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Week 17 Player Fantasy Rankings - Running Backs

By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The league's leading rushing, LeSean McCoy, will face off against one of the NFL's worst run defenses in the Dallas Cowboys. Add in that this is a must-win situation for Philadelphia and you have the ingredients for a big day running the football.

We certainly think so, as we have installed McCoy as the No. 1 running back option in Week 17. He has rushed for a league-best 1,476 ypg and combined with his skills as a receiver also leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,012).

The only thing keeping us from placing Green Bay rookie Eddie Lacy in the top spot is a sore ankle which forced him to the sidelines in the Week 16 overtime game with Pittsburgh. Lacy will likely miss practice all week, but if he is healthy enough to play he'll face the Chicago Bears run defense which is the worst in the NFL yielding more than 161 yards per contest. Given that we do not expect Aaron Rodgers to play, the Packers will once again need the ground attack to lead the way and that means Lacy with a side order of James Starks.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys' DeMarco Murray should see a huge workload if starting quarterback Tony Romo is sidelined. Kyle Orton may be a solid veteran backup, but this is the same quarterback who was benched for Tim Tebow in Denver. No matter how good the receiving corps in Dallas and how stubbornly the coaching staff continues to want to throw the ball, Murray should be the No. 1 option this Sunday.

Bears tailback Matt Forte will go up against a sub par Green Bay defense (125.2 ypg allowed) likely without their best defender in Clay Matthews. Pencil him in for 125 yards in rushing and receiving yards and at least one touchdown.

Marshawn Lynch couldn't do much with the tough Arizona Cardinals defense and, in fact, hasn't posted a 100-yard game since Week 10, but we think he's finally over the shoulder issue and ready to carry the load.

At the other end of the list, you will find fantasy superstar Jamaal Charles. Charles will likely play a series or two, at the most, as Kansas City has nothing to play for in Week 17. Coach Andy Reid has shown in the past that he will sit his stars in this situation, so Charles has been dropped to the bottom of the list.

Top-50 Running Back Rankings


1) LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

2) Eddie Lacy, Green Bay

3) DeMarco Murray, Dallas

4) Matt Forte, Chicago

5) Marshawn Lynch, Seattle

6) Adrian Peterson, Minnesota

7) Alfred Morris, Washington

8) Zac Stacy, St. Louis

9) Knowshon Moreno, Denver

10) Reggie Bush, Detroit

11) Rashad Jennings, Oakland

12) Ryan Mathews, San Diego

13) Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

14) Chris Johnson, Tennessee

15) Frank Gore, San Francisco

16) DeAngelo Williams, Carolina

17) Knile Davis, Kansas City

18) Shane Vereen, New England

19) Donald Brown, Indianapolis

20) Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville

21) Fred Jackson, Buffalo

22) Andre Brown, New York Giants

23) Chris Ivory, New York Jets

24) Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay

25) Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona

26) Steven Jackson, Atlanta

27) C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

28) Ray Rice, Baltimore

29) Joique Bell, Detroit

30) Andre Ellington, Arizona

31) Pierre Thomas, New Orleans

32) Danny Woodhead, San Diego

33) Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati

34) Shonn Greene, Tennessee

35) Trent Richardson, Indianapolis

36) Darren Sproles, New Orleans

37) Stevan Ridley, New England

38) BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati

39) Lamar Miller, Miami

40) Montee Ball, Denver

41) Mike Tolbert, Carolina

42) James Starks, Green Bay

43) Dennis Johnson, Houston

44) Darren McFadden, Oakland

45) Michael Bush, Chicago

46) LeGarrette Blount, New England

47) Willis McGahee, Cleveland

48) Kendall Hunter, San Francisco

49) Bilal Powell, New York Jets

50) Jamaal Charles, Kansas City

12/26 23:03:34 ET

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