Saturday, December 22, 2018

Week 16 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jamaal Williams is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 16 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Ezekiel Elliott, Nick Chubb and Williams and start two running backs, you should start Elliott and Chubb -- and in turn, bench Williams.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Embed from Getty Images


Week 16 Fantasy Football RB Start'em


RB - Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (at SEA)

With or without Spencer Ware active, Williams has been highly productive with multi-score games in back-to-back weeks. Of course, it's unlikely that Williams continues his two-score streak, but the good news (in terms of his fantasy outlook) is that Ware is listed as doubtful for Sunday.

Against the Chargers last week, Williams carried the ball 10 times for 49 yards and two touchdowns and added six catches for 74 yards. With at least five targets in back-to-back games and no Ware, Williams will have a chance to produce as an RB2 (or better) in Week 16.

RB - Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. KC)

In his recent 10 games, Carson has double-digit carries in nine of them. In those nine games, he has scored double-digit fantasy points and finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in eight of them. Facing the high-powered Chiefs offense at home this week, the Seahawks may be forced to throw a little more often.

That said, the game plan will certainly involve trying to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field as much as possible by controlling the clock with Carson and the ground game. Only the Bengals have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, which gives Carson tons of upside in Championship Week.

RB - Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (at NYJ)

Filling in for Aaron Jones (MCL), Williams got 16 touches -- 12 carries and four receptions on five targets -- for a total of 97 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers (groin) says that he'll play in Week 16 and assuming that the other Aaron does play, the Packers should be able to move the ball against the Jets. Williams himself was dealing with a toe injury, but he wasn't listed on the team's final injury report and is good to go for Week 16.

RB - Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (vs. GB)

Continuing the theme of featuring multiple running backs in the same game, Williams isn't the only startable back in the Packers-Jets game. With Isaiah Crowell on IR, McGuire has become a workhorse back for the Jets with 20-plus touches in back-to-back games. Grinding out RB11 and RB21 performances, respectively, McGuire should get enough volume to continue the trend of productive outings.


Week 16 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em


RB - Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins (vs. JAX)

Drake has (or Miami's coaches have) frustrated fantasy owners all season. Fortunately for many that drafted him as their RB2, Drake has turned in seven top-25 fantasy performances despite averaging just 10.5 touches per game this season in large part due to his nine touchdowns. Even with Frank Gore injuring his knee, Drake got just four Week 15 touches, which tied a season low. Meanwhile, rookie Kalen Ballage got 13 touches, an amount than had matched his Week 1 to 14 total.

Long story short, how can you trust Drake this week? You can't.

RB - Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins (at TEN)

Playing for three different teams over the past two seasons, Peterson has vastly exceeded realistic expectations in his age-33 season (RB15, RB17 in PPR through Week 15). That said, the slumping Peterson had a five-week high of 19 carries in Week 15, but he finished as fantasy's RB31 with 71 scoreless yards on his 21 touches. As double-digit road underdogs on Saturday, no team is projected to score fewer points based on Vegas implied totals than the Redskins (13.50).

RB - LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (at NE)

Not only is McCoy averaging a pedestrian 6.74 fantasy points per game, but his upside has been limited as well. Except for one monster game against the Jets in Week 10, McCoy has failed to rush for more than 85 yards or score a touchdown in any other game this season. Second on his own team in rushing behind rookie quarterback Josh Allen, McCoy is averaging a career-low 3.3 yards per carry.

Like Peterson, McCoy and the Bills enter Championship Week as double-digit road underdogs with a low implied total. Only Washington and Arizona have lower implied totals from Vegas odds in Week 16. In his first matchup this season against the Patriots, McCoy rushed 12 times for 13 yards, but he did set receiving season highs of six catches for 82 yards, which is perhaps best-case scenario for fantasy owners this weekend as well.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 16

Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings:
More of our content and resources:
Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter and/or (2) LIKE us on Facebook