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2016 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

1. David Johnson

We all remember the four-game span last year where Johnson became a fantasy playoff god. He’s somewhat reminiscent of Le’Veon Bell in terms of his running/pass game ability, and the Cardinals’ offense as a whole has big plans for Johnson.

2. Todd Gurley

Five out of Gurley’s first six games were as impressive as almost any rookie running back. He had a four-game span with at least 125 rushing yards and five yards per carry. However, Gurley’s final seven games were pretty disappointing, he only surpassed four yards per carry twice and never topped 100-yards.

Gurley is going to get all he can handle, but you have to be concerned with a rookie quarterback, and defensive loading up the box to stop him.

3. Lamar Miller

It’s safe to say I am seriously hitching my wagon to Lamar Miller in 2016. We all know how 2015 went, one minute Miller was the focal point of the Dolphins’ offense and the next he was nowhere to be seen.

I expect Bill O’Brien to give Miller a huge workload, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him run the ball 280 times and catch 50 to 60 passes. Even though the Texans offense is transitioning to a new quarterback, and the offensive line is too special, Miller is going to get touches and consistently break off big runs.

4. Mark Ingram

Who would have thought Mark Ingram would catch 50 passes in just 12 games? Ingram was well on his way to top-10 running back season, but a shoulder injury derailed him. C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower aren’t legitimate threats to Ingram, he should be set to continue where he left off.

5. Ezekiel Elliott

We all know Elliott is considered one of the most complete runnings backs to enter the NFL, and there is serious talk that he could see 300 carries. He has arguably the best offensive line in the NFL making lanes for him, sign me up.

6. Adrian Peterson

Yes, he is old, but he really didn’t show much wear and tear for a 30-year-old. It is possible the Vikings’ litter in Jerick McKinnon a bit more, but Peterson is still the focal point.

7. Latavius Murray

A lot more was expected from Murray in his first year as the Raiders starting running back. Murray isn’t really a grind-it-out running back like Peterson, Ingram or Gurley, but he should once again see the lion’s share of touches in the Raiders’ backfield. Also, like the Cowboys, the Raiders boast of the NFL’s best offensive lines coupled with an ascending Derek Carr.

8. Doug Martin

Doug Martin carried a few of my teams in 2015, but I’m not so sure I see as much light as the end of the tunnel in 2016. The Bucs seem to like Charles Sims more than I’m comfortable with, and Martin only had one red zone score in 2015.

9. Carlos Hyde

Hyde certainly had his moments, but an injury forced him to only play seven games. The 49ers are still a heaping pile of garbage, but Chip Kelly is going to need to lean on someone. Hyde should be near the top in carries in 2016, but I certainly expect a low yards per carry.

10. Devonta Freeman

Freeman came out of nowhere last year, and won a lot of championships, but was largely disappointing after a really ridiculous six-game span. Freeman is still likely going to lead the Falcons in touches, but I expect Tevin Coleman to be sprinkled in a bit more. For 2016, I think Freeman is going to make his money through the passing game while his carries get reduced.

11. Le’Veon Bell

Was my number one running back, moved down thanks to suspension.

The Steelers offense may look a little different in 2016 without Martavis Bryant and Heath Miller, which should once again improve Bell’s chances of roping in 70 plus catches.

The only issue for Bell, aside from injury concern, is the Steelers’ offensive line isn’t exactly the best in the NFL. Still, when you couple in Bell’s potential workload with his receiving ability, it’s hard to ignore Bell.

12. LeSean McCoy

I really didn’t want to be this high on McCoy, but the suspension of Karlos Williams and his weight gain, and the uncertainty surrounding Jonathan Williams, I simply can’t help myself. The Bills are one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses, but I think defenses are going to be sorry if they don’t pay more attention to Tyrod Taylor. McCoy should be set for a better 2016, barring he can stay healthy.

13. Jamaal Charles

A 29-year-old running back coming off another ACL tear, no thank you. I love Charles, but I think owners have to let his ship start to sail. The Chiefs would be foolish to rush Charles into action, barring he has much left, considering Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West are viable running backs.

14. DeMarco Murray

Let’s try to forget 2015, and focus on this year with Murray. Clearly, Murray was run into the ground in Dallas, but he also just wasn’t a fit with Chip Kelly. I think he has enough left in the tank for 275 carries, and some decent success considering Marcus Mariota is an emerging talent and the offensive line in Tennessee should be better.

15. C.J. Anderson

Anderson was a huge disappointment early, but his final four games, including the playoffs, proved what he is capable of doing. With a change at quarterback, the Broncos are going to lean on Anderson and the running game.

16. Ryan Mathews

Mathews was clearly the better running back in Philadelphia last year. Under Doug Pederson‘s very likely run-heavy offense, the only thing holding Mathews back is another injury. However, some people question Mathews fit in the new Eagles’ offense, Mathews is really all they’ve got, unless Wendell Smallwood steps up.

17. Giovani Bernard

Jeremy Hill is still going to vulture touchdowns, but Bernard was just better in 2015. The Bengals lost a lot of talent this offseason, and Bernard is going to be relied upon heavily in the passing game.

18. Eddie Lacy

A lot of owners expected big things from Lacy in 2015, but the only thing that was big for Lacy last year was his waistline. Jokes aside, Lacy is supposedly quite a bit skinnier thanks to P90X, so he hopefully won’t have as many lows as he did last year.

19. Matt Jones

With the exception of a great game against a great defense, the St. Louis Rams, Jones did next to nothing with the touches he was given. Jones, in my opinion, is a poor man’s Mark Ingram, the touches are going to be there, but don’t expect big weekly performances.

20. Jonathan Stewart

Stewart is injury-prone, but if you really look at his games play, he does do a pretty admirable job playing through his injuries. He was decent in 2015, 242 carries for 989 yards and six touchdowns. Cam Newton is the focal point of the offenses, and Stewart doesn’t get much work in the passing game, but defenses will be keying in on Newton more than ever which should open up holes for Stewart.

The Rest

21. Thomas Rawls
22. Jeremy Langford
23. Duke Johnson
24. Justin Forsett
25. Jay Ajayi
26. Ameer Abdullah
27. Melvin Gordon
28. Dion Lewis
29. Danny Woodhead
30. Rashad Jennings
31. Jeremy Hill
32. T.J. Yeldon
33. Bilal Powell
34. Isaiah Crowell
35. Charles Sims
36. Arian Foster
37. Theo Riddick
38. James Starks
39. Frank Gore
40. Tevin Coleman
41. Darren McFadden
42. Jerick McKinnon
43. Shane Vereen
44. Ronnie Hillman
45. DeAngelo Williams
46. Javorius Allen
47. C.J. Spiller
48. LeGarrette Blount
49. Josh Ferguson
50. Spencer Ware

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Written by Chris

Creator of Bigfoot Sports. When I'm not hunting for Bigfoot I'm usually checking my fantasy team.

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