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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Running backs for Week 11

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Christian McCaffrey. But that's too obvious, so you won't see such simple analysis here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Saquon Barkley
New York Giants NYG

There was once a time when Saquon Barkley was an obvious start and including him here would have elicited laughter, but the Giants are currently starting a QB who still lives with his parents. Times are tough in the pork roll capital of the world. Still, volume alone keeps Barkley in play in the right matchups. While he disappointed last week fantasy-wise, he did see 13 carries and three targets. Even that is low for Barkley, who’s usually good for 20-30 opportunities each week. That said, this week he gets the Commanders, who have allowed the eighth-most rushing yards and third-most receiving yards to backs since Week 6. The dual-threat Barkley remains in your lineup. 

Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys DAL

Last week, the Cowboys' offense was like the Oprah Winfrey meme: You get a touchdown! You get a touchdown! Everyone gets a touchdown!!! Everyone except Tony Pollard. The Cowboys scored seven offensive touchdowns, courtesy of six different players, but Tony P was left out in the cold. He watched Rico Dowdle run for more yards and one of those scores. It’s frustrating. But you must give Pollard another shot this week, solely because of the matchup against the Panthers. Carolina has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards, the most rushing touchdowns and the fourth-most receiving touchdowns to running backs. In total, the Panthers have given up the second-most fantasy PPG. If Pollard doesn’t hit here, we’ll have to have a REAL serious conversation about the rest of the season. Dowdle is also in play as a deeper flex option.

Brian Robinson
Washington Commanders WAS

Robinson only ran for 38 yards last week and it didn’t matter. He caught all six of his targets for 119 yards and a touchdown, finishing with 27.7 fantasy points -- enough to make him the overall RB1 in fantasy last week. While his safe floor makes Robinson decently appealing most weeks, he has also shown he brings a high ceiling in the right matchups -- Like the one he gets this week against the Giants. The G-Men have allowed the third-most rushing yards and second-most touchdowns to backs this season. Plus, this could easily be a (rare) game where the Commanders have a significant lead and can use Robinson to grind the clock down the stretch. Play him. 

Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams LAR

This is probably the last week you can start Henderson, as Kyren Williams is eligible to return off injured reserve in Week 12. Still, it doesn’t mean we can’t go out with a bang. Henderson has topped 11 fantasy points in two of his three spot starts. While he’s been on the heavy side of a platoon with Royce Freeman, he gets valuable looks in the passing game and near the goal line. He has an extremely favorable matchup against the Seahawks, who have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards and fifth-most rushing touchdowns to backs since Week 6. They’ve allowed a league-high 5.2 yards per carry to the position in that span. Get Henderson in your lineup while you still can. 


Devin Singletary
Houston Texans HOU

Singletary exploded in Week 10, rushing 30 times for 150 yards and a touchdown. He added an 11-yard catch, as well, finishing with 23.1 fantasy points and a top-three finish on the week. It was by far the best game by a Texans running back so far this season, and Singletary might have stolen the job from Dameon Pierce as a result. At the very least, we saw the two splitting work before Pierce’s injury. Singletary is a streamer against the Cardinals, who have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to RBs. They’ve allowed the most rushing yards and TDs to the position since Week 6.

Sit 'Em

Rachaad White
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB

You are going to see a ton of praise for White this week. And rightfully so. He has averaged 19.9 fantasy PPG in the last month, with at least 15 in each game. His schedule opened up and he’s been running hot. But don’t forget that he was routinely held to 10 or fewer fantasy points in tough matchups early in the season. White has been “reliably” matchup-dependent, and this is one of the worst RB matchups. The Niners have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards and ninth-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs. They looked like themselves again last week, shutting down Travis Etienne. White is far from a must-sit -- I myself am starting him in a league where I just don’t have a better option -- but if you have someone else you feel good about, swap him in this week. 

James Cook
Buffalo Bills BUF

It’s been a frustrating season for Cook. Anyone who watches him play can see he is clearly the Bills’ best running back, but the usage has really held him back for fantasy purposes. After an early-game benching last week, which he successfully bounced back from, Cook and the Bills will have a new play-caller moving forward. He also has to deal with Latavius Murray and now potentially Leonard Fournette. In Week 11, he draws the Jets, who have allowed just 3.6 yards per carry since Week 6. They have also allowed the sixth-fewest receiving yards to backs in that span and just three total touchdowns. Cook was limited to 10.3 fantasy points against New York in Week 1, and that was with consistent usage. You can pull him from your lineup this week. 

D'Onta Foreman
Chicago Bears CHI
Khalil Herbert
Chicago Bears CHI

Foreman has been running hot as the lead back for the Bears. He has rumbled for at least 80 yards in three of his last four games and twice topped 17 fantasy points. It looked like Herbert could return last week, but that didn't happen. Now, off a mini-bye, we can expect him to be back in the lineup. The duo will likely split drives, and Foreman has been good enough to frustratingly eat into Herbert’s workload. Either way, this matchup is one to avoid. The Lions have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to backs. They’ve also allowed the fifth-fewest catches and fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to backs. Plus, Chicago is likely to end up in a negative game script rather quickly. Avoid the Bears' backfield this week. 

Alexander Mattison
Minnesota Vikings MIN

After years of Dalvin Cook performing as a top-10 back, we (and the Vikings) have been reminded that the grass is not always greener. Mattison is the current RB26 in total fantasy points and has averaged just 10.3 PPG this season. He has scored fewer than seven fantasy points in three of his last four games and topped 13 only once since Week 3. That’s a low floor and very little upside for someone we expected to be a rock-solid RB2 back on draft day. The Vikings have just three rushing touchdowns this season -- and Mattison has yet to score a single one. Now he gets the Broncos, who were an amazing matchup earlier in the year but have been tougher as of late. Furthermore, Mattison exited last week with a concussion, so he might not even be active this week to begin with.

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