Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Back edition for Week 6 of the NFL season. In this column, we feature a backup running back in Minnesota looking to carry the load for an injured superstar.
* 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: David Montgomery at CAR
If you’re a David Montgomery owner, as I am, you know how infuriating things can get at times. For example, despite owning the league’s 10th-worst pass offense, Montgomery has received just 10 carries in each of the past two weeks. If that trend doesn’t change this week, us owners have a problem. No defense allows more points to the RB position than Carolina this year, who was most recently shredded by Todd Gurley to the tune of 25.0 points. The Panthers have also allowed a league-high 37 receptions to RBs. Montgomery is fresh off a season-high eight target, seven reception outing.
Alexander Mattison vs. ATL
With Dalvin Cook likely on the mend for this week, Mattison quickly goes from waiver-wire darling to must-start against the league’s second-worst ranked defense. The Falcons have allowed a staggering average of 26.0 points to opposing starting running backs over the past two weeks. They also allowed 18.5 points to Packers backup Jamaal Williams during that span as well. Simply put, there are points to be had for Mattison, who out-carried his perceived backup, Mike Boone 20-2 a week ago.
Myles Gaskin vs. NYJ
Gaskin’s biggest win from a week ago was not his 20.1 point output, which helped him finish the week as fantasy’s RB8. Instead, it was the fact that Jordan Howard, who had dominated goal line touches for Miami, was made a healthy scratch. Now, with a clear path to touches from goal line to goal line, Gaskin sets his sights on a Jets defense who allows the fifth-most points to opposing RBs. New York ceded 33.4 points to Cardinals RBs a week ago.
Ronald Jones vs. GB
Sorry Leonard Fournette owners (talking to myself in the mirror), the Buccaneers’ RB1 job belongs to Ronald Jones. He’s now touched the ball 15-plus times in all but one game this season and is fresh off his second consecutive 100-yard outing. Could he go for a third? While that may prove difficult against a defense who has yet to allow a 58-plus yard rusher this season, the Packers’ seven total touchdowns allowed to the position (T-3rd most in NFL) once again makes RoJo a rock-solid play.
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RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Darrell Henderson at SF
The Rams backfield may once again be heading for a shift at the top. Henderson has led Los Angeles RBs in snaps just once this season. Expect Cam Akers to continue to eat into his usage as well, as the rookie has averaged 5.55 ypc over his past two games. In terms of matchup, the 49ers allow the second-fewest point to RBs this year. No rusher has eclipsed 63 yards against the Niners this year, while only one has found the end zone on the ground.
Miles Sanders vs. BAL
Yes, Sanders racked up 23.9 points, two touchdowns and 80 yards rushing a week ago. However, eliminate his 74 yard touchdown scamper from the equation, and you have yourself a RB who averaged 0.6 ypc on the day. Baltimore’s defense allows just 3.7 ypc this season, the third-best mark in football.
Mark Ingram at PHI
Same matchup, opposite backfield. It’s become fairly evident that we can’t trust Ingram this year. However, his name still seems to supersede his production. Ingram has yet to carry the football more than 11 times, nor top 57 yards rushing in any game this season. The Eagles have held all but one rusher this season below 55 yards, while only one has logged more than 15 carries against them since Week 2.
Buyers Beware: Joe Mixon at IND
After a monstrous 151-yard outing the week prior, Mixon came back down to earth in Week 5, once again rushing for less than 70 yards, the fourth such occurrence for the Bengals RB this year. The Colts defense ranks as the best in football in yards surrendered and has held opposing RBs to the third-fewest points in the NFL.
With that said, another down game for Mixon may not be a bad thing for owners looking to swing a trade. In a recent Sling TV fantasy discussion I had with SI.com’s Michael Fabiano, the fantasy expert pegged Mixon as a player to target moving forward. A quick glimpse at his upcoming schedule and it’s easy to see why. Starting in Week 8, four of Mixon’s following six matchups are against defenses that rank within the bottom-half in terms of points surrendered to RBs.
- *Check out our other Week 6 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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