Fantasy Football: Top Sleeper Running Backs To Play In Week 16


If you’re still with me, you’ve either advanced to your championship matchup or the consolation game for third place. Congratulations on a fantastic season!

Barring a major injury, along the lines of Melvin Gordon, you shouldn’t be tinkering with your lineup too much. The last thing you want to do is overthink your roster and sit a player whose talent is clearly better than someone you’d find on waivers. As important as matchups are, talent is what wins in this league.

Here are a few running backs I think will outperform their ESPN Rank this week.

SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 11: Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets celebrates after a five-yard touchdown run against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

1. New York Jets RB Bilal Powell (ESPN Rank, 22)

What’s not to love about Bilal Powell.

11 catches last week. 341 total yards over the last two weeks. Two touchdowns over his last two games. It’s a shame for the fantasy community, not to mention the Jets putrid offense, that Powell didn’t get more touches, more often in 2016.

Bilal Powell: 94 carries, 540 yards, 5.7 YPC (highest in NFL for player with 90+ carries)

53 receptions, 68 targets (78%), 359 yards #Jets

The one thing working against Powell this week, is the matchup.

The Patriots have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs over the last four weeks and just seven touchdowns to running backs all season, according to ESPN’s Matthew Berry. The Jets are starting a fourth-round, second-year quarterback playing in just the sixth game of his NFL career, in Foxboro, with the Patriots playing for a first-round bye and playoff positioning.

Not good. Safe to say, New England is favored by 17 points for a reason.

However, as negative as that sounds, in Powell’s particular case, it may help him thrive.

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