In last week’s Six Players To Target For The Fantasy Playoffs, we reviewed three quarterbacks and three tight ends with particularly juicy fantasy playoff schedules per PlayerProfiler.com. We pinpointed these players by examining fantasy points allowed above/below the mean by opposing defenses for weeks 13 through 16, which encompasses most fantasy playoff formats. Continuing this exercise, let’s review three obtainable running backs with particularly friendly fantasy playoff schedules.
Mark Ingram is one of a handful of running backs who completely dominate positional touches on a prolific offense (New Orleans Saints are No. 2 in the NFL in yards per game). Ingram’s 70-plus percent Opportunity Share (percentage of all team RB carries and targets) on the Saints’ high-volume offense equated to 116 touches over the past four games. Ingram’s No. 7 fantasy playoff schedule makes him an enticing acquisition target. Despite mind-blowing usage and a friendly upcoming schedule, Ingram’s perceived fantasy value has not yet caught up with his production. Uncertainty surrounding his role once Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson return (if they return) make him obtainable for a package of sub-elite players.
Since training camp, Isaiah Crowell has demonstrated that he is the most effective running back on the Cleveland Browns roster. His Production Premium, PlayerProfiler‘s isolated efficiency metric, is +21.5 (top-15) and his 0.85 Fantasy Points Per Game is top-10 in the NFL. Yet, the team inexplicably waited until week 11 to start him. Then, the Browns waived fellow running back Ben Tate, further entrenching Crowell in a leading role. Better yet, the Browns have the second-easiest fantasy playoff schedule, making Crowell a prime player to target in late-season trade talks.
Denard Robinson is fast. From Ronnie Hillman to Jerick McKinnon to Tre Mason to Charles Sims, super-fast running backs are ascending to the top of NFL depth charts quicker than ever. We reviewed Robinson and Hillman in depth a couple weeks back, and while Hillman sadly went down with a potentially season-ending injury, Robinson continues to thrive despite a below-average offensive line and league-bottom surrounding skill players. His fantasy point output the last four weeks is as follows: 18 points, 12 points, 18 points, 19 points. Robinson’s fantasy playoff schedule is in the top-10 with a cherry on top: he faces Tennessee at home in week 16, championship week for most fantasy leagues.
Matt Kelley (@fantasy_mansion) is an XN Sports contributor and founder of RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) and PlayerProfiler.com, which distills a wide range of advanced metrics into a single player snapshot.