The final week of regular season football is nearly upon us, and that will make for some interesting start/sit decisions. Teams will be looking to rest starters to extend their recovery period ahead of the postseason, give reserves some reps in a game that doesn’t mean anything, and ramp up targets and touches/targets for stars in an attempt to punch a ticket to the playoffs. Here are some available running backs we think you should consider bringing onboard in Week 17 off the fantasy football waiver wire.
Justice Hill/Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (2.9/4.7 percent)
Edwards rushed 12 times for 66 yards and added a seven yard reception in Week 16. Hill recorded three carries for 19 yards and a touchdown alongside three receptions for 32 yards in Baltimore’s Week 16 win against the Browns. Mark Ingram will not play in Week 17 due to a calf strain and Baltimore already clinching home field advantage. Edwards has a safer floor, the explosive Hill is a better ceiling.
Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots (12.9 percent)
Burkhead has scored two of his three touchdowns of the season in the last two weeks and totaled 18.7 DKFP in Week 16, mostly because of his success as a pass catcher. He rushed for a touchdown against the Bills but only totaled 20 yards on five carries while notching four receptions for 77 yards. It’ll be hard to replicate numbers like that, but if New England dials it down and lets the backups loose in Week 17, Burkhead could be productive.
Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans (10.2 percent)
Tennessee held its stud Derrick Henry (hamstring) out of a Week 16 matchup against the Saints and lost. The Titans will need to win or depend on a Steelers loss to clinch a playoff berth in Week 17. If Henry doesn’t have a productive week of practice leading up to his team’s game with the Texans, expect the Titans to lean on Lewis. He totaled 9.7 DKFP against the Saints’ elite run defense, but won’t face as much of a challenge against Houston.
Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels, and Kerrith Whyte, Pittsburgh Steelers (23.3, 43.6, and .1 percent)
James Conner left the Steelers’ Week 16 loss to the Jets with a thigh injury after rushing for 32 yards on six carries. This makes Pittsburgh’s potential Week 17 strategy interesting. The severity of Conner’s injury isn’t clear yet, but each of his backups could have much bigger roles in the last regular season game of 2019 because of it. Benny Snell averaged more than 16 carries per game from Weeks 12-14 but hasn’t done much sense. He’s really only used in the running game while Samuels is the most diverse of the group and is a Swiss army knife used to run, catch passes, and occasionally throw the ball. Whyte hasn’t had many rushing attempts (15) but is averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Pick your poison.