2015 Fantasy Football: Week 17 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Despite starting only nine games this season, Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams enters Week 17 with the third-most fantasy points among running backs, trailing only Atlanta's Devonta Freeman and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

With 17 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns plus six catches for 53 yards last week, Williams scored 27.3 fantasy points, the second-most of the week. Last week marked the fifth time this season that Williams has finished as a top-four weekly fantasy running back.

In his nine starts, Williams has a total of 173 carries for 793 yards (4.58 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns plus 33 catches for 307 yards. In fact, his 11 rushing touchdowns on the season is tied for the NFL lead with Freeman.

Going into the final week of the regular season, Williams is within striking distance -- only 101 yards shy -- of his third 1,000-yard season and his first since 2009.

Extremely consistent, Williams has either exceeded 100 rushing yards and/or scored a touchdown (or two) in all but one start. In other words, he has scored double-digit fantasy points in eight of nine games as a starter with an average of nearly 20 fantasy points (19.56) over that stretch.

My top-ranked fantasy running back for Week 17, Williams has a great matchup against the Browns. Not only have they allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, the Browns rank last in the NFL in rushing defense (135.0 YPG allowed).

That said, Williams only start with single-digit fantasy points was his first matchup against the Browns in Week 10.

Here are some more fantasy football notes on running backs:

  • The player that scored more fantasy points than DeAngelo last week: Saints running back Tim Hightower (28.9). Hightower carried the ball 27 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns and added three catches for 47 yards. Hightower now has 29-plus touches in two of three games and he has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in each of those weeks: RB7, RB24 and RB1, respectively. This week, he faces the Falcons, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year.

  • On Thursday, St. Louis Rams rookie Todd Gurley sat out another practice and was in a walking boot, which obviously puts his Week 17 availability in jeopardy. In 13 games, Gurley has rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns, both of which are third-most in the NFL. Gurley has scored in three consecutive games and eight of his past 10 games. The 49ers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season and Gurley posted a 20/133/1 line against them in Week 8.

  • Oakland's Latavius Murray gained 117 yards with a touchdown on 24 touches last week against the Chargers. Murray has averaged 19.53 touches per game and has a minimum of 16 touches in all but one game this season. While he doesn't have a great matchup against the Chiefs, who have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, Murray gained 97 yards with a touchdown against them in Week 13.

  • Arizona's David Johnson had just nine carries, and 12 touches, against the Packers in Week 16, but he once again finished as a top-five weekly running back. Johnson has finished as a top-five running back in three of the past four weeks and as a top-24 fantasy running back in six consecutive weeks. Even though he has only 147 touches this season, Johnson has scored the seventh-most fantasy points among running backs and a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return.

  • Over his past nine games, Green Bay's Eddie Lacy has finished as a top-16 fantasy running back five times and outside the top-50 weekly running backs four times. Which one will fantasy owners get this week? The Vikings have limited opposing running backs to the eighth-fewest fantasy points this season. Against the Vikings in Week 11, however, Lacy had his first 100-yard game of the season on 22 carries.

Below you find my Week 17 Fantasy Football RB Rankings:

1. DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (at CLE)
2. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. NO)
3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (at GB)
4. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA)
5. Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints (at ATL)
6. Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams (at SF)
7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CAR)
8. Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys (vs. WAS)
9. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at KC)
10. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)
11. Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. OAK)
12. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
13. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)
14. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
15. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (vs. NE)
16. Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (at CIN)
17. Karlos Williams, Buffalo Bills (vs. NYJ)
18. James White, New England Patriots (at MIA)
19. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BAL)
20. Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (vs. DET)
21. Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (at DEN)
22. Chris Ivory, New York Jets (at BUF)
23. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (vs. SD)
24. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (at BUF)
25. Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at HOU)
26. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BAL)
27. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (vs. SD)
28. Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers (vs. TB)
29. Alfred Blue, Washington Redskins (at DAL)
30. DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
31. Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
32. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (vs. NYJ)
33. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (at CHI)
34. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (vs. PIT)
35. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (at NYG)
36. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (at DAL)
37. Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (at ARI)
38. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CAR)
39. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (at CHI)
40. James Starks, Green Bay Packers (vs. MIN)
41. Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. OAK)
42. Steven Jackson, New England Patriots (at MIA)
43. Donald Brown, San Diego Chargers (at DEN)
44. Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans (at IND)
45. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (vs. NE)
46. Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (at MIA)
47. DuJuan Harris, San Francisco 49ers (vs. STL)
48. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns (vs. PIT)
49. Shane Vereen, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
50. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (at CHI)

More Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 17 DFS Cheat Sheets:

More of our content and resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Post A Comment