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Week 14 Fantasy RB Rankings: Alvin Kamara falls, several waiver-wire pickups rise

Sporting News — (Sporting News)

Running backs have been the most important part of fantasy football rosters for a long time, and even in a pass-happy league, they remain key as most leagues begin their fantasy playoffs. If you have the names at the top of our Week 14 fantasy RB rankings, like Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley, you feel like you have a chance no matter who your opponent has. But every year there are also some sleepers that lead team to fantasy glory, and they often emerge by simple happenstance at the RB position. Patrick Laird, anyone?

If you had told me in Week 1 that Laird, a player I hadn't heard of until about Week 9, would be a focal point of the Week 14 RB rankings, I would've been very concerned. But any time you can take a pass-catching back in a pass-heavy offense that trails a lot and line him up against the Jets, Giants and Bengals, you have to at least take notice. Of course, this all depends on Kalen Ballage remaining out with his leg injury, or maybe you'll be relying on that plodder instead.

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The thing is, Laird might not even be the best guy available on waivers at RB this week. Depending on the league, others available might include Benny Snell Jr., Derrius Guice, Raheem Mostert and Bo Scarbrough. There weren't even many injuries to worry about in Week 14, but if you've been struggling to fill the RB slots in your lineup, hit that wire hard.

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You won't win in the fantasy playoffs without your studs, though. Someone like Alvin Kamara, whose carries have been down since his return from injury, adds to that with a tough matchup against San Francisco. But it actually might help Kamara that more of his work has come through the air of late, and you still have to start him. You also have to start Ezekiel Elliott against the Bears -- we wouldn't expect a great yards per carry, but Dallas will be committed to getting Zeke the ball.

WEEK 14 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiverTight end

More on the border of things are David Montgomery (vs. Cowboys) and Carlos Hyde (vs. Broncos) -- you know you're getting volume with both, but volume might be all you're getting. And despite big Week 13s, both Adrian Peterson and Peyton Barber should probably be on the outside of your lineup looking in as they regress to the norm in Week 14.

Waiver pickups | FAAB planning | Stock watchSnap counts | Fantasy playoff SOS

Reminder: These rankings will be adjusted throughout week, so check back often for the latest updates and analysis!

MORE WEEK 14 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup Builder

Week 14 Fantasy RB Rankings

These rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.

1Christian McCaffrey, CAR @ ATL. I wonder if there's anyone who owns McCaffrey in fantasy football who didn't make the playoffs. Probably, but man, has he been good all year.
2Dalvin Cook, MIN vs. DET
3Derrick Henry, TEN @ OAK
4Nick Chubb, CLE vs. CIN. Even as Kareem Hunt gets more involved, Chubb remains the workhorse in this offense and should have no difficulties running all over the Bengals in Week 14.
5Josh Jacobs, OAK vs. TEN
6Le'Veon Bell, NYJ vs. MIA. Bell hasn't been great this year, but he's still going to get the usage he needs to take advantage of a cupcake matchup against the Dolphins.
7Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ CHI
8Saquon Barkley, NYG @ PHI
9Leonard Fournette, JAX vs. LAC. When you consider the floor Fournette has created for himself by adding a receiving element to his game, he should be one of the most important pieces to owners trying to make a championship push.
10Melvin Gordon, LAC @ JAX
11Todd Gurley, LAR vs. SEA
12Aaron Jones, GB vs. WAS
13Joe Mixon, CIN @ CLE
14Devonta Freeman, ATL vs. CAR. The Panthers allow the most fantasy points to running backs, so a healthy Freeman with a nice 10-day rest after Thanksgiving should be revved up for heavy action in Week 14.
15Mark Ingram, BAL @ BUF
16Alvin Kamara, NO vs. SF. This is a brutal matchup, yes, but Kamara is too talented to leave out of your lineup, and the fact that he does it in the receiving game provides him multiple avenues to try and find openings in the 49ers' defense.
17Devin Singletary, BUF vs. BAL
18Jordan Howard, PHI vs. NYG. It's weird that Howard hasn't been cleared for contact yet in his return from a shoulder injury, and it seems like once that happens he'll be back for game action. Whoever starts this game, be it Howard or Miles Sanders, should be in fantasy lineups.
19Benny Snell Jr., PIT @ ARZ. Snell's ranking reflects the absence of James Conner for Week 14.
20Derrius Guice, WAS @ GB. Guice topped the century mark thanks to a couple of long runs last week and now gets to face a Green Bay team that's allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs in 2019. Expect Guice to keep it rolling.
21Chris Carson, SEA @ LAR
22Phillip Lindsay, DEN @ HOU
23Sony Michel, NE vs. KC
24Kareem Hunt, CLE vs. CIN. Constantly involved in the passing game, Hunt should remain a solid FLEX option even in standard leagues the rest of the way thanks to a pretty safe double-digit touch floor.
25Austin Ekeler, LAC @ JAX
26James White, NE vs. KC. White is often game flow dependent, and against the Chiefs, the Patriots could be forced into enough passing situations to give White value even in standard leagues.
27Carlos Hyde, HOU vs. DEN
28David Montgomery, CHI vs. DAL. The Cowboys' run defense hasn't been as strong in recent weeks, so Montgomery, who's become more of a workhorse, is still a strong FLEX play as the fantasy playoffs get underway.
29Bo Scarbrough, DET @ MIN. The Vikings have a solid run defense, though they did get run all over by two Seattle backs last Monday night. On the bright side, you should be able to count on Scarbrough for 15-plus carries, providing him a floor some of the names around him here don't have.
30Miles Sanders, PHI vs. NYG. Sanders moves into RB2 territory if Jordan Howard (shoulder) is forced to miss another game. If Howard plays, you're looking at a boom-or-bust FLEX play with Sanders.
31Adrian Peterson, WAS @ GB. In a surprisingly strong Washington ground game in Week 13, Peterson ran for 99 yards and a score. He'll probably see about 10 carries in this one, and the Packers allow the fifth-most fantasy points to backs, so AP is probably usable in your FLEX spot.
32Marlon Mack, IND @ TB. Mack could be back from a hand injury this week, but he would face a dominant Tampa Bay run defense, so maybe look elsewhere this week regardless of his health status.
33Kenyan Drake, ARZ vs. PIT
34Jamaal Williams, GB vs. WAS
35LeSean McCoy, KC @ NE.
36Peyton Barber, TB vs. IND. Two touchdowns by Barber in Week 13 have us yet again totally unsure of which way to go in this backfield. Barber outcarried Ronald Jones 17-6 despite averaging fewer than three yards a carry. Unless you're super desperate, this is a spot to avoid.
37Ronald Jones, TB vs. IND
38Matt Breida, SF @ NO
39Rashaad Penny, SEA @ LAR
40Patrick Laird, MIA @ NYJ. Laird could be looking at the Miami starting job with Kalen Ballage (leg) out. That would probably mean double-digit rushes to go with about five catches against a Jets defense that can be beaten. You could do worse.
41Duke Johnson Jr., HOU vs. DEN
42Darwin Thompson, KC @ NE
43Tevin Coleman, SF @ NO. Being outcarried 20-5 by Raheem Mostert in Week 13, along with the prospect of Matt Breida (anklie) returning, makes the San Francisco backfield another tough one to count on unless any indications are given during the week about what the workloads will be.
44Tarik Cohen, CHI vs. DAL
45Raheem Mostert, SF @ NO
46Latavius Murray, NO vs. SF
47Royce Freeman, DEN @ HOU
48Nyheim Hines, IND @ TB
49Jaylen Samuels, PIT @ ARZ
50David Johnson, ARZ vs. PIT. He's become totally unusable.
51Rex Burkhead, NE vs. KC
52Frank Gore, BUF vs. BAL
53Dare Ogunbowale, TB vs. IND
54Gus Edwards, BAL @ BUF
55Brian Hill, ATL vs. CAR
56Tony Pollard, DAL @ CHI
57Myles Gaskin, MIA @ NYJ
58Malcolm Brown, LAR vs. SEA
59Bilal Powell, NYJ vs. MIA
60Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. DET
61Spencer Ware, KC @ NE. 
62Giovani Bernard, CIN @ CLE
63Ty Johnson, DET @ MIN
64J.D. McKissic, DET @ MIN
65Dion Lewis, TEN @ OAK
66Wayne Gallman, NYG @ PHI