Published: Dec. 3, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.
Updated: Dec. 6, 2014 at 05:59 p.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Running backs


Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. All starts and sits are based on standard scoring leagues. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Mark Ingram vs. Carolina Panthers

Ingram got back on track last week in Pittsburgh, rushing for 122 yards and scoring double-digit fantasy points for the first time since Week 10. The veteran out of Alabama should keep the fantasy points train rolling against the Panthers, who have allowed an average of more than 20 fantasy points per game to runners in 2014.

Andre Williams vs. Tennessee Titans

Rashad Jennings (ankle) made the trip to Tennessee, but whether he can play or not remains to be seen. If the Liberty product is unable to go, however, Williams would become a very solid sleeper pick across the board. The Titans field one of the worst run defense in the NFL, so the eventual starter would have a terrific matchup.

Isaiah Crowell vs. Indianapolis Colts

Crowell had a fantasy stinker last week, scoring 4.4 fantasy points against a formidable Buffalo Bills run defense. I like him to rebound this week, though, as the rookie out of Alabama State has flex-starter value against the Colts. Their defense has allowed an average of close to 20 fantasy points per game to home backs.

Joique Bell vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bell has been a tough sell as a regular fantasy starter, due in large part to his lack of consistent production on a week-to-week basis. However, he still warrants flex-starter consideration based on a great matchup against the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed an average of over 24 fantasy points to home backs in 2014.

Chris Ivory vs. Minnesota Vikings

You're right ... Ivory is tough to trust in the first week of the fantasy postseason. I get it. But when the matchup is this good, you have to at least consider him a flex starter in most leagues. Ivory will go up against the Vikings, who have been cut up by visiting running backs to the tune of 25.55 fantasy points per game.

Good matchups: Jeremy Hill vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Frank Gore at Oakland Raiders, Ryan Mathews vs. New England Patriots

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - Trent Richardson vs. Cleveland Browns

Wait, don't the Browns stink against the run? And won't Richardson want revenge? Well, Cleveland has allowed an average of just 14.98 fantasy points per game to runners in the last four weeks. Oh, as far as getting revenge, well, Richardson won't get much of a chance while running behind a former third-stringer in Dan Herron.

Lamar Miller vs. Baltimore Ravens

Don't get me wrong ... Miller has had a nice season for fantasy owners. But when push comes to shove, he's still subject to the matchups. This week he goes up against the Ravens, who have been the NFL equivalent to Ebenezer Scrooge for running backs. Their defense has allowed just 14.46 points to home runners this season.

Fred Jackson vs. Denver Broncos

Jackson took hold of the Bills' featured role last week, rushing the ball 21 times in a win over the Browns. That was 15 more carries than the second-highest runner, Boobie Dixon. Still, Jackson has put up double-digit fantasy points just once since Week 6. He also has a tough matchup against a formidable Broncos run defense.

Tre Mason vs. Washington Redskins

I must be nuts to advise sitting Mason, right? I mean, he's coming off a career-best 34.4 fantasy points against the Raiders. Well, keep this in mind ... this week's opponent, the Redskins, have allowed an average of 10.52 fantasy points to road runners. This unit has also surrendered a mere two rushing scores to road backs.

Doug Martin vs. Detroit Lions

Don't get too excited about Martin finding the end zone last week against Cincinnati, as the Bengals have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. He'll find the sledding much tougher in Week 14 against the Lions, who held fantasy superstar Matt Forte to just 5.8 fantasy points last week. Avoid Martin at all costs this week.

Bad matchups: Steven Jackson at Green Bay Packers (MNF), Darren McFadden vs. San Francisco 49ers, Matt Asiata vs. New York Jets

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. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!


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