Published: Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.
Updated: Dec. 8, 2017 at 10:57 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: 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 - Lamar Miller vs. San Francisco 49ers

Miller has been an underrated option for fantasy fans this season, scoring 12-plus PPR points in five of his last six games. His success should continue against the 49ers, who have allowed 10 total touchdowns and the second-most PPR points to running backs. Look for Miller to produce an attractive line in this inter-conference contest.

Jamaal Williams vs. Cleveland Browns

The return of Aaron Jones didn't affect the value of Williams, who dominated both snap and touch totals in the Packers backfield last week. He should remain in starting fantasy lineups against the Browns, who have allowed at least one top-20 PPR runner in each of their last five games. That includes a pair of top-four performances.

Rex Burkhead vs. Miami Dolphins

Burkhead has been one of the hottest running backs in fantasy football over the last four weeks, scoring 15-plus PPR points three times. That includes a 19.3-point performance against this weekend's opponent, the Dolphins. No NFL team has allowed more catches to runners at home, so both Burkhead and Dion Lewis are nice options.

Samaje Perine vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Perine is coming off a bad performance against the Cowboys, but he should rebound in what is a plus matchup in Los Angeles. The Chargers have been solid on defensive overall, but this unit has allowed the sixth-most PPR points and the second-most total yards (1,886) to running backs this season. Perine is a nice No. 2 option.

Frank Gore vs. Buffalo Bills

Gore has remained the top runner in the Colts backfield, leading the team in both snaps and touches over the last four weeks. If that trend continues, he should be considered a flex starter against the Bills. In their last six games, Buffalo's defense has allowed a combined five top-six PPR backs and another two running backs in the top 18.

Start 'Em: Kenyan Drake vs. Patriots (Mon.), Alfred Morris at Giants
Sleepers: Giovani Bernard vs. Bears, Andre Ellington vs. 49ers

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - DeMarco Murray vs. Arizona Cardinals

Murray was listed in this space a week ago, and he finished outside of the top 30 among PPR runners. I'm concerned about the veteran this week too, as Derrick Henry has looked like the better back in recent games. Murray also has a tough matchup against the Cardinals, who have given up just two rushing touchdowns to runners at home.

Latavius Murray vs. Carolina Panthers

Murray and Jerick McKinnon are both at risk of posting a stinker this week, as a road matchup against the Panthers is anything but favorable. Their defense has allowed just three rushing touchdowns to running backs at home, and the position has averaged a mere 3.7 yards per rush. Owners with depth might want to seek alternatives.

Ameer Abdullah vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy fans in standard leagues should avoid Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Tion Green based on this week's matchup in Tampa Bay. The Bucs have allowed the second-most PPR points to runners on the road, but at home their defense has allowed the fourth fewest. In fact, no runner has ranked better than 18th against them in Tampa.

Matt Forte vs. Denver Broncos

Forte put up a nice stat line in last week's win over the Chiefs, but he shouldn't be considered more than a PPR flex option when the Jets travel west to face the Broncos. While their pass defense isn't what it once was, Denver has been tough on runners in their building. In fact, the position has averaged the sixth-fewest PPR points this season.

Jonathan Stewart vs. Minnesota Vikings

Stewart has either scored a touchdown or rushed for 100-plus yards in each of his last three games, but that streak is in danger of ending when he faces the Vikings. No defense has surrendered fewer PPR points to opposing running backs this season, and the position has rushed for three touchdowns against these Purple People Eaters.

Sit 'Em: Orleans Darkwa vs. Cowboys, Mike Davis at Jaguars
Busts: Marshawn Lynch at Chiefs, Doug Martin vs. Lions

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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