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:Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
Start of the Week
Mack has scored fewer than nine fantasy points in two of his last three games, but he should be in for a big stat line when the Dolphins come to town. Their defense has allowed nearly five yards per carry, nine total scores and the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs. Mack should put up top-10 totals among fantasy running backs this week.
Montgomery averaged fewer than three yards per carry last week, but he scored twice and ended up with a solid stat line for fantasy fans. I like him a ton this week, as he'll face a Lions defense that's been toothless against the run. In fact, their defense has allowed 13 touchdowns and the most fantasy points to opposing backs.
Assuming James Conner is unavailable again this week, Samuels needs to be in all starting lineups based on usage alone. He played 65.6 percent of the snaps last week, and his 21 touches paced all Steelers backs. So while the Rams have been somewhat tough on runners overall, Samuels will remain a viable RB1/RB2 this weekend.
Coleman put up a stinker last week against the Cardinals, but I'd stick with him in what is a plus matchup against the Seahawks. They've allowed a top-15 fantasy running back in five of their last six games, and Ronald Jones just scored 16.2 points against them in Week 9. Look for Coleman to see plenty of opportunities this week.
Singletary is emerging into a bigger part of the Bills offense, as he's out-snapped, out-touched and out-scored veteran Frank Gore over the last two weeks. That makes the rookie a viable flex starter in a road matchup against the Browns, who allowed Phillip Lindsay to score 15.2 fantasy points on just nine carries last week.
Start 'Em:Mark Ingram at Cincinnati Bengals, Derrick Henry vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sleepers:Ronald Jones vs. Arizona Cardinals, Jamaal Williams vs. Carolina Panthers
Sit of the Week
Mixon is coming off his best performance of the year (before Cincinnati's bye), so he's tough to sit with six team on a bye. As a result, take this as a word of warning ... the Ravens have allowed just 71.4 rushing yards per game to backs, and the position has averaged a mere 21.5 fantasy points per game against them in 2019.
I get it ... you have to play Freeman this week. However, I would temper expectations. The Saints haven't allowed a top-10 back this season, and only Ezekiel Elliott (RB17) has been better than 21st against them at home. Freeman is a great pass catcher, which is a big advantage, but he could be in for a bad time in the bayou.
Drake is coming off a monster game against the Niners, but reports have suggested that David Johnson will be back this week to face the Bucs. If he returns, that makes Drake a lot less appealing. What's more, Tampa Bay has allowed just 3.3 yards per rush and the second-fewest fantasy points to enemy running backs this season.
McCoy's matchup in Tennessee isn't terrible on paper, but his snaps and touches have been in the last two games. During that time, he's played just 24 percent of the offensive snaps and is behind Damien Williams in touches as well. If this is a trend that continues, McCoy is in for another significant stinker in the stat sheets this week.
Ballage is going to be picked up in a ton of league after news of Mark Walton's suspension, but he's not a great option this week. He'll face the Colts, who have allowed just 77 rushing yards a game and a combined five total touchdowns to enemy running backs. Unless you're desperate, Ballage should not be in fantasy lineups.
Sit 'Em:Tarik Cohen vs. Detroit Lions, Ty Johnson at Chicago Bears
Busts:Todd Gurley at Pittsburgh Steelers, Frank Gore at Cleveland Browns
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com 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!