It is week 13, quite possibly the final week of the regular season for many fantasy football players. Unfortunately for some reason the NFL has felt the need to put a couple of bye week teams in the mix, which could really throw a wrench in fantasy teams plans. We’re here to help and we’re giving you our Top 40 Running Backs for this week:
David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington
Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota
Le’veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. NY Giants
LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills @ Oakland
Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers vs. Tampa Bay
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco
Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Diego
Lamar Miller – Houston Texans @ Green Bay
Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago
Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City
Spencer Ware – Kansas City Chiefs @ Atlanta
Matt Forte – New York Jets vs. Indianapolis
LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams @ New England
Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore
Devontae Booker – Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville
Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina
Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions @ New Orleans
Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo
Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers @ Seattle
Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts @ NY Jets
Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia
Robert Kelley – Washington Redskins @ Arizona
Dion Lewis – New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles
Rashad Jennings – New York Giants @ Pittsburgh
Kenneth Dixon – Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami
Tim Hightower – New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit
James Starks – Green Bay Packers vs. Houston
Wendell Smallwood – Philadelphia Eagles @ Cincinnati
Matt Asiata – Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas
Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City
James White – New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles
Chris Ivory – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver
Terrance West – Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami
Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles @ Cincinnati
T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver
Jerick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas
Bilal Powell – New York Jets vs. Indianapolis
Chris Thompson – Washington Redskins @ Arizona
For the last four weeks Jordan Howard is averaging 103.5 yards per game and even though he has only scored once he has been one of the most consistent and solid backs in the league. Now the hot hand is going up against the worst run defense in the league in the San Francisco 49ers. He is clear cut RB1 this week and is in line to be one of the best backs out there this week.
On the other side of the ball will be Carlos Hyde who I am seeing as a fringe RB1 as well. A healthy Hyde is a very talented back and right now he is about as healthy as he’s been. The Bears run defense isn’t as bad as San Francisco, but they certainly aren’t good and I think Hyde loads up on carries. He has also been more involved in the passing game lately, catching eight passes in the last two games, and catching a TD last week.
It’s been nice to see Doug Martin picking back up the lion’s share of the carries in Tampa Bay and settling back into a major role. In the last two weeks he has carried the ball 47 times and also has five catches. These two games were against the Chiefs and Seahawks and he’s amassed 150 yards in them. Now he gets a nice big step down in competition against the San Diego Chargers and if he gets another 20 – 25 carries he could have a huge day.
The production from Thomas Rawls thus far has been less than impressive, but I am riding with him as an RB2 again this week. There are few backs who get almost all the touches in a backfield and for better or worse he is in that position right now. Rawls has a decent matchup here and a good chance to get back on track. If he fails to produce like a starting running back this ranking will have to be re-evaluated next week and going forward.
In his second week back on the field Dion Lewis saw more snaps, almost drawing even with LaGarette Blount and James White. I expect yet another uptick in snaps , likely rising above at least White in terms of snap count. White has held his own this season in Lewis’ absence, but Lewis is the more talented running back. Lewis is getting more involved in the passing game now and I can see this week being a big step up against an overrated Los Angeles Rams defense.
The situation in Baltimore is an interesting one to keep an eye on as we saw a shift towards Kenneth Dixon getting more snaps and touches then Terrence West. Over the last five weeks West has seen a sharp decline in production, averaging just 2.9 YPC while doing almost nothing in the receiving game. Meanwhile in the same five games Dixon has averaged 4.1 YPC and is much more active catching the football. Dixon is a back with solid upside, but I think the carry share between Dixon and West will continue to hamper both players’ overall value week to week.
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