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2016 Fantasy Football Tiered Running Back PPR Rankings (August)

Welcome to the next round of analyzing our 2016 fantasy football rankings here at RotoBaller, as our best and brightest have put their minds (and numbers) together to drop some serious knowledge on the world. The rankings come from Nathan Powell, Zach Wilkens, Bill Dubiel, Frankie Soler and myself, Nick Mariano.

This will be an in-depth look at the running back PPR rankings, where we’ll analyze some tiers and check in on some polarizing names and trends as draft season descends upon us. More in-depth breakdowns by position will follow for both standard and PPR formats, so don’t touch that dial after this episode ends!

First order of business - for those that want to play along, you can also click here to access our rankings assistant page (for all types of formats). I've pasted the entire table in this article below, but it's a long list. Our handy rankings tool shows you all of our staff rankings, player news, ADPs, tiers, target rounds and more. You can easily filter, sort, and export all sorts of ranks – standard, half-PPR and PPR leagues, tiers, rookies, dynasty formats, keeper values and more. It's all in one place, and all free.

 

2016 Running Back PPR Rankings Analysis (August)

Tier One

This tier would have Le'Veon Bell at the top if not for that damned herb. I'm not getting into my position on all that here. With Bell out of the mix, it's the widely recognized top names. David Johnson is the most contentious name in the group, as his rank is based off a small (albeit impressive) sample size at the back end of last season. There is some talk of him splitting carries, but if he still gets the lion's share of the work he should be a top-five back in that offense. Gurley is a stud, Peterson will run for double-digit touchdowns until the apocalypse, and Ezekiel Elliott is simply in the best situation for a running back. I am lower on Elliott than my colleagues as I am loathe to rank a rookie running back in the top five, but there's no denying the upside.

Tier Two

I wanted Lamar Miller in the top three (with Bell suspended) as I am incredibly high on him coming into the 2016 season, but apparently my colleagues disagree. He should see feature back work in an offense that loves to run the ball, has an above-average line in front of him, catches passes and is big enough not to lose goal line work. What's not to love?

Bell finally slots in here, as he should still produce top-seven numbers even with only 12 games. Jamaal Charles is returning from another severe injury and has both Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware in the mix with him, but when healthy Charles is simply too good to sink to the third tier. I truly believe the reports that Tevin Coleman will have a much bigger role in the offense in 2016, and Devonta Freeman's fantasy value will suffer accordingly. He'll still catch passes and get his touchdowns, but there's no way he comes anywhere near last year's overall numbers.

Tier Three

For whatever reason, Mark Ingram is still criminally underrated. He was one of the most consistent running backs in football on a game-to-game basis last season, and I predict he'll put up similar numbers in 2016. If he stays healthy through 16 games, he could approach top-five value.

Eddie Lacy is an obvious bounce-back candidate for 2016, but I need to see some evidence of him regaining his old form before I buy into him. I'll be targeting him in round three/four, but I doubt he lasts that long in any drafts I'll be in.

Doug Martin proved that he's still got it last year, and with the Bucs trending up in general on offense, he should be poised for another excellent season. Health is the only thing keeping LeSean McCoy this low in the ranks, as he will get plenty of usage in Rex Ryan's ground-and-pound offense. He's another guy I likely won't own at all this year, as the risk outweighs the reward at his current ADP.

Tier Four

I think this is finally the year that Matt Forte drops off the table, and his ranking reflects that. He's another year older, and with Bilal Powell likely earning a larger role in the offense after impressing in a secondary role in 2015 I'll be avoiding Forte this year.

Carlos Hyde should benefit from Chip Kelly's arrival in San Francisco, but the big question is whether or not he can stay on the field. He has a career 4.1 YPC, and although he doesn't catch many passes his floor is relatively high. At his current ADP I'm okay giving him a shot as an RB2.

Tier Five

DeMarco Murray is almost certainly going to lose carries to rookie Derrick Henry in 2016, but Murray is a better pass-catcher and should get 12-18 touches every game one way or another. Murray simply didn't mesh with Chip Kelly's offense last year, but the Titans run-first hand-off scheme should better suit Murray's strengths. He's still going in the fourth round in many drafts, which is just a shade too high for me. However, if he's there after I have four great skill players locked down I will be giving him a long look.

I have Jonathan Stewart ranked higher than my colleagues, as he has a pretty high floor going into 2016. Like Hyde, he is limited in the passing game and has durability concerns. If he can stay healthy though, he should be a lock for 900 yards and 6-7 touchdowns in what should be an explosive Carolina offense.

Tier Six

I am really high on Dion Lewis this year--Jimmy Garoppolo will be looking short quite a bit I imagine, so Lewis should thrive early in the season. His production won't tail off when Brady comes back either, as Brady is a master of utilizing short-range pass-catchers like Lewis. I love him at his current ADP.

Matt Jones has a pretty clear path to fantasy success as the assumed feature back in Washington, but he needs to break some more tackles if he's going to sustain any kind of production. If he's there in round seven I'll take him, but there is too much bust potential to waste a pick any higher than that.

Tier Seven

Melvin Gordon was incredibly, historically bad in 2015, so I have to think he's due for at least SOME kind of bounce-back. Once you're in round eight you're looking for upside, and while Gordon doesn't have a ton of it, he's still going to get the opportunity to take charge of the backfield early in the season.

Arian Foster is supposedly healthy at the moment, but I'm still low on him. The smart thing (not that that's ever influenced that Miami coaching staff) would be to use Foster sparingly, but with Jay Ajayi suffering from more knee problems already, I'm afraid Foster will be forced into an expanded role. He's got glass bones and paper skin, and I just don't want to risk it this year.

Tier Eight

I know there are a comical number of mouths to feed in Baltimore, but I still want to take a flier on Forsett at his current ADP (roughly the 10th round). Lorenzo Taliaferro and Javorius Allen have never impressed at any point in their young NFL careers, and rookie Kenneth Dixon will likely still require a bit more seasoning before he's ready for a large workload. Forsett should produce modest FLEX numbers on a weekly basis if he's even a bit effective early in the season.

Tier Nine and Beyond

I'll point out a few names here:

Theo Riddick can definitely be a solid flex option in PPR formats, but I don't expect him to ever be any more than that. Ameer Abdullah should get enough touches to limit Riddick's production, but he should be Dion Lewis Lite in 2016.

Kenyan Drake could quickly be the man in Miami with the fragile Arian Foster and Jay Ajayi in front of him. He makes for a great last-round flier.

Ka'Deem Carey is the biggest threat to Jeremy Langford in Chicago, and if the recently bulked-up sophomore is ineffective early on the starting job could be Carey's by Week 3.

Cameron Artis-Payne is also worth a last-round flier as the backup to Jonathan Stewart. He would slot in as a top 20 back in that offense should Stewart go down with an injury.

Rookie DeAndre Washington impressed many in the offseason, and with only Latavius Murray standing in his way he could definitely carve out a nice role for himself in Oakland sooner rather than later.

 

Tiered PPR Running Back Rankings

Tier Player Overall Rank
1 Todd Gurley 5
1 David Johnson 6
1 Adrian Peterson 7
1 Ezekiel Elliott 12
2 Lamar Miller 14
2 Le'Veon Bell 15
2 Jamaal Charles 16
2 Devonta Freeman 17
3 Doug Martin 19
3 Mark Ingram 22
3 Eddie Lacy 23
3 LeSean McCoy 28
4 C.J. Anderson 31
4 Carlos Hyde 33
4 Thomas Rawls 36
4 Matt Forte 37
5 Latavius Murray 45
5 DeMarco Murray 46
5 Jonathan Stewart 48
5 Ryan Mathews 51
5 Jeremy Hill 54
6 Jay Ajayi 55
6 Dion Lewis 58
6 Matt Jones 61
6 Jeremy Langford 62
6 Frank Gore 70
7 Giovani Bernard 74
7 T.J. Yeldon 75
7 Ameer Abdullah 76
7 Melvin Gordon 77
7 Duke Johnson 81
7 Danny Woodhead 84
7 Chris Ivory 89
7 Arian Foster 91
7 DeAngelo Williams 93
8 Karlos Williams 94
8 Charles Sims 97
8 Rashad Jennings 102
8 Justin Forsett 105
8 Derrick Henry 106
9 Isaiah Crowell 112
9 LeGarrette Blount 117
9 Tevin Coleman 122
9 Javorius Allen 124
9 Kenneth Dixon 128
9 Darren McFadden 133
10 Bilal Powell 135
10 Jordan Howard 137
10 Theo Riddick 139
10 C.J. Prosise 142
11 Paul Perkins 157
11 Shane Vereen 164
11 Devontae Booker 165
11 Jerick McKinnon 166
11 Darren Sproles 167
11 James Starks 169
12 Kenyan Drake 179
12 Ronnie Hillman 186
12 Chris Thompson 187
12 Charcandrick West 188
12 Alfred Morris 189
12 Chris Johnson 190
12 Tim Hightower 195
13 DeAndre Washington 197
13 Andre Ellington 199
13 Wendell Smallwood 205
13 Christine Michael 209
13 Cameron Artis-Payne 213
13 C.J. Spiller 217
13 Spencer Ware 218
13 James White 219
14 Tyler Ervin 222
14 Zach Zenner 223
14 David Cobb 232
14 Ka'Deem Carey 236
14 Robert Turbin 237
14 Keith Marshall 241
14 Tre Mason 258
14 Shaun Draughn 262
14 Lance Dunbar 266
14 Antonio Andrews 268
14 Alfred Blue 282
14 Khiry Robinson 284
14 Denard Robinson 295
14 Benny Cunningham 297

 

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Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




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As the season rolls along, we're starting to get a better idea of how some running back committees have gone. Some of those committees have turned out to not be committees. James Robinson has dominated the Jaguars backfield and left Travis Etienne with a minimal role, for example. And some have been even more committee... Read More


Stefon Diggs - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

WR/CB Matchups to Target and Downgrade - Week 5

Welcome to Week 5 of the WR/CB Matchup chart. As the year goes on, the PPGA metric will become more and more predictive. Results from a small sample usually tell more about how talented a CB's opponents have been rather than the difficulty of the matchup going forward. It is not advised to use this... Read More