Fantasy Football Week 16: Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon and other must starts
By William Schneiderhan
Here’s the Week 16 edition of top five running backs to start in fantasy football.
The running back landscape in fantasy football has taken a drastic turn. We were used to seeing some of the game’s best lead the charge every week.
However, names like Derrick Henry, Damien Williams and Joe Mixon have led the pack. Therefore, the Week 15 edition of top five running backs to start only had two listed players finish as top 10 scorers in ESPN PPR standard scoring leagues.
Joe Mixon was the highest scoring players listed as he came away with 27 fantasy points. Christian McCaffrey followed him with 26 points.
Surprisingly down days by Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley may have cost some players big in their playoffs. So, let’s jump right into this week’s top five.
5. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Nick Chubb was on last week’s list but failed to score more than 10 points. He racked up just 10 points, but he did get 20 carries for 100 yards.
Chubb was a touchdown away from making his lackluster score a more respectable one. He also wasn’t a factor in the passing game during the Cleveland Browns win against the Denver Broncos.
There is a reason to believe that Chubb will have a big day against the Cincinnati Bengals this week. Not only are the Bengals bad against the run, in the three weeks prior to Chubb’s 10-point game last week he had scores of 27.8, 16.2 and 18.3.
The Bengals have given up the third-most rushing scores to opposing backs with 14. Not to mention they are tied for the most receiving touchdowns allowed to opposing running backs too.
Next: 4. Joe Mixon
4. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon has had himself two great games in a row. He went for 24.8 points in Week 14 with 26 attempts, 111 rushing yards, and one score.
Week 15 was even better for Mixon. He ran for 129 yards on 27 attempts and two scores against the Oakland Raiders. His late-season resurgence has put a smile on faces of the owners who have stuck it out with him.
The Bengals may not be playing for anything, but Mixon will continue to get a heavy workload. Andy Dalton has been out, therefore the offense has fallen onto the shoulders of Mixon.
This week the Bengals play the Browns. This may look like a tough matchup on paper, but Mixon will rack up a respectable score with not much else on that Bengals offense.
Next: 3. Todd Gurley
3. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Leaving Todd Gurley off of last week’s list proved to be an ill-advised move. He led all running backs last week with 34.4 points.
Gurley went back to his old tricks after an abysmal game on the road against the Chicago Bears in Week 14. However, he didn’t light it up on the ground.
Gurley only ran for 48 yards on 12 attempts. But he did catch 10 passes for 76 yards and gathered two rushing scores.
The Los Angeles Rams and Gurley play the Arizona Cardinals on the road in Week 16. The Cardinals have been one of the worst rushing defenses, as they have given up a league-leading 1,804 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns to opposing running backs.
Next: 2. Ezekiel Elliott
2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
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The Dallas Cowboys arrived in Indianapolis on a hot streak. The team was riding high as they got set to play the struggling Colts.
The Cowboys walked out of Indianapolis with a big loss. The got shutout for the first time in years as Andrew Luck and the Colts won by a score of 23-0.
Ezekiel Elliott still put a smile on the face of owners. While the rest of the team struggled, he ran for 87 yards on 18 attempts.
This week the Cowboys host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cowboys would like to win this game as the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles continue to creep up the NFC East standings.
Next: 1. Christian McCaffrey
1. Christian McCaffrey
All hope seems to be lost for the Carolina Panthers. The team looked like a force in the middle weeks of the season, but they have since fallen apart.
The team is currently 6-8 as the look up at the 12-2 New Orleans Saints. One of the only bright spots in an otherwise ugly season has been Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey has been a swiss army knife. He has done damage rushing and through the air.
In Week 15, McCaffrey even threw for a touchdown. He racked up 26 points with 53 rushing yards, 67 receiving yards and one TD score.
Week 16 marks a matchup of “what could have been” when the Panthers welcome in the Atlanta Falcons. Start McCaffrey and watch the points pile up.