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Fantasy Football: Sleeper picks at RB for Week 15

Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins
Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins
ANALYST
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 00:59 IST
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If, like me, you began this fantasy football season with the goal of an imaginary Lombardi Trophy firmly fixed on the radar -- what with having drafted Christian McCaffrey (4th) and Joe Mixon (20th) -- but now find yourself trailing in the first of your two-legged semifinals after having to start Ty Johnson and DeAndre Washington at RB last week (I'm in a deep and unforgiving league), then this is the article for you.

Let's cast an eye over five sleeper picks at running back who just might be available as we head into Week 15.


5. Austin Ekeler (Los Angeles Chargers)

Carolina Panthers v Los Angeles Chargers
Carolina Panthers v Los Angeles Chargers

Your writer participates in 25 fantasy leagues, and believe it or not, having been injured for most of the season, Chargers RB Austin Ekeler was a free agent in around a quarter of those leagues at this time last week. ("Was" being the operative word: I signed Ekeler multiple times last week.)

Since returning from injury in Week 12, the Chargers' No. 1 back has averaged about 19 fantasy points per game, putting him alongside the likes of Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara for fantasy output.

Ekeler is now rostered in 98 percent of fantasy leagues, but if you're competing in a league with a bunch of slackers and bots, it's worth taking a quick look in free agency to see if he's still kicking about.


4. Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams)

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New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams

The Rams' running game has been unpredictable this year: they've had stints with Malcolm Brown featured in the backfield, and Darrel Henderson Jr. has had a fair chance at the spotlight, too ... but mostly without much of an impact from either.

In Week 9, following a difficult start to the campaign, fit-again rookie Cam Akers was reinstated to the first team and hasn't really looked back since. In his last 4 games, the Florida State product has averaged at about 15 fantasy points per game, yet is still only a registered asset in 85 percent of leagues across ESPN.

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Akers is the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week hearing into Week 15, so it's well worth taking a peak to see if he is still available in your free agency pool; especially with the dreadful New York Jets up next against the Rams -- easy money, baby!


3. JK Dobbins (Baltimore Ravens)

Dallas Cowboys v Baltimore Ravens
Dallas Cowboys v Baltimore Ravens

Dobbins had been an inconsistent performer for the Ravens early this season. Often neglected of responsibilities in the RedZone and rarely chalking up +75-yards rushing, the rookie eventually fell foul of fantasy managers and is now registered in just 75 percent of leagues.

Dobbins's recent form has been remarkably improved. In fact, since finally breaking +100-yards rushing against the Steelers during a big performance in week-8, the Ohio State product has averaged 11.5 fantasy points per game and now offers real flex value in deeper leagues.

Is Dobbins kicking it in your free agency pile? Again, well worth a look.


4. J.D McKissic (Washington Football Team)

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Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers
Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers

Registered in just 80 percent of fantasy leagues, Washington back, J.D. McKissic is another player who presents flex/RB2 value heading into Week 15.

Washington will face the Seattle Seahawks without the services of Antonio Gibson on Sunday, meaning McKissic is likely to see more of the football. Pete Carroll's team is ranked 4th in the NFL when it comes to stopping the run but have put up below par numbers in coverage. McKissic is more of a catch-first back anyway, so this could be a good game for him to pad his stats.


1. Jeff Wilson Jr. (San Francisco 49ers)

San Francisco 49ers v New England Patriots
San Francisco 49ers v New England Patriots

With Jerick McKinnon seemingly having fallen out of favor in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, and with starting RB Raheem Mostert (hip) yet again dealing with injury concerns, Jeff Wilson Jr presents some true flex value for fantasy managers this weekend.

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The former UNT star will likely be boosted up to an RB1 slot if Mostert misses out. Up against a lackluster Cowboys' D, this could be a big fantasy outing for San Francisco's No. 30, especially given the irregularity QB Nick Mullens has thrown the dingus with in recent games: all things considered, I'd be surprised if the 49ers didn't look to pound the ball up the middle, which means the potential for a big score from Wilson.

Published 18 Dec 2020, 00:59 IST
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