The 2021-22 NFL season has only three weeks left. Bye weeks are over which means the fantasy playoffs have begun in most standard leagues. This time of year COVID-19 is running rampant which makes it important to have backup options on your fantasy roster. On top of that injuries are continuing to mount up. It is always a great idea to evaluate backup options so that way fantasy managers are prepared if star players miss time. Here are the Fantasy Football Week 16 running back rankings.
*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 causes 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 Start||Jonathan Taylor||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB1|
|Must Start||Austin Ekeler*||vs Houston Texans||RB2|
|Must Start||Dalvin Cook*||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB3|
|Starting RB1||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs Detroit Lions||RB4|
|Starting RB1||D’Andre Swift*||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Alvin Kamara||vs Miami Dolphins||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Najee Harris||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB7|
|Starting RB1||James Robinson||vs New York Jets||RB8|
|Starting RB1||Joe Mixon||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB9|
|High-End RB2||David Montgomery||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB10|
|High-End RB2||Ezekiel Elliott||vs Washington Football Team||RB11|
|High-End RB2||Aaron Jones||vs Cleveland Browns||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Saquon Barkley||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Javonte Williams||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Antonio Gibson*||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB15|
|Low RB2||Miles Sanders*||vs New York Giants||RB16|
|Low RB2||Josh Jacobs*||vs Denver Broncos||RB17|
|Low RB2||Nick Chubb||vs Green Bay Packers||RB18|
|Low RB2||Ronald Jones||vs Carolina Panthers||RB19|
|Low RB2||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB20|
|Low RB2||Melvin Gordon||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB21|
|Flex||Devin Singletary||vs New England Patriots||RB22|
|Flex||Tony Pollard||vs Washington Football Team||RB23|
|Flex||Michael Carter||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB24|
|Flex||Darrell Henderson||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB25|
|Flex||James Conner*||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB26|
|Flex||Jeff Wilson Jr.||vs Tennessee Titans||RB27|
|Flex||A.J. Dillon||vs Cleveland Browns||RB28|
|Flex||Damien Harris*||vs Buffalo Bills||RB29|
|Flex||Rex Burkhead||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Sony Michel||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Rashaad Penny||vs Chicago Bears||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Mike Davis||vs Detroit Lions||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Kareem Hunt*||vs Green Bay Packers||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Myles Gaskin||vs New Orleans Saints||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Chase Edmonds||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Chuba Hubbard||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Devontae Booker||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||Devonta Freeman||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB39|
|Deep League Flex||Darrel Williams||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB40|
|Deep League Flex||Jamaal Williams*||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB41|
|Deep League Flex||Latavius Murray||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB42|
|Deep League Flex||Ameer Abdullah||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Duke Johnson Jr.||vs New Orleans Saints||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Craig Reynolds||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Dontrell Hilliard||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Tevin Coleman||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Rhamondre Stevenson*||vs Buffalo Bills||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||David Johnson*||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Mark Ingram||vs Miami Dolphins||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Jordan Howard||vs New York Giants||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Brandon Bolden||vs Buffalo Bills||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Justin Jackson||vs Houston Texans||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Alex Collins||vs Chicago Bears||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Nyheim Hines||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Matt Breida||vs New England Patriots||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Samaje Perine||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeremy McNichols||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Ke’Shawn Vaughn||vs Carolina Panthers||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Boston Scott||vs New York Giants||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Jaret Patterson||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||DeeJay Dallas||vs Chicago Bears||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||Phillip Lindsay*||vs New Orleans Saints||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juzczyk||vs Tennessee Titans||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||Dare Ogunbowale||vs New York Jets||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||Peyton Barber||vs Denver Broncos||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||Joshua Kelley||vs Houston Texans||RB68|
|Leave on the Bench||JaMycal Hasty||vs Tennessee Titans||RB69|
|Leave on the Bench||Kenneth Gainwell||vs New York Giants||RB70|
|Leave on the Bench||Zack Moss||vs New England Patriots||RB71|
|Leave on the Bench||Godwin Igwebuike||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB72|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB2 Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers placed Austin Ekeler on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. If he was to miss this week’s game against the Houston Texans then Justin Jackson would move up to RB16 between Miles Sanders and Josh Jacobs. Joshua Kelley would then move up to RB35 between Kareem Hunt and Myles Gaskin. Larry Rountree could also see more work in the Chargers’ offense.
RB3 Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. It is very likely that Cook misses this week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. If Cook misses this game then Alexander Mattison moves up to RB10 between David Montgomery and Ezekiel Elliott.
Detroit Lions Running Backs: RB5 D’Andre Swift & RB41 Jamaal Williams
D’Andre Swift returned to practice Wednesday after missing the last three games with a shoulder injury. Jamaal Williams missed last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals because he was on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. If they both were to miss this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons then Craig Reynolds would move up to RB14 between Javonte Williams and Antonio Gibson. Godwin Igwebuike would then move up to William’s RB41 slot.
If Swift is inactive and Jamaal Williams is active then Williams will move up to RB17 between Josh Jacobs and Nich Chubb. Craig Reynolds would then move up to RB22 between Melvin Gordon and Devin Singletary. Godwin Igwebuike would become RB54 between Justin Jackson and Alex Collins.
If Swift is active and Williams is not then Craig Reynolds moves up to RB32 between Sony Michel and Rashaad Penny. Godwin Igwebuike would become RB54 between Justin Jackson and Alex Collins.
RB15 Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team
Antonio Gibson missed practice Wednesday with a toe injury. He left Tuesday’s game with a toe injury but returned to finish the game. If Gibson was to miss this week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys then Jaret Patterson would become RB34 between Kareem Hunt and Myles Gaskin. Also, Johnathan Williams would see an increase in snaps for Washington.
RB16 Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders missed practice Wednesday with a quad injury. It is unclear whether this will hold him out of this week’s game against the New York Giants. If Sanders misses this week then Jordan Howard moves up to RB25 between Darrell Henderson and James Conner. Boston Scott would then move up to RB34 between Mike Davis and Kareem Hunt. Kenneth Gainwell would then move up to RB48 between Tevin Coleman and Rhamondre Stevenson.
RB17 Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs missed practice Wednesday with an illness. If Jacobs was to miss this week’s game against the Denver Broncos then Peyton Barber would move up to RB35 between Myles Gaskin and Chase Edmonds. Jalen Richard would then join the list at RB54 between Justin Jackson and Alex Collins.
RB26 James Conner, Arizona Cardinals
James Conner missed practice Wednesday because of a heel injury. If he was to miss this week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts then Chase Edmonds would move up to RB21 between Melvin Gordon and Devin Singletary.
New England Patriots Running Backs: RB29 Damien Harris & RB43 Rhamondre Stevenson
Damien Harris missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury he has been dealing with since New England’s last game which was the Monday night game before their bye against Buffalo. Rhamondre Stevenson missed practice Wednesday with an illness. If both miss this week’s game against the Buffalo Bills then J.J. Taylor would join the list at RB36 between Chase Edmonds and Chuba Hubbard. Brandon Bolden would move up to RB40 between Devonta Freeman and Darrel Williams.
RB34 Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Kareem Hunt is expected to miss this week against the Green Bay Packers because of both an ankle injury and his placement on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. If that is the case then D’Ernest Johnson would join the list at RB43 between Ameer Abdullah and Duke Johnson Jr.
RB49 David Johnson, Houston Texans
David Johnson missed practice Wednesday with a quad injury. If he was to miss this week’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers then Royce Freeman would join the list at RB60 between Boston Scott and Jaret Patterson.
RB63 Phillip Lindsay, Miami Dolphins
Phillip Lindsay is dealing with an ankle injury that he has been dealing with before he missed last week for being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. If this injury was to hold Lindsay out of action it would likely mean that Duke Johnson Jr. and Salvon Ahmed would get more work behind Myles Gaskin.