Dalvin Cook will be at the top of his owners’ minds as they prepare for fantasy football championships in Week 16, and we’ll all be waiting a long time to know what’s up, as the Vikings don’t play until Monday night. On one hand, that’s highly stressful since he’s been one of the best running backs all season and has a solid matchup against the Packers. On the other, we have enough confidence in Minnesota handcuffs Alexander Mattison and Mike Boone to say that at least one will be in the starting tier in our Week 16 fantasy RB rankings.

Our fingers are crossed that you could overcome Cook’s shoulder injury and make it into your fantasy football championship despite that setback. The first order of business for all Cook owners is to pick up both Mattison and Boone on waivers. Until we understand what the deal is with Mattison’s ankle injury, there’s no taking chances in what for most of you is the final week of your fantasy season. Whatever you do, you want a Minnesota running back hammer on Monday Night Football.

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If you’re the lucky owner who beat a Cook owner because of his injury, you should also consider picking up Mattison and/or Boone. There’s no reason you can’t reap double the rewards. The other prime pickup at the RB spot for Week 16 is Kerryon Johnson (knee). It’s not a lock that he’ll return from Injured Reserve, but he’s been back at practice and is eligible to be activated this week. It’s not often you get a back that talented off waivers this late in the season.

If you’re worrying yourself into the ground about tough matchups, like Todd Gurley against the 49ers or Devin Singletary against the Patriots, it could be one of those pickups who makes you feel more at ease. Gurley probably still needs to start for you, especially after Devonta Freeman found running room against San Francisco, but Singletary is a definite sit candidate in favor of someone like Johnson or a Viking.

You could also try and target Adrian Peterson, who’s available in some leagues and looked pretty spry in Week 15. Any variety of PPR scoring owners could also look Patrick Laird’s way, as a matchup with the Bengals should see him get plenty of touches and possibly find the end zone (although if you want Laird, keep an eye on news out of Miami this week after they gave rookie Myles Gaskin a longer look Sunday, too).

The last piece of advice to give for fantasy football championships is this very unanalytical thinking: Don’t get too cute. A bad matchup or a little injury aren’t always the worst thing in the world for a stud back. Would you rather your season rest in the hands of a guy like Gurley or a guy like Laird? That’s what I thought. The last thing you need is to be kicking yourself all offseason for going away from the player you’ve started all year only to see him dominate.

Reminder: These rankings will be adjusted throughout week, so check back often for the latest updates and analysis!

Week 16 Fantasy RB Rankings

These rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.

Rank Player
1 Christian McCaffrey, CAR @ IND
2 Dalvin Cook, MIN vs. GB
3 Saquon Barkley, NYG @ WAS
4 Derrick Henry, TEN vs. NO
5 Nick Chubb, CLE vs. BAL
6 Marlon Mack, IND vs. CAR
7 Chris Carson, SEA vs. ARZ
8 Josh Jacobs, OAK @ LAC
9 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ PHI
10 Leonard Fournette, JAX @ ATL
11 Joe Mixon, CIN @ MIA
12 Mark Ingram, BAL @ CLE
13 Kenyan Drake, ARZ @ SEA
14 Devonta Freeman, ATL vs. JAX
15 Le’Veon Bell, NYJ vs. PIT
16 Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. DET
17 Melvin Gordon, LAC vs. OAK
18 Todd Gurley, LAR @ SF
19 Alvin Kamara, NO @ TEN
20 James Conner, PIT @ NYJ
21 Aaron Jones, GB @ MIN
22 David Montgomery, CHI vs. KC
23 Raheem Mostert, SF vs. LAR
24 Adrian Peterson, WAS vs. NYG
25 Miles Sanders, PHI vs. DAL
26 Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. OAK
27 James White, NE vs. BUF
28 Devin Singletary, BUF @ NE
29 Kerryon Johnson, DET @ DEN
30 Kareem Hunt, CLE vs. BAL
31 Ronald Jones, TB vs. HOU
32 Patrick Laird, MIA vs. CIN
33 Peyton Barber, TB vs. HOU
34 Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. CIN
35 Carlos Hyde, HOU @ TB
36 Tarik Cohen, CHI vs. KC
37 Nyheim Hines, IND vs. CAR
38 Duke Johnson Jr., HOU @ TB
39 Latavius Murray, NO @ TEN
40 Jamaal Williams, GB @ MIN
41 Sony Michel, NE vs. BUF
42 Matt Breida, SF vs. LAR
43 Royce Freeman, DEN vs. DET
44 Dare Ogunbowale, TB vs. HOU
45 Darwin Thompson, KC @ CHI
46 Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. GB
47 Chris Thompson, Redskins vs. Giants
48 Spencer Ware, KC @ CHI
49 LeSean McCoy, KC @ CHI
50 David Johnson, ARZ @ SEA
51 Jaylen Samuels, PIT @ NYJ
52 Tevin Coleman, SF vs. LAR
53 Rex Burkhead, NE vs. BUF
54 Frank Gore, BUF @ NE
55 C.J. Prosise, SEA vs. ARZ
56 Gus Edwards, BAL @ CLE
57 Dion Lewis, TEN vs. NO
58 Giovani Bernard, CIN @ MIA
59 Boston Scott, PHI vs. DAL
60 DeAndre Washington, OAK @ LAC
61 Tony Pollard, DAL @ PHI
62 Brian Hill, ATL vs. JAX
63 Malcolm Brown, LAR @ SF
64 J.D. McKissic, DET @ DEN
65 Javorius Allen, NYG @ WAS

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