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Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings: RB

by Patrick Daugherty
Updated On: December 20, 2020, 12:00 pm ET

The Rams’ Cam Akers looks to cash in a dream matchup in the Jets, Jonathan Taylor hopes to stay scorching vs. the Texans and Chicago’s David Montgomery aims to keep winning leagues against Minnesota.   

Other positions: Quarterback | Receiver | Tight End/Kickers/Defense

Updated 12/20 12:00 PM ET. Removed Ezekiel Elliott, Damien Harris and Duke Johnson. Made the corresponding moves up. 

Week 15 Running Backs 

RK

Player

Opp

1

Derrick Henry

DET

2

Dalvin Cook

CHI

3

Cam Akers

NYJ

4

Jonathan Taylor

HOU

5

Austin Ekeler

@LV

6

Nick Chubb

@NYG

7

Alvin Kamara

KC

8

Aaron Jones

CAR

9

James Robinson

@BAL

10

David Montgomery

@MIN

11

Mike Davis

@GB

12

Miles Sanders

@ARI

13

Chris Carson

@WAS

14

Kenyan Drake

PHI

15

Josh Jacobs

LAC

16

Kareem Hunt

@NYG

17

J.K. Dobbins

JAC

18

Tony Pollard

SF

19

D'Andre Swift

@TEN

20

Wayne Gallman

CLE

21

Melvin Gordon

BUF

22

David Johnson

@IND

23

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

@NO

24

Leonard Fournette

@ATL

25

Salvon Ahmed

NE

26

Jeffery Wilson

@DAL

27

James Conner

@CIN

28

Gus Edwards

JAC

29

Nyheim Hines

HOU

30

J.D. McKissic

SEA

31

Peyton Barber

SEA

32

Lynn Bowden Jr.

NE

33

Chase Edmonds

PHI

34

Phillip Lindsay

BUF

35

Jamaal Williams

CAR

36

Latavius Murray

KC

37

Devin Singletary

@DEN

38

Sony Michel

@MIA

39

Zack Moss

@DEN

40

Raheem Mostert

@DAL

41

Carlos Hyde

@WAS

42

Todd Gurley

TB

43

DeAndre Washington

NE

44

James White

@MIA

45

Ito Smith

TB

46

Devontae Booker

LAC

47

Kalen Ballage

@LV

48

Trayveon Williams

PIT

49

Giovani Bernard

PIT

50

LeSean McCoy

@ATL

51

Boston Scott

@ARI

52

Ty Johnson

@LA

53

Frank Gore

@LA

54

Le'Veon Bell

@NO

55

Darrell Henderson

NYJ

56

Jordan Wilkins

HOU

57

Tevin Coleman

@DAL

58

J.J. Taylor

@MIA

59

Matt Breida

NE

 

RB Notes: Derrick Henry needs to average 156 yards rushing over the final three weeks to reach 2,000. You can bet it will be a goal for the Titans. First up is a Lions “defense” silver plattering the most RB fantasy points. Giddy up. … Dalvin Cook has rushed for fewer than 96 yards one time in seven games. The 96 came against Week 15 opponent Chicago. The Vikes are three-point home favorites, which helps. … Cam Akers didn’t just “take control” of the Rams’ backfield in Week 14. He eradicated the competition, out-touching Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown 32-2 while out-snapping “No. 2” back Henderson 50-7. This was a successful coup carried out in plain sight. Akers’ Week 15 gift is a date with a Jets Defense that flat quit against the Seahawks. Other backs will get touches in a game where Los Angeles is 17.5-point favorites, but there are no holes to punch in Akers’ Week 15 argument. … Jonathan Taylor posted a career-high 135 yards in Week 13. He followed it up with a career-high 165 yards in Week 14. Now he gets the Texans’ bottom-two run defense for the fantasy semis. More comfortable out of shotgun and beginning to break tackles at his college rate, Taylor is looking like a league-winner.

Editor's Note:  By using the Composite Rankings feature in our exclusive Season Tools, you can see how RotoPat's rankings compare to our other experts and see which RBs he is lower on (David Montgomery) or higher on (Cam Akers) this week. Subscribe to EDGE+ PRO now for as low as $7.99/month!

Austin Ekeler is averaging eight catches in three games since returning from his hamstring injury. The Raiders permit 5.5 weekly running back receptions. They also hand out the third most running back fantasy points. It’s not rocket science. … You could rank Nick Chubb in the top-three this week and not be wrong. The Giants are bottom eight in rushing yards allowed but top 10 in RB fantasy points permitted. That’s what happens when you’re not a great team and get a lot of touchdowns scored on you. The Browns will establish their will. … Alvin Kamara would have been top three were Drew Brees (ribs) returning. With it looking like another week of Taysom Hill, Kamara gets top eight benefit of the doubt for a contest with a 51.5 over/under. It helps that Hill finally looked Kamara’s way last week, targeting him 10 times. That will be a necessity vs. the Chiefs if the Saints don’t want to get blown out. … Aaron Jones’ ceiling has been frustratingly sporadic in the second half of the season. We are betting on the Packers being 8.5-point home favorites vs. a bad Panthers Defense. … James Robinson’s 83 Week 14 yards from scrimmage were his fewest in seven weeks. Losing 44 yards and a touchdown to penalties didn’t help. Ceiling will be hard to come by with the Jags as two-touchdown underdogs vs. Baltimore. Hopefully Gardner Minshew is good for Robinson’s floor. 

David Montgomery’s schedule was as soft as possible for the past month. He obliged with the three highest scoring games of his fantasy career. The Vikings are approachable but not an obvious smash spot. Another Eric Kendricks (calf) absence would help. … Christian McCaffrey (thigh) isn’t going to play. Mike Davis should do his 15-16 touch thing against a Packers D that surrenders the fourth most RB fantasy points. …  Jalen Hurts’ first start resulted in a four-week high for Miles Sanders touches at 18. Most importantly, Boston Scott and Jordan Howard combined for only four handles. Sanders is a big-play back. The quarterback drawing defensive attention as a runner allows for more long-run possibilities. Sanders is still volatile, but Hurts makes his ceiling more attainable. … Chris Carson hasn’t surpassed 16 touches in three games since his return, while the Football Team is a sub-par matchup. We can still bet on volume and scoring opportunities with the ‘Hawks operating as 5.5-point favorites. … Kenyan Drake is why the phrase “it is what it is” exists. The Cardinals are nearly touchdown home faves. … Playing at less than 100 percent, Josh Jacobs has not been terribly effective. The Chargers’ run defense is nothing special, but the same goes for their Week 15 opponent right now. 15-20 touches and pray for scores.     

I’m keeping Kareem Hunt higher than I might like for his touch floor and ceiling in this run-based offense. The Giants will have a tough time keeping things competitive with Colt McCoy under center. … J.K. Dobbins is trying to pull away. He hasn’t succeeded — Gus Edwards is still right there — but the backfield will be big enough for the two of them vs. pathetic Jacksonville, who just permitted one of the biggest rushing efforts of the season to Derrick Henry. Dobbins has at least 11 carries in each of his past three appearances. … With Raheem Mostert (ankle) appearing doubtful, it should be the Jeff Wilson show vs. the Cowboys’ league-worst run defense. Coach Kyle Shanahan seems to have moved on from Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon as serious considerations, though both could curb Wilson’s overall touch upside. The matchup is still good enough that top-20 production is a reasonable Wilson expectation. … As feared, D’Andre Swift was eased back into action. As hoped, he looked healthy and avoided setbacks. With Matthew Stafford’s (ribs) availability hanging by a thread, Swift could get a showcase spot vs. a soft Titans Defense. … It doesn’t matter what you think or do, Melvin Gordon will find a way to 15 touches. … Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 21 Week 14 handles were his most in six contests. That’s great, but a similar workload will be game-flow dependent against the Saints’ elite defense. I.E., CEH will need Taysom Hill to put the Saints behind the eight ball.   

Wayne Gallman could be the Giants’ only means of moving the ball with Daniel Jones (hamstring, ankle) appearing doubtful. The theoretical workload is nice, but it will be coming against a Browns Defense that remains tougher on the ground than through the air despite Lamar Jackson’s Week 14 path of destruction. There’s not much ceiling here in a week where everything is on the line. ... Ezekiel Elliott out-touched Tony Pollard just 14-13 in Week 14, with nine of Pollard’s handles coming in the first three quarters where the Cowboys did not lead by more than two touchdowns. A timeshare is born? Elliott already had zero upside. Now even his floor is rapidly deteriorating. … J.D. McKissic was out-carried 12-11 by Peyton Barber last Sunday. He could be headed for another week of limited checkdowns if Alex Smith (calf) is sidelined. … I suppose the Steelers will run James Conner against the Bengals. He faced their awful defense last month and generated 36 yards on 13 carries. … Leonard Fournette was a healthy Week 14 scratch, but he undead zombies as the heavy favorite to lead the Bucs’ Ronald Jones-less (finger, coronavirus) backfield. … The Dolphins’ attack is entirely uncertain with Matt Breida (COVID-19) back and Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) practicing. … I’ve made some variation of this comment 9-10 times this year, but I give up on the Bills. … David Johnson hasn’t eclipsed 60 yards rushing since Week 5. You need him to fall down in the end zone.

Patrick Daugherty
Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .