D’Onta Foreman or Dontrell Hilliard Start/Sit Week 16: Go with the hot hand

Should you play Dontrell Hilliard or D'Onta Foreman in fantasy this week? Their recent stats paint a pretty clear picture.

Fantasy football managers that are still in the playoffs are looking for an edge. Oftentimes, that edge can come from the waiver wire claims they made leading up to the postseason. This pairs perfectly with D’Onta Foreman’s fantasy rise, but is he worth starting over Dontrell Hilliard in Week 16?

Start D’Onta Foreman or Dontrell Hilliard in Week 16?

I recently wrote about these two, but it’s always good to revisit things and get a fresh perspective. What was true two weeks ago might not be true now, so let’s take a new look.

D’Onta Foreman’s been heating up

Foreman’s been a fantasy darling over the last couple of weeks. Since stud running back Derrick Henry went down in Week 8, the Tennessee Titans have had to lean on Foreman and Hilliard to carry the load. Foreman started out quietly, but he’s gotten much louder as of late.

Foreman scored fewer than 10 PPR points in Weeks 9-11 but hasn’t scored fewer than that mark in the three games between Weeks 12-15. He’s also seen his carries go up each week, from a high of 11 in the first three games to a low of 13 in the last three. Clearly, the Titans are seeing something in him that they want to rely on, and it’s working out pretty well for Foreman’s fantasy value.

Dontrell Hilliard’s been cooling down

Almost exactly the opposite has been happening with Hilliard. He didn’t play in Weeks 9 or 10, but he scored 16.2 and 18.3 PPR points in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively.

In the last two weeks, however, Hilliard’s only scored 1.3 and 9.9 PPR points. Hardly worth starting, even as a flex in most leagues.

Just looking at the numbers, it’s clear that the Titans have used Foreman more than Hilliard as of late. At 58 yards per game since Week 9, Foreman is slightly ahead of Hilliard at 57. Additionally, each player has only scored 1 touchdown in that time span. Yet, Foreman’s seen 12.8 touches per game compared to 8.4 for Hilliard.

When it comes to running backs in fantasy, I tend to prefer opportunity to talent, although it’s close. At the moment, the Titans are giving about 50% more opportunity to Foreman than Hilliard, making him the clear favorite heading into Week 16. Let’s see if we can extrapolate that out to Week 16.

Titans face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16

The Titans are first in rushing attempts, fourth in rushing yards, and fourth in touchdowns for the year. Of course, those numbers include eight weeks of Henry single-handedly dominating defenses. How will Foreman and Hilliard fare against the 49ers?

The Niners are just average against the run

The 49ers’ defense is 15th in rush attempts allowed on the year. They are also 13th in rushing yards allowed and 27th in rushing touchdowns allowed. What this tells me is that they are a bend-but-don’t-break defense against the run. They allow carries and yards but stand up once teams get close to the goal line.

Oddly enough, the Niners are beatable against the pass, but the Titans are weak in that department. The 49ers are seventh in passing yards allowed, but the Titans are only 23rd in passing yards themselves. However, if the Titans get stud WR A.J. Brown back this week, that could help them out on that front. And it could open up lanes for whoever’s carrying the ball out of the backfield as well.

So is Foreman a fantasy starter?

Just looking at the numbers, Foreman’s the fantasy player I’m trusting out of this group in Week 16. The numbers just don’t lie. Foreman is dealing with an ankle injury, so be sure to monitor that as inactives come out, but all signs point to him suiting up. Of course, if he doesn’t, Hilliard isn’t a terrible pivot.

As I mentioned earlier, Hilliard and Foreman have produced similarly on the field. If Hilliard was given a chance to be the lead back on Thursday night, he could be in line for a great week. If Foreman plays, Hilliard is probably better left on the bench in a game where you need a win to advance. For me, it really is that easy. Why get cute when your entire fantasy season is on the line?

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