Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Back edition for Week 7 of the NFL season. In this column, we feature a player expected to man a heavy workload in the 49ers backfield with the absence of Raheem Mostert. Plus, a surefire RB1 is emerging out of Tampa Bay.
* 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 Johnson vs. GB
Prior to Bill O’Brien’s firing, David Johnson averaged 15 touches per game. Since the firing, Johnson has received 19-plus touches in back-to-back weeks and is fresh off a season-high 20 touches. D.J. has now totaled 92-plus yards from scrimmage or scored a touchdown in four consecutive weeks. The Packers allow the most fantasy points and rushing yards to opposing RBs this year. Over Green Bay’s past three games, starting RBs have averaged 127 total yards, and all found the end zone twice.
Ronald Jones at LV
Speaking of 100-yard rushers, RoJo has rallied off three consecutive 100-plus yard outings, firmly cementing his ownership of the Buccaneers’ backfield. More impressive than the yardage is the volume, as he’s averaged nearly 24 touches per game since Week 4. The Raiders allow the second-most points to RBs this year, including eight total touchdowns to the position over a five-game span.
Devin Singletary at NYJ
Singletary has now scored under double-digit points in three of his last five games. If he can’t put up points against the Jets, we might as well kiss goodbye to any production moving forward. New York allows the seventh-most points to the position this season, including six touchdowns since Week 2. Opposing starting RBs have averaged a hefty 22 touches per game against the Jets over the past three weeks.
Justin Jackson vs. JAC
Jackson surprised many in Week 5, surpassing Joshua Kelley in the pecking order at RB. Expect Jackson to continue to serve as L.A.’s RB1 in an inviting matchup against Jacksonville. Opposing lead running backs have averaged 135.7 total yards against the Jags since Week 4, with none totaling under 100 total yards during that span.
Sleeper: Boston Scott vs. NYG
The combination of Scott’s Week 1 dud as a starter and the Giants’ surprisingly stout defense likely has fantasy owners looking elsewhere in Week 7. With that said, there is hope in the Philly backfield. The Giants allowed 10 receptions to Washington RBs a week ago. With Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders out of the lineup, Scott could find himself serving as a security blanket to Carson Wentz on Thursday night.
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RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Damien Harris vs. SF
All the fantasy owners who held onto Harris throughout his early-season injury likely found the closest thing to a sound-proofed room (or a simple pillow would subside) to let out their anger after last Sunday’s stat line. Yet worse than Harris’ 4.30 point outing was the fact that he logged just 12 snaps on the evening. On top of all of that, the 49ers allow the second-fewest fantasy points to RBs this season, as no opposing back has found the endzone against the Niners since Week 1.
Jerick McKinnon at NE
Speaking of the Niners, Raheem Mostert is headed for IR, meaning Jet McKinnon is once again up to bat. Or at least, that would be the logical move. Yet, in typical 49ers fashion, they’ve seemingly found yet another new running back to give the ball to. McKinnon was out-carried by JaMycal Hasty in Week 6, nine-to-six. McKinnon has now attempted a mere seven carries over his past two games. Not to mention the fact that the Patriots allow the fourth-fewest points to the position, there’s also always the chance that Jeff Wilson comes out of nowhere to vulture two touchdowns away from McKinnon.
Le’Veon Bell at DEN
I would like to think the Bell is more than just another Leonard Fournette-type signing. His ability as a receiver should help carve out a role quite quickly in K.C. Yet, how substantial? We are best served to take a wait and see approach as fantasy owners to find that answer. Clyde Edwards-Helaire showed more than capable of carrying the load a week ago, while no defense has been more stout against fantasy RBs than the Broncos have this season.
Buyers Beware: Darrell Henderson vs. CHI
- *Check out our other Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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