Before we get to my Week 17 running back rankings, here are my thoughts on five of the biggest questions about the position this week: 

Can you trust Rhamondre Stevenson

Stevenson has been one of the better backs in Fantasy this season, so his stinker in Week 16 – 30 rushing yards, two catches for 3 yards – was especially shocking. If you survived that game, however, there's no way I'm going away from Stevenson. He struggled Saturday, yes, but he also still played 91% of the snaps, so I think you can pretty fairly write it off as some bad variance. Now, maybe Stevenson isn't healthy – he's been dealing with an ankle injury over the past few weeks – and maybe Damien Harris comes back from his own injury and lessens Stevenson's role. But I'm not expecting that to be too big of a concern. Stevenson might lose a few carries to Harris, maybe, but he still has the pass-catching role, and that's the most important thing for me. 

So, what's up with the Buccaneers backfield?

Leonard Fournette dominated touches in Week 16, getting 20 carries and 10 targets to just seven and four for Rachaad White, though the gap wasn't as significant as that might make it sound. Fournette and White mostly alternated drives, with Fournette ultimately playing 60% of the snaps – right in line with the 58% snap share he had the prior week, when he had just 10 carries and four targets. Which is all to say, while I think Fournette is probably the "lead" back here, I don't think he's going to triple White's opportunities in Week 17. I'm projecting something like a 55-45 split, with White having every chance to emerge as the lead back – Fournette mostly seemed to benefit from being on the field when the Buccaneers offense managed to string together a few long drives. If White gets the benefit of that in Week 17, he could be the one with the better role this week. They're both low-end RB2 with PPR upside. 

Is AJ Dillon the better back in Green Bay now?

I think he might be, but not because he's actually better. I'm just not sure Jones is healthy. He dealt with a shin injury a few weeks ago, was on the injury report with a knee issue last week, and then had an ankle injury during Sunday's win over the Dolphins that limited him. The question is, will he be limited in Week 17? In Week 15, Dillon and Jones split snaps evenly before Dillon suffered a late concussion in that game, so this is a multi-week trend of Jones' role decreasing that we're talking about here. I'm expecting a pretty even split for Week 17 against the Vikings, and while I'd prefer to keep Jones in my starting lineup, the warning signs are hard to ignore. He's more like a lower-end RB2 at this point, albeit one who still has significant upside. 

Is Cam Akers a must-start RB?

No, but he's a "can-start" RB. One thing I'm starting to warm up to is the idea that, while an Achilles tear may not be the career-ending injury it once was, we might need to exercise more patience when it comes to players coming back from that injury – it took D'Onta Foreman a few years after his ruptured Achilles to look right, but he's been pretty great for the past year. Akers has played 75% of the snaps in consecutive games and the Rams offensive line has opened up holes a lot more consistently for him than earlier in the season, and he's responded with 100 total yards in consecutive games. The matchup against a very bad Chargers run defense in Week 17 pushes him close to RB2 territory, but keep in mind, this is still a Rams offense that had 156 yards in Week 15, so he isn't in a great situation. Akers suddenly looks like a solid option, not a superstar; that's still pretty remarkable given where he was earlier in the year. 

Is Tyler Allgeier a must-start RB?

I might actually prefer Allgeier to Akers, though it's pretty close. Akers has the better matchup, but Allgeier might have more upside as a pass-catcher coming off a five-catch game. With the Falcons playing for little the final two weeks, it makes sense that they'd see what they have in the rookie, relegating Cordarrelle Patterson to more of a backup role, which is what we've seen the past two weeks. Allgeier has been pretty solid as a runner all season, and he has an outside chance at 1,000 yards – he needs 183 over the final two weeks. The Cardinals allow the fifth-most PPR points to opposing running backs this season, so it's not a bad matchup for Allgeier, either. If you happen to play in one of the 33% of CBS Fantasy leagues where Allgeier is still available, he's a solid starting option this week. 

Here are my initial rankings for Week 17:

  1. Austin Ekeler vs. LAR
  2. Christian McCaffrey @LV
  3. Saquon Barkley vs. IND
  4. Josh Jacobs vs. SF
  5. Dalvin Cook @GB
  6. James Conner @ATL
  7. Rhamondre Stevenson vs. MIA
  8. Travis Etienne @HOU
  9. Joe Mixon vs. BUF
  10. Nick Chubb @WAS
  11. David Montgomery @DET
  12. Leonard Fournette vs. CAR
  13. Kenneth Walker vs. NYJ
  14. Alvin Kamara @PHI
  15. Aaron Jones vs. MIN
  16. Najee Harris @BAL
  17. AJ Dillon vs. MIN
  18. Miles Sanders vs. NO
  19. Jerick McKinnon vs. DEN
  20. Tyler Allgeier vs. ARI
  21. D'Andre Swift vs. CHI
  22. Brian Robinson Jr. vs. CLE
  23. Cam Akers @LAC
  24. J.K. Dobbins vs. PIT
  25. Devin Singletary @CIN
  26. D'Onta Foreman @TB
  27. Rachaad White vs. CAR
  28. Isiah Pacheco vs. DEN
  29. Latavius Murray @KC
  30. Zonovan Knight @SEA
  31. Zack Moss @NYG
  32. Jamaal Williams vs. CHI
  33. Raheem Mostert @NE
  34. Michael Carter @SEA
  35. Chuba Hubbard @TB
  36. Jeff Wilson @NE
  37. Gus Edwards vs. PIT
  38. Jonathan Williams vs. CLE
  39. Damien Harris vs. MIA
  40. James Cook @CIN
  41. Royce Freeman vs. JAX
  42. Boston Scott vs. NO
  43. Cordarrelle Patterson vs. ARI
  44. Samaje Perine vs. BUF
  45. Khalil Herbert @DET
  46. Kareem Hunt @WAS
  47. Joshua Kelley vs. LAR
  48. Jordan Mason @LV
  49. Kyren Williams @LAC
  50. Alexander Mattison @GB
  51. Deon Jackson @NYG
  52. Dare Ogunbowale @LV
  53. Rex Burkhead vs. JAX
  54. Justin Jackson vs. CHI
  55. Jamycal Hasty @HOU