Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 17: 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

Sony Michel
Los Angeles Rams · RB
Baltimore Ravens
2021 · 8-7-0

Michel has been the reason why the Rams have played so well in recent weeks. Yes, I know that Cooper Kupp exists, but it’s been Michel who has been the workhorse of this team. Michel has 100-plus scrimmage yards in three of his last four games. And you have to love this matchup. The Ravens have allowed at least 15 fantasy points in three of their last four. The Ravens defense is like that Royal Rumble participant that you pop for because you hear their music, and then you get sad because you realize their best days are behind them.

Devin Singletary
Buffalo Bills · RB
Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 7-8-0

I said this on NFL Total Access after the Bills lost to the Patriots on Monday Night Football, but they needed somebody other than Josh Allen to run the football. I’m not saying Sean McDermott was listening to me. But Singletary has been a top-15 running back in three consecutive weeks. So, you’re welcome, fantasy fans. You’re welcome, Bills fans. See you in the Super Bowl. BTW, the Falcons have allowed a top-five RB in two of the last four. So that’s good.

Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys · RB
Arizona Cardinals
2021 · 10-5-0

Pollard could have been better if the Football Team had been more competitive or if Dak Prescott wasn’t throwing the ball to offensive linemen. But I’m not mad at all (maybe a little). Pollard has been an RB2 since Week 12, averaging close to 13 fantasy points per game. The Cardinals defense has slipped a bit as well in recent weeks, so I’m comfortable rolling with Pollard in a flex spot. 

Rashaad Penny
Seattle Seahawks · RB
Detroit Lions
2021 · 2-12-1

Penny has had at least 130 rushing yards in two of his last three games. The weather in Seattle is pretty bad. I mean, it looks cool on television and all. But look for the Seahawks to rely heavily on the ground game. And this could be especially great for Penny as the Lions have allowed 23 rushing touchdowns this season, the second-highest total in the NFL. 

Sit 'Em

Saquon Barkley
New York Giants · RB
Chicago Bears
2021 · 5-10-0

Is this really much of an issue right now? I’m surprised the Giants just haven’t shut him down. He’s had one touchdown in his last seven games. He doesn’t even touch the ball inside the 5-yard line. He’s done it just twice. I can’t trust him. Funny thing here, the Giants win, and they lose ground on their own draft pick, but gain a little on the pick they receive from the Bears. But losing helps them gain on their own draft pick but lose a bit on the Bears pick. What are Giants fans rooting for?

Devonta Freeman
Baltimore Ravens · RB
Los Angeles Rams
2021 · 11-4-0

Freeman was a nice flex option for a minute, but he’s had fewer than 10 touches in back-to-back games. The Rams have allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards to running backs this season. There is no way to trust Freeman in the championship round. 

Dare Ogunbowale
Jacksonville Jaguars · RB

I mean, some of you likely picked him up this week when James Robinson went down, which was great. Now you realize that he’s going up against the Patriots and it’s time to pivot away from him. He’s had more than 15 fantasy points once in 49 career games. It would be a shocker if he did it against the Patriots defense.

D'Onta Foreman
Tennessee Titans · RB
Miami Dolphins
2021 · 8-7-0

I love Foreman. Dude looks cool in the No. 7, rocking a sleeve. But as great as his highlight runs have been, he’s topped 15 fantasy points only once this year. Probably because Ryan Tannehill is a touchdown vulture. But look at what Miami did to Alvin Kamara on Monday night. The Dolphins haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown to any running back in eight consecutive games. 

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