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Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 16: Derrick Henry and Other RB Start/Sit Fantasy Advice

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 16: Derrick Henry

If you’re one of the fortunate fantasy football owners to have Todd Gurley or Derrick Henry (or both — can you imagine?) on your roster, then you’re probably still playing and hoping for one more week of pure domination from them.

While Gurley, and even Henry with the way he has been playing, are easy starts, what about those borderline RBs that could make or break your fantasy football championship dreams?

Before we tell you who put in your backfield this week let's see how the RB start/sit advice for Week 15 fared.

Good Calls for Week 15...

Start Gus Edwards (16.4 fantasy points) – Edwards might not catch any passes, but you’ll take 104 rushing yards with a touchdown every week.

Sit Dion Lewis (4.4 FP) – Lewis has taken a backseat to Derrick Henry and you can expect that to continue in Week 16.

Bad Calls for Week 15...

Start Doug Martin (3.9 FP) – Martin had been surprisingly effective this season but did not have a role to play last week against the Bengals.

I warned you about starting Marlon Mack (24.9 FP), oops! It was set up to be a big Andrew Luck game, but Mack changed that with 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Running Backs


Jamaal Williams, GB (at NYJ)

Williams played 87 percent of Green Bay’s snaps last week in large part because Aaron Jones left early with a knee injury. The Jets haven't been too generous to opposing running backs, but they’ve also benefited from LeSean McCoy and Lamar Miller going down with early injuries in each of their last two games. You don’t have to love Williams, Aaron Rodgers or the matchup, but Williams is coming off 16 touches and 16 fantasy points against the Bears in Chicago. His potential workload is RB2-worthy here.

Chris Carson, SEA (vs. KC)

Carson is set up to have a huge game against the Chiefs. He comes into this matchup with at least 12 PPR points in five games in a row, including 25 points in Week 15. He had 22 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown, as well as six catches for 29 yards on six targets in that game against the 49ers, and it helped that Rashaad Penny (knee) was out. We'll see if Penny returns this week, but it's looking doubtful at this point. Mike Davis will still be involved, but Carson has logged back-to-back games with at least 22 total touches and Kansas City is giving up the third-most fantasy points to running backs on the season.

Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. WAS, Sat.)

While his performance in Week 14 was considered a fluke by some, you can't ignore his workload — or production — now. He had 17 carries for 238 yards and four touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 14, and he followed it up with 33 carries for 170 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Giants. That's 50 carries for 408 yards (8.2 ypc) and six touchdowns over the past two games. He also has scored a touchdown in six of his past eight games, and he should have success against Washington, which has allowed four running backs to either score or gain 100 total yards in the past five games.


Doug Martin, OAK (vs. DEN, Mon.)

Martin and the Raiders return home after falling on their faces against the Bengals in Cincinnati last week. Martin’s streak of games with a touchdown was snapped at three as he turned in 39 scoreless yards on nine touches in the 30-16 defeat. Oakland is just a 2.5-point dog at home in Week 16. While Denver has held up at the goal line, the Broncos have yielded at least 95 total yards to starting running backs in each of their last three games.


Josh Adams, PHI (vs. HOU)

The Texans are one of four defenses to give up fewer than 1,000 rushing yards thus far and have held each running back under 50 on the ground in each of the past four games. Wendell Smallwood has earned some additional work in Week 16 and Darren Sproles should get the passing downs after Adams gained just 28 yards on 15 carries against the Rams last week. He’s not trustworthy in this spot.

James White, NE (vs. BUF)

White has only compiled 65 total yards on 13 touches over New England’s last two games while playing just 40 percent of the snaps in each contest. This was after playing 60-80 percent in Weeks 5-10. The diminished workload has impacted him in PPR formats as well as the return of Rex Burkhead has cost White opportunities.

Adrian Peterson, WAS (at TEN, Sat.)

Once again, you need to sit Peterson. Washington comes to Tennessee as 10-point underdogs in a game with the lowest projected Vegas total (37) on the week, which gives them about 13 implied points. The Titans just held Saquon Barkley to peanuts and Peterson appears to be fading down the stretch behind what’s left of Washington’s offensive line.


Matt Breida, SF (vs. CHI)

It’s been a smart move fading running backs against the Bears every week but facts are facts. The facts say Chicago's defense allows the second-fewest points to the position. RBs are averaging just 71.5 rushing yards per game and only three players have topped 60 yards on the ground. It will be difficult to trust Breida with fantasy titles on the line.

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.