Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 10: 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

J.D. McKissic
Washington Football Team · RB
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
2020 · 3-5-0

The Lions have given up the most fantasy points to running backs this season. And I don’t want this pick to seem super chalky, like I’m just playing the matchup. Though you’ll never believe me. Like when I try to tell my nieces and nephew that I used to go to Blink 182 and No Doubt concerts when I was younger. They don’t believe me. But I was going to have McKissic on this list. Mostly because he had 14 targets last week. FOURTEEN! And he turned that into nine receptions for 65 yards. He was the RB3 after Sunday’s game because of that. He’s had six receptions in four of five games. He’s also matchup-proof at this point, with that kind of production.

Kareem Hunt
Cleveland Browns · RB
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
2020 · 2-6-0

Nick Chubb is back and this is going to be better for Hunt moving forward. Hunt had more touches in the four games without Nick, which makes sense. But Hunt scored more points per game with Chubb in the lineup (17.43 to 13.63). Again, I’ll go back to my Fandango reference from earlier. I loved him as a singles star. They absolutely dropped the ball when he was super-over the night after WrestleMania a few years back. But hey, I also love him with Tyler Breeze, so what are you going to do? I mean, you’re going to start him. The Texans have given up the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season. The Texans have also allowed the most rushing yards this year. (And yes, start Chubb as well.)

Josh Jacobs
Las Vegas Raiders · RB
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
2020 · 3-5-0

Jacobs carried the ball 31 times against the Browns two weeks ago. But it was a little alarming on Sunday when Devontae Booker started getting some snaps. Maybe it had to do with Jacobs missing practice on Thursday. Maybe they wanted to give him a spell. But let’s knock that off, Jon Gruden. But Jacobs is a good start this week. The Broncos have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs over the last two weeks. One of the keys has been the 14 receptions running backs have had against them in those two games. Derek Carr didn’t really use his backs as receivers out of the backfield but would like to see that change this week. Jacobs had four targets in Week 7. Need to get that number (at least) this week.

Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams · RB
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
2020 · 6-2-0

The rule had always been that you start your quarterback and receivers against the Seahawks, but you needed to leave your running backs on the bench. But now everything has gone bad. It’s kind of like how Phantom Menace was not great, but Darth Maul and the pod race was pretty cool. But now the Seahawks don’t even have that. They are the Clone Wars of NFL defenses, I suppose. Henderson was hurt against the Dolphins, but he should be a full-go this week. Pro Football Focus had him as the top-graded running back and he’s among the league leaders in big plays (with 16 runs of more than 10 yards).

Chase Edmonds
Arizona Cardinals · RB
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
2020 · 7-2-0

I know many of us went into Sunday’s game expecting Edmonds to have this monster breakout game. And when you look at it against the weight of expectations, it wasn’t that great. But it was overall a pretty good result. Like, if you’re being fair. I mean, not everyone can be Steve Carrell and crush it the first time the way he did in 40 Year Old Virgin. (Which, I’m not saying was his high-water mark for movies, but kind of was?) Edmonds played 96% of the snaps on Sunday. He carried the ball 25 times, which was amazing. I would expect a similar-type of workload against the Bills this week, who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points over the last month. And even if Kenyan Drake can return this week, Edmonds will have carved out enough of a role to make him a viable flex option.

Leonard Fournette
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · RB
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
2020 · 3-6-0

This wasn’t quite what the Bucs had in mind when they started putting together this all-star roster. Kind of like when WCW was just bringing in dudes in the mid-1990s and hoping that it was going to get over. I mean, it did. There was nothing I loved more than the nWo. But the Bucs aren’t quite at that level right now. It’s hard to figure out who is going to be the running back moving forward for the Bucs. We can’t glean much from Sunday night because game script is thrown out the window when you fall behind by 28 points. I anticipate the Bucs turning to Fournette more as they did against the Giants two weeks ago. He ran the ball 15 times. He had six targets. Look for the Bucs to get back that.

Sit 'em

Melvin Gordon
Denver Broncos · RB
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 5-3-0

It’s a great matchup. And we saw the work Kalen Ballage did against the Raiders. So this might not be the best piece of advice. But I’d feel great with Phillip Lindsay. Gordon did play 62% of the snaps against the Raiders. But his touches and fantasy points have decreased in three consecutive games. He’s topped 100 total yards once in seven games. Gordon seems like the kind of guy who you start because the matchup is good, but it doesn’t work out. Kind of like when you try a new pizza place because of a great Yelp! review. But then you find out it was the owner’s aunt who left the review and you’re left with a soggy mess.

Devin Singletary
Buffalo Bills · RB
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2020 · 5-3-0

Still get questions about Singletary which is weird. He’s like one of those Hollywood actors who hasn’t made a movie in years, but you still think of him as a movie star. Like Tobey Maguire. I liked him. He was a good Spider-Man. I mean, Jake Johnson has passed him as a better Peter Parker. But he was good. Singletary is like that. He’s had less than seven fantasy points in four of his last five games. Zack Moss has out-snapped him in back-to-back weeks. I’m not saying you drop Singletary. But he’s not doing much on your roster.

Jerick McKinnon
San Francisco 49ers · RB
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 6-2-0

I’m old enough to remember when everyone wanted JaMycal Hasty on Thursday night of last week, but McKinnon ended up being the guy and finished the game with more than 15 points. He had 74% of the snaps which was his highest total of the season. But while that’s all wonderful, the Saints are the toughest possible matchup for the coming week. They have allowed the fewest points to running backs over the last month (14.10 fantasy points) and have not given up a rushing touchdown over that stretch. Is there a chance they take a step back after a big win over the Bucs? Sure. But I’d look at other options if possible.

Seattle Seahawks · RB
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
2020 · 5-3-0

There was a lot of expectations in Dallas (the player, not the football team, though that kind of fits, too). Dallas did get into the end zone, pulled off a Damian Lillard and scored a touchdown so he wasn’t a complete failure. Which is something we can’t say about the Dallas Cowboys. But there were some disturbing trends here. Dallas played just 31% of the snaps as Travis Homer played a larger role this week. Either by design or game script, it illustrated how crowded this backfield can be. We’ll monitor the status of Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde moving forward. But I’d stay away from the Seahawks backfield here. The Rams have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs over the last month.  

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