Which running backs have the most favorable fantasy matchups? Which backs are in unfavorable spots?
Here’s a breakdown of five notable running backs featured in Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman’s Week 15 fantasy football rankings.
The No. 1 RB
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Gurley is back at No. 1 this week after Christian McCaffrey was atop the charts in Week 14. Gurley will get a much friendlier matchup in Week 15 against the Eagles in a much better game environment. The Rams are 9.5-point home favorites as of writing (see live odds here) with a slate-high 31.25 implied team total.
The Most Favorable Matchups
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon saw a season-high 26 carries and 31 total touches against the Chargers this past Sunday. With Jeff Driskel at quarterback, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bengals continue to lean on Mixon against the Raiders in Week 15.
Mixon should be set up for success against the Raiders’ 27th-ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA, while the Bengals are 2.5-point home favorites.
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
Over the past six weeks, Lindsay has out-touched Royce Freeman 107 to 32, leading the Broncos with 60% of their market share of carries and 57% of their market share red-zone carries.
Overall, Lindsay’s 17.8 touches per game is more than double within that six-week timeframe. He’s in an excellent spot this week against a Browns defense that ranks 26th in rush DVOA and is allowing 4.7 yards per attempt and 133.3 rushing yards per game.
Freedman, Koerner and Raybon all have Lindsay ranked inside the top 10 across PPR, standard and half-point PPR formats.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson’s 22.8 touches per game since Week 8 rank fourth among all running backs. In fact, his 75.5% carry share in that timeframe trails only Nick Chubb and Ezekiel Elliott.
Johnson has an extremely favorable matchup against a Falcons defense that ranks 31st in rush DVOA and is allowing 8.8 targets and 59.8 receiving yards per game to opposing backfields. DJ could continue to be heavily involved in the passing game since the Cardinals are 9-point underdogs in Atlanta.
Since Byron Leftwich took over in Week 8, Christian Kirk was seeing 23.5% of the Cardinals' target share. After Kirk was placed on IR last week, David Johnson saw a season-high in targets (10) and pass routes (38) against the Lions.
Falcons on deck.
— Justin Bailey (@justinbailey32) December 11, 2018
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
You’re likely not sitting Jones after he out-touched Jamaal Williams 20 to four with Mike McCarthy finally ran out of town.
However, Jones will have his work cut out for him against a Bears defense that ranks first in Pro Football Focus’ run-defense grades and first in rush DVOA. Overall, Chicago’s defense has allowed a league-low four rushing touchdowns, along with holding backfields to 3.7 yards per attempt and 83.2 rushing yards per game.