Published: Oct. 31, 2018 at 05:21 a.m.
Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 at 02:27 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: Running backs

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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: Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles

Start 'Em

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Start of the Week - Latavius Murray vs. Detroit Lions

Murray has been on a quite a hot streak both for the Vikings and fantasy owners alike, scoring at least 20 PPR points in each of his last three games. He could make it four in a row against the Lions, who have surrendered 5.5 yards per rush, 136 rushing yards and over 29 PPR points per contest to opposing running backs this season.

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Adrian Peterson vs. Atlanta Falcons

The fountain of youth must be in Washington, because Peterson is running like a man 10 years his junior. He showed that last week in a win over the Giants, and I'd keep him active ahead of a battle against Atlanta. Their defense has allowed nine total touchdowns and the second-most PPR points to opposing running backs in 2018.

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Nick Chubb vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Listed as a sit 'em last week, Chubb produced just 9.5 points in a loss to the Steelers. I like him to bounce back this week, however, as he'll face a Chiefs defense that's allowed a ridiculous 5.3 yards per rush and the most PPR points to opposing running backs. Look for Chubb to put up a strong stat line for owners in this AFC competition.

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Lamar Miller vs. Denver Broncos

Miller has been on fire in recent weeks, rushing for a combined 233 yards with two touchdowns in his last two games. He has another great matchup next on the slate, as the Broncos have allowed 5.3 yards per rush attempt and 125.1 rushing yards per game to enemy running backs. Miller should be considered a nice No. 2 back.

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Isaiah Crowell vs. Miami Dolphins

Crowell has been a tough back to trust, but with six teams on a bye I'd consider him a viable flex starter in Miami. Their defense has allowed at least one top-11 PPR back in all but one game this season, and that was last week when Lamar Miller (RB14) scored 19.3 points against them. Look for the Crow to fly high in this big AFC East battle.

Start 'Em: Tarik Cohen at Buffalo Bills, Mark Ingram vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sleepers: Dion Lewis at Dallas Cowboys, Aaron Jones at New England Patriots

Sit 'Em

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Sit of the Week - LeSean McCoy vs. Chicago Bears

McCoy has suffered though a modest season based on his previous statistical standards, and his woes are very likely to continue against the Bears. Their defense has allowed just 3.5 yards per rush and the second-fewest PPR points per game to opposing running backs. Chicago has also not yielded a rushing touchdown to a back in 2018.

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Alex Collins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Collins is coming off a one-touchdown, 12.3-point performance in a loss to the Panthers, and he'll be tough to sit with six teams on a bye. However, a matchup against the Steelers is anything but a Halloween treat. In fact, their defense has allowed just 3.5 yards per rush to runners and held Collins to under 10 PPR points in Week 4.

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Austin Ekeler vs. Seattle Seahawks

With six teams on a bye, Ekeler will definitely be on the flex-starter radar in most fantasy leagues. I would beware this week's matchup, though, as the Seahawks have allowed just one top-10 fantasy runner (Todd Gurley) and backs have averaged just 3.8 yards per rush this season. If you do start Ekeler, I'd temper fantasy expectations.

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Derrick Henry vs. Dallas Cowboys

Henry had his best stat line of the season before the Titans' bye week, scoring a touchdown and 14.5 PPR points in a loss to the Chargers. Still, I'd fade him against a Cowboys defense that's allowed just 3.4 yards per rush, one rushing touchdown and an average of fewer than 20 PPR points a game to backs in Dallas.

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Peyton Barber vs. Carolina Panthers

Barber has scored 14-plus PPR points in two of his last three games, and he should see plenty of volume with Ronald Jones out of action. However, the Panthers have allowed an average of fewer than 20 PPR points per game to running backs, and game script could point to the Bucs being forced to throw the football more often this week.

Sit 'Em: Jordan Howard at Buffalo Bills, Jamaal Williams at New England Patriots
Busts: Kerryon Johnson at Minnesota Vikings, Tevin Coleman at Washington Redskins


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com 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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