Week 16 of the NFL season is here and we have action to look forward to throughout the holiday weekend with a bulk of the games taking place on Saturday for Christmas Eve. That also means that many of you are duking it out in the fantasy football playoffs of your respective leagues.
Every single roster move at this point could decide your championship fate or if you inch closer to being the dreaded Sacko of your league. Below, we’ll go over which running backs you need to start and which running backs you need to shy away from this week.
Running Back Starts
Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs vs. Seahawks
Arguably no running back has been as dangerous as McKinnon over the past three weeks. He has been shot out of a cannon as a passing-catching option for Patrick Mahomes, grabbing 17 targets for 191 yards and four receiving touchdowns in his past three games. He’s also done some nice work on the ground and has now earned fantasy managers at least 25 points in two straight contests. Keep riding the hot hand and start him if you have him.
J.K. Dobbins, Ravens vs. Falcons
With Lamar Jackson’s injury dramatically altering the Ravens’ offense over the past two weeks, no one has individually benefitted more than Dobbins. He has broken off 120+ rushing yards in back-to-back games and that has earned fantasy managers at least 12 points in both contests. With Jackson’s status still up in the air and Saturday’s game against the Falcons expected to be played in brutally cold conditions, expect Dobbins to get plenty of work once again.
Tyler Allgeier, Falcons vs. Ravens
On the other side of that cold Ravens-Falcons showdown is running back Tyler Allgeier, who broke off 17 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown in the team’s loss to the Saints last Sunday. Allgeier has gotten at least 10 carries over his past three outings, effectively splitting the bill with do-it-all veteran Cordarrelle Patterson. With rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder still getting his feet under him as the starter, the Falcons may elect to go run-heavy again and feed Allgeier. He’d be an effective Flex spot player this week.
Running Back Sits
Alvin Kamara, Saints vs. Browns
Kamara has been wholly ineffective as a fantasy produce in the second half of the season. Sunday’s performance against the Falcons marked his first double-digit fantasy point effort since Week 9 and even then, he earned just 10.4 points for managers. The Saints’ offense has been wonky all year long and when he’s not being force fed carries, he’s been quiet. Fade him this week, especially if you’re in a high stakes matchup.
Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers vs. Cardinals
Fournette is somehow still a Top 15 running back in standard leagues but if you haven’t already, abandon ship. The Bucs offense is an unmitigated disaster and Fournette has sunken with it. Sure, he’s been getting consistent targets in the passing game, but he has hasn’t had a single game of over 60 rushing yards since Week 6 and a fumbled handoff from Tom Brady this past Sunday doesn’t inspire confidence. Look elsewhere for this weekend.
Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots vs. Bengals
You’ve seen the highlights dozens of times by now. Stevenson’s decision to lateral at the end of regulation of their game against the Raiders on Sunday kickstarted what may have been the most mind-numbingly bad sequence to lose a game in NFL history. That action will probably have him and Jakobi Meyers in Bill Belichick’s doghouse for eternity.
It’s a shame considering that Stevenson had a really big day with 19 carries for 172 yards and a touchdown prior to the ill-fated decision to lateral. It was the first time he had cracked double digit fantasy points since Week 9 and he will most likely regress back to the mean this week.