Week fifteen and all the running backs are dead. All the running backs that got you to the playoffs are dead. What is a man to do? That is where we come in. Every week, we at Football Absurdity like to highlight players with marginal matchups that can get you out of a pinch. We hope to provide you with some basic facts to help you inform your start or sit decisions. These running backs are the best options for your next man up mentality.
Start or Sit Jaylen Samuels at New England
It is do or die time for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After losing three games in a row, the Steelers have squandered a comfortable division lead. The question of whether to start or sit Jaylen Samuels is a difficult one because his status is dependent on James Conner. If James Conner is out, Jaylen Samuels is a must-start. Last week, with Conner out, Jaylen Samuel had 18 touches for 92 yards. So monitor the situation in Pittsburgh and be prepared to start Jaylen Samuels is James Conner cannot play.
Start or Sit Doug Martin at Cincinnati
We are scouting running backs like it’s 2013, and nothing screams 2013 like starting Doug Martin at running back. Martin has scored a touchdown over his last three games, so he is hard to ignore. What is even harder to ignore is that the Raiders are playing a Cincinnati Bengals team that appears to be on a mission to prove that they are a way worse organization than the Oakland Raiders. The Bengals are making a strong case for how bad they are with a defense that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Which means you want to start running backs like it is 2013 and start Doug Martin.
Start or Sit Gus Edwards at Tampa Bay
While everyone isn’t as excited about him as they were a month ago, Gus Edwards is a very solid play in week 15. This week, he is playing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing running backs. While Gus Edwards has come back to earth over the past few weeks, he still is fourth in rushing attempts over the last four weeks. He has been getting the opportunities and this week, he has a very favorable matchup. That is why you should consider Gus Edwards when figuring out which desperate running back play to start.
Start or Sit Elijah McGuire at Houston
With Isaiah Crowell being placed on Injured Reserve, the path is open for Elijah McGuire to be the featured back for the Jets. This week, McGuire’s match-up isn’t ideal. He will be facing a Houston Texans team that is giving up the 9th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. However, last week as the featured back, he had 83 all-purpose yards and a touchdown against a solid Buffalo defense. Moreover, he had 20 touches. If you are looking for running back help, Elijah McGuire is a solid start, because he will get opportunities to succeed.
These four running backs this week are all solid volume plays at running back, if you are facing a decimated roster for a playoff run. If you’re trying to decide which order to start or sit, I would go with:
- Doug Martin
- Jaylen Samuels (If Conner is out)
- Elijah McGuire
- Gus Edwards
Looking for more week fifteen start or sit advice? Check out our additional pieces below!
Start or Sit Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, or Lamar Jackson?
Start or Sit Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, or Kirk Cousins?
Start or Sit Adrian Peterson, Kenyan Drake, or Josh Adams?
Start or Sit Curtis Samuel, Tyler Lockett, or Allen Robinson?
Start or Sit Calvin Ridley, Kenny Golladay, or Kenny Stills?
Start or Sit Gerald Everett, Dallas Goedert, or Chris Herndon?
Start or Sit Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, or Blake Jarwin?