Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Back edition for Week 11 of the NFL season. In this column, we feature a budding playmaker making waves in Miami, while a former Dolphin emerges in Los Angeles.
* 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.
Follow the Heavy on Fantasy Facebook page for all the latest rankings, updates, & insight!
RB: Start ‘Em
Salvon Ahmed at DEN
Arguably the highest-prioritized player on the waiver wire this week, the UDFA played 44 of 58 snaps last Sunday, touching the ball 22 times. Over the last four weeks, the Broncos have surrendered the second-most points to RBs, thanks in large part to allowing 21 red zone touches to the position over that span (5th-most in NFL). Ahmed touched the ball three times inside the 10-yard line a week ago.
Damien Harris at HOU
Harris has not only cemented himself as the leading rusher in New England’s backfield, but he’s arguably become the focal point of the Patriots’ offense. Breaking 100 yards rushing in Week 10, the former Alabama standout has averaged 98 rushing yards on 17.3 carries over his last three games. The Texans allow 250 rushing yards more to RBs than any other team in the NFL.
Kalen Ballage vs. NYJ
Ballage has been a punchline for most of his NFL career. However, a newfound opportunity in Los Angeles has begun to highlight the skillset that made him once so appealing coming out of Arizona State. Over the last two weeks, Ballage has played ahead of rookie Joshua Kelley, averaging 20 touches and 93 total yards per game. Ballage will face off with his former team in Week 11, a Jets defense that allows the seventh-most points to RBs. They’ve also surrendered 56 receptions to the position (6th-most in NFL). Ballage is fresh off a six target, five reception performance.
Mike Davis vs. DET
At his peak, Davis was the second-highest scoring RB in fantasy, behind only Alvin Kamara. However, he’s since fallen out of fantasy grace, failing to score more than 8.7 points in four consecutive games. You could look at Teddy Bridgewater’s injury as a positive or a negative when it comes to Davis’ ceiling. However, you can’t deny that Detroit allowing 11.18 ppg more than any other defense to the position over the last four weeks is certainly appealing to his playability.
Sleeper: Gus Edwards vs. TEN
The Ravens’ use of their RBs has been aggravating from a fantasy perspective, to say the least. Mark Ingram’s return to the lineup last week led to Edwards seeing his snaps and touches take a dip. With that said, he has 5.44-plus ypc in two of his last three games and has scored a rushing TD in three of his last four. The Titans have allowed 28 red zone touches to RBs over the last four weeks (most in NFL).
For More Fantasy Content Follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.
RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Darrell Henderson at TB
If you moved off of Henderson during his early-season breakout, paint yourself lucky. The Rams’ “starting RB” has averaged just 8.12 points over 5 of his last six games. He’s also failed to register more than eight rushing attempts in back-to-back games. Cam Akers led the team in attempts a week ago, while Malcolm Brown continues to vulture TDs. The Buccaneers allow a league-low 76.6 rushing ypg this season.
Ronald Jones vs. LAR
Speaking of moving off a RB, if you can find a buyer for RoJo after his 192-yard performance a week ago, I would likely jump on it. Yes, Jones carried the ball 23 times a week ago. However, he had totaled just 10 carries over the two weeks prior. He will be a boom or bust play in most weeks. This week, we’re leaning more towards bust. The Rams allow the sixth-fewest ypc (3.9) and the fourth-fewest points to the position. Certainly not great news considering Jones had averaged just 2.97 ypc over his last three games prior to last week.
Jamaal Williams at IND
Williams still managed 11 touches in his return to the lineup, operating behind starter Aaron Jones. However, he was only able to muster up 8.50 points. That output shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as he’s failed to hit 9.0 points in all but one game that he and Jones were both active. Indy allows the third-fewest rushing ypg in the NFL and fourth-fewest rushing TDs to the position.
Buyers Beware: Todd Gurley at NO
Gurley has gotten by this season by finding the endzone. In fact, his nine rushing TDs are second to only Dalvin Cook among all RBs. However, he’s averaged just 11.2 ppg over three of his last four games. The Saints haven’t allowed a rushing TD to the position since Week 4, holding all but one RB below 34 rushing yards over that span.