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NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: 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

Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers · RB
Detroit Lions
2022 · 1-6-0

It has been an up-and-down year for Jones, but this is 100 percent a week to start him. Not only is he coming off a game where he rushed for a season-high 143 yards and looked great in doing so, but he has now managed to top 19 fantasy points in two straight games. He is playing well and has a fantastic matchup. The Lions have allowed 27.4 fantasy PPG to running backs, the fifth-most in the NFL. But it’s not just that. Jones has a history of success against this team. Since 2020, he has faced the Lions three times. In those games he is averaging 32.2 fantasy points to go with 101 rushing yards per game and another 41 through the air. He is also averaging a touchdown on the ground and through the air against Detroit. This is a chance for Jones to potentially show off his ceiling. He is a must-play option this week.  

Miles Sanders
Philadelphia Eagles · RB
Houston Texans
2022 · 1-5-1

Sanders takes on the Texans on Thursday Night Football in what is sure to be the biggest game between a Philly and Houston team all week. Sanders has been up and down this season but has managed to top 13 fantasy points in two straight games. There is reason to be optimistic he can put up a much bigger number though this week. The Texans have allowed the most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (33.96), which includes by far the most rushing yards (1,115 -- no one else over 957) and the second-most rushing touchdowns (10). They have also allowed a top-three fantasy RB five times already this season. Go ahead and get Sanders in all your Week 9 lineups.  

Raheem Mostert
Miami Dolphins · RB
Chicago Bears
2022 · 3-5-0

Mostert was a start last week against the Lions and he straight-up flopped. I will take that L, but it will not stop me from going back for more (thought we have been over this with Kyle Pitts). This week he has a bounce-back opportunity against the Bears, who have allowed 26.1 fantasy PPG to RBs, the eighth-most in the NFL. Last week, I highlighted their struggles against outside runners with Tony Pollard (whom I liked before Ezekiel Elliott was ruled out!). It came to fruition as 116 of Pollard’s rushing yards and all three touchdowns came on runs outside of the tackles. That bodes well for Mostert, who has had success on outside runs this season. On the year, Mostert has turned 61 carries outside the tackles into 322 yards and a touchdown, good for 5.3 yards per carry and a 44% success rate. That drops to 130 yards and no touchdowns on 40 inside carries -- good for 3.3 yards per carry and a 33% success rate. This is a week to once again trust Mostert and get him back in your lineup.  

Tyler Allgeier
Atlanta Falcons · RB
Los Angeles Chargers
2022 · 4-3-0

The Falcons' running backs have become a little tough to trust as both are heavily involved, but Allgeier has remained the more explosive option of the two. In Week 8, we saw Allgeier play 60% of the snaps with 14 carries and three targets, turning it into 87 yards and a score. He is the more explosive option in Atlanta, so even as they take touches away from one another, he always has the chance of doing more with less. He is also the back who sees those valuable targets. He is in play this week in a fantastic matchup against the Chargers. Los Angeles has allowed 29.2 fantasy PPG to RBs this season, the second-most in the NFL. Plus, Arthur Smith will likely look to control the clock and prevent trying to keep up with Justin Herbert. That only means more rushing attempts for Atlanta. Caleb Huntley is never going away, and he is in play as a sleeper this week, as well. But Allgeier remains the preferred play of the Falcons' backs.  

Sit 'Em

James Robinson
New York Jets · RB
Buffalo Bills
2022 · 6-1-0

In his first game as a member of the Jets, Robinson played just 21% of the snaps with five carries and one target. He finished with just 17 yards and 1.7 fantasy points. Yikes. Robinson does deserve a pass as it was his first game with a new team after being traded just a few days prior. He should see more work as he gets more acclimated with the offense. But that doesn't mean we have to start him for fantasy, especially this week with a matchup against the Bills looming. Buffalo has allowed just 19.3 fantasy PPG to RBs this season, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. Robinson is a back learning a new offense, while still splitting time in a backfield on an offense that could struggle to put up points, and on top of it all, it’s a tough matchup. Those are more than enough reasons to get away this week.  

Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams · RB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2022 · 3-5-0

Henderson played just 43% of the snaps against the 49ers and finished with just four carries and two targets. He turned it into 30 yards and five fantasy points. Henderson has now scored in single digits in four of his last five games. He saw Ronnie Rivers (I know many of you are wondering if he is a real person) double him up in targets and carries in Week 8. Henderson is the Rams RB1 in perception only right now. Not only is he no longer startable, even with six teams on byes, but he is not a must-roster player anymore either.  

Brian Robinson
Washington Commanders · RB
Minnesota Vikings
2022 · 6-1-0

Robinson played just 25% of the snaps with eight carries and no targets. In all, he finished with 20 yards and 2.0 fantasy points. He has to worry about Antonio Gibson, Curtis Samuel and now Taylor Heinicke stealing away carries, while Gibson and J.D. McKissic will steal away the RB targets. There is simply far too much volatility in this role. Especially when his whole appeal was bringing a safe floor. There is not nearly enough upside to trust him, especially with the floor suddenly vanishing. He also has a tough matchup this week against the Vikings, who have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy PPG to running backs (19.4). Given all of that, it’s smart to stay very far away from Robinson this week.  

Kenyan Drake
Baltimore Ravens · RB
New Orleans Saints
2022 · 3-5-0

Drake has been a headache the past couple of weeks. Just when it looks like we can start him, Gus Edwards returns and steals all the work. Then after he is benched or even cut, he regains the bulk of the work and puts up a respectable fantasy score. However, it is worth noting that his last game was on Thursday, meaning it was on a short week after Edwards had just played his first game since 2020. Edwards will now have the mini-bye to heal up. It is especially long when you factor in the Ravens play on Monday night. That could mean we are uncertain of what Drake’s role will look like when you set those lineups on Sunday morning. Plus, it’s a tough matchup against the Saints who have allowed 20.3 fantasy PPG to RBs, the 11th-lowest mark in the NFL. Given all of that, it would be best to get away from Drake if you have other options.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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