The Jet Press

Fantasy Football Week 15: Mixon, Barkley and other must starts

By William Schneiderhan
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 14: #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 14: #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OH – OCTOBER 14: #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – OCTOBER 14: #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Here’s the Week 15 edition of top five running backs to start in fantasy football.

One thing can be said right off the bat. Last week’s edition of top five running backs to start in fantasy football didn’t list Derrick Henry.

Henry absolutely went off for a massive 47.8 fantasy points. He ran for 238 yards and scored four touchdowns.

However, three of the five players named on last week’s list did end up as top 10 scorers in ESPN PPR standard scoring leagues. Ezekiel Elliott was the highest-scoring player on the list with 31.2 points.

Saquon Barkley came in behind Elliott with 29.7 points and Christian McCaffrey followed those two with 28.1. Let’s get you geared up for your fantasy football championship.

CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 09: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals is chased down by Jahleel Addae #37, Desmond King #20 and Jatavis Brown #57 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter in a 26-21 Chargers win at StubHub Center on December 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 09: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals is chased down by Jahleel Addae #37, Desmond King #20 and Jatavis Brown #57 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter in a 26-21 Chargers win at StubHub Center on December 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

5. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon is becoming one of the league’s more versatile running backs. He has proven to be a dual threat on the ground and through the air.

Mixon went for 24.8 points last week on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. He ran for 111 yards on 26 attempts with one score to go with five catches for 27 yards.

The former Oklahoma Sooner has scored 20 + points five times this season, including two games of 25+. This week he will eye up the Oakland Raiders defense.

The Cincinnati Bengals will host the Oakland Raiders in Week 15. Oakland has been OK against the run, but Mixon can exploit a defense through the air too.

Next: 4. Nick Chubb

CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 09: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 09: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

4. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

If you haven’t noticed, Nick Chubb has been a stud for the Cleveland Browns for over a month now. He has averaged 22.8 points-per-game since Week 9.

During that stretch, Chubb has had two 25+ point games. More importantly, he has punched the rock into the end zone at least once in five straight games.

Chubb has also been an effective pass-catching running back to. The upstart Browns travel to Denver to play the Broncos in Week 15.

There is no doubt that the Broncos are a tough team to run against. But Chubb will look to wear the Broncos defense down in this late-season matchup.

Next: 3. Christian McCaffrey

3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffrey has continued his scorching hot play for the Carolina Panthers. He racked up 28.1 points in Week 14 against the Browns.

McCaffrey ran for 63 yards, reeled in 38 receiving yards, and two scores on the ground. Over the last three weeks, he has scored a total of 105.9 points.

The dynamic running back has scored 25+ points each game over the past three weeks. While the Panthers have been swooning, they will look to rebound against the New Orleans Saints.

The interesting part about the Saints defense has been how they have done well against the run but have struggled mightily against the pass. Meaning, don’t worry about McCaffrey not getting much on the ground, he will do damage through the air.

Next: 2. Saquon Barkley

LANDOVER, MD – DECEMBER 09: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants rushes against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 9, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD – DECEMBER 09: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants rushes against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 9, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

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Saquon Barkley had the best rushing game of his young career last week against the Washington Redskins. He ran for 170 yards on 14 attempts and one score.

Barkley made it four straight games with 100+ rushing yards. Over that stretch, he has averaged just a tad over 134 rushing yards a game.

Need more? Barkley has scored 30+ points twice in those four games. He just missed making that three games last week with his 29.7 points.

Barkley has been fantastic for Big Blue. He will look to extend his streak of 100+ rushing yards in a game when he and the Giants host the Tennessee Titans this week.

Next: 1. Ezekiel Elliott

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 09: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys leaps past Corey Graham #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles on a carry in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 09: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys leaps past Corey Graham #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles on a carry in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

In Week 9, the Dallas Cowboys squandered multiple chances against the Tennessee Titans at home. Therefore, they dropped what looked to be a potentially season-ending game.

Since then, the Cowboys have ripped off five straight wins and find themselves comfortably atop the NFC East. One of the biggest reasons to that success has been the play of Ezekiel Elliott.

Like fellow NFC East running back, Elliott has been the Cowboys Barkley. The offense goes as he does, which can be seen in his crazy production during that time.

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Elliott has scored 25+ points in each game since Week 10, including 30+ three times. Start Elliott, you won’t regret it.

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