Fantasy Football Week 16 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Start ‘Em

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

If you have made it this far trusting this sophomore, congrats. He has been disappointing, but he should be at his best against that suspect Dallas Cowboys defense. The Cowboys are fifth worst against the run and last in fantasy against running backs. Morris should approach 100 combined yards and a touchdown.

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

Despite boasting a top-10 run defense, the Oakland Raiders have been the sixth-worst team in fantasy against running backs. Most of that recent damage was done by Jamaal Charles‘ 51-point Week 15, but Mathews has been hot too.

He has rushed for back-to-back 100-yard games, and he has a touchdown in five of his past eight games, including three in his past four. Mathews and Danny Woodhead are both starts here.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals gave BenJarvus Green-Ellis just four carries a week ago, so consider that a signal they are ready to give Bernard more of the lion’s share of the duty.

It would be clutch for his fantasy owners in their Super Bowl, especially against a Minnesota Vikings defense that has given up the eighth-most points in fantasy. BGE might vulture a short touchdown, but Bernard will break one or two big runs outside the 10-yard line.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

If not for ankle and knee issues that had him limited in practice this week, this one wouldn’t even bear mentioning. You should feel confident starting Gore, though, against an Atlanta Falcons defense that has given up the fourth-most rushing yards and the seventh-most points to backs.

The 49ers match up so well for some Monday night magic, you might consider Kendall Hunter a flex play. Both 49ers backs give you a chance for some late points in your Super Bowl.

Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars

This is a conditional start, assuming Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) won’t be able to play Sunday against the Titans. MJD was a full participant in practice Friday, according to the NFL injury report, but he is still listed as questionable.

We should assume MJD will at least be limited if he plays. If you have a need for a fill-in running back, Todman is coming off a 153-yard game and facing a Titans team that is second worst against the position in fantasy.

Sit ‘Em

Andre Brown, New York Giants

He was a bum last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and you shouldn’t feel any more confident in him against that Detroit Lions front four. The Lions have the fourth-best run defense in football, and the Giants have an awful offensive line. They don’t match up well at all here. Expect another long day for Brown and the Giants offense.

Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

Mendenhall has been quietly effective for fantasy owners because of his eight touchdowns, including five in the past five games. You cannot trust him or the passing-down back, Ellington, against the Seahawks defense in Seattle, though. Seattle is in the top 10 against the run and has been third best against fantasy backs.

Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

We would still consider Darren Sproles in PPR formats, but you have to sit the Saints rushers against the Carolina Panthers defense, especially on the road. The Panthers are second best against the run and fantasy running backs. Thomas and Ingram will total 10 carries for 35 yards without a touchdown, so avoid them in all leagues.

Chris Ogbonnaya, Willis McGahee and Edwin Baker, Cleveland Browns

Not only is McGahee potentially returning to make a further mess of a messy situation, but the Browns are facing a Jets run defense that has been elite all season. It is No. 3 against the run and No. 4 against fantasy backs. You don’t want to touch any Browns back if you’re serious about bringing home a fantasy title this week.

Matt Asiata and Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings

We don’t care how limited you think Adrian Peterson (foot) will be Sunday against the Bengals. That is the fifth-best run defense and sixth-best team against fantasy backs.

You should not consider either the Week 15 star, Asiata, or the returning Gerhart (hamstring) in fantasy lineups. You should fully expect Peterson to play, even if limited. “As far as the foot go[es], I’ll be ready to roll,” Peterson told USA Today’s Tom Pelissero on Friday.

Week 16 Running Backs Rankings – Eric Mack
1 LeSean McCoy Phi vs. Chi 1 0
2 Jamaal Charles KC vs. Ind 2 0
3 Matt Forte Chi at Phi 4 +1
4 Knowshon Moreno Den at Hou 8 +4
5 Frank Gore SF vs. Atl 12 +7
6 DeMarco Murray Dal at Was 3 -3
7 Reggie Bush Det vs. NYG 13 +6
8 Marshawn Lynch Sea vs. Ari 11 +3
9 Adrian Peterson Min at Cin 6 -3
10 Le’Veon Bell Pit at GB 7 -3
11 Eddie Lacy GB vs. Pit 5 -6
12 Chris Johnson Ten at Jac 15 +3
13 Ryan Mathews SD vs. Oak 14 +1
14 Zac Stacy StL vs. TB 9 -5
15 Alfred Morris Was vs. Dal 10 -5
16 Shane Vereen NE at Bal 21 +5
17 Giovani Bernard Cin vs. Min 18 +1
18 Rashad Jennings Oak at SD 16 -2
19 Ray Rice Bal vs. NE 22 +3
20 C.J. Spiller Buf vs. Mia 24 +4
21 Danny Woodhead SD vs. Oak 29 +8
22 Bobby Rainey TB at StL 17 -5
23 Jordan Todman Jac vs. Ten 19 -4
24 Steven Jackson Atl at SF 25 +1
25 Fred Jackson Buf vs. Mia 23 -2
26 DeAngelo Williams Car vs. NO 26 0
27 Lamar Miller Mia at Buf 31 +4
28 Darren Sproles NO at Car 39 +11
29 Joique Bell Det vs. NYG 35 +6
30 Dennis Johnson Hou vs. Den 28 -2
31 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cin vs. Min 32 +1
32 Chris Ivory NYJ vs. Cle 27 -5
33 Andre Brown NYG at Det 20 -13
34 Kendall Hunter SF vs. Atl 48 +14
35 Montee Ball Den at Hou 30 -5
36 Donald Brown Ind at KC 38 +2
37 Trent Richardson Ind at KC 40 +3
38 Andre Ellington Ari at Sea 34 -4
39 Mike Tolbert Car vs. NO 43 +4
40 Rashard Mendenhall Ari at Sea 36 -4
41 Stevan Ridley NE at Bal 42 +1
42 Chris Ogbonnaya Cle at NYJ 44 +2
43 Daniel Thomas Mia at Buf 41 -2
44 Knile Davis KC vs. Ind 55 +11
45 Pierre Thomas NO at Car 33 -12
46 Willis McGahee Cle at NYJ 57 +11
47 Bryce Brown Phi vs. Chi 56 +9
48 Chris Polk Phi vs. Chi 75 +27
49 LeGarrette Blount NE at Bal 46 -3
50 Matt Asiata Min at Cin 59 +9
51 Marcel Reece Oak at SD 51 0
52 James Starks GB vs. Pit 58 +6
53 Bernard Pierce Bal vs. NE 54 +1
54 Robert Turbin Sea vs. Ari 76 +22
55 Shonn Greene Ten at Jac 49 -6
56 Roy Helu Was vs. Dal 52 -4
57 Benny Cunningham StL vs. TB 73 +16
58 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. Cle 47 -11
59 Mark Ingram NO at Car 62 +3
60 Michael Bush Chi at Phi 60 0
61 Brian Leonard TB at StL 72 +11
62 Jacquizz Rodgers Atl at SF 65 +3
63 Brandon Bolden NE at Bal 70 +7
64 Edwin Baker Cle at NYJ 45 -19

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