Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fantasy Football RB Rankings: Championship Games Round

Down to only four teams with three games to go, we have published our fantasy football rankings for the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

With that said, here are our fantasy football running back rankings for this week's games:

1. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

If Doug Marrone had his way, Blake Bortles wouldn't throw a single pass on Sunday. Of course, Bill Belichick will do everything to take away Jacksonville's biggest offensive weapon (Fournette). Against the Steelers, Fournette carried the ball 25 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns and added two catches for nine yards. In addition to New England's presumed defensive game plan, negative game script (TD+ underdogs) doesn't bode well for Fournette. Based on volume (and talent), however, Fournette is still the top option among this week's backs.

2. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots

Over his previous three games, Lewis has 65 carries and 20 receptions for a total of 427 yards and four touchdowns. In the four games before that stretch, Rex Burkhead had a total of six touchdowns and will return this week. There is the potential for Lewis to get vultured near the goal line, but he should once again lead the backfield in workload.

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3. Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles

Ajayi totalled 98 yards from scrimmage on 15 carries and three receptions in last week's win over the Falcons and I'd expect him to get 18-plus touches once again. The Eagles are home 'dogs against the Vikings, who allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, but the loss of Carson Wentz will force the Eagles to rely more heavily on Ajayi and their ground game.

4. Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings

Including last week's playoff win, Murray has 19-plus carries in four consecutive games and he has eight rushing touchdowns in his past nine games. Including the postseason, Murray has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry this season and the Eagles had the league's top-ranked rush defense (79.2 YPG allowed). Based on workload, however, Murray should at least be able to grind out mediocre numbers.

5. Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots

As noted above, Burkhead is expected to return this week and he was a scoring machine prior to his injury with six scores over a four-game span. With the highest implied total of the weekend, the team's running backs (and offense in general) have plenty of scoring upside.

6. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings

Since Week 5 without Dalvin Cook, McKinnon has double-digit touches in all but two games and a minimum of eight touches weekly. Setting career highs in receptions (51) and falling just short of 1,000 yards from scrimmage (991), McKinnon should see 10-12 touches as a change-of-pace complement to Murray.

7. T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Ivory was a healthy scratch last weekend and expect that to be the case once again. Given Fournette's ankle issues, Yeldon could see a fair amount of work if Fournette is sidelined at all during the game (like last week) or if the game gets out of hand early.

8. James White, New England Patriots

White turned eight touches and 40 yards into a big day with a pair of touchdowns against the Titans. With Burkhead likely to return this week, however, White's role is a little less certain this week.

The next four:

9. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles
10. Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles
11. Corey Grant, Jacksonville Jaguars
12. Tommy Bohanon, Jacksonville Jaguars

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