Fantasy RB Rankings Week 15: Who to start, sit at running back in fantasy football

It’s time for fantasy football’s second season, and every start ’em, sit ’em decision is under intense scrutiny. That’s especially true at running back, where injuries create constant tension. Our Week 15 fantasy RB rankings can help ease some of the burden in finding studs, sleepers, and potential stumblers, but chances are all the “questionables” will force several updates before kickoffs. 

Thankfully, the byes are over, but some of the teams coming off bye — namely, the Eagles and Patriots — had key backs injured in their last games. That makes it tough to project who will lead the way this week. The Eagles are an especially big mystery with Jordan Howard (knee) already hurt before Miles Sanders (ankle) got dinged and Boston Scott (illness) essentially sat out. Look for updates early in the week on those players. 

Quarterback | Wide Receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Some of the best matchups this week go to backs who aren’t normally considered “RB1s.” Myles Gaskin (vs. Jets), Darrell Henderson (vs. Seahawks), James Conner and Chase Edmonds (@ Lions), and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (@ Chargers) are all must-starts thanks to highly favorable situations. Even D’Onta Foreman (@ Steelers) is in that group. They join the slumping James Robinson (vs. Texans) as backs with top-five matchups (and, yes, Robinson is also a must-start if his no-show last week didn’t knock you out of playoff contention).

Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Going deeper, the Chargers’ duo of Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley (vs. Chiefs), and Houston’s duo of Rex Burkhead/Royce Freeman and David Johnson (vs. Jaguars) are also in good spots, but it’s always difficult to trust backs in those types of committees. The same goes for even top handcuffs in good matchups, like Tony Pollard (vs. Giants), Sony Michel (vs. Seahawks), Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard (@ Steelers), and Darrel Williams (@ Chargers). If Pollard (foot) is out again, Corey Clement won’t be worth using.

Of course, guys like Michel and Williams could still be in play over some of the starters with poor matchups. There aren’t many borderline guys who stand out this week, as some of the toughest matchups are reserved for bona fide studs like Jonathan Taylor (vs. Patriots), Najee Harris (vs. Titans), Leonard Fournette (vs. Saints), and Aaron Jones (@ Ravens), but backs like Rashaad Penny (@ Rams), Jamaal Williams (vs. Cardinals), Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson (@ Colts), and Sanders/Howard (vs. Washington) are very much on the start-sit bubble. Penny will be tough to sit after last week, and Harris (ankle) always has TD upside when healthy, but these backs have lower floors than you might think.

We’re at that point in the season where there are going to be some surprise breakouts, whether it’s a third-stringer getting his first career start (see Craiga Reynolds) or a handcuff getting more playing than expected in a particular game (see Penny). You obviously can’t plan for in-game surprises, but if you play matchups — with a close eye on recent trends in addition to season-long trends — and adjust for usage, you might just surprise yourself with some of your lineup decisions. But names don’t matter now — winning does — and we’ll be here to help you get those Ws.

Note: We’ll be updating these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for analysis and the latest player movement.

Fantasy RB Rankings Week 15: Who to start at running back

Rankings are based on standard, non-PPR scoring

Rank Player
1 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ NYG
2 Nick Chubb, CLE vs. LV
3 Jonathan Taylor, IND vs. NE
4 Dalvin Cook, MIN @ CHI
5 Joe Mixon, CIN @ DEN
6 David Montgomery, CHI vs. MIN
7 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC @ LAC
8 Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. NYJ
9 Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL @ SF
10 Najee Harris, PIT vs. TEN
11 Alvin Kamara, NO @ TB
12 James Robinson, JAX vs. HOU
13 Antonio Gibson, WAS @ PHI
14 James Conner, ARI @ DET
15 Elijah Mitchell, SF vs. ATL
16 Aaron Jones, GB @ BAL
17 Darrell Henderson, LAR vs. SEA
18 Javonte Williams, DEN vs. CIN
19 Saquon Barkley, NYG vs. DAL
20 Josh Jacobs, LV @ CLE
21 Devonta Freeman, BAL vs. GB
22 Leonard Fournette, TB vs. NO
23 D’Onta Foreman, TEN @ PIT
24 Chuba Hubbard, CAR @ BUF
25 Chase Edmonds, ARI @ DET
26 Melvin Gordon, DEN vs. CIN
27 Tevin Coleman, NYJ @ MIA
28 Rashaad Penny, SEA @ LAR
29 Justin Jackson, LAC vs. KC
30 Miles Sanders, PHI vs. WAS
31 Damien Harris, NE @ IND
32 David Johnson, HOU @ JAX
33 Jamaal Williams, DET vs. ARI
34 Joshua Kelley, LAC vs. KC
35 Rex Burkhead, HOU @ JAX
36 Jordan Howard, PHI vs. WAS
37 Tony Pollard, DAL @ NYG
38 Sony Michel, LAR vs. SEA
39 AJ Dillon, GB @ BAL
40 Rhamondre Stevenson, NE @ IND
41 J.D. McKissic, WAS @ PHI
42 Mark Ingram, NO @ TB
43 Devin Singletary, BUF vs. CAR
44 Darrel Williams, KC @ LAC
45 Phillip Lindsay, MIA vs. NYJ
46 Alexander Mattison, MIN @ CHI
47 Latavius Murray, BAL vs. GB
48 Matt Breida, BUF vs. CAR
49 Ty Johnson, NYJ @ MIA
50 Dontrell Hilliard, TEN @ PIT
51 Jeremy McNichols, TEN @ PIT
52 D’Ernest Johnson, CLE vs. LV
53 Carlos Hyde, JAX vs. HOU
54 Boston Scott, PHI vs. WAS
55 Ameer Abdullah, CAR @ BUF
56 Devontae Booker, NYG vs. DAL
57 Peyton Barber, LV @ CLE
58 Samaje Perine, CIN @ DEN
59 Mike Davis, ATL @ SF
60 Nyheim Hines, IND vs. NE
61 Craig Reynolds, DET vs. ARI
62 Alex Collins, SEA @ LAR
63 Jeff Wilson Jr., SF vs. ATL
64 Godwin Igwebuike, DET vs. ARI
65 Ronald Jones II, TB vs. NO
66 Brandon Bolden, NE @ IND
67 Royce Freeman, HOU @ JAX
68 Jaret Patterson, WAS vs. PHI
69 Khalil Herbert, CHI vs. MIN
70 LaMical Perine, NYJ @ MIA
71 Giovani Bernard, TB vs. NO

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