Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em running back edition for Week 14 of the NFL season. In this column, we focus on a player pushing for additional playing time behind one of the league’s most run-focused offenses in all of football.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Christian McCaffrey will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of that caliber check out our weekly fantasy football running back rankings.
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RB: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: James White vs. KC
James White racked up an eye-popping 37+ fantasy points a week ago. Most importantly, he carried the ball a season-high 14 times. He’s clearly the 1B to Julian Edelman in the passing game and may be in the midst of surpassing the underwhelming Sony Michel atop the run game hierarchy. The Chiefs allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season, including an absurd average of 82-receiving yards to the position over their last five games.
Devonta Freeman vs. CAR
Freeman returned from a two-game absence on Thanksgiving day and quickly reasserted himself as the lone viable fantasy option in the Atlanta backfield. Freeman carried the ball 13 more times than the next closest Falcons running back in Week 13. No team in football allows more fantasy points to running backs this season than the Carolina Panthers. The team is fresh off of allowing not one, but two 99+ yard rushers.
Kareem Hunt vs. CIN
Since returning from suspension, Hunt ranks as the 11th-highest scoring running back in football, just one spot behind his teammate Nick Chubb. Freddie Kitchens has done a lot wrong in his first season at the helm of the Browns, however, his ability to incorporate both his top-tier talents at RB within his offense is not one of them. Hunt has now caught five-plus passes in all but one game this season. The Bengals allow the fifth-most fantasy points to the running back position this year, including two 100+ total yard performances over their last four games.
Derrius Guice at GB
The lack of volume for Guice is worrisome, but the matchup is too good to pass up. Guice has yet to carry the ball more than 10 times in a game this season. In fact, Adrian Peterson out-touched the former LSU Tiger in the run game a week ago. However, it’s evidently clear who the most talented player in the ‘Skins backfield is at the moment. The Packers allow the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs, as well as an average of nearly a touchdown per game to the position over the last five weeks.
Sleeper: Benny Snell at ARI
Snell’s startability is reliant on the whereabouts of James Conner. As of now, Conner is still “highly questionable” according to Mike Tomlin. If Conner can’t go, it will be Snell once again in the Pittsburgh backfield. The rookie has averaged nearly 20 touches per game in Conner’s absence. Running backs to touch the ball at least 18 times against the Cardinals since Week 2 average an impressive 22.5 fantasy points.
RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Jonathan Williams at TB
The Colts running back touched the ball eight times in the first half of last week’s game, only to not log a single-touch in the second-half. The coaching staff claimed “It was kind of a little bit of a hot hand” scenario behind Williams being passed up for Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins for the final two quarters. Apparently, rushing for back-to-back 100-yard performances isn’t enough to garner you the title of having the hot hand. Steer clear of this mess on Sunday. Only the Patriots have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing RBs than the Buccaneers have this season.
Tevin Coleman & Raheem Mostert at NO
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the musical chairs of running backs. Raheem Mostert took Matt Breida’s job, then Tevin Coleman took Mostert’s job, only for Coleman to be supplanted by Mostert once again. For all we know, Breida will end up leading the way in Week 14, as he’s expected to return from injury. The Saints allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points to RBs, including just one rushing TD since Week 9.
Ronald Jones vs. IND
The usage of Ronald Jones will always be a mystery. The second-year man was benched for a missed blitz pickup a week ago. He’s also now averaged 3.9 yards per carry or fewer in nine games this season. The Colts have allowed just two rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs since their Week 6 bye.
Buyers Beware: Rashaad Penny at LAR
Penny has looked like the best Seahawks playmaker not named Russell Wilson over the past two weeks. His explosion and vision have increased tenfold since his rookie season. With that said, Chris Carson still owns majority rights to the Seattle backfield. The Rams also happen to have held all but one RB below 67 rushing yards since Week 5.
- *Check out our other Week 14 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
- Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]
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