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NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 15: 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

Alvin Kamara
New Orleans Saints NO · RB
Atlanta Falcons
2022 · 5-8-0

It's been a rough go as of late for Kamara, who has scored single digits in four of his last five games, averaging just 8.5 fantasy PPG in that span. We have not seen a vintage Kamara game in a while, but there is a chance for him to get right this week against the Falcons. Atlanta limited him the first go-around this season, but Kamara was banged up and missed time after that game. Last season, he got the Falcons for 18.2 fantasy points (162 yards) after getting them for more 20 fantasy points in their first matchup. Plus, the Falcons have been generous to RBs this season, allowing 25.6 fantasy PPG to the position, the eighth-most in the league. Despite the recent struggles, I would stick with Kamara in this strong matchup in which he's had success in the past.

Najee Harris
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT · RB
Carolina Panthers
2022 · 5-8-0

Harris has averaged 15.8 carries and 70 yards per game in his last five weeks. He has four touchdowns in that span and has topped double-digit fantasy points in four straight games. It was great to see that he still has a high ceiling, but we have been getting more floor games as of late. Still, if Harris is giving us a floor of double digits, then he should be started as an RB2 or a flex option, especially in a matchup like this. The Panthers rank in the middle of the pack against RBs this season. But it should be a game that is close, with the Steelers potentially playing from ahead, which is the perfect game script as it leads to more touches for Harris. He is never going to live up to the first-round price you had to pay to draft him, but that doesn’t mean he can't be started in a big fantasy playoff matchup.

Isiah Pacheco
Kansas City Chiefs KC · RB
Houston Texans
2022 · 1-11-1

Pacheco got me in some hot water earlier this season when I recommended to sit him. The Pacheco hive is strong! While it was Jerick McKinnon having the huge game last week, this shapes up to be a Pacheco week. Pacheco has carried the ball at least 13 times in five straight games, rushing for at least 66 yards. I also like that he has been used more in the passing game, with five targets in the last two weeks after having just four in the first 12 weeks combined. Plus, he gets the Texans this week, who have been ran all over. They have allowed the most fantasy PPG to RBs (29.5), which includes 1,835 rushing yards to running backs, by far the most in the NFL. Plus, Pacheco is the hammer if the Chiefs are playing with a lead. He can be started in this fantastic matchup.  

Bam Knight
New York Jets NYJ · RB
Detroit Lions
2022 · 6-7-0

Zonovan, Bam, whatever you like to call him, just make sure you call him a starter! Knight played 47 percent of the snaps with 17 carries and two targets with Michael Carter back last week. Carter handled more of the pass game duties, but Knight was clearly the lead runner, and the back who got used near the goal line. He is a power runner who is hard to take down at first contact. That should play well this week as the Lions allow 3.3 yards after contact per carry, which ranks in the top third in the NFL. Detroit has been better against the run as of late, but this still has the potential to be a big spot for the rookie. Knight is very much so in play this week.  

Bonus if you need a streamer ...

J.K. Dobbins
Baltimore Ravens BAL · RB
Cleveland Browns
2022 · 5-8-0

Dobbins returned in Week 14 playing 43 percent of the snaps with 15 carries for 120 yards and one touchdown. Next week, he faces the Browns, who have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (27.8). Cleveland has allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to running backs (1,480) and the second-most rushing touchdowns (14). Given how banged up the Ravens are in the passing game, expect them to try to run a bunch in this one. Dobbins is in play. 

Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams LA · RB
Green Bay Packers
2022 · 5-8-0

Got you a bonus streamer -- this one for those in deeper leagues! Akers was a streamer last week in this article, and he came through with a touchdown to save his day. He has three touchdowns in the last two weeks. He has also been leading the backfield in snaps as of late. Plus, he has at least 13 touches in three of his last four games. But this is really about the matchup. The Packers have been run all over as of late. Green Bay has allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to RBs in the last month (32.7). If you are diving deeper at RB, go with Akers.  

Sit 'Em

Travis Etienne
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX · RB
Dallas Cowboys
2022 · 10-3-0

It's been a rough go as of late for Etienne. After leaving Week 12 due to injury, Etienne has scored 10.8 fantasy PPG in his last two games combined. I wrote in the intro last week that I could not in good faith tell people to sit Etienne with six teams on bye. But with no teams on bye, coming off another dud, it is fair to say sit him. He has been struggling to get going on the ground, and it's not like the Jags throw him the ball a bunch. He has just one game with more than three targets since Week 2. Plus, he gets the Cowboys this week, who have been very stout upfront, allowing just 18.5 fantasy PPG to RBs, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. The Jags could also be chasing points, which would be a negative game script for Etienne. He is not a must-sit, but if you have options given that byes are now behind us, its fine to go in the other direction.  

Devin Singletary
Buffalo Bills BUF · RB
Miami Dolphins
2022 · 8-5-0

Singletary had his best game of the season against the Dolphins, scoring 24 fantasy points. However, he rushed for just 13 yards in that game. He had nine catches on 11 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. That was the weird game when it was, like, 100 degrees and multiple players were affected by the heat. Singletary, who is a Miami native, did the heavy lifting that day, but expecting it again would be a mistake. Singletary has averaged just 8.5 fantasy PPG in the last three weeks as James Cook continues to steal more work -- particularly in the passing game. Singletary has two targets or fewer in five straight games. Plus, there is potentially bad weather in this one. The floor and ceiling are just too low to start him in a must-win week.  

Cordarrelle Patterson
Atlanta Falcons ATL · RB
New Orleans Saints
2022 · 4-9-0

Patterson has averaged 10 carries for 50 yards to go with just 1.4 catches and 7.4 receiving yards per game since he returned from injury. He routinely splits the snaps and carries with Tyler Allgeier. In his last four games, he has averaged just 7.8 fantasy PPG and needed a kick return touchdown to top 11 fantasy points. The Saints have allowed 21.3 fantasy PPG to RBs this season, which ranks in the bottom third of the NFL. Plus, with it being Desmond Ridder’s first career start, you have to imagine the Saints hunker down on the run and dare the rookie to beat them through the air. The floor is very low and there just isn’t enough upside to start him in the fantasy playoffs.  

Samaje Perine
Cincinnati Bengals CIN · RB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2022 · 6-7-0

Perine was a great fill-in for Joe Mixon, as the Bengals and fantasy managers both didn’t lose much production despite the change. Perine scored between 19 and 30 fantasy points in his three spot starts, which is amazing production. You can make the case that he is one of the best handcuffs in the league and certainly a player who you want on your roster the rest of the season, just in case. But with Mixon back last week, Perine played just 43 percent of the snaps with four carries and five targets. It's more work than he normally sees when Mixon suits up, but it could have been because it was Mixon's first game back. Even with the TD, Perine scored under 10 fantasy points. Without a touchdown he would have been under four. This week he faces the Bucs, who have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs at 19.4 per game. Keep Perine on the bench.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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