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Marlon Mack

Fantasy Football Week 16 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

The NFL season is nearing an end as Week 16 is finally upon us. Prior to looking ahead to Week 16, there were quite a few running backs who stood out in Week 15 in fantasy football.

Out of nowhere, Kenyan Drake terrorized the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday on the ground. The Arizona Cardinals’ running back was able to rush for 137 yards and four touchdowns as he recorded 39.6 fantasy points.

Besides Drake, rookie Miles Sanders had himself a breakout game for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanders posted a season-high 35.2 points as he totaled 172 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns versus the Washington Redskins.

What running backs are in line to have notable fantasy football performances this week? All of the picks in this article are based on PPR (points per reception) scoring and can be used in season-long or DFS (daily fantasy sports) leagues.

With that being said, here are the running backs to start and sit in fantasy football in Week 16.

RBs to Start in Week 16

Colts’ Marlon Mack (vs. Panthers): The Indianapolis Colts were unable to get their running game going against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. As a result, Marlon Mack has combined for 11.7 points in his last two games since returning from injury.

The Colts’ featured running back should return to being a reliable starter in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers. Carolina’s run defense has given up 1,726 rushing yards (second-most in the NFL) and 23 rushing touchdowns (most in the NFL).

Bengals’ Joe Mixon (vs. Dolphins): Joe Mixon has suddenly begun to get into a rhythm in the Cincinnati Bengals’ offense in recent weeks. As a matter of fact, Mixon has scored 17 or more points in six of his last seven games—including an 18.6-point performance versus the New England Patriots last week.

After facing a stout defense like the Patriots, Mixon will get a chance to face the Miami Dolphins this week. Miami’s defense has allowed RBs to rush for 1,763 yards thus far (most in the NFL).

Falcons’ Devonta Freeman (vs. Jaguars): Last week, Devonta Freeman understandably struggled to get into a groove versus the San Francisco 49ers. Despite winning the game, Freeman contributed 7.5 points as he gained 55 yards from scrimmage.

Luckily for Freeman, he has a great opportunity to bounce back as he squares off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16. The Jaguars’ defense has surrendered 14 rushing touchdowns to RBs (tied for second-most in the NFL).

Other RBs to Start: Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (vs. Raiders), Cardinals’ Kenyan Drake (vs. Seahawks), Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay (vs. Lions), Bears’ Tarik Cohen (vs. Chiefs)

RBs to Sit in Week 16

Bills’ Devin Singletary (vs. Patriots): Devin Singletary has gradually been getting more touches with the Buffalo Bills as the season has progressed. Due to the uptick in touches, the rookie rusher has posted 12 or more points in three out of his last four outings.

It’s tough to envision Singletary having much success against the New England Patriots in Week 16. New England’s defense has held opposing RBs to three total touchdowns (fewest in the NFL).

Texans’ Carlos Hyde (vs. Buccaneers): Carlos Hyde has quietly put together an impressive season with the Houston Texans this year. The veteran running back has secured the first 1,000-yard season of his career after rushing for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in Week 15.

Up next on the schedule for Hyde is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; who have been masterful at stopping the run in 2019. Tampa Bay’s defense under Todd Bowles has contained opposing RBs to 789 rushing yards (fewest in the NFL).

Buccaneers’ Ronald Jones (vs. Texans): Since becoming the starting running back for the Buccaneers, Ronald Jones has disappointed. The second-year running back has combined for a mere 14.1 points in his last three games.

The path to him securing the starting job for next year doesn’t get any easier as he faces the Texans in Week 16. Houston’s defense has given up five rushing touchdowns thus far (tied for third-fewest in the NFL).