Published: Dec. 11, 2018 at 09:43 p.m.
Updated: Dec. 16, 2018 at 09:50 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 15: 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.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Phillip Lindsay vs. Cleveland Browns

Lindsay has been on absolute fire in the stat sheets, scoring a combined six touchdowns over his last four games while seeing 57 percent of the snaps in that time. He'll remain a virtual must-start against the Browns, who have allowed an average of 4.7 yards per rush and the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs in 2018.

Dalvin Cook vs. Miami Dolphins

Cook has started to see his snaps and touches rise in recent weeks, and an upcoming matchup against the Dolphins makes him a solid No. 2 fantasy runner. Their leaky run defense has surrendered an average of almost five yards per rush attempt and the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing home running backs this season.

Jaylen Samuels vs. New England Patriots

Listed as a start 'em last week, Samuels produced seven catches, 92 scrimmage yards and 16.2 points in a loss to the Raiders. He also saw 80 percent of the snaps, so he saw the workload of a featured back. I'd keep him active as a flex starter against the Patriots, who have struggled against opposing pass-catching running backs.

Derrick Henry vs. New York Giants

I know ... this is a week late, but Henry has earned at least a flex spot in fantasy lineups after his huge four-touchdown game against the Jaguars. He won't do that again in New York, but the G-Men have surrendered 10 rushing touchdowns and the eighth-most fantasy points (26.8 PPG) to opposing running backs this season.

Doug Martin vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Martin has dominated the touches in Oakland's backfield in recent weeks, and he's scored a touchdown in each of his last three games. He's a viable flex starter against the Bengals, who have allowed an average of 4.8 yards per rush, six touchdown runs and the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs since Week 11.

Start 'Em: Tarik Cohen vs. Green Bay Packers, Chris Carson at San Francisco 49ers,
Sleepers: Tevin Coleman vs. Arizona Cardinals, Elijah McGuire vs. Houston Texans (Sat.)

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Marlon Mack vs. Dallas Cowboys

Listed as a sit 'em last week, Mack saw 14 touches and scored a mediocre 9.3 fantasy points in a win over the Texans. He'll be tough to trust again this week against the Cowboys, who have allowed an average of just 3.6 yards per rush and the seventh-fewest fantasy points (20.8 PPG) to enemy running backs this season.

Sony Michel vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Patriots backfield has returned to the age of "Belitricks," as James White has seen his snap count drop and James Develin is vulturing touchdown carries from Michel. I'd beware the Georgia product this week against the Steelers, who have surrendered 3.8 yards per rush and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.

Kenyan Drake vs. Minnesota Vikings

Drake's miracle touchdown in last week's win over the Patriots masks what was otherwise a bad stat line. He split snaps with Frank Gore and saw six fewer touches than his veteran teammate, so he remains in a committee situation. I'd consider Drake a risk-reward flex starter against a Vikings defense that's tough on runners overall this year.

Mark Ingram vs. Carolina Panthers

Ingram was a start 'em last week, and he saved his stat line with a late touchdown run in a win over the Buccaneers. He'll remain a risk-reward, touchdown-dependant No. 2 runner when the Saints visit the Panthers on Monday night. Their defense has surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs, so beware Ingram this week.

Josh Adams vs. Los Angeles Rams

Adams had a nice two-week hot streak in the stat sheets in Weeks 11-12, but he's fallen off with just 12.1 combined points in his last two games. His struggles are likely to continue against the Rams, as he could be game scripted out of the contest in the second half against what remains an extremely explosive Los Angeles offense.

Sit 'Em: LeGarrette Blount at Buffalo Bills, Peyton Barber at Baltimore Ravens
Busts: Jordan Howard vs. Green Bay Packers, Adrian Peterson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

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!


Related Stories: