It's been a fun season for running backs this year, with most fantasy owners experience highs and lows at the RB position throughout the NFL season. This year started off as a thin RB pool on draft day, with many fantasy owners expressing doubts and frustrations over their teams and the lack of viable running back options available. But throughout the season, there have been plenty of RB injuries, and we've been hitting the waiver wire hard all year long to prepare for the fantasy playoffs and championships. Well here we are, and ironically enough there aren't too many viable Week 16 waiver wire pickups for running backs, but there are still some decent options to consider based on your team situations and league formats. Good luck RotoBallers!
Waiver Wire Pickups – Running Backs for Week 16
Jordan Todman - RB, Jacksonville Jaguars - 19% owned in Yahoo leagues
This Week: 25 rushes, 109 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 44 receiving yards - 19.30 points (PPR leagues)
Analysis: Filling in for an injured Maurice Jones-Drew, Todman had a very solid performance for the Jaguars and his fantasy owners. His 109 rushing yards on Sunday were the most rushing yards in a game by any Jaguars running back this year, with MJD only topping 100 yards once in Week 14.
With the Jaguars in full-blown evaluation mode, Jones-Drew scheduled for free agency and also nursing a hamstring injury, it seems as if Todman will remain the feature running back for Week 16 and possibly Week 17 too. The Jaguars will be playing a Tennessee defense in Week 16 that has given up the 2nd most fantasy points to running backs this year, so if Todman is still available in your league he should be picked up off the waiver wire. If MJD sits out, Todman will be a solid FLEX/RB2 play for the fantasy championships.
Dennis Johnson - RB, Houston Texans - 10% owned in Yahoo leagues
This Week: 4 rushes, 12 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 3 receiving yards - 2.5 points (PPR leagues)
Analysis: Johnson is appearing on this waiver wire list not because of his performance this week, or any of the past few weeks, but because Ben Tate may have aggravated his rib injury during Sunday's loss to the Colts. If Tate is forced to miss the Week 16 game against Denver, Johnson would presumably slide into the lead running back role for the Texans against a Broncos defense that has been getting gashed by opposing running backs. Keep an eye on this situation as the week progresses, but if you are a Tate owner or are looking for a running back flier, then Johnson should be scooped up off the Week 16 waiver wire. In limited action this year, Johnson has a solid 4.2 YPC average on 37 rushing attempts. He could be a sneaky play for fantasy owners in deeper leagues.
Mike Tolbert - RB, Carolina Panthers - 29% owned in Yahoo leagues
This Week: 12 rushes, 18 rushing yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards - 9.50 points (PPR leagues)
Analysis: With the injury to Jonathan Stewart, Tolbert saw an expanded role in the Carolina running game this week acting is the 1-2 punch to DeAngelo Williams. Tolbert received 13 touches, compared to 18 for DeAngelo, and although he didn't put up eye-popping stats he did get a rushing touchdown. Stewart will be reevaluated tomorrow, but realistically he probably won't be playing in on Sunday. Facing a New Orleans team that just got gashed by Zac Stacy, Tolbert can be a decent lower-end running back option off the waiver wire in Week 16 for deeper leagues, as Carolina moves the ball well and this is expected to be a high scoring affair.
Andre Ellington - RB, Arizona Cardinals - 58% owned in Yahoo leagues
This Week: 10 rushes, 71 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 87 receiving yards - 19.90 points (PPR leagues)
Analysis: Okay, okay - I know. It's true, Ellington is already owned in 58% of leagues. And it's true that he's playing the fierce Seattle defense in Week 16. But we are here to try and uncover possible waiver wire finds, and this week's RB waiver wire pool is a little thin. So let's go out on a limb here, and say that Ellington could be a sneaky play against Seattle. I'm expecting a few things: Seattle to win this game and get out to an early lead, Rashard Mendenhall to be bottled up by the Seattle defense, and the Cardinals needing to throw a lot to try and get back into this game. For those in PPR leagues, Ellington can be worth a look if you're in a tight spot, as he may end up getting check downs and catches throughout the game. It's more of a long shot, but hey crazier things have happened. Those in standard leagues shoudn't even consider rolling the dice with Ellington in Week 16.
Other Running Backs
Some more running backs to consider that may still be available in your leagues:
- Montee Ball - 9.80 points, 63% owned, versus Houston
- Chris Ivory - 6.60 points, 57% owned, versus Cleveland
- Daniel Thomas - 8.80 points, 18% owned, versus Buffalo
Leave Them Be
These running backs are not recommended pickups off the Week 16 waiver wire:
- Matt Asiata - Adrian Peterson is expected back, so Asiata's 15 minutes of fame look to be over.
- Chris Ogbonnaya - Had his "chance" last week, but the Cleveland coaches showed he just isn't their RB.
- Edwin Baker - Will mostly likely be sharing snaps with Willis McGahee and Ogbonnaya against a tough Jets run defense.