Eddie Lacy Packers 11
18 DeMarco Murray* Eagles 10
19 Javorius "Buck" Allen Ravens 21
20 Ronnie Hillman Broncos 22
21 LeGarrette Blount Patriots 17
22 Matt Forte* Bears 24
23 Jeremy Hill Bengals 27
24 Ryan Mathews Eagles 32
25 Jeremy Langford* Bears 23
26 James White* Patriots 40
27 Frank Gore Colts 29
28 Spencer Ware Chiefs 30
29 Shaun Draughn* 49ers 28
30 Giovani Bernard* Bengals 19
31 Danny Woodhead* Chargers 25
32 Karlos Williams Bills 31
33 Bilal Powell* Jets 44
34 Theo Riddick* Lions 43
35 Duke Johnson* Browns 39
36 Andre Ellington* Cardinals 37
37 Antonio Andrews Titans 35
38 Ameer Abdullah Lions ---
39 C.J. Anderson Broncos 26
40 Matt Jones* Washington ---
41 Darren Sproles* Eagles ---
42 James Starks* Packers 38
43 Charles Sims* Buccaneers ---
44 Chris Polk Texans ---
45 Jay Ajayi Dolphins 41
46 Carlos Hyde 49ers 45
47 Melvin Gordon* Chargers 34
48 Alfred Morris Washington 33
49 Marshawn Lynch Seahawks 42
50 Alfred Blue Texans 36


  • After this was posted, reports came out that Mark Ingram has a shoulder injury. C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower are now must-own top-35 RBs.

  • As we go down the rankings, there is an increase in the weight of strength of schedule. Where we have healthy paths to the playoffs, playoff schedules matter more than the coming weeks; where we are fighting for playoff spots, we need to get to the playoffs to even make the playoffs relevant. Check the schedules.

  • The return of injured players on and around those on this list, banged up offensive lines, and swings in volume are accounting most for swings in the ranks.

  • These rankings devalue the messiest backfield situations noted in the Depth Charts and Volatility post. I don't care how talented a guy is if he doesn't get the ball. There are tons of new entries into the rankings because guys who never get the ball can start getting dropped for handcuffs and these handcuffs are shoved ahead of wasted roster spaces.

    The rankings are cut off at RB50 because we really should be focused on handcuffing after the top-30. Bye weeks are done and our benches should reflect insurance more than hope in bad starters and mid-range volume receiving backs who do not score TDs.

  • Bellcows always get the edge. There aren't many of them, so the value in scarcity increases for those backs with lesser variance. As we go down the rankings, the bad bellcows who we can never trust in our lineup lose value to receiving backups with more upside in whom we can reasonably instill hope. The bad bellcows are not only unstartable, but untradeable, and that is a recipe for a wasted roster spot.

  • Do your research and use rankings cautiously, as they are always a work-in-progress. Rankings are a bad tools to tell us what to do. They are conversation starters, tier setters, value mirrors, and a combination of the scientific explanations of what has happened with the art of predicting what will happen. Feel free to supply contrary evidence to me on Twitter at @AlexSontySBN or in the comments. They will help me help you.