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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 5: 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

Kenyan Drake
Kenyan Drake
Arizona Cardinals · RB
New York Jets
New York Jets
2020 · 0-4-0

People are fed up with Drake. I completely understand. He was a borderline first-rounder that you thought was going to be the next big thing. And then nothing. His output has been more frustrating than trying to purchase some new drops on the SNKRS app. And yet, I’m still here committed to it. I know we said last week was his best matchup. But this could work, too. He’s still received at least 18 touches in three of his four games. The Jets have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. We’re looking for that big three-touchdown breakout game like the Bengals RB1 had in Week 4. And it could happen. So I will be getting him into my lineup again this week. Just like I’ll be waiting to buy these new shoes I know I’m never going to get.

Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon
Denver Broncos · RB
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
2020 · 2-2-0

Gordon has had a strong start to the season, currently ranking as the RB15. I mean, you would have been better off taking Gordon in later rounds than firing in on Drake. And that’s a shot at me, too. Because I loved Drake. Gordon has scored at least 15 points in three of four games this year. He’s had at least 18 touches in three of four. Gordon is a pretty reliable option right now. The Patriots are still a formidable team. The Chiefs didn’t exactly run wild on them Monday night. But I’m comfortable enough to make sure Gordon is in my lineup this week.

Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt
Cleveland Browns · RB
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
2020 · 3-1-0

Hunt is likely to take over the starting role for the Cleveland Browns this week with Nick Chubb on IR. So, of course, he’s got a tough matchup not only this week, but next week as well (Steelers). I’m concerned, but not enough to keep me from starting him. Sometimes when your really good running back has a tough matchup, you have to live with it. Hunt has scored at least 12 fantasy points in every game this season. He’s had 19-plus fantasy points in two of the last three games. His ability as a receiver is why I’m going to make sure he’s in my lineup this week.

James Robinson
James Robinson
Jacksonville Jaguars · RB
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
2020 · 0-4-0

Robinson went over 100 scrimmage yards for the third consecutive week. But it could have been bigger. I mean, it was still good, but it seems like it could have been better. Kind of like seeing the Black Crowes in concert and they don’t play Remedy (speaking of a couple of other Robinsons). That’s a true story by the way, saw the Crowes at the Grove in Anaheim when that happened. But the point here is Robinson has been pretty consistent this season. The Texans have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.

Jerick McKinnon
Jerick McKinnon
San Francisco 49ers · RB
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
2020 · 1-3-0

McKinnon might be like a limited-release movie, so let’s take advantage while we can. Raheem Mostert could be back soon, but it’s hard to believe the 49ers won’t lean on him at least this week against the Dolphins, who have been very generous to opposing running backs. McKinnon had 14 of the Niners' 17 rushes last week. He was a huge factor in the passing game with eight targets. Look, it’s never going to be easy with 49ers running backs.

Sit 'em

Darrell Henderson
Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams · RB
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
2020 · 1-3-0

Sean McVay warned us during August that he wanted to model his ground game like the 49ers. Maybe the Patriots would be more accurate. Henderson was expected to have a monster game this week against the Giants. He played just 39% of the snaps, while Malcom Brown was out there 61% of the time. Henderson carried just eight times and probably the most disturbing thing was the lack of targets. He had one. Brown had six. This was kind of like the Rams' uniform design. It could have been so great, but it just missed. This was a huge miss. And this week, the FT has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.

Joshua Kelley
Joshua Kelley
Los Angeles Chargers · RB
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 2-2-0

A lot of you either have Kelley stashed on your bench. Or perhaps you were able to snag him on the waiver wire. For starters, you should know the Saints have allowed the ninth-fewest scrimmage yards to running backs this season. Kelley did play 58% of the snaps, compared to 38% for Justin Jackson. But – and I like Kelley a lot as a player – he’s struggled when given the opportunity. He had a golden spot against the Panthers two weeks ago and did nothing. He’s been putting the rock on the ground, like he did at the end of the first half. These are real concerns moving forward. I’m curious to see if it’s Justin Jackson who ends up getting the snaps for this offense.

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts · RB
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
2020 · 3-1-0

This one is tough because he did turn a corner on Roquan Smith, according to Philip Rivers on a hot mic I’m sure you’ve seen by now. And he’s looked great at times. But he’s played fewer than 50% of the snaps this season and his usage was puzzling to a lot of us watching on Sunday afternoon. He’s had just four receptions for 23 yards in his last three games combined. The Browns have also allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points per game this season, too. The Colts will always want to run the football. There is always that glimmer going on. I’m just urging you to use caution here.

Myles Gaskin
Myles Gaskin
Miami Dolphins · RB
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 2-2-0

We still like him over the long-haul of the season. He’s clearly established himself as the lead back of the offense. Which is great. But he hasn’t cracked 15 fantasy points in any game this season. He’s averaging 12.13 points per game this season. Which isn’t bad for a flex guy. But the 49ers have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. We are waiting for a breakout game, but it feels like this isn’t going to be it.

Mark Ingram
Mark Ingram
Baltimore Ravens · RB
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
2020 · 1-2-1

The Ravens love to run the football. They don’t love to have one featured back. Ingram rushed the ball eight times for 34 yards in Week 4 against the Football Team. He also added one reception for three yards. Yeah, it’s pretty sad when your guy scores a touchdown and still barely cracks double-digit fantasy points. Especially in PPR where the numbers are skewed. The Bengals have allowed 26.05 fantasy points per game this season. But when you have three dudes splitting time, it’s not a lot. It’s like having three guys share a small pizza. Everyone is going to leave hungry.

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