The fantasy football semifinals are here and it is that time of year where every decision made can make or break your championship run. Fantasy matchups are more important now and it is necessary to pick players with the best matchups. We have you covered with our Salute Magazine Week 15 choose or lose running backs.
TIM HIGHTOWER VS. DETROIT LIONS
Tim Hightower is actually back in the spotlight after getting another chance in the NFL. Similar to Shaun Draughn, Hightower is a former 1,000 yard rusher in the NFL.
He fell off with the Arizona Cardinals but now he’s with the New Orleans Saints. Mark Ingram is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and it seemed like the job was CJ Spiller’s.
Instead, Tim Hightower came out of nowhere and rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown against a decent Buccaneers rush defense. Now Hightower has an even better matchup against the Lions who just allowed Todd Gurley to bounce back with a huge day. Hightower could be a fantasy game changer on Sunday.
BRANDON BOLDEN VS. TENNESSEE TITANS
Brandon Bolden is another backup running back who is in line to have a big fantasy impact on Sunday. LeGarrette Blount is now out for the season with a hip injury, which means Brandon Bolden will get plenty of touches on Sunday.
James White will likely be the running back in passing situations but Bolden got 16 carries from the second quarter onward which means he should get at least 20 on Sunday. Bolden faces a Titans defense that allowed Chris Ivory to have more than 150 yards rushing last week.
The Patriots usually keep things balanced on offense so Bolden is worth picking up if you have running back trouble.
BRYCE BROWN VS. CLEVELAND BROWNS
The Seattle Seahawks running back situation got even more interesting this week after the season-ending injury to Thomas Rawls.
DaJuan Harris was expected to take over the starting job but the team made a shocking decision by cutting him on Tuesday. Fred Jackson is still on the team but Pete Carroll decided to keep him as the third down back.
The team signed Bryce Brown on Monday which means he’s the only guy left at running back. Brown has plenty of fantasy potential, he showed explosiveness as a backup to LeSean McCoy with the Eagles.
Brown will have his time to shine against the Browns who are 21st in the NFL against fantasy running backs. It’s now or never and Brown is another option for owners needing help at running back.
JAVORIUS ALLEN VS. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Javorius Allen let a lot of owners down last week but you can’t really blame him for having a terrible matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. This week doesn’t get much better against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs are 5th in the league against opposing running backs and haven’t allowed more than three 100 yard rushers this season.
Allen does have value catching passes out of the backfield but it’s not like the Chiefs have the type of offense that can pull away from the Ravens. Stay away from Javorius Allen in a critical fantasy week.
MATT FORTE VS. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Matt Forte has surprisingly been productive the last two weeks despite splitting the workload with Jeremy Langford. The former Tulane star has recorded two touchdowns the last two weeks and will always be a RB1 in PPR leagues.
However, this is a bad time to face a division rival in the Vikings who are 7th overall against opposing running backs.
Since allowing Carlos Hyde’s big game in Week 1 they’ve only allowed more than 20 fantasy points in two games this year. Forte’s value is already hurt by Langford and the matchup makes it worse.
ON THE BUBBLE
DEANGELO WILLIAMS VS. DENVER BRONCOS
The Pittsburgh Steelers have done some incredible things on offense this season. They put it to the test against one of the best defenses against the league in the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos already have the passing game covered well but they’re also 14th in the NFL against opposing fantasy running backs.
They’ve only allowed more than 100 rushing yards to tailbacks just once this season and that was Week 2 to the Chiefs.
However, Williams has had some solid games against two of the better defenses in the league recently. The former Memphis running back recorded more 118 total yards and touchdown against the Seahawks and 91 total yards plus two touchdowns against the Bengals. Williams will either have a huge week for owners or he’ll be a complete dud.