Can Jonathan Stewart carry you to a championship?
It is Week 14 and and if you are still reading it is playoff time! As you are aware each week I will be here to help alleviate the fantasy decision making process. I offer five starts and five sits at the running back position. Now you will obviously be starting your studs every week so no need for me to tell you that David Johnson or guys of similar talent are ones that you want in your lineup every week. Instead I will be focusing on the RB2 and Flex positions where you probably aren’t really sure who will be able to produce. Additionally, I will provide some projected stat lines but please take those with a grain of salt. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, share this page and comment down below! Now time to find out why Jonathan Stewart is going to be a savior during the fantasy playoffs. To check out some more advice on other positions be sure to check out the Fantasy Football Start Sit hub.
Must Start: Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers vs SD
Stewart is usually a name that gets spoken a bit during the playoffs. He has been up and down all season and usually is the same year to year. He did not post a great line due to the blowout nature of the game on Sunday. However against the Chargers I am sure that Stewart will be a productive running back and score plenty of fantasy points in what should be a blowout. If the game script falls as it should then you should expect about twenty fantasy points from J-Stew on Sunday. Be aware of his floor but do not lower your expectations. This week he should tear up San Diego.
Projection: 18 carries, 75 yards, 2 TDS; 2 catches, 4 yards
Start: Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos @ TEN
Booker is not doing as well as you may expect but if you survived on your way to the playoffs with him you should be grateful. The rookie has posted at least eight fantasy points in the past three games he has played and even against the solid defense of Tennessee he should easily be able to snatch up eight more. He is a true bell cow for sure and averages just about ninteen carries a game and although he isn’t taking them far that kind of volume is what keeps him a safe play. Even with Forsett joining the backfield you can lock him in for 20+ touches already. I am sure one will be a score.
Projection: 21 carries, 77 yards, 1 TDS; 2 catches, 7 yards
Start: Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins @ PHI
Take advantage of Kelley being under priced on Draft Kings this week. After shredding the Packers defense a few weeks ago Fat Rob has seen a sharp decline in production. In his defense he has faced two tough defenses in Dallas and Arizona but that is no excuse. This week he will be able to get on track in what we can only assume to be a hard fought divisional battle. Gruden suggests that moving forward we will see Kelley more involved which is promising seeing his fourteen carries in back to back weeks. He is an easy start for your flex or RB2 position.
Projection: 17 carries, 80 yards, 1 TDS; 1 catch, 0 yards
Start: Bilal Powell, New York Jets @ SF
The game script really will narrate this game. Both of these teams suck but you would think the Jets suck a lot less. Powell is going to see plenty of snaps in this game if the blowout goes as expected but even if it does not his role on third down means he has a safe floor. We also just saw the 49ers get absolutely destroyed by Jordan Howard so if that holds true then it will mean great games for all New York running backs. If you are in a pinch he is a good start as a flex. Be aware of his troubles last week though.
Projection: 9 carries, 33 yards; 5 catches, 36 yards, 1 TDS
Start: LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots vs BAL
If you aren’t already, START BLOUNT. The dude has been eating week in and week out. While the Ravens do have a very talented defense there is no way I am sitting this guy against them. The Patriots offense is potent and with snow a possibility in Foxborough this is going to be a game with a lot of running back play. Brady is not going to have many chances to throw the ball and probably won’t need to if this is the Patriots we all know and love, who are usually up by 21 at half. Blount can be considered elite down the stretch.
Projection: 18 carries, 72 yards, 10 TDS; 0 catches
Sit of the Week: Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals @ CLE
Hill is so bad. He is really, really bad. I always thought that he was a good back that often got his work cut into by Giovani Bernard but boy was I wrong. He took 23 carries for 33 yards against the Eagles last week, and took 12 carries for 21 against Baltimore the week before. Sure these are some decent defensive fronts but that is horrendous. I’m sorry but even against the worst team in football I would never touch Hill in the fantasy playoffs. Apparently he needs Bernard to be an effective runner.
Projection: 14 carries, 30 yards, 0 TDS; 2 catches, 4 yards
Sit: Rashad Jennings, New York Giants vs DAL
The Giants running backs obviously all suck. They could win up anywhere on this article any given week. It is a shame. With such a bad offensive line it is hard to find production out of the backfield and it is doubtful that they will be able to get anything going against the Cowboys. This is a game that will be won by Eli Manning and the Giants defense. Without some key players on the field the Giants really may get blown out bad which would mean very little work for Jennings. Leave him on the bench, you probably won’t need him for the rest of the season.
Projection: 9 carries, 33 yards, 0 TDS; 3 catches, 11 yards
Sit: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears @ DET
Howard scored over 40 points in the last two weeks that is awesome! Too bad it was against the 49ers and the Titans. It is a shame that he is going to be back to single digits when owners need him the most but that is just the reality of it. Earlier in the season he racked up 100 yards against the Lions but there is no way he will do it at this point of the year. The Lions are hot and the Bears are not. This offense is in shambles and Howard is not somebody I can trust. Sorry if he is your best option but play it safe and find somebody else.
Projection: 22 carries, 55 yards, 0 TDS; 2 catches, 12 yards
Sit: Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins vs ARI
The simple truth about Ajayi is that he is a big run kind of guy and won’t be able to get any big runs against this defense. He really is having a spectacular season but he cannot be trusted against Arizona. The red sea does not part for anyone and this young man is going to be in trouble if he expects it to be easy this weekend. David Johnson will be torching this Miami defense and I think they will be spending a majority of the game trying to climb out of a hole. Ajayi will see some early work but not enough carries to make him fantasy relevant.
Projection: 14 carries, 44 yards, 0 TDS; 3 catches, 17 yards
Sit: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers vs NYJ
Hyde is a consistent guy so if you are projected to win big and only are looking for a handful of points he may still be your best option. Against the Jets is not the best position for him but I am sure he can grind out 60 yards against anyone in this league. To expect more is very greedy though. A TD could save his day but looking at this from a realistic perspective I think the line you see below will be accurately represented on Sunday.
Projection: 16 carries, 66 yards, 0 TDS; 0 catches