Heading into Week 2 of the fantasy playoffs it seems that there are more backfields you should be looking to avoid as opposed to those that can be trusted to help you in your quest for a fantasy championship. 

Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been slumping over the past two weeks and has a very tough matchup against the Saints in Week 15. The Steelers haven’t been able to run the ball all season, and you should avoid starting a Bengal RB if you can. On the other hand, the Ravens love to run the ball, and their rookie RB J.K. Dobbins has a three game TD scoring streak. Even Dobbins’ backup, Gus Edwards , has some value with three TDs in his last three games. 

Unanticipated injuries and having players unexpectedly placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list are always a possibility these days, and Fantasy Alarm will keep you up to date on all the latest breaking fantasy football related news as it happens. In the meantime, the following analysis provides a closer look at a few of the NFL backfields that deserve your attention.  We hope that it helps you better manage your fantasy football team(s). Good luck this week!

Dallas Cowboys

Who would have ever imagined that you were essentially wasting your overall top three pick when you drafted Ezekiel Elliott this preseason? Based on PPR fantasy points per game Zeke is RB15 on the season, and an even worse RB28 over the past five weeks. There are several possible reasons for Zeke’s disappointing season. While losing QB Dak Prescott in Week 5 was the final nail in the coffin for the Cowboys’ offense, their run game was already severely hampered due to the poor play and the number of injuries to their offensive line. Despite all that, in simply using the eye test, Elliott just doesn’t seem to have that normal focus or that burst of speed that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him. Zeke’s 3.9 average YPC is a career low. While you can blame that anomaly on his offensive line, his backup, Tony Pollard, is running behind that same line and he’s averaging 4.5 YPC. Elliott has already tied his career high with six fumbles (he’s lost five), and he’s dropped seven passes. He’s been dealing with a calf injury of late, and we sometimes forget that it was reported that Zeke tested positive for COVID-19 back in June. Although reports from back then said he was “feeling good”, the medical community is still learning about the virus’ long term effects. Could Zeke’s season long slump be due in part to the lingering effects of the coronavirus? Zeke had just one more carry (12) than Pollard (11) in Week 14. Neither is startable in the fantasy playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts

It took a while, but rookie RB Jonathan Taylor has finally come into his own. With 14 missed tackles and an average of 26.5 PPR fantasy points in Taylor’s last two games, fantasy players who kept him on their rosters through all of his lean weeks, are being rewarded with breakout performances right in the middle of their fantasy playoff runs. After averaging just under 13 carries and 2.79 YPC in his first nine games, Taylor has taken off, averaging just over 18 carries and 6.02 YPC in his last three games. Taylor, who had been dealing with a nagging ankle injury, is finally healthy and if he continues rake, could be responsible for helping several fantasy teams win their league championships. Nyheim Hines still has value in PPR scoring formats, but he has clearly taken a back seat behind Taylor on the Colts’ depth chart.  

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are running out of healthy offensive players. RBs Myles Gaskin (reserve/COVID-19) and Salvon Ahmed (shoulder), WRs Preston Williams (foot), DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Jakeem Grant (hamstring) are some of the players who could be out for the Dolphins this week. You can use the fact that so many Dolphins players may be on the sidelines in Week 15 to your advantage by grabbing Lynn Bowden, who is eligible at both RB and WR in some leagues, off of your league’s waiver wire. With 13 targets and 11 receptions over the past two weeks he could be a monster in PPR leagues. As this article is being written, he’s rostered in just two percent of CBS leagues and only three percent of Yahoo! leagues. Bowden played out of the slot in Week 14 and had seven receptions for 82 yards as well as one carry for two yards, but in many cases you’ll be able to slip him into your lineup as a RB! 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite the Bucs’ early season addition of Leonard Fournette , Ronald Jones has carved out a prominent role in their backfield, averaging just under 14 carries per game. Head coach Bruce Arians recently reiterated Jones’ importance to the Bucs’ overall offense, stating that when game script allows, he should be getting 20 carries a game. Jones had a productive Week 14, but unfortunately he broke his pinkie finger and underwent surgery to have a pin placed in that finger. Watch his progress as game time approaches, but there’s a good chance that Jones will miss at least one game. Under normal circumstances with Jones out, you’d expect Fournette to be the lead back in his absence. However, with Fournette being a healthy scratch and LeSean McCoy and Ke’Shawn Vaughn active in Week 14, we might be looking at a potential running back by committee in Week 15.

 Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsNew England PatriotsNew York Jets
Primary RBZack MossDeAndre WashingtonDamien HarrisFrank Gore/Ty Johnson/Josh Adams
Change of Pace Patrick Laird
Sony Michel
3rd Down Malcolm PerryJames White 
Devin Singletary
Salvon AhmedSony Michel 
Matt Breida is on the reserve/COVID-19 list
Rex BurkheadLa'Mical Perine was placed on the IR (ankle)
Salvon Ahmed has been out since Wk 12 (shoulder). Gaskin tested positive for COVID-19, missed Week 14 and is expected to miss Week 15
 Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsHouston TexansTennessee Titans
Primary RBJonathan TaylorJames RobinsonDavid JohnsonDerrick Henry
Change of PaceJordan Wilkins/Nyheim HinesDare Ogunbowale/Devine OzigboDuke Johnson/C.J. ProsiseJeremy McNichols/D'Onta Foreman
3rd DownNyheim Hines Duke Johnson/Dontrell Hilliard 
Handcuff Devine OzigboDuke JohnsonJeremy McNichols
InjuredMarlon MackChris Thompson/Ryquell Armstead  
David Johnson was out Wk 14 (close contact COVID) Buddy Howell led in carries, Duke Johnson led RBs in snaps played.
D'Onta Foreman was a healthy scratch Week 14
 Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers
Primary RBJ.K. DobbinsGiovani Bernard/Samaje Perine/Trayveon WilliamsNick Chubb/Kareem HuntJames Conner
Change of PaceGus Edwards/Mark Ingram/Justice Hill  Benny Snell
3rd Down   Jaylen Samuels
HandcuffMark Ingram/Gus Edwards Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt 
Injured Joe Mixon (foot) has been out since Week 7 and was placed on the IR. He was eligible to return in Week 14.  
Watch Conner's progress for Week 15 (quad). Anthony McFarland was a healthy scratch in Week 14
 Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsLas Vegas RaidersLos Angeles Chargers
Primary RBMelvin Gordon/Phillip LindsayClyde Edwards - HelaireJosh JacobsAustin Ekeler
Change of PaceRoyce FreemanLe'Veon BellDevontae Booker/Jalen RichardKalen Ballage/Justin Jackson/Joshua Kelley
3rd Down Darrel Williams Gabe Nabers/Troymaine Pope
Handcuff Le'Veon BellDevontae BookerKalen Ballage
Watch Gordon's progress (shoulder)
Ignore Josh Jacobs Instagram posts
Watch Ekeler's progress (quad).Joshua Kelley (foot) was out Wk 14 & Troymaine Pope (neck) has been inactive since Wk 13
 Dallas CowboysNew York GiantsPhiladelphia EaglesWashington Football Team
Primary RBEzekiel ElliottWayne GallmanMiles SandersAntonio Gibson
Change of PaceTony PollardAlfred Morris/Dion LewisBoston Scott/Corey Clement/Jordan HowardPeyton Barber
3rd Down Dion Lewis
Boston Scott
 J.D. McKissic
HandcuffTony PollardAlfred MorrisBoston ScottJ.D. McKissic / Peyton Barber
Injured Saquon Barkley & Devonta Freeman  
Clement and Howard did not log a carry in Week 14
Antonio Gibson was out Week 14 (toe)
 Atlanta FalconsCarolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsTampa Bay Buccaneers
Primary RBIto SmithMike DavisAlvin KamaraRonald Jones
Change of PaceBrian Hill/Todd GurleyRodney SmithLatavius MurrayLeSean McCoy/Ke'Shawn Vaughn
3rd Down    
Handcuff Rodney Smith/Trenton CannonLatavius MurrayLeonard Fournette/LeSean McCoy
Injured Reggie Bonnafon  
Christian McCaffrey (quad) may miss Week 15.
Watch Jones' progress (finger) for Week 15. Fournette was a healthy scratch Week 14
 Chicago BearsDetroit LionsGreen Bay PackersMinnesota Vikings
Primary RBDavid MontgomeryD'Andre SwiftAaron JonesDalvin Cook
Change of PaceRyan Nall/Cordarrelle PattersonAdrian Peterson/Kerryon JohnsonJamaal Williams/Tayvon AustinAlexander Mattison
3rd Down  Jamaal Williams 
Cordarrelle Patterson
Adrian Peterson/Kerryon JohnsonJamaal WilliamsAlexander Mattison
InjuredTarik Cohen Tyler Ervin 
A.J. Dillon was removed from the COVID IR
Mattison missed Wk 13 & 14 (appendectomy). If he misses Wk 15 Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone would back up Cook.
 Arizona CardinalsLos Angeles RamsSan Francisco 49ersSeattle Seahawks
Primary RBKenyan DrakeCam AkersRaheem Mostert/Jeff WilsonChris Carson/Carlos Hyde
Change of PaceChase EdmondsDarrell Henderson/Malcolm BrownKyle JuszczykDeeJay Dallas
3rd Down    
HandcuffChase EdmondsDarrell Henderson  
Injured  Jamycal HastyRashaad Penny/Bo Scarbrough
Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon did not log a carry or receive a target in Week 14
Travis Homer (wrist/thumb/knee) hasn't played since Week 11.