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Look kids, it's Week 15. You don't need to know about running back touches and wide receiver targets for every single player on every single team, because there's really only one week left to play and you should know the drill by now. Unless you got here with your eyes closed, in which case you don't actually care. So we're going to change up the format here. Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich will deliver some highlights, some lowlights and some unexpected performances, which we believe shall suffice. If your fantasy running back or pass-catcher isn't mentioned in the recap below, then that player probably didn't do anything spectacular/egregious on Thursday/Saturday/Sunday. (Fantasy point totals calculated via NFL dot com standard scoring.)
*NOTE: This article will be updated with data from the Sunday Night and Monday Night games the following day, so check back for more information as games wrap.
WEEK 15 RUNNING BACKS
Writing about good players performing well doesn't really move the needle. So in the hopes of keeping this brief. Here's a glance at some stud fantasy running backs that simply did their job for fantasy owners in Week 15.
Todd Gurley: 42 fantasy points - The Rams absolutely destroyed the Seahawks in their own house on Sunday by a score of 42-7. Todd Gurley single-handedly won and ended fantasy seasons on the heels of his FOUR touchdowns and 180 yards. He's been completely unstoppable the last two weeks with 25 and 42 fantasy point outings, rewarding those who took a chance on drafting him back in August. He's piled up 315 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns against the Eagles and Seahawks in his last two games. He's going to eat against Tennessee next week.
Le'Veon Bell: 22.5 fantasy points - Le'Veon Bell was up to his usual activities against the Patriots on Sunday. He was loaded up with 29 touches, racked up 165 total yards and scored on a rushing touchdown in the third quarter. There's nothing here that I can tell you that you already don't know. Start Bell next week against the Texans.
Kareem Hunt: 32.6 fantasy points - If you stuck with Kareem Hunt this long, you weren't benching him in the fantasy playoffs. He made up for some lost time, logging 31 touches (24 carries, seven receptions) for 206 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. Hunt should be locked in as your RB1 for next week's game at home against the Dolphins' weak rush defense.
Melvin Gordon: 22.9 fantasy points - Everything about Melvin Gordon's Week 15 matchup pointed toward a big game, and it all panned out. He got the volume (25 touches), found the end zone (one rushing TD) and racked up 169 yards from scrimmage (78 rushing, 91 receiving). If all goes well the next two weeks, Gordon should finish the season as a top-10 fantasy running back in terms of overall points. Make sure he's in your lineup against the Jets in Week 16.
Mark Ingram: 27.1 fantasy points & Alvin Kamara: 14.9 fantasy points - The Saints running backs were back at it on Sunday. Mark Ingram was the star, piling up 151 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches, with two rushing touchdowns. Ingram's first touch of the game was a 54-yard catch and run, and his last touch of the game was a 50-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes to play. Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara was healthy enough to play after suffering a concussion in Week 15. The rookie recorded 18 touches for 89 scrimmage yards and a receiving touchdown. The Saints get the Falcons at home next week, and both backs should be started.
LeSean McCoy: 21.6 fantasy points - Here's the thing: LeSean McCoy is elite. He posted 96 yards and two touchdowns on 24 touches against the Dolphins on Sunday. He did have an injury scare at one point, but returned to finish the game. His health is worth monitoring ahead of next week's road game against the Patriots, but he's a no-brainer must-start every week.
Kenyan Drake: 17.3 fantasy points - Coming off a huge game on Monday night against the Patriots, Drake doubled-up for another RB1-type performance. He posted 113 total yards and found the end zone on one of his 22 touches. Drake saw 12 targets as a receiver in a game in which Jay Cutler attempted 49 passes (three picks). Drake was the only Dolphins player to score in the game and has become the keystone of the Miami offense. He'll again be a volume play with major upside next week against the Chiefs.
Latavius Murray: 16.4 fantasy points - Following a dud outing in Week 14, Latavius Murray was on the radar as a value play against the Bengals in Week 15. He came through, logging 21 touches for 104 total yards and found the end zone. Jerick McKinnon had a nice game, too, leading the Vikings with 114 receiving yards on seven receptions. Chalk up the Week 14 dud up to a tough road matchup and keep the Vikings backs in your lineup for a Week 16 tilt against the Packers next Saturday.
Here's a look at some players you've probably never heard of, and some guys who had performances we didn't see coming from Week 15.
Christian McCaffrey: 19.6 fantasy points - A week after Jonathan Stewart exploded for three touchdowns and over 100 yards, it was Christian McCaffrey's turn. The rookie was spectacular Sunday on his way to 136 total yards and a touchdown on his 18 touches. He has another extremely favorable matchup next week against the lowly Buccaneers defense.
C.J. Anderson: 15.8 fantasy points - Anderson lands in the surprise section, because he's been so ineffective as a fantasy option this season. But the Broncos loaded him up with 30 carries against the Colts on Thursday Night Football, and he responded with 158 rush yards. Anderson didn't find the end zone, but his 15 standard points got the job done if you by chance slotted him into your lineup. He'll face the Redskins in Washington next week and will be a risky fantasy play, especially if you "need a win."
Kapri Bibbs: 11.3 fantasy points - The Redskins signed Kapri Bibbs off the street for backfield depth just ahead of Week 15. Behind Samaje Perine (16 touches, 66 total yards) Bibbs hauled in four receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. If you started Bibbs in your fantasy league, this is an official request for proof. Bibbs might be a hot waiver-wire name this week, but he'll be tough to trust against Denver.
Corey Grant: 12.9 fantasy points & Tommy Bohanon: 12.2 fantasy ppints - Leonard Fournette was ruled out with a quad injury, signaling a start for Chris Ivory and potential change-of-pace touches for T.J. Yeldon. Welllll things didn't exactly go according to plan here. Ivory rushed 17 times for just 42 yards and failed to score on what seemed like infinite goal-line attempts. Instead, the Jaguars fullback, Tommy Bohanon, took his only two touches of the entire game into the end zone and fourth-stringer Corey Grant racked up 69 garbage-time yards and a touchdown after Ivory exited with an injury. Reports on Sunday morning pointed to a Week 16 return for Fournette, so his status will need to be closely monitored ahead of a great matchup against the 49ers.
Chances are, you started these running backs in your fantasy league in Week 15. And if you did, chances are you didn't do very well, or are just scraping by. Sorry about your luck.
Jordan Howard: 6.3 fantasy points - The Bears running backs tormented the Bengals defense in Week 14. So it made sense that they'd produce on Saturday against a Lions unit that has been unable to stop the run all season and was one of the absolute worst teams in terms of limiting fantasy points to backfields. But Howard posted just 37 rush yards on 10 carries and added 26 receiving yards on four receptions. Tarik Cohen totaled just 17 yards on six touches. It was an all-around dud of an outing for the Bears backfield. They get the Browns at home in Week 16, but if you're considering other options, you won't be faulted.
Samaje Perine: 6.6 fantasy points - Samaje Perine has been a volume play every week since Rob Kelley went on IR in mid-November. But the last few games Perine has struggled to produce. That was the case again in Week 15 as Perine had just 37 rush yards on 14 carries against a tough Cardinals run defense. He'll be in line for volume next week but there are real concerns about his upside given the Redskins offensive woes of late.
Alex Collins: 5.2 fantasy points - Coming into Week 15, Alex Collins was on a roll with a four-game touchdown streak. That ended abruptly Sunday as Collins struggled against the Browns taking his 12 carries for just 19 yards on the ground. He added five catches for 33 yards to save a small amount of face. But considering how well he had been playing for the last month, this fantasy playoff outing was a major letdown.
Jamaal Williams: 3 fantasy points - Over the last four weeks, Jamaal Williams had racked up 471 scrimmage yards, five total touchdowns and was the third-highest scoring fantasy running back in standard formats during that span. But the rookie ran into a stout Panthers defense on Sunday and managed just 30 rush yards on 10 carries and didn't log a single reception. Aaron Jones finished the game with more yards on fewer touches (4/53). There should be some concern for Williams value from the perspective that Aaron Rodgers changes the Packers offense from what it was with Brett Hundley under center. Overall, it's a good change for Green Bay, but Williams may not see the same kind of volume we had gotten used to from him. He has another tough matchup against the Vikings next Saturday and will likely be a topic of frequent debates in the week ahead.
WEEK 15 PASS-CATCHERS
Business as usual for these players, for the most part. No need to strongly react to the performances of this group of pass-catchers but their lines may just affect their teammates' fantasy outlooks.
13 targets, 10 catches, 99 yards
It was the ninth game this season where Jarvis Landry saw double-digit targets. We know he's a high-volume slot receiver. The more surprising note was that DeVante Parker saw 12 targets, his highest single-game total. The wide receiver duo combined for 51 percent of the team targets in Week 15. This is more in line with what we expected from this group oh so long ago back in the preseason.
12 targets, 5 targets, 40 yards
It was predictable that Robby Anderson would see a dip in production without Josh McCown but we should be pleased that he still earned such massive volume with Bryce Petty under center. The duo shared a connection in last year's preseason and the end of the regular season. Anderson finished with 12 targets and no other Jets player had more than five. New York has another tough secondary matchup with the Chargers in Week 16.
7 targets, 4 catches, 60 yards, TD
Brandin Cooks got rolling again with Chris Hogan out of the picture. Hogan was inactive after suffering a setback with his shoulder injury and his absences narrow the target distribution to the point that it helps Cooks' odds for a big game. Rob Gronkowski returned from a one-game suspension to lead the team in all receiving categories.
13 targets, 10 catches, 114 yards
Yes, Goodwin has worked his way into "as expected" territory. He has target totals of eight, 12 and 13 in Jimmy Garoppolo's three starts. He has 99 yards or more in each contest. Goodwin will be tough to play next week, as the 49ers get a matchup with the Jaguars, but the volume with Garoppolo is a huge boost to his outlook.
10 targets, 7 catches, 49 yards, TD
13 targets, 4 catches, 80 yards, TD
We didn't see these performances coming. Can you trust some of the stat lines these pass-catchers produced? Let's dig into their volume totals to decide how we ought to react.
10 targets, six catches, 89 yards
16 targets, 11 catches, 139 yards, TD
14 targets, 7 catches, 84 yards, TD
9 targets, 7 catches, 186 yards, TD
The rookie out of Kentucky Wesleyan scored his third touchdown in as many games, so this performance wasn't completely out of nowhere. However, Cole's increase in volume was notable, as he owned a whopping 63.2 percent share of the Jaguars' intended air yards. Blake Bortles is indeed heating up and that makes this passing attack viable in plus matchups. With Marqise Lee exiting the game early, Jaydon Mickens also popped up for two touchdowns. His lowly five targets make him a player unwise to chase. Rookie Dede Westbrook fell back to the pack with two targets despite having momentum coming into Week 15, but did draw a pass interference penalty on a deep shot.
13 targets, 7 catches, 81 yards
7 targets, 6 catches, 45 yards, TD
Robert Woods wasted no time, leading the team in targets and scoring a touchdown in his return to the field from a multi-week injury absence. It's clear he's a valued player in the passing game. Elsewhere, Cooper Kupp (two targets) and Sammy Watkins (five targets) combined for 35 yards, fading to the background in a crowded target distribution with Woods back.
These big-name players failed to perform up to season-long expectations this week. For some, their volume should leave you with hope. For others, the outlook is now a bit bleak.
2 targets, 2 catches, 20 yards
11 targets, five catches, 47 yards
It wasn't a killer line for Josh Gordon but you escaped with a solid line in PPR. The fact that he had 11 targets will make it easy to stomach playing him again in Week 16. He also, once again, dominated the team's air yards, owning a 44.6 percent share. Gordon will get a solid matchup with the Bears.
4 targets, 2 catches, 30 yards
5 targets, 3 catches, 30 yards
Adam Thielen posted a season-low 30 yards on just five targets, which also tied for his lowest single-game total of the year. The star wideout fell victim to game script, as the Vikings creamed the Bengals. Their quarterbacks only needed to throw 25 passes. Stefon Diggs escaped with a touchdown and six targets. We aren't worried about Thielen for next week.
4 targets, 2 catches, 18 catches
Remember when he looked like a locked-in starter at tight end? Vernon Davis has two or fewer catches in each of the last four games. His fantasy season is ending with a whimper, as a fumble today put him in the negatives for Week 15.
4 targets, 1 catch, 19 yards
The breakout receiver drew just four targets against the Packers, his lowest single-game total since Week 1. Greg Olsen finally got rolling and led the team in targets (12) and air yards share (48.2 percent), which certainly dug into Devin Funchess' usage. Intriguing speedster Damiere Byrd scored twice, as well. Funchess will have a chance to bounce back next week against a beatable Buccaneers secondary in Carolina.
3 targets, 1 catch, -1 yards
Jimmy Graham has -1 yards over the last two weeks. That is not a misprint. Graham's touchdown-dependent ways were always going to make him a thin margin for error play, but the last two games have been worse than anyone could have expected.