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USATSI

Week 16 usually means the Fantasy football semi-finals for the majority of managers still alive. If you made it this far, that means you were able to circumvent injuries, inconsistent game scripts, and in some cases diminished skills. If you didn't make the playoffs this time around well... I suppose there's always next year. If you're still in the running for a league championship, there are a couple of injuries to keep an eye on leading up to Week 16. Josh Jacobs (knee), Alexander Mattison (ankle), Isaiah Pacheco (shoulder), and Brian Robinson Jr. (hamstring) all missed Week 15 and are questionable to suit up this week.

Jamey Eisenberg has his Start 'Em & Sit 'Em calls for Week 16 at running back here. His Waiver Wire column can also direct you to the best options that may be available in your leagues. And don't forget to check out Heath Cummings' quarterback preview for more help with matchup notes, numbers to know and more. Plus check out Heath's Week 16 projections over at SportsLine.

START 'EM & SIT 'EM
Running Backs
RBs to Start
Projections powered by Sportsline
NE New England • #15
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -6.5 O/U 34.5
OPP VS RB
6th
PROJ PTS
14
RB RNK
13th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
522
REC
36
REYDS
247
TD
3
FPTS/G
9.2
Elliott only scored 9.6 PPR points in Week 15 against Kansas City, but I expect him to get back on track in Week 16 at Denver. Prior to Week 15, Elliott did well stepping in for Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) with at least 13.2 PPR points in two games against the Chargers and Steelers. He's been excellent in the passing game in his past three outings with 16 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown on 19 targets, and he should remain heavily involved as a receiver against the Broncos. It also helps that Denver is No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and five running backs have scored at least 14 PPR points against the Broncos in the past six games.
BAL Baltimore • #22
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SEA SEA -2.5 O/U 41.5
OPP VS RB
12th
PROJ PTS
13.7
RB RNK
22nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
884
REC
27
REYDS
203
TD
11
FPTS/G
14.4
I started the week not liking Henry after his terrible performance against the Texans in Week 15 when he had 16 carries for 9 yards and four catches for 1 yard on four targets. But this should be a bounce-back spot for him against Seattle at home. Henry is 116 rushing yards away from the fifth 1,000-yard season in his career, and I'm sure Mike Vrabel will want to get Henry that milestone at home. He also has just two home games left this year with Jacksonville in Week 18, and Henry might be done in Tennessee after this season since he'll be a free agent. The Seahawks are also playing on the road after a Monday night game, so we could see a tired defense, and a running back has scored at least 12.9 PPR points against Seattle in seven of the past eight games, with nine running backs hitting that mark over that span. I still like Henry as a No. 2 running back in all leagues with this matchup.
MIN Minnesota • #33
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR GB -5 O/U 36
OPP VS RB
16th
PROJ PTS
11.5
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
298
REC
23
REYDS
185
TD
3
FPTS/G
11
Jones returned from his three-game absence with a knee injury in Week 15 against Tampa Bay and got plenty of work with A.J. Dillon (thumb) sidelined. Jones had 13 carries for 53 yards and four catches for 16 yards on four targets against the Buccaneers, and we'll see if Dillon can return in Week 16 against the Panthers. But Jones should still have a big role even if Dillon is healthy, and Jones might be needed in the passing game with Christian Watson (hamstring) and Jayden Reed (toe) banged up. And it's a beautiful matchup against Carolina, which is No. 4 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Jones should be trustworthy again as a No. 2 running back in Week 16.
CAR Carolina • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB GB -5 O/U 36
OPP VS RB
32nd
PROJ PTS
12.5
RB RNK
26th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
731
REC
32
REYDS
190
TD
4
FPTS/G
10.6
Hubbard once again had a solid outing in Week 15 against Atlanta with 22 carries for 87 yards and two catches for 16 yards on two targets. He's now scored at least 11.6 PPR points in four games in a row, and he's averaging 16.6 PPR points over that span. This week, Hubbard is taking on a Packers defense that has been awful against running backs since Week 10. Over that six-game span, seven running backs have scored at least 11.3 PPR points, with three in a row scoring at least 21.3 PPR points. Green Bay has allowed seven total touchdowns and five running backs to gain at least 95 total yards during that stretch. Hubbard should be considered a quality No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues in Week 16.
CHI Chicago
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYG PHI -12 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
13th
PROJ PTS
13.3
RB RNK
25th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
896
REC
38
REYDS
209
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.6
It would be hilarious if the Eagles let Boston Scott get a significant amount of work in Week 16 since he absolutely owns the Giants. In eight games against the Giants in his career, Scott has 86 carries for 414 yards and nine touchdowns and 17 catches for 222 yards and one touchdown on 22 targets. He has a touchdown in eight games in a row against the Giants going back to 2019. It's incredible. Now, we know Scott barely plays as the third-string running back behind D'Andre Swift and Kenneth Gainwell, and hopefully Swift can beat up the Giants like Scott typically does. I thought Swift ran well in Week 15 at Seattle with 18 carries for 74 yards and two catches for 1 yard on three targets. A running back has scored at least 13.9 PPR points against the Giants in six of the past seven games, and I like Swift as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues.
Sleepers (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #22
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CIN CIN -2 O/U 37
OPP VS RB
22nd
PROJ PTS
10.7
RB RNK
33rd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
723
REC
24
REYDS
149
TD
4
FPTS/G
9.5
It will take some guts to trust Harris in Week 16 given how bad he's been lately with 9.7 PPR points or less in three games in a row against Arizona, New England and Indianapolis, but this is a bounce-back spot for him and potentially Jaylen Warren. The Bengals just lost key run stuffer D.J. Reader (quad) for the season, and Harris should have the chance for another quality outing against Cincinnati. In Week 12, Harris had 15 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, and he has either a touchdown or 100 total yards in four of his past five games against Cincinnati. Harris is worth using as a borderline No. 2 running back in all leagues.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #35
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SF SF -5.5 O/U 46.5
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
9
RB RNK
32nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
663
REC
11
REYDS
141
TD
11
FPTS/G
11.4
We'll see if the 49ers get Arik Armstead (ankle) and Javon Hargrave (hamstring) back for Week 16 against the Ravens, but both were missed in Week 15 against Arizona. James Conner, Emari Demercado and Michael Carter combined for 21 carries for 177 yards and two touchdowns against San Francisco, and the Ravens could look to lean on Edwards in this matchup on the road. He'll be the main running back with Keaton Mitchell (ACL) out for the season, and Edwards has scored a touchdown in six of his past eight games, with 10 touchdowns over that span. I don't mind Edwards as a flex option in Week 16, especially if Armstead and Hargrave remain out for the 49ers.
CIN Cincinnati • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PIT CIN -2 O/U 37
OPP VS RB
11th
PROJ PTS
7.2
RB RNK
37th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
115
REC
9
REYDS
115
TD
1
FPTS/G
4.3
The Steelers are beat up defensively with both safeties out in Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and Domatnae Kazee (suspension), and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward is also in the concussion protocol. That should help Joe Mixon, who is a must-start Fantasy running back, but Brown is also worth using as a flex in Week 16. He's done well over the past two games in tandem with Mixon with three catches in each of those two outings against the Colts and Vikings, and he's scored at least 8.1 PPR points in each game. He also has three games in a row with at least seven carries. Brown could be awesome with more work, but just use him as a flex in this matchup.
RBs to Sit
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #30
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BUF BUF -12 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
16th
PROJ PTS
14
RB RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
506
REC
40
REYDS
373
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.4
It's hard to bench Ekeler in the majority of leagues, but we saw the downside of this offense in Week 15 at Las Vegas in a 63-21 loss with Justin Herbert (finger) out, which could get worse in this matchup with Buffalo in Week 16. Keep in mind that Ekeler was awful in four of his past five games, with his one positive outing against the bad Broncos run defense in Week 14. Otherwise, he scored 9.4 PPR points or less in his other four games, including 7.8 PPR points against the Raiders. Buffalo just held Tony Pollard to 7.7 PPR points in Week 15, and the Bills should be able to contain Ekeler in this matchup.
CLE Cleveland • #34
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU CLE -2.5 O/U 40
OPP VS RB
31st
PROJ PTS
12.3
RB RNK
29th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
718
REC
39
REYDS
238
TD
6
FPTS/G
12.2
Ford scored at least 11.9 PPR points in six games in a row prior to Week 15 against Chicago when he was held to eight carries for 20 yards and four catches for 11 yards on five targets. It was a bad matchup against the Bears, and this is another tough matchup against the Texans. Houston hasn't allowed a running back to score on the ground in five games in a row, and only Breece Hall caught a touchdown against the Texans in Week 14. They just dominated Derrick Henry, holding him to 16 carries for 9 yards and four catches for 1 yard on four targets. Ford also continues to split playing time with Kareem Hunt, and I would only use Ford as a flex option in most leagues in Week 16.
NE New England • #24
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYJ NYJ -3 O/U 37
OPP VS RB
20th
PROJ PTS
7.9
RB RNK
30th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
208
REC
42
REYDS
342
TD
2
FPTS/G
8.1
With Brian Robinson Jr. (hamstring) out in Week 15 at the Rams, Gibson did not see a spike in playing time or touches, which was frustrating. He only had four carries for 15 yards and five catches for 20 yards on five targets, and Chris Rodriguez Jr. led the team in carries with 10. Robinson is still banged up heading into Week 16 at the Jets, so don't count on Gibson seeing an increased role. He could still be a flex option in PPR -- he has five games with at least four catches in his past six outings -- but don't make the mistake to overvalue him again if Robinson can't play.
LV Las Vegas • #35
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ KC KC -10 O/U 41.5
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
5.9
RB RNK
34th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
123
REC
9
REYDS
54
TD
1
FPTS/G
2.2
As of Wednesday afternoon, we don't know the status of Josh Jacobs (quadriceps), but if he's out again then consider White just a flex option in the majority of leagues. He was great in Week 15 against the Chargers with 17 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 16 yards on four targets, but this is a step up in competition on the road. The Chiefs have allowed one running back to score more than 9.6 PPR points in the past three games, which was the scorching hot James Cook in Week 14, and we could see more Ameer Abdullah than White in Week 16 if the Raiders are chasing points. Jacobs would be a must-start running back if he's healthy, but White hasn't earned that respect yet despite his strong outing against the Chargers.
Bust Alert (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
ARI Arizona • #6
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CHI CHI -4 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
17th
PROJ PTS
11
RB RNK
21st
YTD Stats
RUYDS
717
REC
17
REYDS
39
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.3
Conner has proven me wrong in each of the past two weeks when I recommended to sit him, and we'll see what happens in Week 16 at Chicago. In his past two games against Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Conner has scored at least 17.9 PPR points in each outing with a combined 39 carries for 191 yards and three touchdowns and three catches for 3 yards on five targets. I'm concerned about his production if he doesn't score a touchdown since he's not overly involved in the passing game, and the Bears have allowed just one touchdown to a running back in their past three games against Minnesota, Detroit and Cleveland. I would only use Conner as a flex option in most leagues in Week 16.