Running Back Roundup: Week 15 (2019 Fantasy Football)
The first week of the fantasy playoffs has come and gone, and we saw some quality Week 14 performances. Rashaad Penny tore his ACL in Sunday night’s rout, ending his season. Marlon Mack made his return. Joe Mixon added to a late-season surge, Austin Ekeler exploded, and Nick Chubb kept up his strong play while dealing with the specter of Kareem Hunt.
Each week, we’ll offer a look at the biggest performances, busts, timeshare situations, and storylines you need to be aware of to make the best fantasy lineup decisions possible. Let’s jump into our Running Back Roundup for Week 15!
Week 14 Rushing Leaders
Week 14 Scrimmage Yards Leaders
Week 14 Fantasy Leaders (PPR)
Week 14 Biggest Busts
Green Bay Packers
Though his up-and-down play this season has certainly been concerning, Jones bounced back in a big way after back-to-back duds. He has the potential to be fantasy’s most productive back on any given week, but his floor is rock bottom. While it’s tough to trust Jones against Chicago in Week 15, the upside is too great to send him to the bench. Jamaal Williams experienced a rare bad game, as he’s been a flex play most weeks because of his involvement in the ground and air.
Just as the Guice train was starting to roll, a knee injury derailed a promising stretch of games. The sophomore hit the IR with an MCL sprain, effectively ending his season. Peterson makes sense as a low-owned add, while Thompson should provide some PPR value as long as Guice is out. Washington’s receiving corps is one of the worst in the NFL, so Thompson should slot in nicely as a pass-catching specialist moving forward.
San Francisco 49ers
Raheem Mostert: 10 carries, 69 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 40 receiving yards, rushing TD, receiving TD
Tevin Coleman: 3 carries, 6 rushing yards
Matt Breida: 6 carries, 54 rushing yards, 4-yard reception
Even with Breida healthy, Mostert popped off for over 100 total yards and two spikes, continuing his improbable late-season surge as one of fantasy’s best backs. Coleman is the odd man out in this talented trio, as he saw a mere three touches in a game that featured a combined 94 points scored. Mostert and Breida should form a committee in Week 15’s juicy matchup with Atlanta, though Mostert seems to have the inside track on leading this backfield. Coleman should be left on the bench if you have room, but dropping him wouldn’t hurt with just two games left in the season for most owners.
Mack returned in Week 14, leading the backfield in touches after missing two games due to a hand injury. Stud fill-in Jonathan Williams hit the bench and didn’t touch the ball at all, and Hines operated as the pass-catching back to complement Mack. Williams can safely be dropped in all formats unless you have a bench spot to fill. Hines is a deep-league PPR flex due to his work as a receiver, and Mack jumps back into RB2 territory for the fantasy semis.
Washington took over lead-back duties with Josh Jacobs (shoulder) out of action, and he accounted for 96 yards and a score in a huge spot-start. If Jacobs is out for Week 15, Washington is a must-play option. Richard disappointed, given his chance at an increased opportunity. He makes for a deep-league flex play without much upside.
DJ remains off the fantasy radar despite his 31-yard receiving touchdown, which came on broken coverage in the corner of the end zone. Take that away, and he managed just 22 yards on four touches. Drake has established himself as the lead back in Arizona’s offense, so Johnson should remain on the bench for the fantasy playoffs. If you have a pressing need and want to scoop someone off waivers, dropping him isn’t a bad idea. Despite his workload, Drake is tough to trust.
Just as Penny was starting to come alive, he sustained a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. With a dearth of backfield talent, Carson will be the unquestioned workhorse from here on out. He’ll get heavy volume for the remainder of the season, making him a fringe RB1 for the rest of the fantasy playoffs. It’s a disappointing end for Penny.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City’s backfield is a complete trainwreck right now, and there is no clear lead back at this time. With Damien Williams (ribs) out, all three of Thompson, McCoy, and Ware saw work against New England. None, however, made much of an impact. Although Thompson looked promising as a receiver, his work as a ball-carrier was pedestrian. The Chiefs haven’t figured out the run game this season, and none of these backs will instill much confidence in Week 15, especially if Damien Williams re-emerges to take the field.
New England Patriots
Michel continued his inefficient play, posting a rancid final stat line for the second week in a row. Even in a great spot against Kansas City, it was White who held the reins on the Patriots’ backfield. It’s likely to stay that way moving forward. Michel’s lack of involvement in the passing game has hampered him tremendously this season, and his 3,5 YPC have caught up with him. While Michel has no business in fantasy lineups in Week 15, White is a clear PPR flex.