NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 6: 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

David Montgomery
Chicago Bears · RB
Carolina Panthers
2020 · 3-2-0

Quarterbacks have had a tough time against the Panthers defense this season. Running backs are a different story. Like when you and your buddy are playing blackjack and one of you is having the run of your life, and the other is dropping all of their money. I’m usually the other guy. But we are really starting to like what we are seeing out of David Montgomery. Most importantly, we like the targets. He’s had at least six targets in back-to-back games. And not just dump offs. They were designing pass plays for him. The pass that led to the winning score was a beautiful play that was set up for him to get downfield (with Allen Robinson running some interference). You really see the confidence growing in him. The Bears have had some injuries on the offensive line. But the Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Not surprising when you’ve given up nine touchdowns to running backs this year. Yes, that’s the most in the league.

Miles Sanders
Philadelphia Eagles · RB
Baltimore Ravens
2020 · 4-1-0

We took a risk with Miles Sanders last week against the Steelers, noting while the Steelers are tough against the run in general, they were prone to allowing one back to get his each week. Sanders did that with a season-high 23.09 fantasy points in that game. The Ravens are tough against the run, as you would figure. They have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. They have allowed only one touchdown run. But they have allowed the sixth-most receptions to running backs this year. You sometimes have to go with a guy in a tough matchup, hope he gets you around 14 points (which he’s done in back-to-back games) and hope you can make up for it in other spots. I will say though, if you have Aaron Jones, James Robinson and Mike Davis on your team, then yes, you can bench Sanders. Most of us don’t have that luxury.

Kareem Hunt
Cleveland Browns · RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 · 4-0-0

And Sanders is why we’re going to be riding with Kareem Hunt this week despite his own tough matchup against the Steelers. Hunt is currently the RB10, despite being in a timeshare for most of the season. He’s had at least 18 fantasy points in three of his last four games. And at least 12 fantasy points in every game this season. Did I mention he also has six total touchdowns, which is tied for third in the NFL. I mean, do I need to go on? I know it’s going to be tough to watch him earn those yards. It’s like watching a SAW movie. It’s torture, but you hope it pays off in the end. And it does, except for the time Luke Danes died in Episode V which was heartbreaking. Oh wait, SPOILER ALERT. But that movie came out years ago, you’re fine. And you should be fine with Hunt this week, too. 

Antonio Gibson
Washington Football Team · RB
New York Giants
2020 · 0-5-0

The Football Team’s offense looked miserable on Sunday. But perhaps we should give some credit to the Rams defense. And maybe, as cool as it was to see Alex Smith (and it was cool), this was his first action in a long time. Maybe we can forgive them a bit. Not Kyle Allen, you deserve our scorn. But I do have to give him some credit for getting Antonio Gibson some targets out of the backfield, which is significant. He caught five of five targets. He has also had at least 10 fantasy points in four consecutive games. He’s had a rushing touchdown in three of four. And the Giants have allowed six rushing touchdowns this year.

Myles Gaskin
Miami Dolphins · RB
New York Jets
2020 · 0-5-0

Myles Gaskin had 16 rushes against the 49ers, which was a nice surprise. He rushed for just 57 yards but he punched in a touchdown. Again, I’m looking at his five targets he turned into five receptions for 34 yards. And if you haven’t seen this guy play yet, look at the example below to get an idea of what he can do. Love this opportunity he’s got against the Jets. And as long as the Dolphins keep trusting him, I’m not going to hesitate to get him into the lineup when he’s got a great matchup. 

Sit 'em

Joe Mixon
Cincinnati Bengals · RB
Indianapolis Colts
2020 · 3-2-0

People were taking way too many victory laps when the Bengals RB1 had his breakthrough in Week 4. Because if you’re familiar with this guy’s history, you know that every time he makes you believe, it just gets taken away for you. He’s the friend who always promises you that he’s going to meet you for golf on Friday morning. And then never does. Then one week he shows up. And you make plans for it to be a weekly thing. And then you never see him again. And you don’t really care, because you never really liked him all that much anyway. And this also illustrates that point. Joe Mixon had 42.1 fantasy points. He’s scored 42.6 points combined in other games. Which would seem weird, but again, on brand for this guy. And this week, he’s got the Colts who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs. Expect a text Thursday night saying he’ll see you on the tee box the next day. But he won't be there.

Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams · RB
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 2-3-0

We had Darrell Henderson as a sit last week. For good reason. He had a tough matchup on paper. Malcolm Brown was getting more snaps and touches. Cam Akers was coming back. I mean, there were spots where he was a good start. My friend had to make a choice between Henderson and Mark Ingram (which is gross) and advised him to go with Henderson. But for most, it’s tough to trust one of these Rams running backs moving forward. Henderson is currently the RB26, even after going for 21.8 last week (he had 4.7 in Week 4). The 49ers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Unless you’re in a large league, or you’ve had some running backs injured or on a bye, it’s tough to start him. And I know there will be times when he does go off despite a tough matchup. It’s like button-mashing on Madden. Sure it works sometimes. But it’s not a long-term solution.

Mark Ingram
Baltimore Ravens · RB
Philadelphia Eagles
2020 · 1-3-1

The Ravens running backs have exasperated me. The Ravens love to run the football. We can’t trust any of their running backs. It’s what you’re good at. Imagine if you were a famous donut shop. And nobody liked your donuts and only wanted your coffee. That would be pretty crazy, right? Ingram is currently the RB52. He’s had less than 10 touches per game on average and no single Ravens RB has had more than 11 rush attempts in a single game or rushed for more than 73 yards. And here’s the thing that you need to know. Ingram has played in 31 percent of the snaps, compared to 39 percent for Gus Edwards and 29 percent for J.K. Dobbins.

Rex Burkhead
New England Patriots · RB
Denver Broncos
2020 · 1-3-0

Let’s just say this is for the Patriots running backs in general. But Burky played 35 percent of the snaps in Week 4. James White dominated with 54 percent in that game. With Damien Harris getting 30 percent. Denver has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season and has allowed only one touchdown to running backs. Which is the fewest in the NFL.

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