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Chris Thomas’ Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings for Week 16

Derrick Henry

This year more than ever it has been difficult to make decisions about fantasy football lineups because of injuries, byes, and Covid-19 concerns. This week is championship week so owners may have a few running backs on their roster that they have been flipping between all season. Deciding between them could be the difference between winning and losing. For owners who have to stream a running back this week, it may be difficult to choose who to put into the lineup.

Here are my running back rankings for Week 16 of the 2020 NFL Season.

*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*

(Check out the section below for details on players already rumored to possibly miss this week and how their replacement options rank for the week)

Must Start- a player who is in your lineup regardless of the matchup or most circumstances. They Will likely finish near the top of the league in points that week and in most weeks.
Starting RB1- a player who makes fantasy owners comfortable starting week after week. Regardless of the matchup, this player has a high floor.
High-End RB2- a player who may isn’t likely to carry a lineup that week, but has the ability to have a breakout game and is teetering between RB1 and RB2 category.
Starting RB2- a player who should be started in most lineups and should reach their point projection. This player is started is because of their consistency and moderately high floor
Low RB2- a player who may not be a lock to start for a team every week, but will start more times than not. Their production may not be pretty or win a person their lineup but the production is consistent enough to make a fantasy owner comfortable starting them.
Flex- a player who could float around the territory of being benched, but is started due to the potential to play better than their point projection. However, this player has the potential to flop and cause a fantasy team to lose if he has a bad game.
Deep League Flex- a player who is more of a Hail Mary throw at the position. There are enough reasons to leave this player on the bench, but their upside makes them an attractive option. Desperate times may call for a player like this to be inserted into starting lineups.
Leave on the Bench- a player who should be avoided in all lineups that week. Many times this player could even be left on waivers.
Must StartDerrick Henryvs Green Bay PackersRB1
Must StartChristian McCaffrey*vs Washington Football TeamRB2
Must StartDalvin Cookvs New Orleans SaintsRB3
Starting RB1David Montgomeryvs Jacksonville JaguarsRB4
Starting RB1Nick Chubbvs New York JetsRB5
Starting RB1Alvin Kamaravs Minnesota VikingsRB6
Starting RB1Antonio Gibson*vs Carolina PanthersRB7
Starting RB1Austin Ekelervs Denver BroncosRB8
Starting RB1Aaron Jonesvs Tennessee TitansRB9
Starting RB1Miles Sandersvs Dallas CowboysRB10
High End RB2Jonathan Taylorvs Pittsburgh SteelersRB11
Starting RB2Josh Jacobsvs Miami DolphinsRB12
Starting RB2James Robinson*vs Chicago BearsRB13
Starting RB2D’Andre Swiftvs Tampa Bay BuccaneersRB14
Starting RB2Kenyan Drakevs San Fransisco 49ersRB15
Starting RB2Melvin Gordonvs Los Angeles ChargersRB16
Starting RB2Chris Carsonvs Los Angeles RamsRB17
Starting RB2Jeff Wilson Jr.vs Arizona CardinalsRB18
Low RB2Giovanni Bernardvs Houston TexansRB19
Low RB2Leonard Fournettevs Detroit LionsRB20
Low RB2David Johnsonvs Cincinatti BengalsRB21
Low RB2Darrell Hendersonvs Seattle SeahawksRB22
Low RB2Myles Gaskinvs Las Vegas RaidersRB23
Low RB2J.K. Dobbinsvs New York GiantsRB24
FlexKareem Huntvs New York JetsRB25
FlexEzekiel Elliot*vs Philadelphia EaglesRB26
FlexDamien Harris*vs Buffalo BillsRB27
FlexDevin Singletaryvs New England PatriotsRB28
FlexClyde Edwards-Helaire*vs Atlanta FalconsRB29
FlexWayne Gallmanvs Baltimore RavensRB30
Deep League FlexSalvon Ahmedvs Las Vegas RaidersRB31
Deep League Flex Nyheim Hines vs Pittsburgh SteelersRB32
Deep League Flex Chase Edmonds vs San Fransisco 49ersRB33
Deep League FlexJames Conner*vs Indianapolis ColtsRB34
Deep League FlexJ.D. McKissicvs Carolina PanthersRB35
Deep League FlexFrank Gorevs Cleveland BrownsRB36
Deep League FlexTony Pollardvs Philadelphia EaglesRB37
Deep League FlexIto Smithvs Kansas City ChiefsRB38
Deep League FlexDuke Johnson*vs Cincinatti BengalsRB39
Deep League FlexLe’Veon Bellvs Atlanta FalconsRB40
Deep League FlexJerick McKinnonvs Arizona CardinalsRB41
Deep League FlexGus Edwardsvs New York GiantsRB42
Deep League FlexJames Whitevs Buffalo BillsRB43
Leave on the BenchCarlos Hydevs Los Angeles RamsRB44
Leave on the BenchJamaal Williams*vs Tennessee TitansRB45
Leave on the BenchKallen Ballagevs Denver BroncosRB46
Leave on the BenchTevin Colemanvs Arizona CardinalsRB47
Leave on the BenchDevontae Bookervs Miami DolphinsRB48
Leave on the BenchMalcom Brownvs Seattle SeahawksRB49
Leave on the BenchZack Mossvs New England PatriotsRB50
Leave on the BenchTodd Gurleyvs Kansas City ChiefsRB51
Leave on the BenchMatt Breidavs Las Vegas RaidersRB52
Leave on the BenchDevonta Freemanvs Baltimore RavensRB53
Leave on the BenchLatavius Murrayvs Minnesota VikingsRB54
Leave on the BenchPhilip Lindsayvs Los Angeles ChargersRB55
Leave on the BenchTy Johnsonvs Cleveland BrownsRB56
Leave on the BenchBoston Scottvs Dallas CowboysRB57
Leave on the BenchBenny Snellvs Indianapolis ColtsRB58
Leave on the BenchSamaje Perinevs Houston TexansRB59
Leave on the BenchMike Davisvs Washington Football TeamRB60
Leave on the BenchLeSean McCoyvs Detroit LionsRB61
Leave on the BenchCordarrelle Pattersonvs Jacksonville JaguarsRB62
Leave on the BenchAdrian Petersonvs Tampa Bay BuccaneersRB63
Leave on the BenchSony Michelvs Buffalo BillsRB64
Leave on the BenchPeyton Barbervs Carolina PanthersRB65
Leave on the BenchAnthony McFarlandvs Indianapolis ColtsRB66
Leave on the BenchDarrell Williamsvs Atlanta FalconsRB67
Leave on the BenchDare Ogunbowalevs Chicago BearsRB68
Leave on the BenchA.J. Dillonvs Tennessee TitansRB69

Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday

RB2 Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

After the hope of returning earlier this week, Christian McCaffrey is listed as doubtful for this week. If McCaffrey cannot go on Sunday, Mike Davis will be RB20 on the week between Giovanni Bernard and Leonard Fournette.

RB7 Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team

Antonio Gibson has missed the past two games with a turf toe injury. There is a chance that he could return this week. But if Gibson misses this week, J.D. McKissic becomes RB16 between Melvin Gordon and Chris Carson. While Peyton Barber moves up to RB43 between James White and Carlos Hyde.

RB13 James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week James Robinson suffered an ankle injury. The injury is the reason why Robinson will not practice all week. If Robinson were to miss this week’s game against the Chicago Bears, Dare Ogunbowale becomes RB38 between Tony Pollard and Ito Smith.

RB26 Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys

The biggest news that came out before games last Sunday was the late scratch of Ezekiel Elliot. Tony Pollard took over the Cowboys backfield last week. If Elliot misses this week as well Pollard will become RB24 on the week between Myles Gaskin and J.K. Dobbins.

RB27 Damien Harris, New England Patriots

Damien Harris missed last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Sony Michel did a solid job filling in for Harris. If Michel was to start over Harris he would be RB29 between Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Wayne Gallman.

RB29 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

During last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints, Clyde-Edwards-Helaire suffered a high ankle sprain and sprained him that will likely keep him out for the rest of the regular season. That would mean that Le’Veon Bell would become RB30 between Wayne Gallman and Salvon Ahmed making him a solid flex option. While Darrell Williams would move up to RB47 between Kallen Ballage and Tevin Coleman.

RB34 James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

James Conner has not played great this season and on top of that has been dealing with an injury to his quad that held him out of last week’s game. If Conner is to miss this week as well Benny Snell would move up to RB35 between J.D. McKissic and Frank Gore. Anthony McFarland moves up to RB51 between Zack Moss and Todd Gurley.

RB39 Duke Johnson Jr., Houston Texans

Last week the Houston Texans did not have Duke Johnson because of a neck injury. During that game, David Johnson has 11 targets in the passing game. If Duke Johnson misses this week too David Johnson moves up to RB17 on the week between Melvin Gordon and Chris Carson.

RB45 Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers

Jamaal Williams missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week with a quad issue. If Williams doesn’t play A.J. Dillon would take his role in the offense. Dillon would become RB47 on the week between  Tevin Coleman and Devontae Booker.

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