Published: Oct. 17, 2018 at 10:58 a.m.
Updated: Oct. 21, 2018 at 11:41 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 7: 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 Todd Gurley and Antonio Brown will not be featured. All player matchups are based on PPR scoring system. NFL researchers Matt Frederick and Michael Florio have contributed to the column. For your final starting lineup decisions, check our weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Byes: Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Joe Mixon vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Mixon has been a workhorse since his return from an injured knee, scoring a combined 38.9 PPR points over his last two games. His run of fantasy success should continue against the Chiefs, who have surrendered the third-most scrimmage yards (193.2 YPG), nine total touchdowns and the second-most PPR points per game to backs.

Kenyan Drake vs. Detroit Lions

Some weeks we hate the Drake, others we love the Drake ... this is a week to love him. While he continues to share touches with Frank Gore, the youngster is at worst a nice flex starter against the Lions. No defense has allowed more scrimmage yards (257) or PPR points (38.2) per game on the road to running backs this season.

LeSean McCoy vs. Indianapolis Colts

McCoy has had a low floor and an unimpressive ceiling to this point, but he has seen 74 percent of the snaps and at least 19 touches in each of the last two games. I'd roll with him as a No. 2 runner this week, as the veteran faces a Colts defense that's allowed an average of 146 scrimmage yards and 25.4 PPR points per game.

Nick Chubb vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chubb was the hottest add in fantasy football when word broke that the Browns had traded Carlos Hyde, and I wouldn't hesitate to start him against the Buccaneers. Their defense has given up an average of more than 23 PPR points per game to running backs on their home field, and Chubb should dominate carries with Hyde out of the mix.

Tevin Coleman vs. New York Giants

The Falcons placed Devonta Freeman on injured reserve, leaving Coleman to lead the team's backfield for the foreseeable future. While he has lost some touches to Ito Smith (a viable flex starter), Coleman is still ahead of him in snaps and should see enough work to warrant a fantasy start in a home matchup versus the Giants defense.

Start 'Em: Tarik Cohen vs. New England Patriots, Latavius Murray at New York Jets,
Sleepers: Corey Clement vs. Carolina Panthers, Kerryon Johnson at Miami Dolphins

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Lamar Miller vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Miller has seen his stats slide in recent weeks, and his hold on the top spot on the depth chart could be in danger when D'Onta Foreman returns. Until then, the Miami product is a matchup-based starter who faces a bad one this week in Jacksonville. Runners have averaged just 2.98 yards per attempt against them at home this season.

Alex Collins vs. New Orleans Saints

Collins is coming off his best game of the season, which will make it tough to bench him with four teams on a bye. Just keep in mind that running backs have averaged a mere 2.78 yards per attempt against the Saints in 2018, not to mention a modest 19 PPR points per game. Collins could end up being a statistical stinker this weekend.

Dion Lewis vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Lewis has been a huge disappointment for fantasy footballers this season, scoring fewer than eight PPR points in four of his last five games. He should be considered a fade this week against the Chargers, who have given up just one top-25 PPR performance to a running back this season ... and that was Todd Gurley in Week 3.

Isaiah Crowell vs. Minnesota Vikings

Crowell has been a star during odd-numbered weeks (I know, it's an "odd" trend), but can you trust him in a bad matchup against the Vikings? Running backs have averaged just 3.8 yards per attempt and the fourth-fewest PPR points (18.2 PPG) against these Purple People Eaters, so there's a good chance Crow's trend will end.

Nyheim Hines vs. Buffalo Bills

Hines had been a valuable PPR option for fantasy fans, at least until Marlon Mack returned to the lineup. His presence caused him to see just five touches last week, his lowest total of the season, and his snap percentage went from almost 70 in his three previous weeks to just 43 in Week 6. I'd be fading Hines now with his decreased usage.

Sit 'Em: Derrick Henry at Los Angeles Chargers (London), Marlon Mack vs. Buffalo Bills
Busts: Wendell Smallwood vs. Carolina Panthers, Bilal Powell vs. Minnesota Vikings

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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!


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