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Fantasy Football Rankings: Running backs for Week 16

Ranking the best running backs by matchup and opportunity for Week 16 of the 2018 NFL Season. 

Dallas Cowboys v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We’ve got some clearcut ballers in the Top 20, a shaky end to the RB2s, and a precipitous drop-off in the RB3 range.

Best of luck!


Rank Running Back Team Opponent High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB1s
Rank Running Back Team Opponent High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB1s
1 Ezekiel Elliot DAL TB Zeke gets a great matchup as the Cowboys try to lock down the division title.
2 Christian McCaffrey CAR ATL CMC squares off with the leagues most charitable defense to all-purpose RBs and Cam Newton's out. It'll be CMC all day long.
3 Melvin Gordon III LAC BAL Gordon has returned to full health. He's a lock for 20+ touches as the Chargers look to take the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
4 Nick Chubb CLE CIN The Browns are still in playoff contention. They'll get up to an early lead and Chubb will run wild through the second half as Cleveland salts the clock.
5 Marlon Mack IND NYG Evan Silva noted Pat Thorman's excellent work regarding the Colts' run game this week: Ryan Kelly is back and the Colts average 4.9 YPC with him in the lineup, 3.4 YPC with him out. Mack looks like a league-winner this week in a dream matchup against the hapless New York Giants.
6 Joe Mixon CIN at CLE Mixon's been ripping it up as of late and this week he gets Cleveland's subpar run D.
7 Saquon Barkley NYG at IND Barkley should see 20+ touches this week as Eli Manning's likely No. 1 target.
8 Alvin Kamara NO PIT Gamescript should give Kamara a high-volume of touches via the passing game.
9 Dalvin Cook MIN at DET Great volume and a great matchup. Cook should smash just like he did last week after the change at OC.
10 Philip Lindsay DEN at OAK A glorious matchup for the Pro Bowler.
11 Derrick Henry TEN WAS Tennessee has finally embraced their All-World Athlete. It's The Derrick Henry Show now. Washington gets pummelled on the ground.
12 Jaylen Samuels PIT at NO The all-purpose back will be heavily utilized in a surefire shootout against New Orleans.
High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB2s
13 Chris Carson SEA KC Seattle will look to control gameflow with a high-dosage of Chris Carson touches.
14 Gus Edwards BAL at LAC Edwards continues to turn in reliable, non-flashy performances. He's got a great matchup against an absent Chargers run defense.
15 Kalen Ballage MIA JAX The explosive, big-bodied athlete is operating as Miami's bellcow. Jacksonville's internal issues are too large to ignore and they aren't playing for anything.
16 Elijah McGuire NYJ GB The Jets' coaching staff has finally embraced McGuire as their bellcow and he's responded in back-to-back games. He'll produce on volume against a middling Packers defense.
17 Lamar Miller HOU at PHI Miller's ankle injury is minor. He'll get 20 or so touches as the Texans look to lockup the AFC South.
18 Damien Williams KC at SEA It's a murky situation but this is my best guess. Williams has done enough to keep the lead back job and faces a solid matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
19 John Kelly LAR at ARI Fading the narrative that CJA will get meaningful work. Kelly's a beast and he's got a good matchup.
20 Tevin Coleman ATL at CAR With Ito Smith on IR and Carolina's offense likely to be slowed by the absence of Cam Newton, Coleman should see a 15-20 touch workload and a favorable gamescript.
RB2s that should be higher but are downgraded due to outside factors.
21 David Johnson ARI LAR On paper, it's a great matchup but the Cards aren't playing for anything. It's likely DJ gets relegated to the bench for the sake of preservation.
22 Jamaal Williams GB at NYJ He's GB's lead back with Aaron Jones on IR. That hasn't guaranteed fantasy points in the past though. It's a good matchup.
23 Leonard Fournette JAX at MIA Great matchup but I would look elsewhere. The coaches benched him last week due to playoff-elimination and locker room strife. Start at your own risk.
24 Tarik Cohen CHI at SF The Bears are still in-play for a 1st round bye. This is a must-win. I would rank Cohen as low-floor/high-ceiling and...
High-Floor/Capped Ceiling RB3s
25 Jordan Howard CHI at SF ...Jordan Howard as a high-floor/capped-ceiling play. Howard has seen serious workloads over the last 3 weeks. This looks like a game that he could takeover in the second-half.
26 Sony Michel NE BUF How the mighty have fallen. Michel can't be trusted as anything more than a FLEX, even in a good matchup.
27 Zach Zenner DET MIN Zenner is a solid FLEX play this week. He'll get a decent workload in a difficult matchup.
28 Josh Adams PHI HOU Josh Adams will likely see 15 or so touches but they'll be on the ground against a very strong Houston run defense.
29 Matt Breida SF CHI Brutal matchup and he hurt his ankle again last week. If he can't go, Jeff Wilson Jr. will slide into the 30-36 range.
30 Adrian Peterson WAS at TEN Tough mathchup but he'll see a decent workload in what should be a Ground And Pound game for both teams.
31 Peyton Barber TB at DAL Bad matchup but he'll see the volume to produce middling yardage. He's a coin-toss to score.
32 Spencer Ware KC at SEA Ware should see 8 or so touches in a good matchup.
33 LeSean McCoy BUF at NE McCoy will resume No. 2 RB duties behind Josh Allen.
34 Kenneth Dixon BAL at LAC Dixon should see 8 or so touches in a decent matchup.
35 Mark Ingram NO PIT Ingram will see limited work in this shootout.
36 Doug Martin OAK DEN Denver's run D is middle of the road.

Here’s a link to the aforementioned Pat Thorman stat.