2010 Fantasy Football RB Rankings – Week 16

Dec 20, 2010

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Here’s my Week 16 running back rankings.

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1. Arian Foster @ Denver
2. Rashard Mendenhall vs. Carolina (Thursday)
3. Darren McFadden vs. Indianapolis
4. Michael Turner vs. New Orleans (Monday)
5. Ray Rice @ Cleveland
6. BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Buffalo
7. Jamaal Charles vs. Tennessee
8. Chris Johnson @ Kansas City
9. LeGarrette Blount vs. Seattle
10. Adrian Peterson @ Philadelphia
11. LeSean McCoy vs. Minnesota
12. Steven Jackson vs. San Francisco
13. Ryan Torain @ Jacksonville
14. Felix Jones vs. Arizona (Saturday)
15. Mike Tolbert @ Cincinnati
16. Rashard Jennings vs. Washington
17. Ahmad Bradshaw @ Green Bay
18. Marshawn Lynch @ Tampa  Bay
19. Fred Jackson vs. New England
20. Peyton Hillis vs. Baltimore
21. Tim Hightower @ Dallas (Saturday)
22. Matt Forte vs. New York Jets
23. Knowshon Moreno vs. Houston
24. Ronnie Brown vs. Detroit
25. Cedric Benson vs. San Diego
26. Jonathan Stewart @ Pittsburgh (Thursday)
27. Donald Brown @ Oakland
28. Tashard Choice vs. Arizona (Saturday)
29. Brandon Jacobs @ Green Bay
30. LaDainian Tomlinson @ Chicago
31. Michael Bush vs. Indianapolis
32. Danny Woodhead @ Buffalo
33. Brian Westbrook @ St. Louis
34. Pierre Thomas @ Atlanta (Monday)
35. Maurice Morris @ Miami

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Inside the numbers:

  • Arian Foster let his owners down last week, but if you were able to survive, he’ll make up for it against Denver’s 31st ranked run defense (158.4 yards allowed per game).
  • I always seem to have Rashard Mendenhall ranked a little higher than everybody else, but he came through last week with 100 yards and a score. I’m very high on him against a Carolina team that’s allowed 17 rushing touchdowns and 126.2 yards per game.
  • Michael Turner had 114 yards and a score the last time he faced New Orleans, and has an average of 87.8 yards in five career games against them with four touchdowns.
  • BJGE is amazingly (and quietly) up to 12 touchdowns on the year. I’ve been a little slow giving him credit, but I love him against Buffalo’s league worst run defense (158.6).
  • I’m sure everybody on Baltimore’s defense knows who Peyton Hillis is this time around. That’s not a good thing for Mr. Hillis.
  • I’m more worried about Knowshon Moreno’s injury (ribs) than the other backs.
  • Ronnie Brown (39 yards, TD) didn’t exactly overwhelm against Buffalo last week, but he remains a borderline RB2 this week.
  • ***UPDATE*** It looks like Joseph Addai will give it a go this week. I can’t trust him yet, but it does knock Donald Brown down a few notches.
  • ***Update*** It looks like Maurice Jones-Drew is out making Rashard Jennings a sneaky start.

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48 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Grant
    December 20th, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Hmm … I not sure I could start Charles over CJ this week, even in a PPR, after Tennessee just shut down Arian Foster. I’m thinking CJ will once again get involved in the passing game against the Chiefs, because I think Tennessee will be playing from behind (note that CJ had 5 catches for 38 yards on the final desperation drive against Indy 11 days ago).

  2. LestersLegends
    December 20th, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Foster was banged up though. Either way, I think they are both good choices.

  3. Lance F.
    December 21st, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    Mr. Lester, how about Thomas Jones…??? Do u think he will get 22 plus carries again.. I have Stewart and Forte as my RBs.. and LT on the bench….. I Guess I have to roll with them… Was thinking about picking up T Jones, or Donald Brown or Mo Morris… and for WR.. Is Boldin even Startable at this pt?? I have Megatron, Marshall, Garcon and Welker at the flex

  4. Tony Z
    December 21st, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Any word on the seriousness of Arian Fosters ankle injury or the spasms he said he felt in his gluteus maximus? He should be doing whatever it is that Andre Johnson has been doing to treat his ankle injury all season long.

  5. Tony Z
    December 21st, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    Lester, I know it’s a wee bit early to ask but here goes:

    Which two receivers would you start for week 16? Roddy White, Andre Johnson and DeSean Jackson?

    Which kicker would you start? Nate Kaeding @ Cincinnati or Dan Carpenter vs Detroit? I’m leaning towards Kaeding depending on the weather in Cincy as Miami’s offense and Carps accuracy lately scares me….The Titans Bironias, the Patriots Graham and the Cowboys Buehler (who has been hot the last few weeks) are also available via the waiver wire…what do you think?

    Also, which defense would you start? NY Jets or Dallas

  6. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    lance – i don’t think jones gets that many looks against tennessee. i’d probably roll with donald brown, but admit that is a risk. I still like boldin, but don’t have a problem with you benching him over that wr.
    tony – it’s early, but they’re saying he should be fine. as for your wrs i have andre johnson (8) ranked below djack (3) and roddy (5). tough to sit any of them though. kickers are so tricky kaeding or buehler would be my choice. for your defense i’d go with dallas

  7. Rusty
    December 21st, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    I am thinking of benching Hillis. I have The Law Firm and Bradshaw and would play Bowe in the flex (also have DJax and Austin). Curious what your thoughts were on that? Hillis or Bowe in the flex?

  8. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    rusty – that’s a close one. Bowe has been struggling, but Hillis isn’t matching his earlier production either. If it’s PPR I’d go with Bowe, but in standard leagues I think I’d roll with Hillis.

  9. John Van Hook
    December 21st, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Heading into my superbowl, I have Adrian Peterson and Knowshon Moreno (got to the Superbowl thanks to Rivers, Jackson, and Bears D). I also have Torain, J. Stewart, and I added Donald Brown. If Peterson and Moreno can’t go which two out of those three should I go with? And who would you play between Brandon Marshall and Heinz Ward?

    Thanks!

  10. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Congrats John. Good luck. I’m back on the Marshall bandwagon, so he’d be my choice. If your RBs can’t go, J-Stew would be my odd man out based on his matchup.

  11. Matt S
    December 21st, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    You are loving you some Felix this week…I am concerned about the lack of goal line touches, not being in the game to “close” last week, a lower leg injury that kept him out of practice today and the return of the Barbarian. Any thoughts?

  12. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Lot of love for someone averaging 104.3 total yard in his past six games. He hasn’t scored, but he’s always a threat to. Plus he has a favorable matchup.

  13. Great Odin' Ravens
    December 21st, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    I’ve got LT, Tashard Choice or J. Stewart to fill my RB2 spot. Suggestions?

  14. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    I have them all bunched up. Stew at 27, Choice at 28, LT at 30. If Barber comes back, choice would be done. I guess i’d go with the more upside guy in stew than the old man.

  15. Joel C
    December 21st, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I’d start Stewart over those two – he will get the bulk off carries against Pitt. He will do okay as well – I’m a Panthers fan and pretty sure he’ll play well

  16. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    thanks for weighing in joel. i think it helps when we discuss

  17. Great Odin's Ravens
    December 21st, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Thanks guys. Very cool site. Wish I’d known about it all year. One more question:

    I’ve got two WR spots and I have VJax, Nicks, or Colston as options. I am playing Drew Brees and I’m trying to reason through whether that means I should play Colston or not. I’m also a little spooked by GB at GB so any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  18. Great Odin's Ravens
    December 21st, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    To clarify, the guy I am playing has Drew Brees…

  19. LestersLegends
    December 21st, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Great – Thanks. great choices at wr. I have vjax and colston as my 1 & 2 so those are my choices. Nicks is 4 so he’s not far off. I wouldn’t go out of my way to play someone (like lance moore or meachem) that my opponent has the qb, but in this case, that’s just a bonus.

  20. Grant
    December 22nd, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    By the Hammer of Thor!

    Great Odin’s Ravens — technically how your team scores and how your opponent’s team scores are almost completely statistically independent. That said, there are only rare circumstances in which it makes sense to start a player to “counter-act” one of your opponent’s players. Just throwing that out there.

    I would personally start Colston and Nicks. I have a feeling that VJax is going to get double-teamed like it’s nobody’s business this week. 2 of his 3 TDs last week were due to COMPLETE meltdowns in the SF defense. Not that Cincinnati is the pinnacle of stellar passing defense, but I think Rivers will have a little bit harder time getting Jackson the ball, even if Malcom Floyd is able to play.

    In closing … as I’ve said to Lester before, there’s a reason that he has a website and I don’t. He has a knack for these things, and you can feel comfortable taking his advice.

  21. LestersLegends
    December 22nd, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Grant – totally agree with the counter-act theory. In this case though, say I liked Nicks a little better than Colston, it wouldn’t be crazy to go with Colston since he has Brees. I do get your thoughts on VJax. If Gates and/or Floyd are able to play it could help him (taking away those double teams) or hurt him (less touches). Nicks in my estimation is a high-end WR1 so going with him isn’t a bad call. I could just be jumping on VJax a little too soon and a little too high.

  22. Grant
    December 22nd, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    I think it’s correct to take Jackson’s past performance, couple that with his 3-TD effort and say “he’s back”. He is a play-maker and a beast of a receiver. But the fact remains that he was only targeted 7 times last week, and I can’t see that number increasing in Week 16, even against the Bengals. I don’t know if you watched the SD/SF game or saw highlights, but two of those TDs could almost be classified as busted plays.

  23. Gkue
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Hey, I have p. hillis and Jamal charles as my rbs to chose from.
    Should I bench Hillis?
    I also have ryan torain. I think he is a sneaky play and Shanahan has showed his hand lately by only activating 2 RBs last week.
    jags defense is bad, and the redskins have a much better passing game than the browns. I just hate playing charles because you don’t know how many carries he splits, goal line looks etc.
    At least with Hillis you know he gets his touches and goal line work. Same with Ryan torain. I’m leaning toward Torain to be honest. What do you thinkg?

  24. Gkue
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    I think this website is great and your timely responses are wonderful

  25. Gkue
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    also, my WR options are
    B.Lloyd, Calvin, Britt, Garcon, Malcom floyd.
    I’m only going to play two of them.
    Of course Calvin
    I’m leaning toward B.Lloyd but just don’t want to trust tim tebows arm to win me the super bowl. I must rather trust Kerry Collins or maybe even mannings since Austin collie is out.
    Tim is going against the worst secondary arguabally in history, he has got to hook up with B. Lloyd at some point. but his only 8 completions last week scares me. What do you think?

  26. LestersLegends
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    gkue – Charles is so explosive. i’d have a hard time sitting him i have torain as 14 & 15 so it’s not like they are scrubs. my choice would be charles, but I could see using torain. At wr I like Calvin and Britt. the big boys. the ones most likely to get in the end zone.

  27. LestersLegends
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I like britt in that spot. Webb is such a wildcard. going against an aggressive eagles team could be tough. I could see Ramsey make an appearance. Plus, you never know if old #4 will show up.

  28. gkue
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    wow, thanks for the timely response.
    I agree, I really love that philosophy.
    I prefer big, strong, sexy reciveviers over quick, fast, volume rec.
    give me a big 6’3 rec anyday over smaller “Jerry maguire- show me the money rec.” Big sexy red zone targets are hard to find.
    Your right, Jamal is just too explosive. I’m still up in the air about jamal though. But you have sold me on Britt
    Only one thing, is I have CJ2K and I hate playing the WR and RB on one team because if that offense struggles I’ll have 2 guys that flop. You know what I mean?

  29. LestersLegends
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    that’s true. i’m a good with the best available sort of guy, but i do get your side too. Let it breath for a few days and see what practices look like.

  30. Rick
    December 22nd, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    So its Championship week. and I have some AWFUL matchups at running back… im gonna flex in a WR but I dont even know who my second RB is gonna be… I have Bradshaw starting …then its either… LT , Benson or Jonathon Stewart… thoughts?

  31. LestersLegends
    December 22nd, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Rick – that is a tough draw. i like benson a little over stewart. it’s close though.

  32. randy
    December 22nd, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Les, great site! Please Pick one for the Flex:

    Big Mike Williams
    Santonio Holmes
    Donald Brown
    Jon Stewart
    Tim Hightower
    Tashard Choice

  33. LestersLegends
    December 22nd, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    I’d go with Donald Brown.

  34. Grant
    December 23rd, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Alright … I didn’t think I was going to need any real advice this week, but with Jones-Drew ailing, he may not be worth the start (i.e. I think we may see more of what we saw last week). In fact, I’d say there’s a decent chance he doesn’t play.

    So this question is for my flex spot … guys worth consideration are Jamaal Charles, Big Mike Williams, and the Law Firm. Recall this is a PPR. IMO, last week’s BMW performance (8 rec for 66 yards) is a good estimate for him again this week.

    So do you start an ailing MJD, Charles, BMW, or BJGE? (Another sneaky option, if MJD is out, is Rashad Jennings … dude had 7 rec for 64 yards last week.) As always, thanks for your help.

  35. Orangeblood
    December 23rd, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Great web site!

    Which two would you start out of Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, BJGE, and Blount?

    Thanks!

  36. James
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Need some serious help.

    Championship game – I have Peterson (thank you Vick in the semi’s)

    Starting McCoy.
    Need one more between A. Peterson, A. Bradshaw, R. Torian, T. Choice/ Gerheart is NA! Do I wait it out and hope AP delivers. If he plays can he deliver?

    Starting Nicks, and Austin – Need 1 more from Harvin (not worth it unless Farve plays?), Blair White, James Jones (opponent has Rodgers) OR do I be shady and start Joe Webb in a WR slot?

    C. Cooley at TE

    M Bryant at K
    Dallas D

  37. LestersLegends
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    orange – mccoy and blount

  38. LestersLegends
    December 23rd, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    i like torain, joe webb, and the rest of your squad looks good.

  39. kit
    December 23rd, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    All – J. Addai is a go @ Oak – does this change Donald Brown’s value – I say yes, less touches.

    MJD, may be out. Pick up Rashad Jennings as insurance. does Jennings crack the top 20 if MJD can’t go? thoughts……

  40. ronnie
    December 23rd, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    j Addai is a go.
    Doanls Brown????

    MLD may not go
    Rashad Jennings????

    thanks

  41. ronnie
    December 23rd, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    sorry bad spelling:

    J Addai is a go @ OAK
    Donald Brown’s value?

    MJD may not go.
    Rashad Jennings as a flex???

    Thanks

  42. LestersLegends
    December 23rd, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    kit and ronnie – yes, addai’s return hurts brown’s value. i think jennings would be a top 20 back if mojo is out.

  43. Josh
    December 24th, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    with MJD doubtful (pretty much a gurantee he wont start), should I start R.J over L.Blount?

    Reason being = his ability to catch passes and I’m in a PPR League..

  44. LestersLegends
    December 24th, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I’ve put jennings at 16 with blount at 9, but i can see using jennings in a ppr league.

  45. Nate
    December 25th, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Merry x mas everyone!
    Been ridin hillis all season, thinkin about puttin blount or s moss in the flex? Any thoughts? Right now i have White, Bowe and Britt in on wr, and Rice and Charles in the rb slot. I just cant imagine if hillis goes off.

  46. LestersLegends
    December 25th, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I’d go with Blount. Baltimore is out for blood.

  47. Jason
    December 26th, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Lester, Happy Holidays! At RB, have Foster starting, and would like your advice on 1 of the other 3 I should start; Peterson (knee), McCoy (weather), or Blount (have Freeman starting)? Thanks.

  48. LestersLegends
    December 26th, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    I think Blount is the safe play Jason.

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