NFL Fantasy 2022 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 17: Running backs
You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that’s too obvious, so you won’t see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can’t find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.
Etienne has been a sit the last few weeks with some mixed results. After weeks of scoring single figures, he has scored between 12.7 and 14.2 fantasy points in his last two games. Etienne has seen his carries increase in each of the last four games with at least 17 carries in three straight. He also has at least three targets in three of his last four games. More consistent pass-game usage is likely the only thing holding him back from being a consistent RB1. But given the number of opportunities he gets on a weekly basis paired with the matchup against the Texans, who have allowed the most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (29.96), Etienne is a start in championship week.
McKinnon deserves to be in the fantasy playoff MVP discussion. After finishing as the RB1 with over 32 fantasy points in two straight weeks, McKinnon followed it up with 12.8 fantasy points, while scoring a touchdown in Week 16. It wasn’t the big blow-up game like we had been getting, but it was enough to make him a top-20 running back in Week 16. This week he faces the Broncos, who have allowed 23.5 fantasy PPG to RBs, inside the top 12 in the NFL. Plus, McKinnon exploded for over 130 yards and two TDs for 32.4 fantasy points against them in Week 14. Now, do not expect that again, but if the Broncos can limit the Chiefs receivers, we could see another big day for McKinnon in the passing game. Start him this week.
Akers was the RB1 last week scoring nearly 25 fantasy points by going for over 130 total yards and three touchdowns. Those were all season highs. He has averaged nearly 24 fantasy PPG in the fantasy playoffs and 19 per game in the last month. Now he faces the Chargers who have struggled against the run, allowing 24.99 fantasy PPG to running backs, the eighth-most in the NFL. That includes allowing the second-most rushing yards to the position. I expect Sean McVay will attack the weakness in the Chargers’ run defense, making Akers a fantasy playoff MVP candidate.
Swift only carried the ball four times in Week 16 as the Lions were firmly in catchup mode against the Panthers. He did see five targets, though. It was an overall disappointing day for Swift in a season full of disappointing results. However, if you made it this far, it’s a week to start Swift as your RB2 or flex. Swift faces the Bears, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy PPG to running backs this season (25.9). Swift does not bring a safe floor but he brings upside, and this is a matchup in which he should be able to showcase it. Not only do the Bears struggle against the run, but it should be one the Lions can keep close, if not even play with a lead. Plus, the Lions being home only raises the ceiling of all Detroit players. He’s been volatile, but I would take a shot on Swift in this matchup.
Allgeier has taken over this Falcons backfield. He played nearly 60% of the snaps this past week with 18 carries and five targets while going for nearly 120 yards and a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson finished with just nine opportunities as Allgeier has now seen at least 18 opportunities in two straight games. When they split work, he was the preferred option as he is more explosive. But now he is just straight up getting more work in this backfield. Plus, this week he gets the Cardinals who have allowed 26.5 fantasy PPG, the fifth-most in the NFL. He is a strong streaming option this week.
Let’s get spicy! Chubb has averaged just 9.4 fantasy PPG in the last month with Deshaun Watson at quarterback. He has averaged just 1.8 targets per game with Watson and has not yet scored a touchdown. Plus, he faces the Commanders who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to running backs (18.2). That includes the fifth-fewest rushing yards and touchdowns to the position. Now look, Chubb is not a must sit. Do not sit him for some dude you just grabbed off the waiver wire or who you normally would never start. But if you have another option that you have been considering in recent weeks, you can go ahead and make that swap!
Harris has been playing better as of late, but he has also had better matchups. This week he faces the division rival Ravens, who have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy PPG to running backs this season (20.0). They have allowed just 18.4 in the last month. Harris was limited to 33 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards but was able to crack double figures due to a touchdown. If he doesn’t score a touchdown, you very well could be looking at single digits in this game. Harris is not a must sit, but there is a very good chance that managers out there are debating him and another option. Harris brings a low floor and not a ton of upside in this matchup.
Dobbins was running very well in his first two games back, but in a great matchup against the Falcons was held to just 59 yards for 5.9 fantasy points. Dobbins has just two targets since he returned from a knee injury. The lack of pass-game usage makes him both a low floor and ceiling type of play. This week he faces the Steelers, who have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy PPG on the season (20.6). But that number drops to just 15.3 in the last month, the second-lowest in the NFL in that span. Dobbins, who splits touches in Baltimore’s backfield, could be looking at single figures if he does not find the end zone this week. I would go in another direction in championship week.
Mostert played just 49% of the snaps with eight carries and three targets in Week 16. That was fewer snaps and carries than Jeff Wilson saw. Plus, Mostert was held to just 49 yards in total and finished with 4.9 fantasy points due to a lost fumble. This week he faces the Patriots who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to running backs (17.7), which includes the fewest total touchdowns allowed to the position (four). He is a back who splits work in an offense that may be without its starting QB and in a terrible matchup. If you start Mostert, you are hoping for a long breakaway run. I would go in another direction this week.