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Preparing for the Fantasy Football Playoffs - Running Backs

LeSean McCoy gets in on the scoringPrior to the start of the NFL season, we tried to brainwash you into drafting your running backs in the early rounds of your fantasy football draft.  While most of you went this route, the fantasy playoff matchups will prove this strategy as a winning one.  Yesterday, we looked at the QBs Strength of Schedule heading into the Playoffs.

First rounders Alfred Morris (Chiefs, Falcons, Cowboys), DeMarco Murray (Bears, Packers, Redskins), Jamaal Charles (Redskins, Raiders, Colts) and LeSean McCoy (Lions, Vikings, Bears) have some great matchups. 

C.J. Spiller (Buccaneers, Jaguars, Dolphins) and Matt Forte (Cowboys, Browns, Eagles) are also due for some big days during the playoffs.

Eddie Lacy will continue to lead your team to the promised land with matchups against the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers come Championship Weekend.  The Packers rookie has proven all the doubter wrong this season and is continuing to rush the ball well without Aaron Rodgers under center.  Since Week 5, Lacy leads all NFL rushers with 755 yards on the ground.

Fellow rookie Giovani Bernard may also be key to many championships as the Cincinnati Bengals get the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings.  The Bengals are not running very much but Gio and the BenJarvus Green-Ellis are splitting carries with the upside going to Bernard when plays need to be made.

Hopefully Frank Gore owners get a 1st round bye as San Fran will host the Seahawks but after that it's a matchup with the Bucs and a home game against the Falcons!

With one more week left to injury yet another RB, be safe and add some depth to your roster just in case!  These guys can help!

On the season, the St. Louis Rams are near the bottom of the barrel in fantasy points from the RB position, but Zac Stacy changed all of that.  Over the last 5 weeks, the Rams are top 5 and a recent injury to Stacy have left the job to Benny Cunningham.  Cunningham rushed for over 100 yards on 13 carries after Stacy suffered a concussion.  The Rams don't have great matchups going forward, but a starting RB is a starting RB.

Rashard Mendenhall has been productive for the Arizona Cardinals this season, rushing for 5 TDs and almost 400 yards, but is slowly losing snaps to Andre Ellington.  Ellington has nearly half the carries, but almost 100 yards more than Mendenhall and his 42 targets nearly triples Mendenhall's involvement in the Cardinals pass attack.  Andre has seen double digit carries in 3 of the last 4 games, rushing for 262 yards and a TD.  The Cardinals have nice matchups with the St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans in the early playoff rounds, before a tough game in Seattle against the Seahawks.

C.J. Anderson is a deep league, desperation add just in case Knowshon Moreno is going to miss significant time and Montee Ball doesn't get to handle all of the Denver Broncos snaps.


Best RB with the Worst Matchups

Beast Mode will have to be engaged if Marshawn Lynch wants to help his fantasy owners win their championship.  The Seattle Seahawks will face the San Francisco 49ers, the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals during the playoffs.  Lynch has 11 total TDs, placing him near the top of the fantasy RB charts this season.

If you still consider Ray Rice one of the best RBs in the NFL, than he join Marshawn Lynch as the best RB with the worst matchups.  The Baltimore Ravens have to run the ball against the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots after a Week 14 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

Worst RB with the Best Matchups

Arian Foster and Ben Tate
If only Arian Foster was still around this season.  The Houston Texans will get the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos during the playoffs but it will be Ben Tate and Dennis Johnson handling all the carries.  Tate will get first shot this week against the New England Patriots, but last week he managed just 1 yard on 7 carries before Johnson came in and rushed for 74 yards on 13 carries.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if Johnson totals more carries from here on out.

PPR Only

Shane Vereen is back and Tom Brady loves him.  In his 3 games this season he has rushed the ball 25 times for 139 yards, and caught 23 passes for 183 yards.  Stevan Ridley's fumbles are only going to increase Vereen's value.

Was your season derailed by Doug Martin or Arian Foster?  If so, let us know what moves you made to replace them, how the rest of your season turned out and what you plan to do come playoff time if you made it this far!