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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers · RB
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
2020 · 5-7-0

Oh my gosh, I had forgotten that Aaron Jones was still a thing, and then he had a 77-yard rushing touchdown against the Eagles to remind everyone that he’s still a viable player. Just one week after everyone was freaking about Jamaal Williams. Jones had 15 rushes, 10 more than Williams, so that’s about a wrap there. Jones has a great matchup this week against the Lions, who have allowed the most rushing yards this season to running backs. They have allowed a top 15 running back in nine straight games. Something I wish the Bears offensive staff knew when it decided to throw the ball in the closing minutes of Sunday’s game. I know, even when I’m supposed to be talking glowingly about the Packers, I just end up complaining about the Bears. Don’t worry. I’m getting help.

David Montgomery
David Montgomery
Chicago Bears · RB
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
2020 · 4-8-0

Speaking of Bears running backs, I hope nobody is blaming him for what happened on Sunday. David was awesome. A second-consecutive week with at least 26 fantasy points. The play-calling was pretty weak. But David should have won that game for the Bears. Had he been given the opportunity. He’s got another great matchup this week against the Houston Texans, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. A lot of it won’t matter because I’m dead inside. But there has been some encouraging signs by the Bears and the offensive line. And no matter who is calling the plays next season, there seems to be something to work with. Monty is close to being a low-key top 10 running back this season. And no, I don’t expect you to hit me up on social media to apologize. We’re cool.

Austin Ekeler
Austin Ekeler
Los Angeles Chargers · RB
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
2020 · 4-8-0

This isn’t a great matchup for Austin when you look at fantasy points against. The Falcons have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs over the past month. I’m not sure if that has something to do with Taysom Hill getting the bulk of the Saints rushing yardage in two of those games. But sometimes you need to look at the situation for these players. And yeah, if you were only playing matchups based on statistics, I would stay away from Austin. Especially in daily leagues. But there is no way I’m sitting Ekeler in traditional formats unless I have some rather compelling matchups.

Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
2020 · 5-7-0
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
2020 · 9-3-0

Let’s make sure we monitor D'Andre Swift at practice this week. That is going to be very important. And if you’re using the NFL Fantasy App, you’ll see my big ol’ mug at some point over the weekend talking about the Lions' running back situation. If Swift is good to go, I’m all in. If he’s out, I’m happy to switch to Adrian Peterson as I told app users over the weekend (sorry if you started Gio -- that was a good matchup!). The Packers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season. And it’s also why we don’t need to take the Packers seriously in the playoffs. Because the Rams are going to end up going up to Green Bay and running all over them. But look, you can read all about that in Unpopular Opinions. Well, whenever I start writing that again. In any event, make sure you’re starting a Lions running back this week. They are just a game out of the playoffs.

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts · RB
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 7-5-0

Well, well. It was a little bit of the Jonathan Taylor breakout game that we’ve been waiting for. Amazing guys like JT and Cam Akers are starting to come through for us even though there was some anxiety about it at one point this season. Taylor averaged seven yards per carry. His 39-yard touchdown reception (the longest of his career) was also his first. The Raiders have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.

Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon
Denver Broncos · RB
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
2020 · 4-8-0

I’ve been trying to cancel Gordon for a couple of weeks now, but he’s continued to play well, putting up another good stat line against the Chiefs. And I know this is going to disappoint a lot of you who enjoy fading my picks. Gordon finished Sunday as the RB14 with 15.2 fantasy points, thanks to 142 scrimmage yards. He’s had 15-plus fantasy points in two out the last three games. Love the matchup against the Panthers this week. Carolina is clearly not as bad as they were in the beginning of the season. However, this is still a plus matchup.

Sit 'em

Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders
Philadelphia Eagles · RB
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 10-2-0

The Eagles have lost Andre Dillard, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson on the offensive line this season. I don’t want to blame Sanders too much for this. But his fantasy points have decreased in each of the last three games. He’s had fewer than 10 fantasy points in those games. In fact, he’s hit 15 fantasy points only once in his last eight games. Now he’s got a game against the Saints, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points this season. I never thought I would be at a place in my life where I would be sitting Sanders when he’s healthy. But we are here. Hey, can you imagine if you picked Sanders and CEH at the end of the first round of your fantasy drafts? I’m sure that is looking great right now. (I have a team like that. It wasn’t.)

Le'Veon Bell
Le'Veon Bell
Kansas City Chiefs · RB
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
2020 · 8-4-0

Huge bummer for anybody who started CEH over the weekend (and I’m not trying to dump on the guy). Quick story. I’m playing for the top seed in my Second City League. And I was going up against a guy who started Helaire, even though I told him not to. But everyone is already skeptical of me anyway, so he didn’t listen. He also started Carson Wentz against my wishes (even recorded a fantasy story about it). But I’d stay away from the Chiefs backfield this week. In addition to the touches being in flux (I mean, CEH could see 30 this week), the Dolphins have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to the position over the last month. And again, sorry if you started Gio.

Zack Moss
Zack Moss
Buffalo Bills · RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 · 11-1-0

I went into last week starting Antonio Gibson against the Steelers. Sometimes you have to start your really good running backs in tough matchups. I’m not sure Moss makes that list. He’s like your friend you only call up to go out when just about everyone else is busy. You like the person. But there are just other people whose company you would prefer. And I know you’re going to think I’m a jerk for this and, you’re right. But you know that you do it, too. So don’t judge me. Moss also had a tough night on Monday, fumbling deep in his own territory. And then we kind of never really heard from him again.

Damien Harris
Damien Harris
New England Patriots · RB
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
2020 · 8-4-0

Harris still leads the Patriots backfield in snaps, which is excellent. But I hate this matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, who have been great against running backs this year. The Rams have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position this year, even though Kenyan Drake managed to score some points on Sunday. The only reason I’m shying away. Cam Newton still runs the football and is the defacto goal line back. Sony Michel is in the mix. I love Harris. Wish he could get a sizable workload. But it’s going to be risky. 

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