Published: Nov. 13, 2019 at 11:02 a.m.
Updated: Nov. 17, 2019 at 10:35 a.m.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 11: 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 Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Byes: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans

Start 'Em

Start of the Week - Josh Jacobs vs. Cincinnati Bengals

This one is low-hanging fruit, but you could argue that no running back has a better matchup this week than Jacobs. The rookie runner faces an awful Bengals run defense that's allowed 12 total scores and nearly 29 fantasy points per game to backs, so I would expect another solid stat line from the talented Alabama product this weekend.

Damien Williams vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Williams seems to have re-claimed the top spot on the Chiefs depth chart, as LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch a week ago. Regardless, I like Williams to remain the main runner in what is an advantageous matchup versus the Chargers. They've allowed 27.2 fantasy points per game to enemy running backs this season.

Joe Mixon vs. Oakland Raiders

I'm back in the business of Mixon, folks. After weeks of doing nothing in the stat sheets, he's now produced two straight nice stat lines despite playing against tough defenses. Maybe it's because he's played 88 percent of the snaps and has an 86 percent touch rate in that time. He's a viable No. 2 running back versus the Raiders.

Devin Singletary vs. Miami Dolphins

Singletary was a disappointment a week ago, but I'd still consider him a viable flex option when the Bills head to Miami. The Dolphins have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs, including two top-nine backs in their last three games. While Frank Gore will see his share of touches, I still like the rookie as a potential No. 2 back.

Brian Hill vs. Carolina Panthers

Hill is likely to see a much bigger role in the Falcons offense with Devonta Freeman hurt and Ito Smith on injured reserve, and a matchup in Carolina makes him a solid option. Since Week 7, no team has allowed more total touchdowns and more fantasy points to enemy running backs, so climb the Hill and start 'em this weekend.

Start 'Em: Tevin Coleman vs. Arizona Cardinals, Austin Ekeler vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sleepers: Derrius Guice vs. New York Jets, J.D. McKissic vs. Dallas Cowboys

Sit 'Em

Sit of the Week - David Johnson vs. San Francisco 49ers

Johnson just isn't right, folks. If you saw him in Week 10, he looked like he was running with a boulder on his back. He was also the clear No. 2 back behind Kenyan Drake, who played 65 percent of the snaps and saw 10 more touches. D.J. also has a brutal matchup on the road versus the Niners, so he's a serious risk this weekend.

Sony Michel vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Michel is tough to sit with four teams on a bye, but he's averaged fewer than seven fantasy points per game when Rex Burkhead is active. Coming off a bye week, there's a good chance Burkhead plays against the Eagles. Their defense is tough at home too, allowing just three rushing scores and 51.8 yards on the ground this season.

Jordan Howard vs. New England Patriots

Update: Howard will miss this week's game against the Patriots due to a stinger, so make sure to get him out of your lineups. Increased volume makes Miles Sanders an attractive flex starter in this game, though the Eagles will also use newly-signed runner Jay Ajayi too. He knows this offense and should see some work out of the gate.

Carlos Hyde vs. Baltimore Ravens

Hyde rushed for 160 yards against a tough Jaguars defense before the bye, and he'll be a flex starter in a lot of lineups in Week 11. I would beware this tough matchup though, as the Ravens have surrendered an average of just 77 rushing yards and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season.

Kalen Ballage vs. Buffalo Bills

Ballage saw a team-high 24 touches in his first start since Mark Walton was suspended, but he finished with a meager 45 total yards in a win over the Colts. So while the Bills have been gashed by enemy running backs in recent weeks, Ballage just hasn't shown anything on the field to warrant a starting role in fantasy land.

Sit 'Em: Royce Freeman vs. Minnesota Vikings, Latavius Murray at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Busts:  Tarik Cohen at Los Angeles Rams, Duke Johnson at Baltimore Ravens

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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