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NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Saquon Barkley
New York Giants NYG · RB
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 7-5-0

I said this last week, you don’t need to feel compelled to start Saquon because you drafted him in the first round. And that held true last week, though Barkley was decent in PPR formats, so you have that. I really do like the matchup this week against the Chargers, who are very vulnerable to the run. The Chargers have allowed a top-12 running back in three of the last four games. The only one to miss was the Bengals running back last week who got injured. Barkley will finish in the top 12 this week. 

David Montgomery
Chicago Bears CHI · RB
Green Bay Packers
2021 · 9-3-0

A lot of you might not want to play David this week because you fear the Packers could blow out the Bears. I’m not sure why you would be thinking that? There is nothing that says that other than the past, what, five games against the Packers? Look, I know Packers fans want to have their fun. They certainly should enjoy it while they can. Like Darth Vader at the end of Empire Strikes Back. Things are about to change. But as for this week, look, Montgomery rushed the ball 21 times for 90 yards and scored a touchdown. He also had eight receptions in a blowout loss. The Bears must put the ball into his hands. You’ll be good. 

Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys DAL · RB
Washington Football Team
2021 · 6-6-0

I spent Thanksgiving with David Carr doing NFL Total Access, and when talking about the Cowboys, David relayed a story that Derek told him about how Pollard just jumps out at you when you watch film. He’s the Cowboys player most opposing defensive coordinators fear the most, and his 58-yard touchdown run against the Saints last week is a testament to that. I’m not sure if he’s going to get a heavy workload, but he’s clearly got a lot of value this week, even though the matchup against the Football Team isn’t easy. But it’s not a must-avoid, either.  

D'Onta Foreman
Tennessee Titans TEN · RB
Jacksonville Jaguars
2021 · 2-10-0

I kind of like both running backs in this one: Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard. They both have a lot of potential. I still project Foreman as the grinder who will be running out clock at the end of the game. Hilliard is obviously the pass-catching option, which might not be a skill you need much in this one. Both players have flex appeal in a matchup against Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed a top-eight running back in two of out their last three games. I could see both guys cracking this. 

Sit 'Em

Adrian Peterson
Seattle Seahawks SEA · RB
Houston Texans
2021 · 2-10-0

Oh man. We’ve seen this play out before. Peterson signs with a new team, scores a rushing touchdown and everyone gets excited, especially this week with a plus matchup against the Texans. The eye test just isn’t there for me. It’s like seeing Smash Mouth playing a free concert out in front of The D in Las Vegas. It sure looks like them, and they are cranking out the hits, but it’s not the early 2000s anymore. So, I’d tell you to avoid walking on the sun. 

Devin Singletary
Buffalo Bills BUF · RB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 · 9-3-0

The Bills need to establish the run at some point. But with a running back. You can’t go through the playoffs relying on your quarterback to be your leading rusher. Now Monday night, I would have done it because they were pot committed at that point. They must do it. I’m not sure they are going to this week against the Bucs. The matchup is pretty good. The Bucs have been generous to opposing running backs over the last few weeks. But until I see a commitment from the Bills to actually run the ball, I’m going to stay away. 

Mike Davis
Atlanta Falcons ATL · RB
Carolina Panthers
2021 · 5-7-0

How do I not go with Davis here in the Mike Davis REVENGE GAME!!!! I know, it’s a mystery, especially since he finished as the RB16 on Sunday with 16.9 fantasy points. But let’s take a moment to put this performance into some context because Davis carried the ball just four times. He did catch all four of his targets, which no doubt helped, but he’s not seeing the volume to make him a start for me. If you’re a fan of the REVENGE GAME narrative, I’m not about to talk you out of that. I’m staying away. 

Tevin Coleman
New York Jets NYJ · RB
New Orleans Saints
2021 · 5-7-0

Coleman was not bad against the Eagles on Sunday, which I know is a glowing recommendation. He finished with double-digit points for the first time this season. That is what you would expect for a spot starter. I’m staying away this week because the Saints have allowed the fewest fantasy points to the position this year. Even looking at recent FPA, the Saints have allowed the seventh-fewest, so they are still strong against the run. 

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