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USATSI

Week 17 usually means the Fantasy football Championship game for the majority of managers still in the hunt. --some leagues go through Week 18. If you made it this far, that means you were able to circumvent injuries, inconsistent game scripts, and in some cases diminished skills. If you didn't make the Championship this time around well... I suppose there's always next year. If you're still in the running for a league championship, there are a couple of injuries to keep an eye on leading up to Week 17. Josh Jacobs (knee), Isaiah Pacheco (concussion), and Brian Robinson Jr. (hamstring) all missed Week 16 and are questionable to suit up this week. Raheem Mostert (shin) played just 19 snaps and potential waiver wire star Chris Rodriguez is dealing with an ankle injury.

Jamey Eisenberg has his Start 'Em & Sit 'Em calls for Week 17 at running back here. His Waiver Wire column can also direct you to the best options that may be available in your leagues. And don't forget to check out Heath Cummings' running back preview for more help with matchup notes, numbers to know and more. Plus check out Heath's Week 17 projections over at SportsLine.

START 'EM & SIT 'EM
Running Backs
RBs to Start
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #30
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN DEN -3 O/U 37.5
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
14.3
RB RNK
7th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
571
REC
43
REYDS
394
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.1
Ekeler was better than expected in Week 16 against Buffalo with 15 carries for 65 yards and three catches for 21 yards on four targets. His 11.6 PPR points were his second-best total in his past six games. His best total over that span was Week 14 against Denver when he scored 21 PPR points, and he loves beating up on the Broncos. Ekeler, who went to high school (Eaton) and college (Western Colorado) in Colorado, has scored at least 15.8 PPR points in seven of his past eight games against Denver. And the Broncos are No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to running backs this year.
ARI Arizona • #6
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PHI PHI -10.5 O/U 48
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
11.7
RB RNK
13th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
762
REC
22
REYDS
106
TD
6
FPTS/G
13.2
I'm done doubting Conner, and he's proved me wrong for three games in a row. He scored 22.5 PPR points at Pittsburgh in Week 13, 17.9 PPR points against San Francisco in Week 15 and 22.2 PPR points at Chicago in Week 16, and he's excelled in tough matchups. This should be a tough matchup at Philadelphia since the Eagles are No. 4 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, but they haven't stopped anyone recently. In their past five games, six running backs have scored at least 12.2 PPR points against Philadelphia, and Conner should love going back to Pennsylvania since he's from Erie. He's a solid No. 2 running back in all leagues.
CAR Carolina • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ JAC JAC -6.5 O/U 38
OPP VS RB
7th
PROJ PTS
11.6
RB RNK
22nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
774
REC
33
REYDS
198
TD
5
FPTS/G
10.7
Miles Sanders (toe) is hurt, which means Hubbard could get even more work in Week 17 at Jacksonville. Hubbard has at least 17 total touches in five games in a row, and he's scored at least 11.6 PPR points in each outing over that span, including two games with at least 20.2 PPR points. This week, Hubbard is facing a Jacksonville defense that has allowed a running back to score at least 13.2 PPR points in five games in a row. Hubbard only has 10 catches in his past five games, but he should get more involved in the passing game this week since the Jaguars are No. 1 in most receptions allowed to running backs in 2023.
MIN Minnesota • #33
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN MIN -2 O/U 46
OPP VS RB
19th
PROJ PTS
11.9
RB RNK
17th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
425
REC
24
REYDS
193
TD
3
FPTS/G
11.4
Jones had his best game of the season on the ground in Week 16 at Carolina with 21 carries for 127 yards, and he added one catch for 8 yards on three targets. He's back to being the featured running back for the Packers with at least 17 total touches in consecutive games, and hopefully he can find the end zone again since he hasn't scored since Week 9. This week, Jones is facing a Vikings defense that has allowed three running backs to score at least 14.9 PPR points in the past two games, and Minnesota just lost defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum (quadriceps) for the season in Week 16. Jones has also scored at least 13.3 PPR points in three of his past five games against the Vikings, and he's worth starting as a No. 2 running back in all leagues.
Sleepers (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #22
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA SEA -3.5 O/U 41.5
OPP VS RB
26th
PROJ PTS
10.9
RB RNK
32nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
801
REC
24
REYDS
149
TD
5
FPTS/G
9.8
As I said last week about Harris, he'll be tough to trust, but this is a good matchup against the Seahawks in Week 17. Seattle has allowed four running backs to score at least 14.3 PPR points in four of the past five games, with five rushing touchdowns over that span. Harris had 19 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown last week against the Bengals, and he will hopefully score against Seattle in Week 17. Without a touchdown, Harris could be awful since he hasn't had a catch in his past two games. But I like his potential to score in this matchup. Jaylen Warren is also worth using as a flex in Week 17, and he has at least 10.4 PPR points in each of his past two games against Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
MIN Minnesota • #32
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB MIN -2 O/U 46
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
10.2
RB RNK
27th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
352
REC
16
REYDS
115
TD
3
FPTS/G
5.4
Even with Alexander Mattison back in Week 16 against Detroit following a one-game absence with an ankle injury, Chandler still played 65 percent of the snaps compared to just 9 percent for Mattison. Now, Chandler struggled against the Lions with eight carries for 17 yards and a touchdown and no catches, but he should rebound this week against Green Bay. The Packers have allowed a running back to score at least 12.1 PPR points in five games in a row, with six total touchdowns over that span, and Chandler should be considered a flex option in all leagues.
CLE Cleveland • #34
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYJ CLE -7.5 O/U 35
OPP VS RB
29th
PROJ PTS
10.5
RB RNK
30th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
743
REC
40
REYDS
236
TD
7
FPTS/G
12
Ford has scored fewer than 9.5 PPR points in each of his past two games against Chicago and Houston, but he should get back on track this week against the Jets. They have allowed eight rushing touchdowns to running backs in their past five games, and six running backs have scored at least 12.5 PPR points against New York since Week 11. Kareem Hunt is also a potential flex option in Week 17 since he's scored a touchdown in two of his past three games, but Ford has the higher ceiling and is a borderline starter in all leagues.
RBs to Sit
Projections powered by Sportsline
BAL Baltimore • #22
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU HOU -4.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
27th
PROJ PTS
12.2
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
972
REC
28
REYDS
214
TD
13
FPTS/G
15
Henry already faced this Texans run defense once in Week 15 at home, and Houston shut him down completely with 16 carries for 9 yards and four catches for 1 yard on four targets. The Texans haven't allowed a running back to rush for more than 56 yards in their past five games, including meetings with Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams, Breece Hall, Henry and Jerome Ford. And only Ford and Kareem Hunt scored touchdowns over that span. It's tough to bench Henry, but if he doesn't score this week then his stat line will be minimal. And Henry is averaging just 10.1 PPR points per game in seven road outings this year.
CHI Chicago • #24
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ATL CHI -3 O/U 38
OPP VS RB
9th
PROJ PTS
7.8
RB RNK
35th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
459
REC
16
REYDS
116
TD
2
FPTS/G
8.6
D'Onta Foreman is back in Week 17 after missing Week 16 with a personal matter, and now we have a three-headed backfield again in Chicago with Foreman, Herbert and Roschon Johnson. With Foreman out in Week 16 against Arizona, Herbert was a star with 20 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 9 yards on two targets. That was an easy matchup against the Cardinals, but now the Bears have to face a tough defense for Atlanta. The Falcons are No. 2 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and Jonathan Taylor in Week 16 is the lone running back to rush for a touchdown against Atlanta this year. With Foreman back, I would avoid the Bears backfield completely in Week 17.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #35
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs MIA BAL -3.5 O/U 47
OPP VS RB
32nd
PROJ PTS
8.6
RB RNK
34th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
694
REC
12
REYDS
180
TD
12
FPTS/G
11.6
The only way Edwards will help your Fantasy team in Week 17 will be if he scores a touchdown, and he's scored in each of the past two games against Jacksonville and San Francisco. Without the touchdowns, Edwards had 69 total yards against the Jaguars with one catch and 70 total yards against the 49ers with one reception. This is a tough matchup in Week 17 against the Dolphins, who are No. 6 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. No running back has run for more than 53 yards against Miami since Week 10, including matchups with Josh Jacobs, Breece Hall twice, Derrick Henry and Tony Pollard. And only Henry scored a touchdown against the Dolphins over that span. Edwards has 11 touchdowns in his past nine games, but if he doesn't score then his stat line will be minimal.
Bust Alert (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
PHI Philadelphia • #26
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs LAR LAR -4.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
17th
PROJ PTS
13.2
RB RNK
14th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
877
REC
36
REYDS
210
TD
8
FPTS/G
15.9
It's difficult to bench Barkley in the majority of leagues, but it's also difficult to use a running back against the Rams lately. For the season, the Rams are No. 2 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, but they are No. 1 against the position in the past five games, including matchups with James Conner (7.2 PPR points in Week 12) and Alvin Kamara (8.5 PPR points) over that stretch. They have allowed just six total touchdowns to running backs all season and are No. 2 in fewest receiving yards allowed to running backs. If you plan to start Barkley in Week 17 then lower your expectations, and keep in mind that Barkley has scored 6.2 PPR points or less in two of his past four games.