Patrick Daugherty

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Week 16 Rankings

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Week 16 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Le'Veon Bell at HOU -
2 Todd Gurley at TEN -
3 Ezekiel Elliott vs. SEA -
4 Kareem Hunt vs. MIA -
5 Alvin Kamara vs. ATL -
6 Melvin Gordon at NYJ -
7 Mark Ingram vs. ATL -
8 Devonta Freeman at NO -
9 LeSean McCoy at NE -
10 Kenyan Drake at KC -
11 Leonard Fournette at SF -
12 Alex Collins vs. IND -
13 Jordan Howard vs. CLE -
14 Dion Lewis vs. BUF -
15 Latavius Murray at GB -
16 Christian McCaffrey vs. TB -
17 C.J. Anderson at WAS -
18 Jay Ajayi vs. OAK -
19 Joe Mixon vs. DET -
20 Carlos Hyde vs. JAC -
21 Lamar Miller vs. PIT -
22 Marshawn Lynch at PHI -
23 Jerick McKinnon at GB -
24 DeMarco Murray vs. LAR -
25 Peyton Barber at CAR -
26 Mike Davis at DAL -
27 Jonathan Stewart vs. TB -
28 Frank Gore at BAL -
29 Theo Riddick at CIN -
30 Kerwynn Williams vs. NYG -
31 Jamaal Williams vs. MIN -
32 Isaiah Crowell at CHI -
33 Samaje Perine vs. DEN Questionable (groin)
34 Duke Johnson at CHI Questionable (shoulder)
35 Kapri Bibbs vs. DEN -
36 Bilal Powell vs. LAC -
37 Mike Gillislee vs. BUF -
38 Derrick Henry vs. LAR -
39 Wayne Gallman at ARZ -
40 Tevin Coleman at NO -
41 Matt Forte vs. LAC -
42 Giovani Bernard vs. DET -
43 Aaron Jones vs. MIN Sidelined (knee)
44 Buck Allen vs. IND -
45 LeGarrette Blount vs. OAK -
46 Orleans Darkwa at ARZ -
47 Danny Woodhead vs. IND -
48 Tarik Cohen vs. CLE -
49 Devontae Booker at WAS -
50 Tion Green at CIN -
51 Marlon Mack at BAL -
52 J.D. McKissic at DAL -
53 Elijhaa Penny vs. NYG -
54 Austin Ekeler at NYJ -
55 Ameer Abdullah at CIN -
56 Elijah McGuire vs. LAC -
57 Corey Clement vs. OAK -
58 D.J. Foster vs. NYG -
59 Matt Breida vs. JAC -

RB Notes: Le'Veon Bell needs 151 yards from scrimmage over his final two games to reach 2,000 for the second time in his career. … Todd Gurley needs three touchdowns over his final two games to become just the second player in the past six years to have a 20-score campaign. Having allowed just five rushing touchdowns, the Titans are a tough matchup. So were the Seahawks, whom Gurley gashed for four scores. … After going four straight games without giving Kareem Hunt 20 carries — four losses — the Chiefs have done so in back-to-back contests. The results have been two wins and 344 yards from scrimmage for the electric rookie. Surrendering the eighth most running back fantasy points, the Dolphins are a plum matchup. … Alvin Kamara had a quiet game — 89 yards from scrimmage, six catches and a touchdown — in his Week 15 return. For the fantasy finals, he will be looking for revenge against the Falcons team that concussed him in Week 14. Kamara has been stunningly consistent for a back without true workhorse usage.

Having beaten back the Austin Ekeler threat, Melvin Gordon continues to see monster workloads. To the naked eye, I thought Gordon had one of his best games in Week 15. Pro Football Focus agreed, assigning Gordon with his best rating of 2017 (+2.8) while charting him with a season-high six broken tackles. The Jets are not a foreboding matchup. … Busting big plays all season, Mark Ingram should get chances to do so as a pass catcher against a Falcons D that’s silver plattered the league’s most running back receptions (92). … Devonta Freeman is averaging 5.02 yards per carry and 97 rushing yards since returning from his concussion in Week 13. The Saints are more vulnerable on the ground than through the air. … The Week 16 concern for LeSean McCoy is Tyrod Taylor getting erased by the Patriots’ defense. That was the case in Week 13, though Shady managed to save face with 102 yards from scrimmage. … Dolphins RB Damien Williams (shoulder) seems likely to return from his three-game absence. The guess here is that it won’t have an effect on white-hot Kenyan Drake. Drake has had the looks of a budding star in Williams’ absence, averaging 4.88 yards per carry and 149 yards from scrimmage. The Chiefs are inviting on the ground.

Coming off his first quiet game in over a month, Alex Collins should rebound against the pathetic Colts, who just coughed up 158 yards to C.J. Anderson. … Jordan Howard has been one of the year’s most inscrutable players from a rankings perspective. You zig, he zags. For Week 16, his setup appears good. The Bears are 6.5-point home favorites against the 0-14 Browns. … Provided he’s not subject to another “shock” deactivation, Leonard Fournette (quad) will not lack for work in what should be a tight game with the 49ers. … Rex Burkhead (knee) will be sidelined for Week 16. Although things have a way of not developing as expected in the Patriots’ backfield, that should mean Dion Lewis features both on early downs and near the goal line. We can’t rule out Mike Gillislee stealing some work, but even for Bill Belichick, suddenly making a player coming off six straight healthy scratches a focal point would be a stretch. James White figures to be in line for 5-6 targets in the passing game. … A weekly guarantee for 16-20 carries, both game flow and scoring opportunity will be in Latavius Murray’s favor against a Packers team that’s packed it in for 2017.  

Coming off his best game of the season, Christian McCaffrey has one of his best matchups of the season in a free-falling Bucs defense. … C.J. Anderson is averaging 24 touches over his past three games. The Broncos’ backfield is no longer a committee. Coming off the third-most rushing yards of his career (158), Anderson will have had 10 days to rest up for his date with the Redskins’ undermanned run defense. … Jay Ajayi is still ceding tons of work to the Eagles’ other backs but has solidified himself in the feature role. The Raiders will offer another opportunity to get rolling. … Joe Mixon was running well before a concussion cost him Weeks 14 and 15. The light has seemed to turn on for the uber-talented rookie. The concern for the fantasy finals is that the Bengals’ passing game has gone so in the gutter that it could be hard to get anything going on the ground against the Lions’ middle-of-the-pack (in terms of yardage and yards per carry) run defense. … Samaje Perine has been gobbling up touches, but the Redskins are on the record as wanting to get Kapri Bibbs more work. That, coupled with a tough matchup in the Broncos leaves Perine as a lower-end RB2.

Marshawn Lynch will be facing an Eagles run defense allowing nearly 14 fewer weekly rushing yards than any other team (71.5). … Always low ceiling, Lamar Miller’s floor is below sea level with T.J. Yates under center. … Kerwynn Williams (quad) will be a volume based RB2/FLEX if he can get cleared to face the Giants. If he can’t, Elijhaa Penny would have some RB3 appeal. … Doug Martin will probably be a part of this week’s 46-man roster, but Peyton Barber should be the clear-cut lead back for Weeks 16 and 17. … Jamaal Williams’ situation is suddenly in flux. Brett Hundley will have trouble moving the chains against the Vikings, and Aaron Jones is crying out for more work. … J.D. McKissic resurfaced for the Seahawks in Week 15, but with last week’s blowout catastrophe unlikely to repeat itself in Dallas, Mike Davis should resume dominating work. … Theo Riddick (wrist) is practicing in full. With Vontaze Burfict (concussion) down, the Bengals have opened the gates of Heaven to opposing runners. … There’s a distinct lack of compelling finals week dart throws at running back. I’m going to pass on throwing out any names. I would purely be guessing.   

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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