Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: 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

James Robinson
Jacksonville Jaguars · RB
Houston Texans
2022 · 0-3-1

Robinson is coming off a very disappointing Week 4, in which he played just 46 percent of the snaps with eight carries and zero targets. He totaled just 29 yards, but it was largely Eagles-related. Philadelphia is a tough defense and forced the Jags to turn the ball over five times. Additionally, the game was in poor weather, and the Jags could have been attempting to limit Robinson to keep him healthy as he is coming off a Achilles tear. This week though should get Robinson back on track, just like Austin Ekeler did against the Texans a week ago. Houston has allowed the most fantasy PPG (32.78) and rushing yards (564), the second-most rushing touchdowns (five) and the eighth-most receiving yards (157) to RBs. Simply put, it's the best possible matchup for a back. Start Robinson with confidence this week. Travis Etienne is a sleeper in this one as well. 

Josh Jacobs
Las Vegas Raiders · RB
Kansas City Chiefs
2022 · 3-1-0

Jacobs has been playing really good ball as of late. He is coming off a huge game in which he carried the ball 28 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos. He scored nearly 35 fantasy points and was topped only by Ekeler at the RB position. But what I like most of all, is that he has 11 targets in his last two games, with at least five in each. That’s after seeing just one in each of the first two games. Jacobs has clearly become a larger focal point for the Raiders offense, and it could not come at a better time. He faces the Chiefs this week who have allowed 27.65 fantasy PPG to RBs, the fifth-most in the league. And hopefully the Raiders keep throwing him the ball, because no team has allowed more receiving yards to backs than the Chiefs (277). Jacobs is a high-end RB2 with upside this week. 

Miles Sanders
Philadelphia Eagles · RB
Arizona Cardinals
2022 · 2-2-0

Sanders is another back who has been playing way better than anticipated. In Week 4, Sanders carried the ball 27 times for 134 yards and two scores, while catching two of three targets for 22 yards. In total, he scored just under 30 fantasy points. It was his best game of the season and in a long while, but the usage is nothing new. He has seen at least 15 opportunities in every game this season. Perhaps we cannot expect the 30 we saw in Week 4, as that could have been weather-related as well with the rain and wind making it tougher to pass. But Sanders is clearly the lead back on the league's best rushing attack. Plus, he has been getting used near the goal line after not scoring a single touchdown in all of 2021. He faces the Cardinals, who have allowed over 23 fantasy PPG to RBs and a ton of points to opposing offenses. Sanders is in play as an RB2 with upside in Week 5. 

Nyheim Hines
Indianapolis Colts · RB
Denver Broncos
2022 · 2-2-0

Hines looks likely to have a much larger workload in Week 5, as Jonathan Taylor is dealing with an ankle injury on a short week. If Hines starts for the Colts, he should start for your fantasy teams. The Broncos have been a tough matchup for RBs, but Hines should be safe as he will be heavily involved in the passing game. Hines has seen at least five targets in three games this year, and that is with Taylor also being heavily targeted by Matt Ryan. It's just who Ryan is at this point -- he is annually at the top of the league in terms of percent of passes to the RB. Plus, the potential absence of Taylor could lead to more carries and goal line touches up for grabs. Volume alone makes Hines an RB2 worth starting this week. 

Sit 'Em

Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys · RB
Los Angeles Rams
2022 · 2-2-0

Elliott has been getting plenty of volume, but the issue is he has not turned it into much fantasy production. Zeke has yet to reach 15 fantasy points and has scored 10 or fewer in three of his four games. He has two targets or fewer in every game as well. The lack of big plays from Elliott, paired with the lack of pass-game usage is taking away what we thought was the best feature of Zeke -- a safe floor. Right now, Elliott is a player who needs a touchdown to have a chance of reaching 15 fantasy points. He just has not shown enough upside this year to be a player you have to start each week. This week in a matchup against the Rams, who have been very tough against RBs this season, allowing the fewest fantasy PPG to running backs (13.48). It’s a week to bench Elliott, which would have been crazy to even say a couple years ago.

Tyler Allgeier
Atlanta Falcons · RB

Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) landed on injured reserve which made Allgeier a popular waiver wire pickup this week. However, this would still be a week to leave him on the bench. First, Allgeier did lead the Falcons in snaps, but he had the same number of carries as Caleb Huntley. And it was Huntley who saw the goal-line snaps. Allgeier is the more explosive option here and should be the lead runner, but if he loses goal-line touches, it lowers his value. Additionally, the Bucs are just not a team that running backs usually have success against. So far this season, they have allowed 16.15 fantasy PPG to RBs, the third-fewest in the NFL.

Mike Boone
Denver Broncos · RB
Indianapolis Colts
2022 · 1-2-1

Boone was another popular waiver wire option this week after Javonte Williams sadly tore his ACL. Boone will now split work with Melvin Gordon, who has had fumble issues. Gordon has fumbled four times this season, and we saw Boone play more snaps and have the same number of carries and more targets. However, that could have been disciplinary for the fumbles. We have to see how this backfield shakes out, and the Colts have been tough against running backs this season. They have allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards to RBs this season. There will likely be weeks to start Boone but taking a wait-and-see approach this week would be the way to go. 

Michael Carter
New York Jets · RB
Miami Dolphins
2022 · 3-1-0

Breece Hall has taken a firm grip on this backfield. In Week 4, Hall played 67 percent of the snaps and saw 17 carries, three targets and goal-line work. Carter, on the other hand, played 43 percent of the snaps with nine carries and three targets. Carter will always have a role, but with Hall taking the majority of the valuable touches (targets, goal line), it makes Carter a big-play reliant flex option. Miami has been tough on running backs, allowing the fourth-fewest rushing yards and the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG (17.88) to running backs this season. Leave Carter on the bench this week. 

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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