Committee Meetings: Jeremy Hill dominates Browns

Hey Chris Polk. Yeah, you. Thanks for nothing with your two carries for six yards and two touchdowns on Sunday night. I mean seriously, what the heck? And you, Knile Davis. Slow your roll a bit, guy. I mean, come on people! It's the fantasy playoffs and we need our stud running backs to produce here.

At least Le'Veon Bell and DeMarco Murray put up big numbers in Week 15. Eddie Lacy and Marshawn Lynch came through for fantasy owners as well. But if you were on the fence about Giovani Bernard or Jeremy Hill, or maybe took a shot in the dark with LeGarrette Blount on Sunday, then you might have come away disappointed.

Let's get to all of the frustrating goodness of this week's Committee Meetings.

Bengals:

Earlier in the week it was reported that the Bengals were going to lean on one running back instead of the dual threat they'd been implementing for weeks but in a 30-0 rout over Cleveland there was more than enough to go around.

Heading into the game Jeremy Hill was the favorite to carry the load over Giovani Bernard, a projection that held true on Sunday as the rookie toted the rock 25 times to Bernard's 15. Averaging 5.9 yards per rush, Hill ran for 148 yards in the game and had scored two touchdowns by halftime. By day's end he stood as Week 15's top fantasy running back with 27.20 points.

Bernard didn't get into the end zone but still managed 103 total yards on 18 touches and totaled 10.30 fantasy points in standard leagues with a few extra points added in PPR scoring formats since he caught three balls. Clearly, the Bengals were committed to the run as Andy Dalton only attempted 24 passes in the game.

And what's an edition Committee Meetings without a fourth-string back getting some late game love to steal fantasy points from the players people actually own, right? Don't worry, second-year runner Rex Burkhead has you covered. He received three straight red zone carries in the fourth quarter and scored on a 10-yard run to seal the deal. Good times for everyone in the Battle of Ohio. Unless you're a Browns fan.

If you're a fantasy owner heading into Week 16 with both Hill and Bernard on your roster, your decision for next week was pretty much made for you on Sunday. Start Hill and leave Bernard on your bench.

Patriots:

The Patriots were at it again on Sunday against Miami. New England's three running backs split 25 rush attempts in the game.

Although both of them got into the end zone, neither Shane Vereen nor LeGarrette Blount were effective running the ball. Blount totaled 17 yards on eight attempts while Vereen had just five yards on six carries. To put this in perspective, Tom Brady out-rushed both backs with 18 yards on three carries. Now that's embarrassing.

Of course Bill Belichick wasn't cool with any of that so he decided to let Jonas Gray dominate second half carries. Classic #Belitricks. Gray ran for 62 yards on 11 attempts but didn't manage to score.

New England's backfield remains a crapshoot from week-to-week and we don't suggest risking using any of these running backs in what will likely be your fantasy championship next week.

Buccaneers:

The last time Tampa Bay took on Carolina back in Week 1, Doug Martin had nine carries for nine yards. That was it. It wasn't a great start to the season for any fantasy owners who drafted Martin especially considering he injured his knee in that game and missed the next two.

In a Week 15 rematch between the Bucs and Panthers, Martin was deceivingly productive from a fantasy perspective with 96 rushing yards on 14 attempts. But if you subtract his 63-yard run on Tampa Bay's second play from scrimmage, he had just 33 yards on 13 carries.

Rookie Charles Sims played much better with 34 yards on seven carries and added 45 yards on three receptions. He looked spry and agile and if we're going by the eye test here, it's sort of baffling as to why the Bucs' coaching staff hasn't given Sims more work since he returned from an ankle injury halfway through the season. Sims completely burned Panthers' star linebacker Luke Kuechly on an exciting third quarter run and ended up taking it for 18 yards.

If Tampa Bay moves on from Martin this offseason, Sims will be an interesting fantasy prospect next summer. But for now it's wise to steer clear of any Bucs' running back for fantasy purposes in Week 16.

Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @m_franciscovich.

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