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If you’re an Adrian Peterson or Maurice Jones-Drew owner, you’re heading into your playoff matchup in a tough spot. On the other hand, any team looking for help at the running back position is in luck because Week 15 stands to feature a handful of injury replacement starters ripe for a pickup. In the playoffs, one-week rentals are standard practice and, as we saw when Marcel Reece put up 161 total yards and a touchdown against the Jets, can give your lineup a huge boost. Let’s take a look at some one-week playoff rentals in fantasy football deep leagues and standard leagues alike.
Toby Gerhart (Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues): Gerhart stepped in for Adrian Peterson, who left early in the game with a mid-foot sprain, and carried the ball 15 times for 89 yards and a touchdown. AP’s chances of playing this week are slim to none which means Gerhart will start, assuming his own hamstring “tweak” doesn’t prevent him from playing. Gerhart has carried the ball seven or more times just three times this year but is averaging 8.2 yards per carry in those games. If healthy, he’ll face an Eagles defense that has allowed 16.7 fantasy points to Joique Bell last week, 13.6 fantasy points to Arizona’s backfield, and 27.1 fantasy points to the Redskins’ backfield in their last three games.
Daniel Thomas (12 percent): Thomas wasn’t even expected to play last week (maybe all season) but came back and carried the Dolphins with 16 rushes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Thomas has now averaged at least 5.7 yards per carry and has scored a touchdown in two of his last three games. Lamar Miller is questionable for this week’s game against the Pats with a concussion. If Miller can’t go, Thomas would get the bulk of the load against a Pats defense that has allowed 30+ fantasy points to opposing running backs in two of their last three games.
Marcel Reece (12 percent): The Jets have been a terrible matchup for running backs, coming into Week 14 as the top run defense in the league. That didn’t stop Reece, starting in place of injured Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden, from putting up 19 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown and adding two receptions for 38 yards through the air. If Jennings and McFadden are unable to go again, Reece, who’s averaging 4.9 yards per carry and has caught 15 passes over his last six weeks, could be in line for another big day against the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are far from the vicious defense they were in the beginning of the season. They stopped the woeful Redskins in their tracks this week but had allowed 12 fantasy points to Montee Ball, 15 to Knowshon Moreno, 12.5 to Ryan Mathews, 19 to Danny Woodhead, a combined 21 points to Ball and Moreno in their previous game, and a combined 25.4 points to C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson over their previous four games.
Jordan Todman (2 percent): Maurice Jones-Drew will not practice until Friday at the earliest as he deals with a hammy injury. If MJD is out, Jordan Todman figures to serve as the Jags’ starting back. Todman hasn’t been particularly impressive this season but a matchup against the Bills can make anyone look like Barry Sanders. The Bills allowed 18.3 fantasy points to Bobby Rainey last week, 30.5 fantasy points to Steven Jackson and Antone Smith the previous week, 15.8 fantasy points to Chris Ivory in the game before that, and 15.6 points to Le’Veon Bell in the game before that.
Chris Ogbonnaya (22 percent): Like so many players this week, Willis McGahee is dealing with a concussion and is questionable for this Sunday’s game. That would leave Chris Ogbonnaya as the feature back against a terrible Bears run defense. Ogbonnaya hasn’t been particularly consistent this season but is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and has caught 18 passes on 31 targets over his last five games. The unit that is supposed to be Chicago’s run “defense” has allowed 15.5 points to DeMarco Murray, 11.3 points to Joseph Randle, 21.1 points to AP, 15.7 points to Zac Stacy, 16.9 points to Benny Cunningham, and 20.8 points to Ray Rice over their last four games.
Rod Streater (20 percent): Streater had a prime matchup last week and took full advantage, catching seven passes on 10 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown against the Jets. A matchup against the Chiefs doesn’t ring huge numbers like one against the Jets but, as mentioned earlier, this isn’t the same Chiefs defense we saw earlier in the season. Kansas City has allowed double-digit fantasy days to Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Keenan Allen, Marquise Goodwin, Josh Gordon, and DeAndre Hopkins over their last seven games. The last time the Raiders faced KC, Denarius Moore led the way with 82 yards and a touchdown while Streater had 46 yards. Moore is questionable for this week’s game after missing the Raiders’ last two.
Da’Rick Rogers (2 percent): Rogers went undrafted because of some off-field issues but his ability and size is undeniable. With the Colts in a funk, Indy turned to the undrafted rookie on Sunday against the Bengals and Rogers came up huge with six catches for 107 yards and two scores. The last time the Colts faced the Texans, T.Y. Hilton put up 121 yards and three scores. Rogers had nine targets against the Bengals, compared to Hilton’s five. Hilton hasn’t caught for more than 46 yards in four straight weeks and put up just seven receiving yards on Sunday.
Cordarrelle Patterson (27 percent): Patterson has been targeted at least seven times in three of his last four games, has scored in his last two, and put up five receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Ravens. Matt Cassel is clearly better for Patterson and may start again in Week 15 but Patterson has been emerging as a real threat for about a month now. The Vikings will face an Eagles defense that has allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team. Philly has allowed double-digit days to Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Aldrick Robinson, and Jarrett Boykin over their last four games.
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