Patrick Daugherty


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Week 16 Rankings

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Week 16 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Ezekiel Elliott vs. TB -
2 Christian McCaffrey vs. ATL -
3 Saquon Barkley at IND -
4 Nick Chubb vs. CIN -
5 Joe Mixon at CLE -
6 Melvin Gordon vs. BAL -
7 Derrick Henry vs. WAS -
8 Alvin Kamara vs. PIT -
9 Chris Carson vs. KC -
10 Dalvin Cook at DET -
11 Marlon Mack vs. NYG -
12 Phillip Lindsay at OAK -
13 David Johnson vs. LAR -
14 Damien Williams at SEA -
15 Jamaal Williams at NYJ -
16 Leonard Fournette at MIA -
17 Jaylen Samuels at NO -
18 Tarik Cohen at SF -
19 Sony Michel vs. BUF -
20 Elijah McGuire vs. GB -
21 Tevin Coleman at CAR -
22 Mark Ingram vs. PIT -
23 Gus Edwards at LAC -
24 Jordan Howard at SF -
25 Kalen Ballage vs. JAC -
26 James White vs. BUF -
27 Alfred Blue at PHI -
28 Peyton Barber at DAL -
29 Adrian Peterson at TEN -
30 LeSean McCoy at NE -
31 Matt Breida vs. CHI -
32 Josh Adams vs. HOU -
33 Kenyan Drake vs. JAC -
34 Doug Martin vs. DEN -
35 Mike Davis vs. KC -
36 Kenneth Dixon at LAC -
37 Jeff Wilson vs. CHI -
38 Dion Lewis vs. WAS -
39 Jalen Richard vs. DEN -
40 Latavius Murray at DET -
41 Zach Zenner vs. MIN -
42 Wendell Smallwood vs. HOU -
43 Theo Riddick vs. MIN -
44 Nyheim Hines vs. NYG -
45 Justin Jackson vs. BAL -
46 Darren Sproles vs. HOU -
47 Royce Freeman at OAK -
48 Trenton Cannon vs. GB -
49 Duke Johnson vs. CIN -
50 C.J. Anderson at ARZ -
51 Chris Thompson at TEN -
52 Rex Burkhead vs. BUF -
53 Darrel Williams at SEA -
54 LeGarrette Blount vs. MIN -
55 Keith Ford at NE -
56 D'Onta Foreman at PHI -
57 Giovani Bernard at CLE -
58 John Kelly at ARZ -
59 Brian Hill at CAR -

RB Notes: The Cowboys got shut out last week and Ezekiel Elliott still totaled 128 yards on 25 touches. … With the Panthers missing Cam Newton, Taylor Heinicke will have one instruction against a Falcons defense still allowing the most running back receptions: Get the ball to Christian McCaffrey. … Coming off his least-productive game of the season, Saquon Barkley could be dropped a few spots if Odell Beckham (quad) can’t get cleared. Without OBJ, teams are free to throw the farm at the Giants’ rookie. Not that it’s guaranteed to work. … Nick Chubb had a 100-yard day on the ground in Week 15 but failed to catch a pass for the first time since October. He was also held out of the end zone for the first time in six games. The Bengals’ laughably-bad defense is ready to “challenge accepted” both. … Joe Mixon has touched the ball a mammoth 60 times over his past two appearances. The Bengals’ game plan will be clear versus a Browns defense permitting the ninth-most running back fantasy points.

It’s quite possible this is too deep of a fade for Todd Gurley (knee inflammation), especially against a defense that has struggled to stop the run. I’m guessing an angry Rams team will establish a big early lead and then throttle off their All-Pro running back with an eye toward the Divisional Round. … Melvin Gordon (knee) was close to returning in Week 15. He has since had 10 extra days to heal up. The Ravens are elite against the run. Gordon is elite against everybody. He should have no limitations as the Chargers try to keep hope alive for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. … Derrick Henry,,,,, hello. Averaging 204 yards, three touchdowns and 8.16 yards per carry over the past two weeks, Henry gets a Redskins run defense that’s been annihilated for 1,011 yards on 183 carries (5.52) over its past seven games. The Titans are 10-point home favorites. It’s hard to envision a better setup. The only thing keeping Henry out of the top five is the newness of his dominance.

Chris Carson had his best performance of the season in Week 15. He will have every opportunity to build on it against a Chiefs defense getting pasted for the third-most running back fantasy points in a home game with a 53.5 over/under. … #AsExpected, Dalvin Cook was the centerpiece of the Vikings’ post-John DeFilippo offense in Week 15. Cook ripped a pathetic Dolphins run D for his best game of the year. The Lions are not as big of pushovers on the ground, but both game plan and game flow should conspire to keep Cook in the top 12. … Marlon Mack reawakened following C Ryan Kelly’s return. Now he gets the Giants’ tired-and-injured defense. … The Broncos’ overall collapse has ensnared Phillip Lindsay. Fantasy owners can still hang their hat on a plus matchup (Oakland) in a game that should be close. … Spencer Ware (hamstring) could return against the Seahawks. Doing so would knock Damien Williams out of the RB2 ranks, though Williams would still be a decent bet to lead the Chiefs’ committee versus a soft, soft run D. It’s frankly difficult to know how Andy Reid might delineate touches if Ware returns. Darrel Williams would likely see a touch or two.

Arizona’s tire fire has been a little too much for David Johnson to overcome, though he did manage to post a high-end RB2 day (.5 PPR) in Week 16. The Rams are a middle-of-the-road matchup. … Jamaal Williams will be an every-down back against the Jets’ bottom-10 run defense. A top-12 finish is well within the realm of possibility. … The Jags apparently planned to limit Leonard Fournette’s Week 15 workload. Whatever. Even if they do so again, the Dolphins’ run defense gets got on a weekly basis. … James Conner (high-ankle sprain) looks doubtful. H-back Jaylen Samuels would offer plenty of upside in a likely shootout with the Saints. … The 49ers are one of five teams to cough up 90-plus running back catches. Tarik Cohen on Line 1. .. Sony Michel hasn’t looked the same since returning from his knee injury. Rex Burkhead stealing 5-6 weekly touches is not helping. … Elijah McGuire will continue to see RB2 volume versus a Packers defense that has had its heart (Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark) cut out of by injury. … Tevin Coleman had a good game. Yay. Even with Ito Smith on injured reserve, Coleman maintains a scarily-low floor for a matchup with a Panthers D that’s more effective on the ground than through the air.

Matt Breida has injured his ankle for the 1,000th time. The Bears are a stay-away defense, but Jeff Wilson’s projected volume will have him in the top 24 if Breida sits. … If Lamar Miller (ankle) is active, it will be at less than 100 percent versus an Eagles D that has remained decent on the ground. … Gus Edwards finally scored last week, but Kenneth Dixon remained heavily involved. Edwards’ floor is low, low, low. … Either Kenyan Drake (shoulder) is nowhere close to 100 percent healthy or coach Adam Gase just hates him. Rookie Kalen Ballage offers higher Week 16 floor and ceiling. … At least one of LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Chris Ivory (shoulder) appears ready to return. Maybe next time, Keith Ford. … Just as quickly as Josh Adams arrived on the RB2 scene, he has faded because of Darren Sproles’ return and Wendell Smallwood’s undead zombie vulturing. … Peyton Barber has a better Week 16 scoring environment than Adrian Peterson. … Alfred Blue could mix in for 10-12 touches behind an ailing Lamar Miller. … At least as of Thursday, John Kelly is more likely to back up Todd Gurley than C.J. Anderson.   

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