Pollard, Edwards among fantasy football RBs to avoid in Week 16

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard should only be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play in Week 16. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
1 of 5 | Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard should only be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play in Week 16. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Tony Pollard and Gus Edwards are among my fantasy football running backs to avoid in lineups in Week 16.

If you need more options for your roster, check out my top add/drops article. My Week 16 rankings for quarterbacks and wide receivers are also available and will be updated throughout the week.


Christian McCaffrey, James Cook, Raheem Mostert, Bijan Robinson and Joe Mixon lead my Top 30 rankings, which are listed below. Rachaad White, D'Andre Swift, Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Taylor and Ezekiel Elliott round out my Top 10 plays.

All of my running backs to avoid rank outside the Top 12 of my rankings. You should only bench my players to avoid if you roster a higher-ranked option.


Those with stock in Isiah Pacheco, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor and other injured running backs should monitor their status before plugging them into lineups. Players from Thursday's New Orleans Saints-Los Angeles Rams game were removed from my rankings.

Running back Tony Pollard (C) and the Dallas Cowboys will battle the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI

Tony Pollard

Pollard has been one of the most disappointing players in fantasy football this season, with just five scores through 14 games for the Dallas Cowboys. He also failed to reach 80 rushing yards in 13 of his 14 appearances.

This week, the Cowboys will travel for a matchup with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points and ninth-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs through 15 weeks.

The Dolphins surrendered less than 70 rushing yards to running backs in 12 of their last 13 games. They also allowed just one running back to score a rushing touchdown since Week 7.


Pollard is my No. 22 play and can still be used as an RB2/flex play, but I wouldn't expect him to lead you to a playoff victory.

Running back David Montgomery (R) and the Detroit Lions will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis. File Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI

David Montgomery

Montgomery is the No. 24 player in my Week 16 running back rankings. The Detroit Lions veteran was a Top 10 option among running backs, in terms of fantasy points per game, through the first 15 weeks of the season, but much of that success occurred early on.

Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs has since forged a more prominent role for the Lions, splitting work with Montgomery.

Montgomery failed to find the end zone in his last two appearances. Gibbs scored three times during that span. The emerging rookie also logged 190 yards from scrimmage over the last two weeks.

This week, the Lions will face the Minnesota Vikings in a tough NFC North division matchup on the road. The Vikings allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points and rushing yards per game to running backs so far this season.


Montgomery likely needs a touchdown to warrant a start in this spot. He should only be used as a low-end RB2/flex play in leagues with at least 14 teams.

Running back Jaylen Warren and the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday in Pittsburgh. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI

Jaylen Warren

Warren is not inside the Top 30 of my Week 16 running back rankings. The Pittsburgh Steelers ball carrier did not find the end zone in any of his last four appearances. He also failed to reach 60 rushing yards in any of those games.

Warren still has value as a pass catcher, but I expect a more limited workload for him Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals just surrendered 157 yards from scrimmage and a score to Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler in Week 15, but I expect Steelers starter Najee Harris to dominate touches in this AFC North division matchup, limiting Warren's upside.

I also expect this matchup to be low-scoring, limiting touchdown upside for all fantasy football assets.

Harris totaled 99 yards and a score on 15 carries earlier this season against the Bengals. I wouldn't start Warren in any format.

Running back Gus Edwards (C) and the Baltimore Ravens will face the San Francisco 49ers on Monday in Santa Clara, Calif. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Gus Edwards

Edwards is another player to avoid in Week 16. The Baltimore Ravens running back scored his 11th touchdown of the season in Week 15, but eclipsed 100 yards from scrimmage just once through 15 weeks.

This week, the Ravens will travel for a tough matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers allowed the second-fewest rushing yards and seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs so far this season.

Edwards is another touchdown-or-bust play and I don't like his odds to reach the end zone against this tough defensive line. He isn't inside my Top 30.

Buffalo Bills running back James Cook is the No. 2 player in my Week 16 rankings. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI

Week 16 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers vs. BAL

2. James Cook, Buffalo Bills at LAC

3. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins vs. DAL

4. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons vs. IND

5. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at PIT

6. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. JAX

7. D'Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles vs. NYG

8. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at PHI

9. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at ATL


10. Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots at DEN

11. Breece Hall, New York Jets vs. WAS

12. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions at MIN

13. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. BUF

14. Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings vs. DET

15. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars at TB

16. Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks at TEN

17. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. SEA

18. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs vs. LV

19. Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders at NYJ

20. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at CAR

21. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at CHI

22. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys at MIA

23. De'Von Achane, Miami Dolphins vs. DAL

24. David Montgomery, Detroit Lions at MIN

25. Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns at HOU

26. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos vs. NE

27. Devin Singletary, Houston Texans vs. CLE

28. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CIN

29. Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers vs. GB

30. Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders at KC

New Orleans Saints overwhelm New York Giants

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) snags a pass as New Orleans Saints linebacker Pete Werner (20) tries to deflect the ball away at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on December 17, 2023. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

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