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Fantasy Football

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Running backs

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Joe Mixon
Cincinnati Bengals CIN · RB

Start of the Week

Mixon has been on absolute fire in the stat sheets, scoring 17 or more fantasy points in six of his last seven games. That includes an impressive 18.6-point performance against the Patriots last week. He needs to be in your starting lineup against the Dolphins, who have given up more than 27 fantasy points a game to backs since Week 12.

Miles Sanders
Philadelphia Eagles PHI · RB

Sanders is coming off a monster perofmance against the Redskins, scoring 35.2 fantasy points. The rookie has now cleared 21 fantasy points in two of his last three games, and he'll be heavily involved against Dallas. Their defense has had it's share of struggles with backs, allowing a top-10 runner in two of their last three games.

DeAndre Washington
Las Vegas Raiders LV · RB

Washington looks poised to see another big workload this week, as Josh Jacobs will be out with an injured shoulder. Washington thrived two weeks ago with Jacobs out, posting 20 touches and 21.6 fantasy points. The Chargers have allowed 15 touchdowns nad hearly 26 fantasy points a game to backs, so Washington is a nice flex option.

Devonta Freeman
Atlanta Falcons ATL · RB

Freeman put up a stinker last week in San Francisco, but I'd stick with him when the Falcons host Jacksonville in Week 16. The Jaguars have surrendered seven total touchdowns and the most fantasy points to opposing running backs over the last four weeks, so Freeman should get in a nice stat line. Consider him a viable No. 2 runner.

Marlon Mack
Indianapolis Colts IND · RB

Mack is in a good spot to produce a nice stat line this week, as the Colts face a Panthers defense that's allowed a top-11 fantasy back in six of its last seven games. Overall, opposing running backs have posted the most touchdowns and fantasy points when facing Carolina, so Mack is well worth a roll of the dice as a viable flex option.

Start 'Em:Miles Sanders vs. Dallas Cowboys, Phillip Lindsay vs. Detroit Lions
Sleepers:Mike Boone vs. Green Bay Packers (Mon.), Adrian Peterson vs. New York Giants

Sit 'Em

David Montgomery
Chicago Bears CHI · RB

Sit of the Week

Montgomery's matchup this week looks great on paper, but the rookie has failed to exploit good matchups often. In fact, he's scored fewer than seven fantasy points in all but one of his last six games. Heck, Tarik Cohen has been a far better option in that time. If you have depth and can find an alternate flex option, I would consider it.

Sony Michel
New England Patriots NE · RB

Michel is coming of his best stat line since Week 7, and he still scored just 11.3 fantasy points in a win over the Bengals. He was the third-best fantasy back on the Patriots roster, however, as Michel continues to share the workload with James White and Rex Burkhead. I'd keep him on the bench in your fantasy title game against the Bills.

Devin Singletary
Buffalo Bills BUF · RB

Singletary has seen a sharp rise in snaps and touches in recent weeks, so he remains on the flex starter radar. However, he's found the end zone just once since Week 9. Singletary also has a tough matchup against the Patriots, who have surrendered the fewest total touchdowns and fantasy points to opposing backs this season.

Carlos Hyde
Houston Texans HOU · RB

Hyde is coming off an impressive performance against the Titans, but can you trust him when the Texans visit the Buccaneers? Their defense has allowed just 3.1 yards per rush and the third-fewest fantasy points to enemy running backs, so Hyde could be in for a tough afternoon. I'd keep him on the sidelines if you have flex depth.

Ronald Jones
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB · RB

Remember when Jones was a thing in fantasy (it seems so long ago, right)? Well, he's failed to score double-digit fantasy points in three straight games while now being in a close to even timeshare with teammate Peyton Barber. Evan against the Texans, who aren't great against running backs, I'd keep Jones on the bench in the finals.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on **Twitter**, **Facebook**, **YouTube** and **Instagram** for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!

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