Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Running backs

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

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Start of the Week - Nick Chubb vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Chubb is coming off his worst stat line since Week 8, scoring just 10 fantasy points in a win over the Broncos. He should rebound in a big way this week, however, as the rookie faces a Bengals defense that's given up 4.9 yards per rush, 20 total touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to enemy running backs. Chubb is a virtual must start.

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Phillip Lindsay vs. Oakland Raiders

Lindsay put up a big stinker in the stat sheets last week, scoring a mere 8.4 fantasy points against the Browns. I'd keep the faith in the talented rookie, however, as a matchup against the Raiders is a Christmas gift for owners. Their defense has allowed an average of almost five yards per attempt to enemy runners this season.

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Derrick Henry vs. Washington Redskins

Henry is the hottest running back in fantasy football, scoring a combined 78.04 fantasy points over his last two games. I'd ride the big back once again, as the Alabama product faces a Redskins defense that has allowed 180 scrimmage yards and 27 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the last four weekends.

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Chris Carson vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Carson has been one of the most underrated running backs in fantasy land, scoring a touchdown in four of his last five games. He'll be in line to post another solid total this weekend, as the Chiefs have allowed over five yards per rush, 10 total touchdowns and the most fantasy points to running backs on the road. Carson is a legitimate RB2.

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Jamaal Williams vs. New York Jets

This week's matchup against the Jets isn't great on paper, but volume is king in fantasy football. That is good enough to start Williams, who figures to see a large workload in the absence of Aaron Jones. Last week, despite a tough matchup, Williams dominated the backfield touches and almost 20 points against the Bears. Start 'em.

Start 'Em: Marlon Mack vs. New York Giants, Damien Williams at Seattle Seahawks
Sleepers: Elijah McGuire vs. Green Bay Packers, Gus Edwards at Los Angeles Chargers (Sat.)

Sit 'Em

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Sit of the Week - Kenyan Drake vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Drake, listed as a sit 'em last week, produced just 6.4 fantasy points and saw fewer touches than rookie Kalen Ballage when Frank Gore left with an injured foot. With questions about his snap and touch totals and a matchup against the Jaguars, Drake is going to be a tough sell for fantasy owners in their championships. Keep him on the sidelines.

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Matt Breida vs. Chicago Bears

Breida returned to the field last week and led the Niners in backfield touches (22) and played 73 percent of the offensive snaps. Still, I'd keep him on the sidelines against the Bears. Their elite run defense has allowed just 3.6 yards per rush, the second-fewest total touchdowns and a mere 19.4 fantasy points to running backs.

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Adrian Peterson vs. Tennessee Titans

Peterson is 77 yards shy of his eighth career 1,000-yard season, but he'll be hard pressed to reach that total this week in what is a brutal matchup against the Titans. Their defense, which just held down Saquon Barkley, has allowed just three total touchdowns and the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs at home.

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Peyton Barber vs. Dallas Cowboys

Barber is coming off an impressive stat line against a tough Ravens run defense, posting 84 yards on the ground and a touchdown. He isn't a matchup-proof back, however, and a matchup against the Cowboys makes him a risk-reward flex starter. Enemy backs have averaged just 3.5 yards per rush at the Jerry Dome this season.

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Josh Adams vs. Houston Texans

Adams found the end zone last week for the first time in three weeks, but he still failed to score even nine fantasy points and lost touches to Wendell Smallwood. I'd keep the Notre Dame product on the bench in fantasy championship week, as the Texans have allowed just 3.2 yards per rushing attempt to opposing running backs this season.

Sit 'Em: Doug Martin at Denver Broncos (Mon.), Chris Thompson at Tennessee Titans (Sat.)
Busts:  LeSean McCoy at New England Patriots


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!