LeSean McCoy snow
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football running back rankings.
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1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy is averaging 134.1 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. He should finish strong against the Dallas Cowboys. The Boys have allowed 127.9 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game.
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2. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy is averaging 96.7 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. He should beast out in the finale against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have allowed 161.5 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game. Lacy had 150 yards and a score in the first meeting.
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3. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray is averaging 106.5 total yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. He’s facing the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 107.5 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game.
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4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte is averaging 118.4 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He closes the season out against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 125.3 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game. Forte had 179 yards and a score in the first meeting.
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5. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch is averaging 98.1 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game. He should close strong against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have allowed 102.3 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game.
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6. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Reggie Bush started the season off with a bang with 191 total yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. He is averaging 111.3 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. Bush should finish strong as the Vikes have allowed 113.6 yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game.
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7. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’Veon Bell is averaging 96.9 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He takes on the Cleveland Browns in the finale. The Browns have allowed 110.7 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. Bell had 98 total yards in the first meeting.
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8. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Alfred Morris is averaging 80.9 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He wraps up another strong year against the New York Giants. The G-Men have allowed 110.1 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game. Morris had 53 total yard and a score in the first meeting.
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9. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy is averaging 97.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns in his past 11 games. He has a tough finale against the Seattle Seahawks, but he managed 134 yards against them in the first meeting.
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10. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Ryan Mathews is averaging 113.7 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns in his past six games. He has a tough finish against the Kansas City Chiefs, but Matthews has 65 total yards and a score in the first meeting.
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11. Andre Brown, New York Giants
Andre Brown has fizzled out a bit averaging 40 total yards in is past two games after averaging 100.8 total yards with all three of his touchdowns in his first five games, but he should close out strong against the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 109.8 yards and 1.5 touchdowns. Brown had 58 total yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first meeting.
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12. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
Fred Jackson is averaging 78 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. He faces the New England Patriots. The Pats have allowed 131.7 yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. Jackson had 108 total yards against them in the first meeting.
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13. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots
LeGarrette Blount had 76 yards and a pair of scores in Week 16 against the Baltimore Ravens. He should have a heavy load in the finale against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have allowed 119.7 yards per game.
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14. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Giovani Bernard is averaging 75.7 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He faces the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have allowed 105.1 yards per game. Bernard had 95 total yards and a score in the first meeting.
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15. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
The fact that the Patriots play the afternoon game makes Moreno and the Broncos play to win. He should do his damage early against the Oakland Raiders.
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With an exciting 16th week under our belts, here are the LestersLegends 2012 Week 17 fantasy football running back rankings.
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1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
All Day is 102 yards shy of 2000 and 208 yards from the NFL record. The Packers have a mediocre run defense. AP ripped them for 210 yards in the last meeting. My gut says he gets to 2000, but comes up a little short. Prove me wrong AP.
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2. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
Spiller had 173 total yards against a solid Miami Dolphins defense. He had 194 total yards and a touchdown in the opener against the New York Jets. He’ll bookend the season by thumping them again. The Jets rank 27th in run defense.
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3. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Lynch is averaging 118.6 yards with seven touchdown in his last four games. He dropped 155 total yards and a touchdown on the St. Louis Rams in the first meeting. He’ll pound them again. The Rams are one of four teams to have allowed 17 or more rushing touchdowns.
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4. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Moreno is averaging 140 total yards in his past three games. The Kansas City Chiefs rank 26th against the run. I expect the Broncos to be particularly run-heavy this week to preserve Peyton Manning for the playoffs.
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5. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
I am a little concerned with Foster’s irregular heartbeat. If he is not limited, he should run wild on the Indianapolis Colts’ 30th-ranked run defense as the Houston Texans try to secure the number one seed in the AFC. Foster had 169 total yards in the first meeting and has averaged 187 total yards with five touchdowns in four career games against the Colts.
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6. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
CJ is hit or miss, but should on against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had 109 total yards in the first meeting. The Jags rank 31st against the run.
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7. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Charles has a tough matchup against the Broncos, but Charles has been on a tear averaging 126.6 total yards in his past seven games. He had 107 yards against Denver in Week 12.
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8. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Morris has been the most consistent of the trio of stud rookie running backs. He just keeps on churning. Morris has four touchdowns in his past three games. He’s averaging nearly 100 total yards per game and has 10 touchdowns on the year. Morris had 113 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Dallas Cowboys.
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9. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin has been the most explosive of the rookie runners, averaging 117.7 total yards on the year. He should finish strong against a Falcons team that has nothing to play for.
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10. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Rice got a heavy workload (30 touches) last week against the New York Giants and responded with 158 total yards and a score. He finishes with a tough game against the Cincinnati Bengals on the road.
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11. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Murray only received 11 carries last week, but his inclusion in the passing game allowed him to finish with 91 total yards against the New Orleans Saints. He should finish strong against the Redskins.
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12. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
Gore was an afterthought after the Seahawks ran away in Week 16. He should bounce back against the Arizona Cardinals’ 28th-ranked run defense.
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13. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
McCoy returned with 122 total yards last week against the Redskins. He had 140 total yards in the first meeting with the G-Men. Look for McCoy to finish his disappointing season on a high note.
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14. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers shut down The Law Firm, but he should be back in business against the Ravens. They rank 24th against the run. BJGE ran for 91 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting.
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15. Shonn Greene, New York Jets
Greene has three touchdowns in his past three games. He ran for 94 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with Buffalo. The Bills rank dead last against the run.
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16. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Forte is banged up, but I expect him to gut it out against the Detroit Lions’ mediocre run defense. Forte ran for 96 yards in the first meeting.
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17. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
Bush continued his strong finish with 107 total yards and three touchdowns against the Bills. New England will be a tougher test, but he should see plenty of work in the passing game.
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18. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Ridely had 71 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Dolphins.
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19. Montell Owens, Jacksonville Jaguars
Owens did some damage against the New England Patriots, mainly in the passing game. He should finish well against Tennessee’s 23rd-ranked run defense.
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20. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
Jackson has a tough finish against the Seahawks, but has averaged 109.3 total yards the past seven games.
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Here’s the LestersLegends’ Week 17 2011 fantasy football running back rankings.
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The Best
1. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Indianapolis:  Should wrap up his rushing title in style against Indy’s 29th ranked run defense (140.9 ypg allowed).
2. Marshawn Lynch @ Arizona:  If he can run one in on San Francisco, what isn’t he able to do. He’s scored in his last 11 games.
3. Ray Rice @ Cincinnati:  Averaging 140.0 total yards in his past six games with five TDs.
4. Michael Turner vs. Tampa Bay:  The Bucs have allowed four more rushing TDs (23) than any other team. They are also yielding 149.7 ypg (31st).
5. Frank Gore @ St. Louis: Gore has scored in three straight games and has a date with the league’s worst run defense (154.5 ypg).
6. Rashard Mendenhall @ Cleveland: Continues his soft schedule against the Browns’ 30th ranked run defense (146.5 ypg).
7. Ryan Mathews @ Oakland: Cooled a bit last week, but should finish strong against Oakland’s 27th randed run defense (135.0 ypg).
8. Arian Foster vs. Tennessee:  He’s a risk to be limited, but is good enough to do the damage early against Tennessee’s 24th ranked run defense.
9. Willis McGahee vs. Kansas City: Should carry a bigger load next week as the Chiefs (23rd ranked run defense) won’t change their style like the Pats did.
10. LeSean McCoy vs. Washington: He’s limited so he’s a little risky, but Shady has been a force this year.
11. C.J. Spiller @ New England: Averaging 152.5 ypg the past two weeks. If Reggie Bush (139 total yards) is an indication, he should be solid.
12. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Dallas: Has three TDs in his past two games. Picking a good time to come on again.
13. Reggie Bush vs. New York Jets: Tough match-up, but Reggie is playing out of his mind with an average of 144.5 total yards in four straight 100+ yard games.
14. Michael Bush vs. San Diego: Darren McFadden could play this week, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
15. Shonn Greene @ Miami: If the Jets can keep it close, which I assume is possible, Greene should have ample opportunity to produce.
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The Rest
16. Beanie Wells vs. Seattle
17. Chris Johnson @ Houston
18. Darren Sproles vs. Carolina
19. Steven Jackson vs. San Francisco
20. Toby Gerhart vs. Chicago
21. Donald Brown @ Jacksonville
22. Kevin Smith @ Green Bay
23. Peyton Hillis vs. Pittsburgh
24. Jonathan Stewart @ New Orleans
25. Cedric Benson vs. Baltimore
26. DeAngelo Williams @ New Orleans
27. Kahil Bell  @ Minnesota
28. Ryan Grant @ Detroit
29. Jackie Battle @ Denver
30. LeGarrette Blount @ Atlanta
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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

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Here’s my Week 17 running back rankings for the leagues that play this thing through until the bitter end.

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1. Arian Foster vs. Jacksonville
2. Jamaal Charles vs. Oakland
3. Chris Johnson @ Indianapolis
4. Michael Turner vs. Carolina
5. Adrian Peterson @ Detroit
6. Ray Rice vs. Cincinnati
7.  Rashard Mendenhall @ Cleveland
8. LeSean McCoy vs. Dallas
9. Steven Jackson @ Seattle
10. Ryan Mathews @ Denver
11. LeGarrette Blount @ New Orleans
12. Matt Forte @ Green Bay
13. Ryan Torain vs. New York Giants
14. Peyton Hillis vs. Pittsburgh
15. BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Miami
16. Shonn Greene vs. Buffalo
17. Ahmad Bradshaw @ Washington
18. Felix Jones @ Philadelphia
19. Darren McFadden @ Kansas City
20. Fred Jackson @ New York Jets
21. Ronnie Brown @ New England
22. Rashard Jennings @ Houston
23. Correll Buckhalter vs. San Diego
24. LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Buffalo
25. Marshawn Lynch vs. St. Louis
26. Cedric Benson @ Baltimore
27. Jonathan Stewart @ Atlanta
28. Beanie Wells @ San Francisco
29. Brandon Jacobs @ Washington
30. Pierre Thomas vs. Tampa Bay

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Inside the numbers:

  • Foster goes for his 15th rushing touchdown against Jacksonville, a team he ran for 56 yards and a score against in Week 10.
  • Chris Johnson badly missed the mark he set last year, but is still turning in a fine season. He takes on the Colts who had ran for 111 yards and a score against in the opener.
  • LeGarrette Blount is gathering steam with three 100+ yards performances in his past four games. Look out New Orleans the big man is hard to tackle.
  • Ryan Mathews won’t justify his high draft status (fantasy or otherwise), but he should pay dividends for some fantasy owners this week facing a bad Broncos defense.
  • Matt Forte is peaking at the right time averaging 133.5 total yards the past two games as the Bears have scored a combined 78 points. Look for a strong finish against the Packers.
  • Shonn Greene finally found the end zone in Week 15. He hadn’t scored since Week 5. He faces the soft Bills run defense that he shredded for 117 yards in Week 4. LaDainian Tomlinson is an RB2 as well.
  • Ronnie Brown scored for the second straight week.
  • I’m concerned with Knowshon Moreno’s health. No point starting him in the final week of a lost season.
  • Darren McFadden has had a great run this season, but there is concern that his ankle/toe injury could force him out of action this week.
  • ***Update*** After watching AP slice up the Eagles defense, I’m bumping him into the top six for the finale.
  • ***Update*** It looks like MJD will miss this week’s game. I’m being more cautious with Rashard Jennings though.

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