With most fantasy leagues entering their Championship Sunday in week 16, we will only focus on running back situations that warrant start consideration. Starting running backs that will enter this Sunday 100% healthy, their traditional handcuff can be dropped to waivers to make better use of bench spots. Blocking your opponent, from adding a better defense or a starting caliber player at the QB and skill position (WR/TE/RB), is a tactic the most competitive and cut-throat players deploy. If your league plays to week 17, you will want to pay extra attention to the names below. Congratulations to everyone that made it to their championship game or are fighting for 2nd/3rd place prize pools.

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Ty Johnson was able to clear concussion protocol and suit up after carrying a questionable tag all week, but it was the Lions practice squad acquisition that led this backfield on Sunday against the Cowboys. Bo Scarbrough found the field for 49% of the Lions offensive snaps, leading both Ty Johnson (29%) and JD McKissic (23%), and looked good while doing it. Bo handled 74% of the Lions running back carries (14), and finished the day with 55 yards, 1TD, and 11.5 fantasy points. If the Lions did not fall behind in the second half, Scarbrough would have padded his stats a little more. The Lions turned to JD McKissic in the passing game, recording 3 receptions on 4 targets, with Bo recording 0 targets while the Lions were playing catch-up. Ty Johnson was an afterthought, taking his 2 carries for a measly 6 yards, making Bo one of the top adds this week. McKissic still offers low-end value in deeper PPR formats, but Ty Johnson can be dropped in most 12-team and small leagues.

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So I was out of town this past weekend and I was flying back Sunday in the late morning. As much as airports suck and flying in general can be a real drag, I’ve always enjoyed watching football while waiting for a flight. If I’m by myself I can enjoy my overpriced beer served by an antipathetic server while I overhear the most ridiculous conversations of the nearby tables. When I’m with a friend, it’s just like being at a real bar, where shit talking reigns and wildly outrageous proclamations are never verified via cellphone. Watching football is one of the only saving graces of airports, and I for one, am thankful for it.

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James Conner and Benny Snell were ruled out for week 10, paving the way for Jaylen Samuels to lead this backfield. Surprisingly, it was un-drafted RB Trey Edmunds that led the Steelers on the ground- recording the most carries (12), rushing yards (73), and yards per carry (6.1). At the end of the day, Jaylen Samuels ended up with the better fantasy outing (19.3 PPR points to Edmunds 7.3) and recorded more snaps, 40 for Jaylen to Edmunds 17 snaps (63.5% to 27%). Samuels managed an uninspiring 1.2 yards per carry, but salvaged his outing through the air. Jaylen finished with 13 catches on 13 targets for 73 receiving yards. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, James Conner is recovering from an AC joint injury and is expected to miss at least 2 weeks. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that 2019 4th-round rookie, Benny Snell is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks after undergoing a minor surgery on his meniscus. Trey Edmunds is name to consider adding from waivers this week for fantasy owners desperate for running back depth. Pittsburgh’s next matchups, 4 out of 5, are against the Cleveland Browns (2x), Arizona Cardinals, and Cincinnati Bengals. All are plus matchups for the Steelers running game.

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Mattison made the handcuff report back in the pre-season as a premium handcuff, and needs to be rostered by all Dalvin Cook owners heading down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Barely on the field for a quarter of the Vikings offensive snaps (26.4%), Mattison’s athletic ability was still on full display. The Vikings are giving Mattison the ball when he is on the field, touching the ball 78.9% percent of his snaps compared to Dalvins 54.9%. In week 8, Alexander took 13 carries for 61 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and now averaging 4.9 ypc on the season. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison is fully capable of producing in our fantasy lineups in an offense built around the run. The Vikings rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (32.9). Mattison is averaging 10.8 touches per game over the past 4 weeks, if he is able to find the field for more than 26% of the offensive snaps he’ll start to flirt with weekly flex value.

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Kerryon Johnson was ruled out during Sunday’s bout against the Minnesota Vikings with a reported knee injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that Kerryon is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Ty Johnson led the backfield in snaps on Sunday and will be this weeks top RB waiver add. JD McKissic, who was slightly more efficient with his touches than Ty, is a speculative add in deeper formats and for RB needy owners in PPR leagues. If Kerryon’s injury is longer than 1-2 weeks, don’t be surprised to see the Lions make an acquisition at the running back position. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount are names to watch, unless the Lions make a trade with another NFL team. Both Ajayi and Blount have had workouts for other NFL teams in recent weeks. Either would be worth a bench stash if acquired. Kerryon and the Lions running game has underwhelmed this season, tied for the 11th worst in the league in yards per rush attempts (3.8) and 14th worst in yards per game. Unless you own Kerryon or have huge holes at the RB position, I would not waste top waiver priority position OR blow my FAAB money. We know Ty Johnson is expected to take over the #1 spot, but there is too much uncertainty. The Lions could make an acquisition or decide to treat the backfield like a true RBBC with McKissic, until Kerryon returns.

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I’ll be honest, with no byes this week it’s hard to recommend any quarterbacks this week over the top-15 guys who are viable starters (except Dak Prescott who will have already disappointed by the time this article goes live) so I had to dig really deep for some start recommendations in 2 QB leagues. I did tweet about Dak (and Dez Bryant and Jason Witten) being sit suggestions on my Twitter which you should follow if you want to ask me anything there.

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My Week 4 recommendations went much better than week 3. I said Deshaun Watson would score “25+ points” and he put up 33. I told you to start James White over Mike Gillislee for his PPR contributions and he scored 14 to Gillislee’s 4. I told you to not even look at Marshawn Lynch and he only scored 1 fantasy point. I even said this about a certain Dolphins QB: “I recommended him last week against the Jets secondary and he laid an 11.7 fantasy point egg on my face! Well, now he’s facing an equally bad Saints secondary who have allowed the second-most passing yards to opposing QBs this year. If _____ fails to capitalize again this year you shan’t see his name again!” As promised — that Dolphins quarterback is He-Who-Shan’t-Be-Named!

Here were a few more of my solid start suggestions from Week 4:

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That picture should guarantee at least 200 extra article views by itself!

Well, every single player in the NFL got injured in Week 4. At least it feels that way. Now you are forced to sort through the backups and rubble to salvage your season. Do. Not. PANIC! Plenty of good streaming fliers out there to keep you afloat. If you read the Razzball suite of articles you’ll be wearing your league’s championship belt before you know it! Let’s get into it!

If you’ve got any league-specific questions drop ‘em in the comments below and I’ll reply before the Wednesday waiver deadline.

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