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The byes are over as most Fantasy playoffs begin in Week 15, but there are still key issues to deal with, including injuries, a mess of positive COVID tests and tough matchups. However, there are options for teams that need to stream the position or a one-week replacement.

Jamey Eisenberg has his Start and Sit calls for RB below. His Waiver Wire column also can direct you to the best options who may be available in your leagues. And don't forget to check out Heath Cummings' running back preview for more help with matchup notes, Week 15 numbers to know and more.

START 'EM & SIT 'EM
Running Backs
Start 'Em
Projections powered by Sportsline
KC Kansas City • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAC KC -3 O/U 52
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
11.7
RB RNK
12th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
458
REC
16
REYDS
107
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.3
Edwards-Helaire has played three games since coming back from a five-game absence due to a knee injury, and he has either a touchdown or 80 total yards in each outing. He should have the chance for a quality Fantasy performance this week against the Chargers, who are No. 6 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. The Chargers have allowed 18 total touchdowns to opposing running backs, and only twice this season (Week 1 at Washington and Week 4 against Las Vegas) has a running back failed to score against this defense. Edwards-Helaire was excellent against the Chargers in Week 3 with 17 carries for 100 yards, along with two catches for 9 yards and a touchdown on two targets. He also scored 12 PPR points against the Chargers in his lone meeting with them last season, so this is a matchup where he tends to produce.
JAC Jacksonville • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs HOU JAC -3.5 O/U 39.5
OPP VS RB
27th
PROJ PTS
14.1
RB RNK
20th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
682
REC
28
REYDS
209
TD
7
FPTS/G
13
Robinson is incredibly tough to trust given what's happening in Jacksonville with coach Urban Meyer and his lack of faith in the team's best running back. I'm hopeful that changes this week against Houston, and I'm expecting Meyer to give Robinson a chance to succeed in an amazing matchup. The Texans have allowed six rushing touchdowns to running backs in their past three games against the Jets, Indianapolis and Seattle. And for the season, Houston allows the most rushing yards in the NFL. If Meyer wants to win and silence his many doubters, leaning on Robinson this week makes the most sense. He's worth starting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues.
DEN Denver • #25
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CIN DEN -1.5 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
21st
PROJ PTS
12.3
RB RNK
19th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
716
REC
22
REYDS
166
TD
9
FPTS/G
13.4
Gordon didn't practice Wednesday and is dealing with a thumb injury, but he's expected to play Sunday against the Bengals. If he's out then obviously Javonte Williams is a top five running back in all leagues, and I like Williams as a top-15 option even with Gordon on the field. But Gordon is also a top 20 running back this week, and he proved he can be successful in tandem with Williams in Week 14 against Detroit when Gordon had 24 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He's now scored at least 17 PPR points in three of his past five games, and the Bengals are still without standout linebacker Logan Wilson (shoulder). Look for another big day for Williams and Gordon in Week 15.
CAR Carolina • #33
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PIT TEN -2 O/U 41.5
OPP VS RB
24th
PROJ PTS
9.3
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
240
REC
6
REYDS
81
TD
1
FPTS/G
8.4
The Steelers run defense has been abysmal of late, and Foreman should have the chance for a quality Fantasy performance in all leagues. Four running backs have scored at least 20 PPR points against Pittsburgh in the past four games with Austin Ekeler, Joe Mixon, Devonta Freeman and Dalvin Cook. Foreman isn't in their category yet, but he's starting to perform well as the replacement for Derrick Henry (foot) in Tennessee. He ran for over 100 yards in Week 12 against New England, and then following the Titans bye in Week 13, he had 62 total yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville. He could have a huge game given the matchup with the Steelers, but Tennessee will also give Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard touches, which lowers the value for Foreman. That said, I like him as a No. 2 running back in all leagues for this week.
MIA Miami • #28
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SEA LAR -4.5 O/U 45.5
OPP VS RB
31st
PROJ PTS
11.5
RB RNK
14th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
505
REC
14
REYDS
70
TD
3
FPTS/G
6.7
We'll see what happens with Darrell Henderson (illness) this week and if he's activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list, but I would stick with Michel as at least a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues no matter what. He should be the Rams' best running back moving forward. He comes into Week 15 against Seattle with consecutive games of 20-plus touches while Henderson didn't play. Michel scored 21 PPR points against Jacksonville in Week 13, but he was held to seven PPR points against Arizona last week. I'd expect him to be closer to his production against the Jaguars in this week's game against the Seahawks since Seattle has allowed a running back to score at least 12 PPR points in nine games in a row. Henderson and Michel both scored against the Seahawks in Week 5, and Michel should be successful again this week. He's a potential star if Henderson remains out, but he's still a quality starter even if Henderson returns to the field.
Sleepers
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #20
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ LAR LAR -4.5 O/U 45
OPP VS RB
14th
PROJ PTS
10
RB RNK
26th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
215
REC
2
REYDS
28
TD
2
FPTS/G
6.4
Penny was a star in Week 14 at Houston with 16 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns, as well as one catch for 1 yard on one target. I thought he had the chance to play well against the Texans, but he far exceeded my expectations. He has a tougher matchup in Week 15 against the Rams, but I still like him as a borderline starter in all leagues. The Rams have allowed a running back to score at least 19 PPR points in two of their past three games, and Penny will hopefully follow suit in a must-win game for Seattle this week.
NE New England • #38
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ IND IND -2.5 O/U 45.5
OPP VS RB
4th
PROJ PTS
12.2
RB RNK
21st
YTD Stats
RUYDS
429
REC
12
REYDS
117
TD
3
FPTS/G
9.2
Damien Harris (hamstring) is trending in the right direction this week, but if he's out then Stevenson should be considered a No. 1 Fantasy running back in all leagues. If Harris plays then maybe Stevenson is still the lead running back in New England to make things easier on Harris. Stevenson had 24 carries in Week 13 at Buffalo but managed just 78 yards, and he had no role in the passing game. But if he has the chance for 20-plus touches again, even in a tough matchup with the Colts, then I'll use him as at least a flex option this week in all leagues.
MIA Miami • #2
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DET ARI -13.5 O/U 47.5
OPP VS RB
29th
PROJ PTS
9.2
RB RNK
48th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
430
REC
30
REYDS
211
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.9
Edmonds is expected to play in Week 15 at Detroit after being out for the past four games with an ankle injury, and it could be the perfect setup for him. James Conner (ankle) is hurt, and if he's out then Edmonds could have a big role against the porous Lions run defense. Detroit is No. 4 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and the Lions have allowed 12 running backs to score at least 14 PPR points in their past 10 games. Conner is worth starting in all leagues if he's active, but Edmonds should be at least a flex option as well given the matchup. And Edmonds has top-10 upside if Conner is out.
BUF Buffalo • #22
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYJ MIA -8.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
32nd
PROJ PTS
9.3
RB RNK
33rd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
18
REC
0
REYDS
0
TD
0
FPTS/G
1.8
As of Wednesday, the Dolphins could enter Week 15 against the Jets without Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Phillip Lindsay, who are all on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Malcolm Brown (quad) could return after being out since Week 7, but if he can't play then Johnson and potentially Gerrid Doaks could lead this backfield. It's a great matchup for whoever leads the Dolphins in touches this week, and we'd love to see Gaskin be cleared to play. If not, take a flier on Johnson and use him as a flex against the Jets, who are No. 1 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this year.
Sit 'Em
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #31
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ JAC JAC -5 O/U 39.5
OPP VS RB
19th
PROJ PTS
7.8
RB RNK
44th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
176
REC
28
REYDS
214
TD
1
FPTS/G
5.5
Johnson will start for the Texans with Rex Burkhead (hip) out, but this isn't going to be an easy matchup for him. Jacksonville's run defense has been above average all season, and Johnson has been well below average this year. He actually scored a receiving touchdown against Jacksonville in Week 1, but that's his lone touchdown of the season. And his 11 PPR points in that game was a season-high. Johnson will share touches with Royce Freeman, and Johnson is only worth consideration as a flex option in deeper leagues.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #32
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIA MIA -8.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
12.1
RB RNK
27th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
430
REC
32
REYDS
308
TD
4
FPTS/G
12.8
Carter is expected to return in Week 15 at Miami after being out for the past three games with an ankle injury, but this won't be an easy matchup for him. The Dolphins have become one of the top run defenses over the past five weeks and have allowed the second-fewest Fantasy points to running backs over that span. Miami also hasn't allowed a running back to score a touchdown since Week 7. Carter was hurt in the first game against the Dolphins in Week 11, and prior to that he scored at least 15 PPR points in three of four games. I like him as a flex this week, but he's not a must-start Fantasy option in his return to action.
DET Detroit • #46
Age: 26 • Experience: 1 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ARI ARI -13.5 O/U 47.5
OPP VS RB
13th
PROJ PTS
10.9
RB RNK
30th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
83
REC
2
REYDS
16
TD
0
FPTS/G
11.9
We'll see if Jamaal Williams (COVID-19) is able to play this week, and I would put him in this spot if he's active. D'Andre Swift (shoulder) is not expected to play as of Wednesday. At best, the top Lions running back will be a flex option this week, and it will likely be messy if Williams plays because he would share touches with Reynolds. In Week 14, with Williams and Swift out, Reynolds came off the practice squad and played well at Denver with 11 carries for 83 yards, along with two catches for 16 yards on two targets. I'll use him as a flex against the Cardinals if Williams is out, but I would avoid all Lions running backs if Williams is active.
CAR Carolina • #30
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ BUF BUF -10.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
11th
PROJ PTS
8.7
RB RNK
36th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
460
REC
19
REYDS
152
TD
4
FPTS/G
7.9
Hubbard helped Fantasy managers in Week 14 against Atlanta by scoring a touchdown, but he did little else in the first game with Christian McCaffrey (ankle) on injured reserve. Hubbard had 10 carries for 33 yards and no targets, and this is a situation to avoid at Buffalo in Week 15. While the Bills run defense has been spotty of late, they have done well against mediocre ground games like this one. And Carolina could be a mess with Cam Newton and P.J. Walker splitting time at quarterback. Hubbard is only a flex play in non-PPR leagues this week.
Bust Alert
Projections powered by Sportsline
GB Green Bay • #28
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ BAL GB -4.5 O/U 43.5
OPP VS RB
6th
PROJ PTS
11.6
RB RNK
22nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
614
REC
27
REYDS
261
TD
4
FPTS/G
10.5
Dillon could find the end zone this week and make this post look incredibly wrong. But then he'd be the first running back to score against Baltimore since Week 7, which is a span of six games and includes matchups with Nick Chubb twice, Dalvin Cook, Najee Harris, Myles Gaskin and David Montgomery. Aaron Jones is better suited for this matchup because of his role in the passing game, and Dillon didn't have a target last week against Chicago. He ran well against the Bears with 15 carries for 71 yards, but that's empty production if he doesn't have any catches or touchdowns. I'm afraid something similar could happen at Baltimore in Week 15.

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