Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Back edition for Week 14 of the NFL season. In this column, we highlight what looks to be a new feature back in Los Angeles. Plus, the position’s highest scorer from last week looks to keep his hot streak going.
* 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: Aaron Jones at DET
For the second consecutive week, our Start of the Week faces off with the Lions. Considering David Montgomery led all RBs in fantasy points with 27.10 against Detroit a week ago, we don’t see a reason not to continue to ride this train. Jones is an obvious start, although he’s scored just two TDs since returning to the Packers’ lineup in Week 9. We may see glimpses of Aaron Jones Circa 2019 this week, where he tied for the NFL-lead in TDs. Over the last four weeks, the Lions have allowed a league-high nine total TDs to RBs.
David Montgomery vs. HOU
As we touched on above, Montgomery dominated last week, scoring more rushing TDs against the Lions (2) than he had in every other game this season (1). He’s now averaged 18.1 touches per game over his last six contests, while averaging 127 yards from scrimmage over his last two games. In 12 games this year, 10 RBs have totaled 98-plus yards against the Texans.
Jonathan Taylor at LV
Taylor has averaged 19.0 ppg over his last two contests, averaging 21 touches over that span. This, after he saw nine or fewer touches in the two games prior. He’s clearly reestablished himself as the lead dog in Indy’s backfield. The Raiders were gashed by Ty Johnson to the tune of 104 yards just last week. Nyheim Hines is also worth a play, as Las Vegas has allowed 15 red-zone targets to RBs this year, tied for third-most in the NFL.
Sleeper: Jamaal Williams at DET
Williams has played at least 46% of the team’s offensive snaps in all but one game since returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list in Week 10. He’s also just two games removed from handling 17 touches. We’ve already hit on how poor the Lions have been in terms of defending the running game this season. That statement carries over to their ability to contain the position through the air, as they allow a league-high seven TD receptions to RBs to go along with 582 receiving yards (3rd-most in NFL). Williams has been targeted four-plus times on five separate occasions this season.
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RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Raheem Mostert vs. WAS
Mostert looks to have found himself in a timeshare alongside Jeff Wilson, as the team’s “starting RB” has out-touched the latter by just six total touches over the past two weeks. Wilson also led the team in rushing a week ago, despite manning two fewer carries. Washington held all Pittsburgh RBs to a total of 16 rushing yards in Week 13. They’ve also allowed just one rushing TD to the position since Week 5.
Devin Singletary vs. PIT
Singletary has topped 11.0 points in back-to-back weeks. He also outsnapped fellow RB Zack Moss 62-11 this past Monday after the rookie coughed up the ball inside the team’s own five-yard line. However, Moss had outsnapped Singletary in the previous four games leading up to last week. The Steelers also offer a horrendous matchup, as they allow the second-fewest points to RBs this year, while their seven rushing TDs surrendered are tied for the seventh-fewest in NFL. Not great news considering Singletary has just one rushing TD all year.
Buyers Beware: Melvin Gordon at CAR
It’s been a rollercoaster ride this season if you’re a Melvin Gordon owner. The 2x-Pro Bowler has scored 15.20-plus points in two of his last three games. He’s also scored 4.6 points or fewer in three of his last five games. Eliminate a Week 10 performance by Ronald Jones which included a 98-yard TD run, and Carolina has held all but one RB below 62 rushing yards while surrendering just one rushing TD over that span.
Risk vs. Reward: Cam Akers vs. NE
Akers has a shoulder injury that must be monitored, as, despite his placement on this column, he has potential league-winner written all over him due to his two matchups following this week (NYJ, SEA). However, in terms of this Thursday, the Patriots have held opposing leading rushers to fewer than 44 ypg over the past five weeks. As we noted in our Wk. 14 RB Rankings, the slight glimmer of hope here is that all five RBs to have received at least 14 carries against the Patriots since the team’s Week 5 bye have averaged 91.6 ypg and totaled seven TDs. Akers is, of course, fresh off a career-high 21 carries.