Fantasy Football: Top 5 running backs for Week 17


When it comes to fantasy football, make sure to start these top 5 running backs heading into Week 17 NFL action.

Nov 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick (25) smiles after a play against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter of a NFL game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the final countdown, Week 17. Everything you have done all season comes down to this week. You have come so far, don’t blow it now.

Many players have clinched playoff positions, which means this week we may see some changes in teams lineups. After all, why risk injuring players a week before the playoffs?

What’s this mean for you? Your star players may not “ball” out like they have done all season. But, have no fear! Week 17 offers some decent match-ups that will still allow players to post valuable fantasy points this week.

Let’s take a look at the top five running backs that will help lead you to your final victory.

Next: 5. This Steeler hopes to clinch the playoffs

Dec 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs after a pass reception against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

5. DeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams has been a savior for some owners this season. Taking a chance on Le’Veon Bell’s replacement ended up being a good option as he posts double-digit fantasy points weekly.

Last week, Williams carried 17 times for 100 yards. He also caught six receptions and completed two touchdowns in last week’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens bringing in 30 or more fantasy points.

This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to defeat the Cleveland Browns who rank 17th against opposing running backs. The Steelers need this win in order to fight for the Wild Card which means he will play an integral part of this week’s game. Williams is a definite start this week.

Next: 4. This Falcon continues to dominate

Dec 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) carries the ball past Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) in the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

4. Devonta Freeman

If you have Devonta Freeman chances are your still in it to win it. Freeman has been one of fantasy’s highest scoring running backs this season.

Last week, Freeman rushed for 73 yards and scored a touchdown in last week’s victory over the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers.  His last two weeks were some of Freeman’s highest carries per game.

This week, Freeman plays the New Orleans Saints who rank 30th against running backs. Way back in Week 6, Freeman earned over 30 fantasy points against the Saints and he is expected to have another great game against one of the league’s worst defenses.

Next: 3. This Lion is looking to bounce back

Dec 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick (25) runs at San Francisco 49ers strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (29) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Lions win 32-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

3. Theo Riddick

Theo Riddick has been that player that has good weeks and bad weeks depending on his match-up. He does have double-digit score capabilities, like we saw in Week 16.

Last week, Riddick receiving 7-of-8 targets for 63 yards. He also had seven carries for 20 rushing yards in last week’s win over the San Francisco 49ers.

This week, Riddick takes on the Chicago Bears who rank 23rd against the position. Although Riddick is more beneficial in point per run leagues, he is the most consistent of the Detroit Lions and their running back corps. Riddick is projected to earn double-digit points and should be thought about as a starting option for Week 17.

Next: 2. This Buccaneer consistently scores big

Dec 27, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) takes a handoff from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston during the second half of a football game at Raymond James Stadium. The Bears won 26-12. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

2. Doug Martin

Doug Martin has been a consistent fantasy running back all season. There were only four games this season where Martin didn’t earn double-digit points.

Last week, Martin had 17 carries for 49 yards and a rushing touchdown. He also caught 1-of-3 targets for seven yards in last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers who rank 18th against the position. Martin looks to have another valuable fantasy week, in his last game of the season.

Next: 1. This NFL veteran is on fire

Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) celebrates a five-yard touchdown run in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

1. Tim Hightower

If you didn’t start Tim Hightower last week, the joke was on you. This veteran running back exploded in last week’s game.

Hightower had 27 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He added 47 yards after completing 3-of-3 targets in last week’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hightower earned over 30 fantasy points in Week 16.

More jets: Top 5 fantasy football quarterbacks for Week 17

Hightower presumes to have another great match-up this week against the Atlanta Falcons who rank 28th against the position. Within his last three weeks, Hightower has had 75 touches and this week won’t be much different. He is sure to end the season on a high note and should definitely start in Week 17.