NFL Playoffs Fantasy Football: Running Back Rankings

Plenty of enticing RB options exist, but only a few could be truly game-changing. Read on for The Wolf's top plays, including a sexy sleeper at #10.

You’ve secured the five other addicts, agreed upon scoring and rosters, and made your individual Team Rankings.  Now, it’s time to grind out your Positional Rankings and Big Board.

As we covered in our Quarterback Rankings, nailing down the right signal caller is a necessity to winning a Fantasy Playoff title. Nonetheless, this year features a few RBs who offer title-swinging upside if their teams can go on runs, making the position far more relevant than year’s past.  Let’s dig in and see who’s worthy of early round consideration versus trash to leave until later:

*Note – Your league will need to decide on whether or not Ty Montgommery qualifies as an RB and WR. We suggest that he should be RB since the majority of his snaps come out of the backfield.

Tier One – Potential Title Winners

1) Le’Veon Bell (PIT) – You’re pretty much guaranteed at least two games from the top back in all the Rotosphere, and three would be cream worthy. Don’t overthink this one — Bell should be the first or second guy taken after the top seven QBs.

2) Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) – Elliott is like the Aaron Rodgers of running backs. While I’m skeptical of their “one-and-done” potential, he could bring titles if he gets multiple games.  The team has ridden him all year, and the playoffs should be more of the same.

Tier 1.5 – Last remaining RB1s

While the above two deserve consideration among the elite WRs, I’ll avoid these two if I’ve got a shot at a true WR1. 

3) LeGarrette Blount (NE) – Even in a PPR format, you’ll be getting 3+ TDs from Blount. That’s enough production to make him worth a long look.

4) Devonta Freeman (ATL) –  See Ezekiel Elliott, but stir in slightly more receiving upside, less TD chances, and a greater risk of “one-and-done.”

Tier 2 – Quality RB2s

5) Lamar Miller (HOU) – He’s reportedly feeling fresh after his two game rest, and should get multiple contests. At minimum, Miller will put up some serious stats against a pathetic Oakland defense, making him worthy of consideration once the elite WRs are off the table.

6) Thomas Rawls (SEA) – He’s been a non-factor as of late, but, at-minimum, dates with soft Detroit and Atlanta defenses should make him a very viable Fantasy Playoff RB. Rawls also comes with a serious four-game ceiling.

7) Dion Lewis (NE) – While his high late-season usage is encouraging, Lewis is grossly overvalued at FantasyPros right now.  James White comes in for obvious passing downs and Blount comes in for the obvious scoring situations, leaving Lewis in between-the-20s purgatory, despite his carries and explosiveness.  Nonetheless, he should have three games, meaning at least one score and some hefty yardage totals should be expected.

8) Ty Montgomery (GB) –  The Montgomery Eligibility Dilemma will need to be addressed before your draft; however, after gaining RB status for the end of season, we feel this should carry over in postseason play.  For his fantasy prospects, there’s an equal chance of one-and-done for the Packers as there is four games of potentially explosive numbers. His role has been inconsistent, but the blow up potential is certainly there.

Tier 3 – Last Desirable Starters

9) Tevin Coleman (ATL) – Has a clear nose for the endzone, with four TDs in his last four contests.  He remains a risky “one-and-done” candidate, however.

10) Paul Perkins (NYG) – Here’s my top playoff sleeper at RB — Perkins has progressively been taking over this backfield, and ultimately netted his first 100 yard game to close out the regular season. On the heels of this strong effort + with the Giants having a real shot at a four game run, Perkins could end up being the steal of playoff drafts.

11) Jay Ajayi (MIA) – 95% chance you only get one game, but who knows if it’ll be another 200 yarder? They will certainly try to estbalish the ground game to keep the ball out of Pittsburgh’s hands, making this a game-flow dependent option.

12) Latavius Murray (OAK) – Similar to Lamar Miller, Murray will be leaned on heavily with a garbage QB behind center — Jack Del Rio just recently announced the need to feed Murray more.  This should create some quality numbers, and he does have a shot at two games.

13) Spencer Ware (KC) – Ware has a better chance at two games than both Ajayi and Murray, but I’m nervous Charcandrick West might be more heavily involved after his big Week 17.  Plus, Ware really faded down the stretch — maybe the two weeks off will have him refreshed, but consider me skeptical.

Other names worth consideration

  • James White (NE) 
  • Rashad Jennings (NYG)
  • Charcandrick West (KC)
  • CJ Prosise?! (SEA)


  • Founder of Roto Street Journal. Lover of workhorse backs, target hog wideouts, and Game of Thrones. Aspiring to be the "Brady" and "Leo" of the fantasy universe.


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