Fantasy Football Week 16: Start or Sit Breida, Smallwood, or Peyton Barber?

Waiver Wire Running Back
Start or Sit Matt Breida, Wendell Smallwood, or Peyton Barber?

It’s the fantasy football finals, and you are completely unsure of your roster, despite it getting you all the way here! Don’t act like you aren’t. If you were certain, you wouldn’t be reading this. This final chapter of our weekly start or sit features highlights three players with good matchups and three with bad matchups at each position. We hope to give you some sort of scapegoat when you make the wrong decisions this weekend. After all, you only make the correct calls in your fantasy football start or sit decisions. Every other time was some goon on the internet letting you down.

Start or Sit Matt Breida versus Chicago

Last week was another week with Matt Breida getting at least one touch, which means that it was another week where he left partway through the game with an injury. It also means that midweek reports are that Matt Breida should be fine and is expected to play this weekend. Unlike in the past, the Niners have a competent player to go with Breida as a one-two punch. It’s extremely likely that he will end up splitting time with Jeff Wilson, and it’s looking like those dings and scrapes are starting to catch up with Breida. After lighting up the Giants and Buccaneers, he has just 56 rushing yards in his last two games (22 carries). His receiving yards saved him last week, allowing him to salvage a good fantasy game. I wouldn’t expect a huge load, and the carries that he does get are going to be with him completely destroyed internally. He will get those carries this week against one of the strongest running back defenses in the league. Only two backs have over 100 rushing yards against them, and only three running backs scored touchdowns. Toss in his likely partial workload, alongside the matchup, and he becomes a terrible play this weekend. If you’re in a position to decide if you should start or sit Matt Breida, sit him this weekend.

Start or Sit Wendell Smallwood versus Houston

Wendell Smallwood seemingly had a lot more touches than he did in real life against the Rams in week fourteen. Maybe, as a Josh Adams owner, I just felt them more. Smallwood turned twelve touches into 57 yards and two touchdowns last week, having some owners wondering why they didn’t start him, and cursing their bad fortune. There was a pretty good reason to not trust Smallwood before last week, as he averaged just three carries and a target in his previous seven contests. There was no good reason to trust him before last weekend, and no good reason to trust him this weekend. Smallwood had his touches when Adams was banged up and out of the game, and it’s looking like he will be back at full strength this weekend. Even if Smallwood is the big man on campus this week, I still wouldn’t trust him. The Texans give up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season. They’ve stopped every running back short of 85  rushing yards against them this year, and they’ve allowed just eight rushing touchdowns in fourteen games this year. Don’t get fooled by his good game last week. If you are in such dire straits that you are wondering if you should start or sit Wendell Smallwood, look elsewhere. Sit him.

Start or Sit Peyton Barber at Dallas

If there is an heir apparent to Colts-era Frank Gore, it’s Peyton Barber. He has double-digit carries in every game this year except weeks three and four, but he’s topped 85 rushing yards just once. He has five touchdowns on the year, which mostly haven’t come in his big yardage games. Throw that all into a blender alongside his minimal passing yard game usage and you get the picture of a player who has an extremely narrow band of outcomes in most games. This pretty much matches Peyton Barber’s career: he’s just a guy. This week, he gets a Dallas Cowboys defense that was thoroughly embarrassed last week by Marlon Mack. Marlon Mack makes it exactly one back who has embarrassed them since Dion Lewis in week nine. They are an extremely strong run defense, and not one I would be looking to challenge. Before Marlon Mack last week, they had allowed just three touchdowns since their week eight bye, and only Dion Lewis surpassed 62 rushing yards in that same span. With his limited upside, and unless you are in an extremely deep league, owners wondering if they should start or sit Peyton Barber should lean towards sitting him this week.

These guys have all face difficult matchups. If I was in the unenviable position of deciding who to start or sit among them, I would go with

  1. Peyton Barber
  2. Matt Breida
  3. Wendell Smallwood

Looking for more week sixteen start or sit advice? Check out our additional pieces below!
Start or Sit Dak Prescott, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen?
Start or Sit Cam Newton, Jared Goff, or Tom Brady?
Start or Sit Marlon Mack, Chris Carson, or Damien Williams?
Start or Sit Dante Pettis, Robby Anderson, or Josh Gordon?
Start or Sit Jarvis Landry, Chris Hogan, or Antonio Callaway?
Start or Sit Blake Jarwin, Chris Herndon, or David Njoku?
Start or Sit Jimmy Graham, Vance McDonald, or Austin Hooper?

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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