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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Running backs for Week 6

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 Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP 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

Alvin Kamara
New Orleans Saints NO

Kamara has topped 18 fantasy points in both of his games so far this season. He is reestablishing himself as a must-start fantasy running back. Two weeks ago, in a game the Saints were down multiple scores, he was able to rack up fantasy points thanks to 14 targets. Last week, in a game where the Saints were up multiple scores throughout, he had a big fantasy day, carrying the ball 22 times and scoring a touchdown. Kamara is so versatile, he’s completely game-script proof. Now he gets the Texans, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season. 

Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts IND
Zack Moss
Indianapolis Colts IND

Moss dominated volume in Taylor’s first game back. Moss played 80 percent of the snaps, with 23 carries and two targets, going for 195 total yards and two scores. Meanwhile, Taylor played just 16 percent of snaps, with six carries and one target, finishing with 34 total yards. It was JT's first game back and he was on a snap count. You have to imagine we see more of him this week. But don’t expect Moss to just disappear quietly into the night, especially running as effectively as he has been. We could be looking at a 50/50 split, and with Anthony Richardson hitting injured reserve, it could mean even more work for the backs. The Jags have allowed the seventh-most catches to running backs this season. The floor isn’t all that high for either guy if they’re splitting work, but they bring enough upside to both be in play as RB2s and/or flex options. 

James Cook
Buffalo Bills BUF

Cook is coming off his worst fantasy game of the season, scoring just 5.1 fantasy points in the London loss to the Jaguars. He was averaging 14.5 per game and was a top-12 fantasy RB in the first four games of the season. Still, despite the down week, he led the Bills' backfield in snaps, carries and targets. He has a fantastic matchup this week against the Giants, who have allowed the second-most rushing yards and third-most rushing touchdowns to backs. Cook is a strong starting option this week. 

Isiah Pacheco
Kansas City Chiefs KC

Pacheco ran for 55 yards and a touchdown last week, giving you just over 13 fantasy points. He has now topped that number in three straight games, averaging 18 fantasy PPG in that span. He is a must-start option this week against Denver. The Broncos have allowed the most rushing yards and touchdowns (tied) to running backs this season. Every lead RB against them since Week 2 has scored at least 22 fantasy points, and such backs are averaging 28 fantasy PPG against them this season. That number jumps up to 37 fantasy PPG if you add in Raheem Mostert, who went off for 45 as Miami’s ­second-highest scoring back in Week 3. You start running backs against the Broncos -- it’s as simple as that. 


Jaleel McLaughlin
Denver Broncos DEN

McLaughlin was technically the secondary RB last week -- playing just 33 percent of the snaps -- but led the Broncos with nine carries and 68 rushing yards. He added in four targets, catching three for 21 yards and a touchdown. I imagine his role remains the same, even if Javonte Williams returns to action. The undrafted rookie will not lead the backfield in snaps, but when he is on the field, Denver will generate touches for him. I would expect between 10 and 12 touches. McLaughlin is explosive enough that he can turn that work into a big day. He will likely be a little up-and-down if that is his role, but the upside for a big day is certainly there. 

Sit 'Em

Miles Sanders
Carolina Panthers CAR

Sanders played 51 percent of the snaps in Week 5, carried the ball seven times and was targeted once, finishing with 32 total yards. He scored a season low 1.2 fantasy points and has scored fewer than eight in three of his last four. We are also seeing Chuba Hubbard continue to eat into his workload. The Dolphins have struggled to stop the run this season, but this could be a game where the Panthers are trailing big early and have to abandon the run. I would get away from Sanders this week. 

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Sanders has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

Rachaad White
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB

White had a big game against the Bears in Week 2, but in his other three games, he averaged just 8.3 fantasy PPG. He’s getting volume, but still looks very matchup dependent. And the Lions are the opposite of a favorable matchup for running backs. They have allowed 248 rushing yards through five games to backs, which equates to 49.6 per game. They have held backs to 3.1 yards per carry and only allow 22.6 receiving yards per game to the position. Running backs have scored two touchdowns against Detroit this season. This is an extremely tough matchup.

Jerome Ford
Cleveland Browns CLE

Ford has averaged 48 scrimmage yards per game since Nick Chubb went down with an injury. Touchdowns propelled him in Week 3, but without one in Week 4, he was limited to single-digit fantasy points. Now he has the toughest matchup a running back can have, going against the 49ers' defense. San Francisco has allowed the fewest total rushing yards to running backs at just 217 -- fewer than all the teams that have played one fewer game due to last week’s byes. The Niners have allowed just two rushing touchdowns and 3.7 yards per carry. They just shut down Tony Pollard. Starting Ford this week is hoping for a touchdown, and even if he scores, you could be looking at a single-digit output. Fade Ford this week. 

Gus Edwards
Baltimore Ravens BAL
Justice Hill
Baltimore Ravens BAL

Last week, the Ravens split the backfield work with Hill playing 55 percent of snaps and Edwards playing 43 percent. Edwards had the edge on the ground, while the pass-game work and the touchdown went to Hill. When both are healthy, this backfield is kind of a game of guessing which back will score the touchdown that day. Now the Ravens face the Titans, who had been extremely stingy to RBs until last week against the Colts. Even with that game, they have allowed just three rushing touchdowns. I would look to get away from Baltimore's backfield this week. 

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