Fantasy owners are heading into Week 15, which is the semifinal playoff round in many seasonal leagues. Josh Jacobs (shoulder), Derrius Guice (knee) and Le’Veon Bell (illness) missed all or parts of Week 14, opening up potential expanded playing time for some available players. Here are some running backs with under 50 percent ownership in seasonal mainstream leagues that fantasy owners can consider picking up in their leagues:
Adrian Peterson, Washington (45 percent)
Guice’s knee injury in Week 14 forced Peterson into expanded touches. Peterson’s 20 carries were tied for second most in Week 14, and if Guice is out again in Week 15, Peterson could see another plus workload. The downside is that Washington’s Week 15 opponent, the Eagles, have been strong against the run. However, Peterson is set to face a much weaker Giants run defense in Week 16, which would be an appealing matchup if Guice is forced to miss extended time.
Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions (45 percent)
Scarbrough has been Detroit’s top running back in recent weeks, averaging 18 touches per game through four starts. Scarbrough’s lack of involvement in the passing game limits his upside to some degree, but plus rush volume makes him a worthy fantasy consideration. Scarbrough has averaged 4.5 yards per carry, a tick better than the league average of 4.3 yards per carry. Scarbrough has also been used in the red zone, getting four carries inside the 10-yard line over his three starts.
DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (1 percent)
Starting Raiders RB Josh Jacobs has a broken shoulder plate, which kept him out of Week 14. If Jacobs is sidelined again, Washington is in line for another expanded role in Week 15 against a weak Jaguars run defense. Jacksonville has allowed the seventh most DraftKings fantasy points to RBs, including the third most rushing TDs. Jalen Richard (13 percent) is also a candidate for an expanded role on passing downs.
Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins (10 percent)
A mid-season trade of Kenyan Drake has opened up an expanded role for Laird. Laird has averaged 17 touches per game over his last two games, including a season-high 19 touches in Week 14. Laird generated 86 total yards and a respectable 12.6 DraftKings fantasy points in Week 14. Laird draws a good matchup in Week 15 against a poor Giants defense that ranks in the bottom third of the league in fantasy points allowed to RBs.
Bilal Powell, New York Jets (1 percent)
Le’Veon Bell did not play in Week 14 due to an illness, which forced Powell into an expanded role. Powell had a strong 21 touches, and his 19 carries ranked third highest among Week 14 RBs. While an illness does not sound particularly threatening for Bell’s Week 15 status, this is a situation that will still need to be monitored during the week. If Bell is out again, Powell would be in line for another starter’s workload, and he is widely available.
Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (0.2 percent)
Jordan Howard remains sidelined and Miles Sanders cramped up on Monday, which opened the door for Scott. He finished with 114 total yards and a touchdown. He might have earned a bit more work in Week 15 against an awful Dolphins defense, regardless of Sanders’ status. He’s worth keeping an eye on.