Fantasy Football Playoff RB Rankings (Championship Game Round)
Here are my fantasy running back rankings for the Championship Game Round of the playoffs:
1. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)
In Seattle's win over New Orleans, Lynch rushed 28 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Although he averaged only 3.54 yards per carry in his two games against the 49ers this season, Lynch has 207 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in those games.
Not only did Lynch carry the ball at least 20 times in each of those two games, but he had a total of 51 touches. Despite the tough matchup, we should at least get another heavy dose of Beast Mode.
2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (vs. NE)
Moreno carried the ball a season-high 23 times on Sunday as he gained 82 yards and scored a touchdown. In 17 games this season counting last week's win, Moreno has gained 1,680 yards from scrimmage with 61 receptions and 14 total touchdowns.
It would be a surprise to me if Moreno, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the offsesaon, had less than 20 touches on Sunday.
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3. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (at DEN)
Scoring multiple touchdowns for a third consecutive game, Blount rushed for 166 yards and four (yes, FOUR!) touchdowns on Saturday night. During that three-game stretch, Blount has a total of 64 carries for 431 yards and eight touchdowns.
4. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)
Gore's performances against the Seahawks this season have been both good (17 carries for 110 yards) and bad (nine carries for 16 yards). It would be surprising if he had only nine carries this week.
5. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots (at DEN)
Compared to Blount and Stevan Ridley, Vereen had a pedestrian performance last week, but Vereen could see more targets out of the backfield this week. In the first game against the Broncos, Vereen had 10 carries for 31 yards and eight receptions for 60 yards.
6. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (at DEN)
Even though Blount rushed for four touchdowns on Saturday, Ridley rushed for two scores and carried the ball 14 times himself. Even though the chances of repeating six rushing touchdowns between the duo is slim to none (so you're saying there's a chance?), it's likely that the Patriots will try to stick to running the ball as much as possible to keep Peyton Manning and the Broncos' high-powered offense off the field.
7. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos (vs. NE)
Drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Ball should be in store for a much larger role in 2014 (assuming Moreno leaves via free agency). That said, Ball has double-digit carries in back-to-back games and in four of his past six games.
Over his past seven games starting with the loss to the Patriots, Ball has averaged 6.27 yards per carry (62 carries for 389 yards). In addition, he has an additional 15 receptions for 102 yards during that seven-game stretch. (As I tweeted on Monday, he averaged three yards less per carry (3.26) in his first 10 games.)
8. Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)
While Gore figures to get a much larger workload between the two, Hunter could find himself getting close to 10 touches. Last week against the Panthers, Hunter had nine carries for 27 yards.