Fantasy championship week has finally arrived, and those fortunate enough to still be playing are undoubtedly wondering how they survived. Whether you’ve compensated for the loss a key running back with a well-timed waiver pickup, or you just haven’t experienced any hits from injury/COVID yet, chances are you’ll have at least one or two issues this week. Our Week 17 fantasy RB rankings can help you navigate whatever comes your way and make the right start ’em, sit ’em decisions.

It remains to be seen if Dalvin Cook (reserve/COVID) even has a chance to return for Week 17’s game against Green Bay, but if he is able to, he won’t be activated until the coming weekend. Austin Ekeler (reserve/COVID) is more likely to return for his game against Denver. As long as either is active, he’ll remain a must-start. 

Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Rashaad Penny (vs. Lions), Elijah Mitchell or Jeff Wilson Jr. (vs. Texans), Devin Singletary (vs. Falcons), Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris (vs. Jaguars), and D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams (@Seahawks) are all borderline starters or at least matchup-dependent starters most weeks, but they all look good in Week 17. It might be tough to trust Swift (shoulder) or Mitchell (knee) if they’re back, but their respective teams wouldn’t activate them if they weren’t going to see significant touches. Stevenson (reserve/COVID) might actually be the biggest wild card after Harris had a dominant showing, but that had been a pretty even split before Stevenson’s health issues. 

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

On the flip side, Dare Ogunbowale (@ Patriots), Darrel Williams (@ Bengals), Josh Jacobs (@ Colts), Sony Michel (@ Ravens), Michael Carter (vs. Buccaneers), Myles Gaskin/Phillip Lindsay/Duke Johnson (@ Titans), Chuba Hubbard (@ Saints), Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray (vs. Rams), and Rex Burkhead (@ 49ers) are all in tough spots. Michel, Williams, and Jacobs are tough to sit in 12-team leagues, but the rest seem best suited for benches, at least in standard leagues. Even with that said, guaranteed touches have value, and Ogunbowale and Burkhead look primed for 15-plus opportunities. Carter won’t be far behind. Would you rather have one of those backs or, say, AJ Dillon (vs. Vikings) in a much more favorable matchup? In standard, you’d probably rather have Dillon, but it’s debatable. Pick your poison.

WEEK 17 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

Fortunately, most of the toughest matchups either go to must-starts like Cook/Alexander Mattison (@ Packers) or Ezekiel Elliott (vs. Cardinals), or they go to players you won’t feel bad about leaving on your bench. Of course, you might be forced to start someone like Gaskin or Carter because of injuries or COVID, but, again, at least you’ll be using players who get a decent amount of touches. 

MORE WEEK 17 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup builder

Every year, unlikely heroes star in Week 17 in money games. This year, that might be Ronald Jones (@ Jets), Penny, Wilson Jr., or someone who’s third on a team’s depth chart as of this publishing. Plenty of adjustments will need to be made to these rankings (and start ’em, sit ’em decisions) before Sunday’s kickoffs, so make sure your starters are handcuffed and be ready to hit the waiver/free agent wire all throughout the week. 

WEEK 17 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo

Note: We’ll be updating these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for analysis and the latest player movement.

Fantasy RB Rankings Week 17: Who to start at running back

Rankings are based on standard, non-PPR scoring

1Jonathan Taylor, IND vs. LV
2Aaron Jones, GB vs. MIN
3Nick Chubb, CLE @ PIT
4Ronald Jones II, TB @ NYJ
5Dalvin Cook, MIN @ GB
6Rashaad Penny, SEA vs. DET
7D’Andre Swift, DET @ SEA
8Joe Mixon, CIN vs. KC
9Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. DEN
10Elijah Mitchell, SF @ TEN
11Javonte Williams, DEN @ LAC
12Najee Harris, PIT @ CLE
13Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. ARI
14Saquon Barkley, NYG @ CHI
15Melvin Gordon, DEN @ LAC
16Damien Harris, NE vs. JAX
17Alvin Kamara, NO vs. CAR
18Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL @ BUF
19David Montgomery, CHI vs. NYG
20Sony Michel, LAR @ BAL
21Devin Singletary, BUF vs. ATL
22James Conner, ARI @ DAL
23Darrel Williams, KC @ CIN
24Jaret Patterson, WAS vs. PHI
25Jordan Howard, PHI @ WAS
26D’Onta Foreman, TEN vs. MIA
27Rhamondre Stevenson, NE vs. JAX
28Josh Jacobs, LV @ IND
29Michael Carter, NYJ vs. TB
30AJ Dillon, GB vs. MIN
31Jamaal Williams, DET @ SEA
32Chase Edmonds, ARI @ DAL
33Dare Ogunbowale, JAX @ NE
34Rex Burkhead, HOU @ SF
35Boston Scott, PHI @ WAS
36Chuba Hubbard, CAR @ NO
37Devonta Freeman, BAL vs. LAR
38Latavius Murray, BAL vs. LAR
39Duke Johnson, MIA @ TEN
40Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB @ NYJ
41Jeff Wilson Jr., SF vs. HOU
42DeeJay Dallas, SEA vs. DET
43Tony Pollard, DAL vs. ARI
44Royce Freeman, HOU @ SF
45Derrick Gore, KC @ CIN
46Jonathan Williams, WAS vs. PHI
47Phillip Lindsay, MIA @ TEN
48Justin Jackson, LAC vs. DEN
49Myles Gaskin, MIA @ TEN
50Matt Breida, BUF vs. ATL
51Mike Davis, ATL @ BUF
52Mark Ingram, NO vs. CAR
53Zack Moss, BUF vs. ATL
54Dontrell Hillard, TEN vs. MIA
55Nyheim Hines, IND vs. LV
56Jeremy McNichols, TEN vs. MIA
57Devontae Booker, NYG @ CHI
58Brandon Bolden, NE vs. JAX
59Tevin Coleman, NYJ vs. TB
60Alexander Mattison, MIN @ GB
61Samaje Perine, CIN vs. KC
62Kenneth Gainwell, PHI @ WAS
63D’Ernest Johnson, CLE @ PIT
64Craig Reynolds, DET @ SEA
65Joshua Kelley, LAC vs. DEN
66Ameer Abdullah, CAR @ NO
67Peyton Barber, LV @ IND
68Khalil Herbert, CHI vs. NYG