Published: Sept. 20, 2017 at 10:06 a.m.
Updated: Sept. 22, 2017 at 03:55 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: Running backs


Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will not be featured. NFL researcher Careen Falcone and former #2 FF World Player Rank and NFFC Platinum and Ultimate Champion Derek Pierson have contributed to the column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Christian McCaffrey vs. New Orleans Saints

McCaffrey ranks a disappointing 26th in PPR fantasy points among running backs after two weeks, but he should shine in this week's matchup against the Saints. Their defense has allowed the third-most PPR points (36.5 PPG) to backs so far this season, and no team other than the Falcons has allowed more catches (19) to the position.

Ty Montgomery vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Montgomery, listed as a start 'em last week, went off for six catches, 110 scrimmage yards, two scored and 29 PPR points in a loss to the Falcons. Next up is a date with the Bengals, who have allowed the third-most rushing yards (128.0 YPG) and an average of more than 24 PPR points per contest to runners after the first two weeks of 2017.

C.J. Anderson vs. Buffalo Bills

Anderson is coming off a two-touchdown, 27.4-point performance against the Cowboys, and his snap (71 percent) and touch (49) totals indicate he's used as a true featured back. I'd keep him in your starting lineup against the Bills, who surrendered an average of almost 28 PPR points per game to running backs on their home field last season.

Tarik Cohen vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Cohen has become a PPR superstar this season, as he leads all running backs in targets (21) and receptions (16) while boasting a solid 1.36 PPR fantasy points per touch percentage. He'll continue to see opportunities with Jordan Howard banged up and the Bears wideout corps thin, so keep him in your lineup in all PPR formats.

Javorius Allen vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Allen has come out of nowhere to become quite a valuable asset for fantasy footballers. He leads the Ravens in backfield snaps (75) and touches (40), and he'll continue to see work when the team travels to London to face the Jaguars. While their defense is improved, this unit has allowed an average of 22.85 PPR fantasy points to backs.

Sleepers: Theo Riddick vs. Falcons, Tevin Coleman at Lions
Deep sleepers: James White vs. Texans, Jonathan Stewart vs. Saints

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Thomas Rawls vs. Tennessee Titans

Eddie Lacy was a scratch last week for the Seahawks, which should have been good news for Rawls. Unfortunately, it wasn't. While he started against the Niners, Rawls saw 20 percent of the snaps and just five touches compared to 61 percent of the snaps and 21 touches for Chris Carson. If you start a Seattle runner, it shouldn't be Rawls.

Mark Ingram vs. Carolina Panthers

Ingram might lead the Saints backfield in snaps (48 percent) and touches (23), but his 14.7 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues leaves a lot to be desired. The veteran also faces a difficult matchup this week in Carolina, as the Panthers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points (15.25 PPG) to opposing runners this season.

Joe Mixon vs. Green Bay Packers

In the Year of the Rookie Running Back (at least so far), Mixon hasn't been allowed a chance to join his fellow backs in the breakout mix. He's seen just 30 percent of the snaps, as veterans Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard continue to see their share of the work. Until we see the Bengals lean on him more, Mixon should remain sidelined.

Rob Kelley vs. Oakland Raiders

Kelley looked great against the Rams last week, at least until he left the game due to injured ribs. Whether it's Kelley or Samaje Perine who draws the start this week, neither should be considered a solid fantasy option against the Raiders. The Silver & Black have left runners black and blue, allowing the fourth-fewest PPR points.

LeGarrette Blount vs. New York Giants

Blount didn't start for the Eagles last week (that "honor" went to Wendell Smallwood), and he received a mere six snaps and one touch in a loss to the Chiefs. Even if those totals rise a bit, it's clear that the Eagles are going with a committee approach where Darren Sproles is the lead back. Keep Blount benched against the Giants.

Busts: Paul Perkins at Eagles, Matt Forte vs. Dolphins
Bust bewares: DeMarco Murray vs. Seahawks, Jordan Howard vs. Steelers

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Do you want the most up-to-date fantasy football news, updates and analysis? Follow Michael on both Twitter @Michael_Fabiano or Facebook!


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