Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) remains out, so the Packers figure to feature Lacy and the run game heavily, even if Lacy is struggling with an ankle issue. Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that Lacy feels better than he did in the second half last week, so you should like Lacy for at least 60 yards and a touchdown here.
Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons
He has looked like he’s closer to retirement than fantasy lineups for the most of this season, but he has been a solid fantasy contributor for the past three weeks. His best is yet to come. The Redskins are the second-worst team in fantasy against running backs, giving up a league-worst 17 rushing touchdowns. Jackson finds the end zone at least once in this one.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns
With Willis McGahee (concussion) ruled out, the Browns likely turn to Ogbonnaya as their primary ball-carrier, with Fozzy Whittaker filling in behind him. The Browns don’t run the ball well—fifth-worst in football—but the Bears have the worst run defense in football and are the third-worst team in fantasy against running backs. They have allowed a 100-yard rusher for six consecutive weeks, and if not for 95 yards by Alfred Morris in Week 7, it would have been every game since New Orleans in Week 5!
Ogbonnaya won’t reach that total perhaps, but he will be a factor in the passing game and will hit double digits in fantasy points.
Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals
Say what you want about Mendenhall and Ellington’s timeshare, but they have both been good enough to rank among the top 28 running backs in standard leagues this season. They should be at their combined best against a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the fourth-most points to fantasy running backs this season. Both Cards backs rank among the top 30 options this week.
Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
This is another frustrating duo for fantasy owners, but this is a week where both Thomas (ankle) and Miller (concussion) can get enough touches to hit double-digit fantasy points. The New England Patriots are the second-worst rush defense in football, and the Dolphins have to pound the ball at them if they are to pull off this upset. Thomas is the better of the two plays here, as he does the goal-line work, but you can use Miller as a Hail Mary too.
Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart and Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings
It isn’t the matchup here that should scare you. It is the shaky status of Peterson (foot) and Gerhart (hamstring). You cannot be sure which ones will be active at this point or how long they can prove effective. The guess here is none of this trio proves to be good for any more than a mere five fantasy points. Avoid them all.
Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, New York Jets
The Jets had a comeback game last week against the Oakland Raiders, but we should all expect them to go right back in the tank against the Carolina Panthers defense coming off a stinging loss, especially at home. Ivory has decent in good matchups but bad in tough ones (35 yards against the Baltimore Ravens and 11 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals).
The Panthers are better than both, with the best run defense in football and No. 3 in fantasy against running backs. Don’t trust the Jets here.
DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers
On the other side of the field, don’t expect the Panthers to muster much on the ground either. Sure, Jonathan Stewart (knee) is out of the way, but the Jets have the second-best run defense in football and are No. 2 in fantasy against backs. You didn’t get to your fantasy semifinals riding these two guys out, so don’t bother with them this week.
Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We have to admit we were dead wrong about calling Rainey a sit last week. But we have even more merit to label him as such all over again. The San Francisco 49ers are a top-10 team against the run and in a must-win situation. Expect them to load the box to take away Rainey to the tune of 15 carries for 45 yards. If that is enough to get you by in the fantasy semifinals, by all means, use him. It should be.
Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
This one hurts. You cannot start you first-round pick in your most important week of the season, the one that can get you to the Super Bowl. If you have come this far, you know it is not because of Rice at this point. You can do without him, especially against the sixth-best run defense in football in the Lions. They have given up just 99.3 yards per game, and that is after the Eagles freezer-burned them for almost 300 in the snow last week.
|1||Jamaal Charles||KC||at Oak||1||0|
|2||LeSean McCoy||Phi||at Min||2||0|
|3||Knowshon Moreno||Den||vs. SD||7||+4|
|4||Matt Forte||Chi||at Cle||3||-1|
|5||Marshawn Lynch||Sea||at NYG||5||0|
|6||Eddie Lacy||GB||at Dal||6||0|
|7||DeMarco Murray||Dal||vs. GB||4||-3|
|8||Shane Vereen||NE||at Mia||10||+2|
|9||Frank Gore||SF||at TB||15||+6|
|10||Zac Stacy||StL||vs. NO||8||-2|
|11||C.J. Spiller||Buf||at Jac||22||+11|
|12||Alfred Morris||Was||at Atl||9||-3|
|13||Chris Johnson||Ten||vs. Ari||23||+10|
|14||Reggie Bush||Det||vs. Bal||16||+2|
|15||Steven Jackson||Atl||vs. Was||14||-1|
|16||Ben Tate||Hou||at Ind||11||-5|
|17||Ray Rice||Bal||at Det||26||+9|
|18||Le’Veon Bell||Pit||vs. Cin||13||-5|
|19||Andre Brown||NYG||vs. Sea||12||-7|
|20||Giovani Bernard||Cin||at Pit||19||-1|
|21||Darren Sproles||NO||at StL||38||+17|
|22||Rashard Mendenhall||Ari||at Ten||30||+8|
|23||Rashad Jennings||Oak||vs. KC||20||-3|
|24||Ryan Mathews||SD||at Den||18||-6|
|25||Daniel Thomas||Mia||vs. NE||42||+17|
|26||Chris Ogbonnaya||Cle||vs. Chi||31||+5|
|27||Danny Woodhead||SD||at Den||28||+1|
|28||Andre Ellington||Ari||at Ten||35||+7|
|29||Bobby Rainey||TB||vs. SF||17||-12|
|30||Chris Ivory||NYJ||at Car||40||+10|
|31||Montee Ball||Den||vs. SD||27||-4|
|32||Stevan Ridley||NE||at Mia||41||+9|
|33||Donald Brown||Ind||vs. Hou||32||-1|
|34||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Cin||at Pit||34||0|
|35||Fred Jackson||Buf||at Jac||24||-11|
|36||Jordan Todman||Jac||vs. Buf||36||0|
|37||Lamar Miller||Mia||vs. NE||37||0|
|38||Toby Gerhart||Min||vs. Phi||21||-17|
|39||Joique Bell||Det||vs. Bal||33||-6|
|40||Trent Richardson||Ind||vs. Hou||47||+7|
|41||Pierre Thomas||NO||at StL||25||-16|
|42||LeGarrette Blount||NE||at Mia||50||+8|
|43||DeAngelo Williams||Car||vs. NYJ||43||0|
|44||Mike Tolbert||Car||vs. NYJ||49||+5|
|45||Matt Asiata||Min||vs. Phi||52||+7|
|46||Bryce Brown||Phi||at Min||59||+13|
|47||Marcel Reece||Oak||vs. KC||46||-1|
|48||Bernard Pierce||Bal||at Det||60||+12|
|49||Kendall Hunter||SF||at TB||66||+17|
|50||Robert Turbin||Sea||at NYG||63||+13|
|51||James Starks||GB||at Dal||44||-7|
|52||Knile Davis||KC||at Oak||69||+17|
|53||Shonn Greene||Ten||vs. Ari||53||0|
|54||Roy Helu||Was||at Atl||56||+2|
|55||Benny Cunningham||StL||vs. NO||57||+2|
|56||Dennis Johnson||Hou||at Ind||61||+5|
|57||Peyton Hillis||NYG||vs. Sea||58||+1|
|58||Brandon Bolden||NE||at Mia||65||+7|
|59||Bilal Powell||NYJ||at Car||51||-8|
|60||Jacquizz Rodgers||Atl||vs. Was||55||-5|
|61||Mark Ingram||NO||at StL||54||-7|
|62||Michael Bush||Chi||at Cle||62||0|
|63||Brian Leonard||TB||vs. SF||72||+9|