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What to do with Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson in Week 17 fantasy football

Are either of the Texans RBs worth a start in their match-up with the Tennessee Titans?

Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle William Gholston defends during the second half at Raymond James Stadium Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans will be fighting for their lives on Sunday as they need a victory to secure the AFC wild card spot in the playoffs. The Texans, on the other hand, have already secured their ticket to the postseason. There is a chance that the Texans can move up in the seeding if a few things go their way in various other AFC match-ups, and BIll O’Brien has indicated that he will play his starters, but can you trust that statement enough to put either of these guys in your line-up? We break down the fantasy implications below.

Fantasy football analysis, Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde

Carlos Hyde was not as busy as usual in Week 16 against the Buccaneers, as the Houston Texans’ defense took care of most of the work for the day, capitalizing on Jameis Winston’s carelessness. He did still tally 17 carries on the day, but for only 27 yards. He saved his day with a touchdown and added one catch for 10 yards to total 10.7 fantasy points. This performance paled in comparison to his performance of 26 carries for 104 yards and one touchdown the week prior against none other than the Tennessee Titans.

Hyde has proven he can be effective against this team and is the back to play of you want to go with a Houston running back this week. However, given the possibility that Hyde gets some rest in a week that may have little meaning for playoff seeding, he comes with a certain amount of risk that he has not carried in other match-ups this season.

If you are considering Hyde in DFS, this risk must also be considered as his salary is set at $5,000. While not particularly high, it’s also not a significant bargain considering the potential that he does not finish out the game. Somebody like Jordan Howard for $5000 or Deandre Washington for $5200 provide greater upside for the same or similar price.

Fantasy football analysis, Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson’s usage has petered out as the regular season has neared an end, and he has only carried the ball five times in the last three games. He continues to be used in the passing game, but only managed three receptions for a total of 31 yards in his last two games. There is a chance that Johnson sees an uptick in usage if Bill O’Brien decides to rest Carlos Hyde for the playoffs, but this scenario is too unpredictable to gamble on. The Texans offense has faded Johnson lately and fantasy owners should do the same.

In terms of DFS, Johnson’s salary this week is set at $4300. This is hardly a bargain for a running back who may only receive two carries and whose role in the passing game has fluctuated lately. He is not one to target in cash games this week.

Start/Sit Advice:

Start Carlos Hyde only as an RB3/flex play with both risk and upside in standard leagues

Sit Duke Johnson

Sit Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson in DFS