Week 15 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Denard Robinson is listed below as a "start" for Week 15. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 15 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Robinson and started only two running backs, you should start McCoy and Forte -- and in turn, bench Robinson.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my fantasy football rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 15:

RB - DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DEN)

During a five-game span as the team's starter once again, Williams has scored more than 14 fantasy points in four games and finished as a top-four weekly fantasy running back in three of those five games. Over that stretch, Williams has a total of 101 carries for 463 yards and five touchdowns plus 17 catches for 204 yards.

Since that point, only two running backs have more yards from scrimmage than Williams (667, 133.4/G): LeSean McCoy (723, 120.5/G) and Adrian Peterson (717, 119.5/G). But both backs played six games while the Steelers had their bye during that span.

If you include the first two games of the season when Le'Veon Bell was suspended, Williams has finished as a top-15 fantasy running back in six of seven games as a starter. The matchup may not be a great one but given his usage rate, Williams should exceed 100 YFS and there's a better chance than not that he finds the end zone on Sunday.

RB - David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (at PHI)

Johnson has rushed for 90-plus yards in back-to-back games as the starter and he has totalled 243 yards from scrimmage on 48 touches in those two games combined. Johnson has now finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in four consecutive weeks. Despite limited touches this year, Johnson has scored a total of nine touchdowns -- four rushing, four receiving and one return. In their past seven games, the Eagles have allowed 10 (yes, 10!) different running backs score double-digit fantasy points.

RB - Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (at OAK)

In Sunday's win over the Cowboys, Lacy carried the ball 24 times for 124 yards, both of which were season highs, and a touchdown and he added a 24-yard reception. It was the third time in four games that Lacy has rushed for at least 100 yards. No running back has more 100-yard rushing games over the past four weeks than Lacy and only two others have at least two 100-yard performances during that stretch.

The Raiders have allowed 2.92 yards per carry to opposing running backs over the past four weeks, but they allowed monster performances to DeAngelo Williams (225 YFS and two TDs) in Week 9 and Adrian Peterson (216 YFS and a TD) in Week 10. Barring any curfew-related punishments, Lacy should finish this week as a top-10 running back once again.

RB - Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. ATL)

With T.J. Yeldon doubtful to play this week, Robinson takes over lead-back duties in a favorable matchup. Not only did he have some success when given the opportunity last season, but he rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries last week and added a 12-yard reception as well. Only the 49ers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season than the Falcons.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 15:

RB - DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ARI)

Murray has less than 40 scrimmage yards in three consecutive games and he's finished outside of the top-48 weekly running backs in each of those games as well. With Ryan Mathews back on the field, Murray is nothing more than part of a rotation as opposed to being the centerpiece in the offense. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (vs. MIA)

Despite losing a fumble against the Broncos in Week 13, the good news is that Gordon got 18 touches in Week 14. The bad news is that he still hasn't scored a touchdown as the team's offense continues to struggle. In addition, MG3 gained just 63 yards on his 18 touches.

With the exception of Week 2 (RB16), Gordon has finished outside of the top-24 fantasy running backs in every other game of his young career. Even though the Chargers' backfield has a terrific matchup, it's hard to trust MG3 as anything more than a flex this week.

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (at SEA)

No running back scored more fantasy points last week than Crowell, who rushed for a season-high 145 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers. In his previous seven games, however, Crowell had finished outside of the weekly top-30 fantasy running backs and he gets a terrible matchup this week. Not only have the Seahawks allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but the Seahawks are 15-point favorites, which should force the Browns into catch-up mode early.

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. CAR)

Jennings had a season-high 24 touches last week for 102 yards from scrimmage, which also set a season high. Before last week, however, Jennings had rushed for only 379 yards on 103 carries in his previous 11 games. There is no guarantee that Jennings approaches 20-plus touches once again, however, as the Giants have used a four-man rotation and Jennings had 14 total touches in his previous two games combined. With a less-than-favorable matchup against one of the league's best defenses, I view last week's performance as an exception to the rule than a change in opportunity for Jennings.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 15

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