2012 Fantasy Football Week 16: Running Backs (RB) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIDecember 18, 2012

December 16, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defenders wrap up Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 41-0. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

For all the success Doug Martin has had in his rookie season, fantasy owners had to be disappointed and a little shocked by his numbers against the Saints last week. Playing against one of the worst run defenses in the league, Martin appeared to be a shoe-in for over 100 yards and at least one score, but the Saints built up a big lead in the first half, forcing the Buccaneers to stick with the passing game.

Don’t expect the same situation this week as Tampa Bay heads back home to play the Rams. Look for St. Louis to give them a competitive game, but the game scripts will play out the way we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from this team most of the year, and that means Martin touches the football over 20 times.

Until this team improves against the pass, Martin will be susceptible to dud performances against top notch passing attacks.


What Did We Learn From Week 15?

- For the second time in three weeks Adrian Peterson went over 200 yards on the ground, as the Vikings kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating the Rams. While I had my concerns about Peterson’s ability to stay healthy in his career coming out of Oklahoma, it’s apparent that his physical running style hasn’t put much wear and tear on his body up to this point.

Now that we’ve seen how he’s come back from such a traumatic knee injury to post arguably his best year as a pro, it’s apparent Peterson’s ability to bounce back from health problems is other-worldly. Expect Peterson to be the top draft pick in most leagues next year, and he’s the top fantasy play down the stretch as he needs less than 200 yards to reach 2,000 on the season.


- After tweaking his ankle against the Broncos, Darren McFadden clearly benefited from extra rest after playing a Thursday night game. It also helped that McFadden played against the Chiefs, a team he’s had sound success against in his career.

While McFadden failed to find the end zone, he did total 145 yards in the game and touched the football over 25 times. Expect the Raiders to play from behind in Carolina this week, but McFadden should be viewed as a respectable RB2 going forward.


Sean’s Week 16 Watch List

- Despite playing from way behind throughout the second half against the Seahawks, Buffalo continued to keep C.J. Spiller involved on the ground. This week the Bills head down to Miami, and we should expect over 20 touches for Spiller with Fred Jackson out of the picture.

Look for the Dolphins to win the game, but I would be surprised if they run away from the Bills like the Seattle did last week. With Jackson gone, Spiller is a RB1 through the final two weeks of the season.

- After two ineffective performances from rookie Bryce Brown, it appears LeSean McCoy will have a chance to play this week. If you’ve made it to the Super Bowl in your league without McCoy, we should give him serious consideration as at least a flex play this week. Keep an eye on his availability and practice participation this week.

If everything is a go for this weekend, McCoy is a worthy low-end RB2 as I’m sure Brown’s role will be tailed back because of his ball security issues.

1 Adrian Peterson @ Texans
2 Arian Foster Vikings
3 Alfred Morris @ Eagles
4 Marshawn Lynch 49ers
5 Knowshon Moreno Browns
6 C.J. Spiller @ Dolphins
7 DeMarco Murray Saints
8 Jamaal Charles Colts
9 Ray Rice Giants
10 Trent Richardson @ Broncos
11 Darren McFadden @ Panthers
12 Doug Martin Rams
13 Matt Forte @ Cardinals
14 BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Steelers
15 Frank Gore @ Seahawks
16 Reggie Bush Bills
17 Stevan Ridley @ Jaguars
18 LeSean McCoy (I) Redskins
19 Chris Johnson @ Packers
20 Vick Ballard @ Chiefs
21 David Wilson @ Ravens
22 DeAngelo Williams Raiders
23 Mikel Leshoure Falcons
24 Michael Turner @ Lions
25 Shonn Greene Chargers
26 Beanie Wells Bears
27 Darren Sproles @ Cowboys
28 Ahmad Bradshaw (I) @ Ravens
29 Steven Jackson @ Buccaneers
30 Alex Green Titans
31 Jacquizz Rodgers @ Lions
32 Jonathan Dwyer Bengals
33 Montell Owens Patriots
34 Danny Woodhead @ Jaguars
35 Bryce Brown Redskins
36 Mark Ingram @ Cowboys
37 Isaac Redman (I) Bengals

Week 16 Standard Rankings – QB | WR | TE | K | D |