After an eventful and often painful 15 weeks of fantasy football, the season is now drawing to a close. Week 16 is championship week in the majority of leagues, so if you’re reading this, then hopefully you’ve had a successful season. Our Week 16 fantasy RB rankings are here to help give you the best chance of finishing the year in style, outlining RB busts, must starts, and sleepers.
Running back injuries to monitor
Week 15 brought with it a list of substantial injuries, which should all be monitored before setting your lineups.
James Robinson left the game early with an ankle injury. Robinson has been one of the biggest workhorses in the NFL this season. Dare Ogunbowale and Devine Ozigbo will likely share the backfield if Robinson misses out. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was helped to the locker room and looks unlikely to play in Week 16. Le’Veon Bell will handle the bulk of the touches if he can’t play and looked good when given the opportunity.
Christian McCaffrey, Antonio Gibson, Ezekiel Elliott, Joe Mixon, Ronald Jones, and Myles Gaskin all missed Week 15. There are varying degrees of confidence that they will be available for Week 16, and these have been factored into our Week 16 fantasy RB rankings.
As always, make sure that you check the injury reports throughout the week.
Note: Please keep in mind that these are PPR RB rankings. PPR in fantasy means that a running back gets an additional full point for each reception. This can play a big factor when deciding which players to put into your lineups and makes volume all that much more important. Schematically, some defenses are better than others at stopping RBs in the passing game, and it’s important to note who those teams are.
1) Derrick Henry at Green Bay Packers
2) David Montgomery at Jacksonville Jaguars
3) Alvin Kamara vs. Minnesota Vikings
4) Aaron Jones vs. Tennessee Titans
5) Dalvin Cook at New Orleans Saints
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Derrick Henry was unstoppable last week. He had 152 total yards and a touchdown despite spending much of the game on the sideline when the Titans secured the victory. The Packers haven’t done a good job against running backs this season, and Henry should have another great game.
David Montgomery is in the best form of his career with over 100 total yards and a touchdown in each of his last four games. The Jaguars are among the worst-performing defenses in fantasy football against running backs. The Bears should be playing with a lead, and Montgomery will be handling the load for the rushing attack.
The Saints aren’t an explosive offense at the moment, but the fact that they rarely go deep doesn’t hurt Alvin Kamara. Kamara is still an outstanding pass catcher and should see plenty of opportunities against a Vikings defense that was just torched by David Montgomery.
Aaron Jones and Dalvin Cook are consistently top-5 fantasy options
Aaron Jones showed exactly what he’s capable of in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers as he turned 23 touches into 158 total yards and a touchdown. He faces a Titans defense this week that has been struggling against running backs lately.
Dalvin Cook gets a tough Saints defense in Week 16, but that doesn’t usually stop him. He faced a tough Bears defense in Week 15 and turned his 29 touches into 159 yards and a touchdown. Despite the difference in records, this should be a tight game, and the Vikings will lean on Cook heavily as they always do.
Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16: Nick Chubb rounds out Tier 1
6) Nick Chubb at New York Jets
7) Austin Ekeler vs. Denver Broncos
8) Christian McCaffrey at Washington Football Team
9) Ronald Jones at Detroit Lions
10) Miles Sanders at Dallas Cowboys
Nick Chubb is the lead back for the best RB tandem in fantasy football. He’s being used heavily, and the Cleveland Browns will rely on him against the Jets as they continue their playoff push. The Jets have been average against RBs this season, but Chubb should still have success.
Austin Ekeler hasn’t looked quite as dynamic this season as he has previously, but he’s still a top-10 option this week against the Denver Broncos. Fantasy managers hope that he can take some more touches away from Kalen Ballage, who continues to see red zone carries.
Christian McCaffrey is still hopeful of returning this season, and the Panthers would love to have him in Week 16. Mike Davis has been a capable replacement, but McCaffrey is a difference-maker. If he can play against the Washington Football Team, he should be an RB1 despite Washington’s success against running backs.
Ronald Jones and Miles Sanders are the clear lead running backs in their offenses
Ronald Jones missed Week 15 due to illness, but he’s been handling heavy workloads when available. The Lions have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and running backs have been scoring fantasy points against them all season. If Jones plays, then he should have a productive day.
Miles Sanders has quietly become the workhorse RB of the Philadelphia Eagles since Jalen Hurst took over at QB. He’s gone from being one of the RB busts of the fantasy season to a top-10 option this week. Hurts’ athleticism can work against Sanders in the red zone, but he seems to be benefiting from the unpredictability. He was the only Eagles running back to get a carry in Week 15, and the Cowboys are a favorable matchup.
Tier 2: Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16
11) Jonathan Taylor at Pittsburgh Steelers
12) Melvin Gordon at Los Angeles Chargers
13) D’Andre Swift vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14) David Johnson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
15) Josh Jacobs vs. Miami Dolphins
16) James Robinson vs. Chicago Bears
17) Chris Carson vs. Los Angeles Rams
18) Ezekiel Elliott vs. Philadelphia Eagles
19) J.D. McKissic vs. Carolina Panthers
20) Le’Veon Bell at Atlanta Falcons
Tier 3: Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16
21) Cam Akers at Seattle Seahawks
22) Kareem Hunt at New York Jets
23) Raheem Mostert at Arizona Cardinals
24) Myles Gaskin at Las Vegas Raiders
25) Kenyan Drake vs. San Francisco 49ers
26) J. K. Dobbins vs. New York Giants
27) Giovani Bernard at Houston Texans
28) James Conner vs. Indianapolis Colts
29) Wayne Gallman at Baltimore Ravens
30) Sony Michel vs. Buffalo Bills
Tier 4: Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16
31) Nyheim Hines at Pittsburgh Steelers
32) Leonard Fournette at Detroit Lions
33) Frank Gore vs. Cleveland Browns
34) James White vs. Buffalo Bills
35) Zack Moss at Patriots
36) Peyton Barber vs. Carolina Panthers
37) Lynn Bowden Jr. at Las Vegas Raiders
38) Mike Davis at Washington Football Team
39) Salvon Ahmed at Las Vegas Raiders
40) Tony Pollard vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Tier 5: Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16
41) Latavius Murray vs. Minnesota Vikings
42) Ty Johnson vs. Cleveland Browns
43) Devin Singletary at New England Patriots
44) Jamaal Williams vs. Tennessee Titans
45) Jeff Wilson Jr. at Arizona Cardinals
46) Ito Smith at Kansas City Chiefs
47) Gus Edwards vs. New York Giants
48) Chase Edmonds vs. San Francisco 49ers
49) Carlos Hyde vs. Los Angeles Rams
50) Kalen Ballage vs. Denver Broncos
Tier 6: Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16
51) Phillip Lindsay at Los Angeles Chargers
52) Devontae Booker vs. Miami Dolphins
53) Duke Johnson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
54) Trayveon Williams at Houston Texans
55) Todd Gurley at Kansas City Chiefs
56) Adrian Peterson vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
57) Darrell Henderson vs. Seattle Seahawks
58) Matt Breida at Las Vegas Raiders
59) Alexander Mattison at New Orleans Saints
60) Darrel Williams vs. Atlanta Falcons
Tier 7: Fantasy RB rankings for Week 16
61) Samaje Perine at Houston Texans
62) Boston Scott at Dallas Cowboys
63) Benny Snell vs. Indianapolis Colts
64) LeSean McCoy at Detroit Lions
65) Justin Jackson vs. Denver Broncos
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