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Running Backs Waiver Wire - Week 16 Pickups and Adds


Hopefully you're secure with your running back and/or flex situation, because the waiver wire cupboard is pretty bare at the position. Unless you were clever enough to play the Jaguars' fourth and fifth string running backs, you probably got very little off the wire in Week 15. Pickings are even slimmer this week, but you never know when one lucky lotto ticket can turn into a winner.

This article will aim to highlight Week 16 waiver wire adds for running backs, players that you should consider targeting on your league's waiver wire if available. Running backs will be split up into three tiers - from most desirable, to most desperate.

I will also include RBs at the bottom of this list that you might consider cutting in order to make room for your new additions. I won't suggest a FAAB% from this point on since you are likely down to the bottom of your proverbial wallet. If you want one of the frontrunners, which is unlikely this week, pay everything you've got.

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Frontrunners for Week 16 - Waiver Wire Running Backs

Kapri Bibbs, Washington Redskins - 1% owned

When Bibbs was signed in the middle of the week, it wasn't just for depth. The Skins had no choice but to throw him out there as one of two healthy running backs on the roster. The other is Samaje Perine, who can't stay in on third downs and has performed progressively worse in each of the past three weeks. Bibbs paid dividends for... absolutely nobody, but the fact he did score a touchdown and finish with 47 receiving yards makes him an intriguing stash for PPR owners. Bibbs won't see many carries, but he does present a decent floor in PPR leagues and could be of value in deep leagues of 14 or more teams.

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks - 48% owned

He proved to be a dud in this crucial week, but it wasn't really his fault. The Seahawks got blown out of the water from the time the opening kickoff took place, so Davis never had a chance to get involved. He saw just six rush attempts and turned those into 19 yards, while catching two passes for 20 yards. He doesn't have the greatest upside, but he can definitely do better next week in Dallas, assuming the Seahawks actually show up this time.

Rod Smith, Dallas Cowboys - 24% owned

With last night's trip to the end zone, Smith has now scored a touchdown in four straight games. The yardage wasn't there against Oakland (34 total), but points are points. You can keep Smith in as a low-ceiling flex play in standard leagues due to his red zone role, even for Week 16. Once upon a time, Seattle had a fearsome defense, but they were humiliated on Sunday by the Rams to the tune of 244 rushing yards allowed. Smith is no Todd Gurley for sure, but you don't need to bench him based on matchup.

 

In The Running - Week 16 Waiver Wire Running Backs

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - 48% owned

Joe Mixon was expected to play this week, but was ruled out late in the week, leading to another Bernard start. He did reward fantasy owners with a touchdown but was otherwise disappointing with just 43 total yards against a tough Minnesota defense. So why bother with Gio any more? Mixon should be cleared for next week, the Bengals have a lame duck coach on the way to a losing season, and they will probably be playing from behind again as they face a Detroit team in must-win mode. That said, his ownership should drop even more this week, so if you think he can turn a change-of-pace role into another cheap garbage time score, you could do worse in flex spots. The team could go closer to a 50/50 split next week to preserve Mixon for the future, which leaves Bernard with at least a modicum of value.

Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals - 35% owned

Williams was running well in Week 15 until injuring his quad and giving way to Elijah Penny in the second half. Williams may be sidelined in practice this week if the injury proves serious, which would squash his value if he enters this next contest with a questionable tag. If so, you could consider Elijhaa Penny as a flier, but only in standard leagues. Either way, one of these runners should have value against the New York Giants and their league-worst run defense.

Branden Oliver, Los Angeles Chargers - 0% owned

Austin Ekeler had stolen Oliver's job as the No. 2 back behind Melvin Gordon, but Ekeler's season in now over. Oliver will be the one to come in on third-and-long situations and to give Gordon a breather. Oliver averages 3.6 yards per carry in his career and does not possess the breakaway speed of Ekeler, but he will get you a few points on receptions alone. The main concern would be the Chargers jumping out to a huge lead on the Jets this week and not passing the ball much at all, but if that's the case Oliver could at least get some rush attempts.

Honorable Mentions: Aaron Jones (26% owned), Devontae Booker (17% owned)

 

Dark Horses - Week 16 Running Backs Waiver Wire

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens - 29% owned

Uncle Buck is still running well for the Ravens, even if he is part of a dreaded committee approach. Alex Collins had seized the lead role, but was locked down by the Browns in Week 15. He left temporarily due to injury, but appeared to be fine. Allen capitalized on his opportunity, running for 70 yards on 13 carries. He only saw three targets, which is the most balls thrown his way since Danny Woodhead returned. His value no longer lies in PPR leagues, but very deep standard leagues where you're hoping for a touchdown run or Collins/Woodhead injury.

Matt Forte/Elijah McGuire, New York Jets - 35%/3% owned

Apparently Bilal Powell is back as the best RB for the J-E-T-S, but he's nearly 60% owned already. Forte is suddenly and inexplicably back to a single-digit touch count each week after performing well in Week 13. McGuire scored a touchdown, but that came on a two-yard reception with less than two minutes left in the game and the team driving for a late comeback. In other words, don't count on it again. McGuire hasn't gotten more than eight carries in a game since Week 9. Bottom line: don't play any Jets if you can help it. They face the Chargers this weekend, if you needed more reason to stay away.

Corey Grant, Jacksonville Jaguars - 0% owned

Let's hope Leonard Fournette is a full-go for Week 16 so we don't find ourselves in the position of guessing which of the other four Jacksonville RBs to play. Grant has always looked the most explosive, yet he continues to be buried behind plodder T.J. Yeldon and inconsistent Chris ivory on the depth chart. He could have earned some more carries with his 69-yard performance this week, but then again you would have thought his big 122-yard game in Week 16 last year could have translated into a bigger role to begin this season. Don't trust.

Honorable Mentions: Chris Ivory (11% owned), Tion Green (3% owned), Wayne Gallman (5% owned)

 

Time To Say Goodbye

Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions - 70% owned

Let's face it, he never had a chance. Abdullah took just one carry this week, as the team seems intrigued by UDFA Tion Green. Abdullah has teased fantasy owners with his potential by showing off speed and elusiveness. Two big problems have held him back: injuries and playing in Detroit. Unless he gets a fresh start somewhere else, he won't be a fantasy option next year either, much less the rest of this year.

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers - 26% owned

Ekeler's promising rookie year is over prematurely as he broke his hand on Saturday night. He showed great burst and pass-catching ability, which makes him worth holding in dynasty leagues. His departure opens the door for Branden Oliver to reclaim the No. 2 RB job.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts - 20% owned

The Colts continue to be a puzzling and inept franchise, not just because of their horrible record. With nothing but the future to play for, they still refuse to give rookie Marlon Mack a chance to establish himself as a potential feature back. Even with Frank Gore hurt for part of this week's game against Denver, Mack took just six handoffs. He's only seen double-digit carries twice all season and it doesn't look as if that will change in the season's final pair of games.

 

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