Our Week 16 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is an in-depth look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they will impact your lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Our list of Week 16 running back starts and sits features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup, or fail to meet expectations due to the strength of their opponent.
In what has been a lost season for the Bears, Jordan Howard has been one of a few bright spots on a team lacking an identity for the future. The rookie out of Indiana has been nothing short of spectacular, running behind an offensive line that is missing Pro-Bowler Kyle Long. Howard proved to be matchup proof last week, torching a stout Packers defense for 103 total scrimmage yards and a touchdown. This week, Howard gets a Washington defense that gave up chunk gains to Jonathan Stewart all throughout Monday’s loss. Howard will be a legitimate RB1 for fantasy owners this week.
Possibly the biggest bust at running back in fantasy this season, Todd Gurley has suffered his way through a dismal return season to Los Angeles for the Rams. Lacking depth and playmakers on the offensive side of the ball has been the bane of the Rams existence in 2016, as Gurley’s numbers have dropped off a cliff in his sophomore campaign. If there’s a silver lining to Gurley’s drastic disappointment, it’s that he’ll face a 49ers run defense that has been lit up by opposing backs every week this season. Ranking dead last against the run, San Francisco will struggle to contain Gurley, as he looks to avenge fantasy rosters where he is owned. He’ll be a high-end RB2 this week at home.
The Packers have been playing like a team possessed lately and have been getting production from a bevy of places. Last week’s hero was none other than converted wide receiver, turned running back, Ty Montgomery. Fantasy owners who were savvy enough to insert Montgomery into lineups certainly reaped the benefits, as Montgomery finished with 25 + fantasy points. This week, Montgomery and the Packers will travel to Minnesota to take on a Vikings defense on the heels of allowing 41 points to the Colts. With the Vikings looking ready to embrace the imminent off-season, the Packers should come out with a balanced offensive attack. You can bet Montgomery will find plenty of running room against the Vikes, as they’ll look to stop Aaron Rodgers, first and foremost.
After Isaiah Crowell got off to a hot start to the season, he has since cooled off, as the Browns have continued to claim their stake as the most dysfunctional team in the NFL. While Hue Jackson will undoubtedly try to “salvage” his season by getting at least one victory, don’t be shocked if he rotates playing time to see what he’s got on the roster. Despite the sentiment, it wouldn’t be exactly surprising if he was shown the door after his first season in Cleveland. With Crowell a non-factor during the second-half of the season, it’ll be tough for owners to depend on him as anything more than a RB3 for Week 16.
The big story surrounding Mark Ingram from last week was his displeasure in Sean Payton’s decision to hand the ball to Tim Hightower in a goal line situation, rather than himself. Ingram’s disapproval is the epitome for a situation that has become impossible to predict from a fantasy perspective, as Ingram and Hightower have shared the New Orleans backfield for the last handful of weeks. This week the Saints will host a Bucs team they were significantly over matched against a few weeks ago in Tampa Bay. While New Orleans will seek retribution in order to keep their playoff hopes alive, it won’t be advisable for Ingram owners to rely on a big fantasy performance. Ingram will be a boom-or-bust RB3 for this week.
In last week’s loss to the Steelers, Jeremy Hill cashed in on his 9th rushing TD of the 2016 season. Hill’s value has been squarely dependent on touchdowns this season, although his volume has remained consistent since Gio Bernard was placed on I.R. With the Texans’ playoff hopes hanging on by a thread, their defense should come prepared to play on Saturday evening. Hill has produced at a RB2 clip this season, but he will be an extremely difficult option to trust in a boom or bust matchup against a solid Texans defense.