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.
Pierce disappointed in Week 1, but he has been the lead runner in Houston ever since. He fully took over in Week 3, playing 61% of the snaps with 20 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown, while adding two catches for 21 yards on two targets. That is over 100 total yards and a score, good for 18 fantasy points. The best part was that he was being used near the goal line, and not just on the ground. He was involved in a play-action call in a goal-to-go scenario. He still has upside as he can take more pass-game work away from Rex Burkhead. But Pierce is clearly the lead runner and is a top-20 RB against the Chargers who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to RBs after struggling mightily against the run last year.
Hall played 51% of the snaps in Week 3, carrying the ball eight times while seeing a team-high 11 targets. It was the first time all season we have seen him play more snaps than Michael Carter. While Carter still saw more carries (11), the pass-game usage went Hall’s way. That is the valuable role for fantasy purposes, as an RB target on average is about three times more valuable than a carry in PPR leagues. The Steelers have allowed 25.8 fantasy PPG to RBs so far this season, the ninth-most in the NFL.
In Week 2, we saw Stevenson earn more snaps than Damien Harris, but his teammate still had more touches. That changed in Week 3, as Stevenson not only led in snaps (62 percent) but had more carries (12 to 11) than Harris to go along with five targets. He has obtained the pass catcher role in this Patriots system and it has led to him being on the field more as the offense is less predictable. With Mac Jones expected to miss time with an ankle injury, we could see even more dump-offs from the less athletic Brian Hoyer. Stevenson is in play as a low-end RB2 or flex option.
There are plenty of potential backup RBs who could become starters this week due to injuries. The one that seems most likely to draw the start this week is Jamaal Williams, as D’Andre Swift looks likely to miss time. Williams already leads the league in carries inside the 10-yard line and already carved out a role in this offense. That will surely evolve with no Swift, making Williams a weekly RB2 with more upside until Swift returns. He gets to go in a favorable spot against the Seahawks this week.
Bonus Start 'Ems
There are other backup RBs who could get elevated into starting roles this week. If they draw the start, you can start them in fantasy. For instance, Khalil Herbert just went off for over 30 fantasy points after playing 61% of the snaps and carrying the ball 20 times for 157 yards and two scores. He has a shot to be the lead runner for the run-heavy Bears, and is a top-15 RB if David Montgomery is out Week 4. Alexander Mattison has a very tough matchup in the Saints if Dalvin Cook misses the game, but we have seen him thrive when given the chance to start in the past. He would be a low-end RB2 or flex option with more upside than that if he starts in London.
Jeff Wilson was a start last week and he was solid, rushing for 75 yards while finishing with 11.6 fantasy points. It was good enough to make him a top-25 fantasy RB. But this week he faces a Rams defense that has been very stingy to running backs. On the season they have allowed just 11.7 fantasy PPG to the position. Last season he was limited to 10 carries for 28 yards against the Rams. He is still in the flex radar, but this would be a week to sit Wilson if you could.
It was great seeing Dobbins return in Week 3. He ended up playing 44% of the snaps, carried the ball seven times for 23 yards and caught both of his targets for 17 yards. He finished with six fantasy points. He gets a pass for it being his first game back, but until he shows his usual workload and burst, it's tough to trust him. It's especially tough considering he faces the Bills, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (14.1). Leave Dobbins on the bench this week.
Henderson played 80% of snaps in the first half of Week 3 and ended up playing just half the entire game, hitting the bench for Cam Akers in the second half. Henderson finished with just four carries and one target. It's tough to trust either of the Rams running backs as more than a flex option right now, but Akers is clearly the preferred option. Henderson should hit the bench in a pretty tough matchup against the 49ers.
A two-for-one special here with the Dolphins running backs. In Week 3, Raheem Mostert played 59% of the snaps to Chase Edmonds’ 41%. Both had less than 10 touches, and while Edmonds scored two touchdowns to save his day, he is not going to do that every week. Both bring far too low of a floor and ceiling at the moment to trust either right now. The Bengals are middle of the pack against running backs but, given the murky usage, it's best to stay away on a short week.