This football season has flown by. It’s already Week 13 and the fantasy playoffs are right around the corner. They begin in Week 14 in most ESPN.com leagues and Week 15 in NFL.com leagues. If there wasn’t enough pressure during the regular season, there will be even more in the upcoming weeks. One mistake can bounce you from the postseason with nothing to look forward to in Weeks 15 and 16.
In order to help guarantee a championship, here are three running backs with favorable schedules in the fantasy playoffs. Note: There will be no mention of stud running backs (Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, etc.). You start them no matter what.
Ray Rice: Rice hasn’t been the most reliable fantasy running back this season. Many consider him to be the biggest bust in 2013. In his last three games, he averages 3.64 yards per carry. That number includes the 47-yard run in Week 11. He’s had a rough stretch in the schedule, playing against some tough rush defenses.
Things will get easier for him as the Baltimore Ravens play the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots in Weeks 14 and 16 respectively. The Vikings allow 20.4 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and Patriots allow 16.5 .
Chris Johnson: Johnson is another running back that can be considered a bust, but taking into account when he was drafted, he’s not. Johnson has scored in just two games this season. However, he scored two touchdowns in both of those games. Despite the low scoring totals, Johnson still carries the ball a ton. He averaged 18 carries in the last four games.
It’s a good thing there isn’t a viable No. 2 option for the Tennessee Titans. Johnson should be able to put up good numbers against the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars in Weeks 14 and 16. The Jaguars and the Broncos are the eighth and 10th-worst fantasy rush defenses.
Fred Jackson: Unlike the previous two running backs, Jackson has been reliable for most of the season. He’s been struggling recently though. Jackson’s scored less than 10 fantasy points in three straight games, but he’s still getting touches. He’s clearly replaced C.J. Spiller as the No. 1 back and getting close to 16 touches per game.
With quarterback EJ Manuel coming back from injury, the Buffalo Bills will rely heavily on the run game. The Bills play the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins in Weeks 15 and 16. The Dolphins have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs.