Week 16 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Fantasy Football Running Backs: David Johnson a great option for championship week

Last week, Tony Pollard took advantage of the injury to Ezekiel Elliot and just 12 total carries to put up 69 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and 63 additional receiving yards for a week leading 31.2 fantasy points. David Montgomery has kept his hot streak alive with a second-place finish in the standings with 29.2 fantasy points last week against the Minnesota Vikings. Next week, it looks like owners may be without Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon again, even though they had anticipated returning for the last two weeks of the season. Check out which running backs to start and sit heading into the first week of championship games for fantasy football.


Start ‘Em

David Montgomery keeps making a return to my start list, but there is solid reasoning behind it each week. In the last three-four weeks, David Montgomery has put up an average of 26.53 fantasy points per game. Last week, Montgomery put up 29.2 fantasy points for his highest score of the season against the Minnesota Vikings. Montgomery has six touchdowns in the last four weeks plus each game with over 100 yards from scrimmage. Next week, Montgomery and the Bears will be taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Montgomery has projected for 17.6 points at RB6 next weekend.

Certainly proving me wrong last week, Giovani Bernard had a great week of fantasy football against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. He took on 25 touches in the backfield for 83 yards on the ground, one rushing touchdown, and one 14-yard touchdown reception. With Joe Mixon declared out already for next weekend’s game, I would certainly expect Giovanni Bernard to see a similar workload to last weekend. The Bengals will take on the Houston Texans next week, who have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. They have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Bernard has projected for 9.9 fantasy points but has a very high ceiling.

David Johnson had an excellent return to the Texans’ lineup last week after having been injured, keeping him out for week 14 of the season. He put up 27 rushing yards, along with an outstanding 11 catches for 106 yards in the receiving game against the Colts last week. He put up 24.3 fantasy points in that game, his highest of the season, against a defense that has an above-average defense. The Texans will take on the Cincinnati Bengals next week, who have allowed the tenth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Johnson should take advantage of the matchup, and he has projected 14.65 fantasy points as the projected RB13.
Miami Dolphins
Salvon Ahmed went for 122 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown last week against the New England Patriots to give him 21.7 fantasy points, which placed him 11th in the weekly standings. Ahmed played his first game since week 11 against the Broncos, and he did not disappoint. Next week, Myles Gaskin will be coming off of the COVID reserve list to play, but Ahmed should see the same amount of touches after having a big game, and considering Gaskin may not be game ready yet. The Dolphins will take on the Raiders, who have allowed 22.7 fantasy points on average to running backs, the fourth most of any team. I anticipate that he and Gaskin will be viable fantasy options for next week. Particularly for Ahmed, he has projected for 9.95 fantasy points next game.

J.D McKissic had another outstanding week of fantasy last week, recording 51 rushing yards along with 9 catches for 56 yards and one receiving touchdown. McKissic cannot be denied in the receiving game, and he has already caught fire with Dwayne Haskins for check down routes. Even though his partner, Antonio Gibson, has been practicing this week and will have a decent shot at returning to play this weekend, I still like starting McKissic as a flex or a low-ceiling RB2. His touches in the receiving game are unparalleled and valuable. The Washington Football Team will be taking on the Carolina Panthers next weekend, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs per game this season. McKissic should have another solid outing, considering he has projected for 12.2 fantasy points.

Sit ‘Em

Mike Davis had a rough week against the Green Bay Packers, who have a notoriously rough rushing defense. He put up just 59 yards in the backfield and caught two passes for minimal yardage to total out to 8.1 fantasy points on the week. Davis had a rough go, but he will still take on the starting role next week as McCaffrey looks doubtful to play next week, if at all for the last two weeks of the season. Plus, the Panthers will be taking on the Washington Football Team next week, who have one of the best rushing defenses in the league. They allow just 15.5 fantasy points per game to running backs, which is the sixth least amount in the NFL. Davis has projected 7.5 fantasy points next week.

Frank Gore looked in his prime in the Jets’ first win of the season over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. Gore had 23 touches in the backfield, which is his highest of the season, along with 59 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. However, that is just over 2.5 yards per attempt for Gore in the backfield and just his second rushing touchdown of the season. Gore is not a consistent enough player for fantasy, even though his attempts are viable. Gore and the Jets will be taking on the Cleveland Browns next game, who have allowed the eighth least amount of fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

Le’Veon Bell had a solid fantasy outing last week with 15 attempts from the backfield for 62 rushing yards and one touchdown. Considering Clyde Edwards-Helaire is doubtful for next weekend with a high ankle sprain, it is quite likely that Bell will see the starting position as the lead back next game. However, considering the Chiefs will be taking on the Falcons, who have allowed the fifth least amount of fantasy points to running backs this season, I do not believe he is a good starting option. I would search for someone else to be a better start for championship week.

I have played football, baseball, hockey, golf, and basketball separately when I was young. Now I run cross country and track for DePaul University. My favorite part about sport is the mental strength. I am a big fan of all of the Chicago sports teams that don’t end in “Cubs.”

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