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Editor's note: Welcome to Week 17! We're handling Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em column a bit differently this season. You're still getting the same in-depth analysis as always, we're just presenting a bit differently, in an effort to get it out to you earlier in the day. This column takes a long time to write, and in the past, we've usually gotten it out to you in the evening. This year, we're going to publish it position-by-position, to get it into your hands quicker. Here's Jamey's take on running backs for this week.

Don't worry: If you want the classic Start 'Em & Sit 'Em, we'll still be publishing that at the end of the day with every position included. For now, here's running back.

Projections are provided by Projected points are for PPR leagues.

Running backs

Start 'Em
14.4 projected points
Damien Williams Kansas City Chiefs RB
Even with Spencer Ware (hamstring) expected to return this week against the Raiders, I still like Williams as at least a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues. In the past two games without Ware, Williams has been a star. He has at least 24 PPR points in consecutive outings against the Chargers and Seahawks, and he's actually scored at least 18 PPR points in three games in a row. Williams has the chance for another outstanding performance in Week 17 with the Chiefs looking to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over the Raiders, and I still expect him to get the majority of touches over Ware. While it would be great for Ware to be out one more week, don't be afraid to trust Williams in this matchup at home.
10.7 projected points
Doug Martin Oakland Raiders RB
Martin is coming off his best game of the season in Week 16 against Denver with 21 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, along with one catch for 9 yards on two targets, and I like him as a No. 2 running back this week in all formats. He's scored a touchdown in four of his past five games, and he had 12 PPR points against the Chiefs in Week 13 with 18 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown, as well as two catches for 6 yards. The Chiefs are No. 3 in Fantasy points allowed to running backs for the season, and a running back has scored against Kansas City in seven of the past eight games.
11.1 projected points
C.J. Anderson Los Angeles Rams RB
We'll stick with our theme here of trusting the injury replacements at running back, but Anderson will be swapped out of this spot if Todd Gurley (knee) is active against the 49ers . Anderson was a hero for many Fantasy owners in Week 16 at Arizona when he replaced an injured Gurley and had 20 carries for 167 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for minus-5 yards. The matchup is not as favorable this week against the 49ers, but San Francisco has allowed a running back to score or gain at least 100 total yards in six games in a row. Anderson has top-10 upside once again if Gurley is rested with the Rams heading for the playoffs.
15.9 projected points
Jamaal Williams Green Bay Packers RB
Williams was a force in place of the injured Aaron Jones (knee) in Week 16 at the Jets with 15 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, as well as six catches for 61 yards on nine targets. He's now scored at least 19 PPR points in consecutive games when you include his performance in Week 15 at Chicago in the game where Jones got hurt. This won't be an easy matchup against the Lions , who have been tough on opposing running backs since acquiring defensive tackle Damon Harrison from the Giants . But based on Williams' expected workload with around 20 touches, including his involvement in the passing game (he has at least four catches in three of his past four games), he should be considered a starter in all leagues. Playing at Lambeau Field in a game the Packers should win is also a plus for Williams.
10.8 projected points
Marlon Mack Indianapolis Colts RB
Mack had a solid game in the first meeting with the Titans in Week 11 at home with 16 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown, along with one catch for 8 yards on two targets. He should have the chance for a similar performance in the rematch in a game with huge implications since the winner gets into the playoffs. Mack has scored a touchdown in three games in a row, and the Titans defense is missing a key member of the defensive line with Jurrell Casey (knee) out. Tennessee also has allowed six running backs to either score or gain at least 100 total yards since Week 10, which bodes well for Mack in this matchup.


  • Brian Hill (at TB): Hill could have a big role in Week 17 against the Buccaneers if Tevin Coleman (groin) is out. Hill played well in Week 16 at Carolina in the game where Coleman was hurt with eight carries for 115 yards, including a 60-yard run. He could be looking at 15-plus touches, and the Buccaneers are tied with Buffalo for the most touchdowns allowed to running backs for the season with 21. Hill would be a No. 2 running back -- and great option in daily leagues -- if Coleman is out.
  • Jeff Wilson (at LAR): Wilson is expected to start with Matt Breida (ankle) out, and he was good the last time he was in this spot. It was Week 14 against Denver, and Wilson had 23 carries for 90 yards, along with one catch for 6 yards on two targets. The Rams will likely make things tough on Wilson on the ground, but he could be needed in the passing game with Dante Pettis (knee) out, as well as potentially Marquise Goodwin (calf). I like Wilson as a starter in all leagues this week given his expected workload.
  • Royce Freeman (vs. LAC): Freeman is expected to start with Phillip Lindsay (wrist) out, and hopefully an increased workload will help him end his rookie campaign on a high note. Devontae Booker is also worth a look in deeper PPR leagues, but Freeman should lead Denver in touches. And he scored against the Chargers in Week 11 with seven carries for 23 yards when Lindsay was still the lead running back for the Broncos.
  • Darren Sproles (at WAS): Sproles has scored a touchdown in three of the past four games, including in Week 13 against Washington, and he has at least 12 PPR points in two of his past three outings. He's being used in the passing game as well with at least three catches in three games in a row, and Washington is among the league leaders with 86 receptions allowed to running backs.
  • Rod Smith (at NYG): Two running backs I'm going to be extremely interested in, especially in DFS play, are Smith and Dwayne Washington. Smith could see a lot of time against the Giants if the Cowboys rest Ezekiel Elliott as expected. And Washington could be the primary running back for the Saints this week against the Panthers if Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram don't get a lot of work. Smith would be my favorite option of the two given how bad the Giants have been against opposing running backs all season.
Sit 'Em
13.0 projected points
Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys RB
The Cowboys are locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC and have nothing to play for in Week 17, so Elliott will likely not play based on what happened with Dallas the last time the team was in this spot. In 2016, with the Cowboys having locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC prior to Week 17, they rested Elliott against the Eagles. Should the same thing happen this week, Rod Smith should be considered a sleeper against the Giants.
5.9 projected points
Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints RB
I would be surprised if Ingram played much this week because the Saints have already locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Now, Alvin Kamara might play a little bit against the Panthers since he needs one touchdown to break Dalton Hilliard's single-season team record of 18, but even Kamara could be risky since the Saints want to make sure everyone is healthy heading into the playoffs. A sneaky sleeper could be Dwayne Washington if he gets a heavy workload in place of Ingram and possibly Kamara against the Panthers, who could also be resting linebacker Luke Kuechly with nothing on the line.
8.5 projected points
Jordan Howard Chicago Bears RB
Howard has turned things around of late with either 80 total yards or a touchdown in four games in a row, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points in three consecutive outings. He had 18 carries for 63 yards, as well as one catch for 2 yards on one target, in Week 11 against Minnesota. But I would expect Howard's touches to be limited this week based on the playoff scenarios for Chicago. The Bears need to beat the Vikings this week and get help from the 49ers to beat the Rams in Los Angeles, which isn't likely to happen. As such, coach Matt Nagy might limit the touches for Howard and Tarik Cohen, which makes them both risky in Week 17.
11.2 projected points
Adrian Peterson Washington Redskins RB
Peterson had a quality outing in Week 16 at Tennessee with 26 carries for 119 yards, as well as one catch for 8 yards on two targets. That put him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season, which is a tremendous accomplishment at 33. But milestones aside, I'm not willing to trust Peterson this week. Only once this season has he posted consecutive games with double digits in PPR, which were in Week 7 and 8. And he hasn't scored a touchdown three games in a row. Now, Peterson had a 90-yard touchdown run against the Eagles in Week 13, but he managed just 8 yards on eight carries otherwise in that game. It's been a great year for Peterson, and he was a pleasant surprise. But I don't expect him to have a solid outing in Week 17 against this defense.

Bust Alert

Christian McCaffrey
SF • RB • #23
Week 17 projectionN/A
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You can probably tell by the projected points that McCaffrey is not expected to play in Week 17 against the Saints. The Panthers have nothing to play for, and coach Ron Rivera is taking the right approach to avoid getting McCaffrey hurt. "What we have to do is we have to be smart with these guys going forward," Rivera said in a news conference this week. "You go into Week 17 obviously trying to win. But at the same time, we have to be smart. We have to be realistic. Be honest." Now, he hasn't said McCaffrey won't play, but it's clear the Panthers don't want to risk his health, especially with Cam Newton (shoulder) already out. If McCaffrey is done for the year, he finishes with the most receptions to running backs in NFL history with 106, and he also rushed for more than 1,000 yards. It was a tremendous breakout campaign for McCaffrey in 2018.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking quarterback could win you Week 17? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.