2015 Fantasy Football Week 20 Rankings - Running BacksScoring: These rankings are based on standard-scoring formats -- one point per 10 rushing yards, six points per rushing touchdown plus one point per 10 receiving yards and six points per receiving touchdown.
These rankings are from Kevin Hanson and are for Week 20 only.
It should come as no suprise that the two NFC workhorses top the list, followed by the AFC backs.
That said, the Broncos actually give fantasy owners two viable options. As Denver attempts to take some pressure off Peyton Manning, who hasn't looked like Peyton Manning this season, both of the team's running backs should get double-digit touches.
On the other hand, the Patriots running back situation is generally one to avoid, now and usually, as it's never clear how Belichick will allocate the workload to their backs.
With that said, here are my Championship Game Running Back rankings:
1. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)
Finishing as a top-five weekly fantasy running back in three of his five regular-season games as a starter, Johnson has been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL since taking over for an injured Chris Johnson. The rookie had a modest outing against the Packers with 15 carries for only 35 yards and six catches for another 43 yards, but he's still my top-ranked running back this weekend.
In his six games as a starter, Johnson has amassed a total of 105 carries for 477 yards, 23 receptions for 259 yards (on 37 targets) with five combined touchdowns. The Panthers allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards (88.4/G) this season, but Johnson's versatility gives him a solid floor and plenty of upside. In fact, the Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs among the remaining four teams alive in the postseason.
2. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (vs. ARI)
Despite the difficult matchup and month-long absence, Stewart ran the ball well in his return to the field on Sunday. Not only did Stewart rush for 106 yards and two scores on 19 carries, but it was the first 100-yard rushing game against the Seahawks since Jamaal Charles did so in 2014.
Before exiting Week 14's game against the Falcons with a foot injury, Stewart had eight consecutive games with 20-plus carries. While the matchup against the Cardinals is a challenging one, The Daily Show should be in store for another heavy workload.
3. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (vs. NE)
It was a rough start to the season for Anderson, a first- or second-round pick in most 2015 fantasy drafts, but he's been very productive since November. Extending his touchdown streak to three games, CJA now has 15 carries in back-to-back games. Since Nov. 1st, Anderson has a total of 100 carries for 612 yards -- 6.12 YPC (obviously) -- and six touchdowns plus 14 catches for 94 yards.
4. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (vs. NE)
Even though Hillman (16) had more carries than Anderson (15) last week, he gained just 38 yards. That said, Hillman has a minimum of 13 touches in nine consecutive games. Despite the steady workload as part of this committee, Hillman has definitely been outperformed by CJA over the past couple of months. With both backs likely to get double-digit touches, however, both are worth starting this week in playoff leagues and/or DFS contests.
5. James White, New England Patriots (at DEN)
Hardly involved in the team's win over the Chiefs, White had just three touches -- one carry for five yards and two receptions (on three targets) for 39 yards. White had only one game with double-digit rushing yards (14 in Week 11) during the regular season, but he had been much more involved in the passing game down the stretch.
Over his final five regular-season games, he had 28 catches for 315 yards and three touchdowns on 35 targets. Even though the team's pass-catchers are healthy again, White should be more involved, especially as a receiver, this weekend although he's too risky to trust over any of the top-four options this week.
6. Steven Jackson, New England Patriots (at DEN)
The good news is that Jackson led the team in rushing. The bad news is that he had just 16 yards on six carries. There may be some upside given that there is always the chance that Jackson gets a goal-line opportunity or two. Then again, there is just as much of a chance that Tom Brady will vulture a goal-line rushing score on a QB sneak (like on Saturday).
7. Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers (vs. ARI)
There's the potential that Tolbert get a goal-line opportunity, but he is third in line for those opportunities behind quarterback Cam Newton and Stewart.
8. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (at CAR)
Ellington had three carries for three yards and did not catch his lone target on Saturday. He should only get a handful of touches as a change-of-pace option to Johnson on Sunday.
9. Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers (vs. ARI)
Artis-Payne will give Stewart an occasional breather, but he had just three carries for seven yards and one reception for one yards on Sunday.
More Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Fantasy Football RB Rankings
- Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Fantasy Football TE Rankings
- DFS DraftKings Cheat Sheet
- DFS FanDuel Cheat Sheet
- DFS DraftPot Cheat Sheet
- DFS FantasyAces Cheat Sheet