Connect with us


Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 3: Fantasy RBs



There’s no doubt in any fantasy owner’s mind that they might just live and die each week by the production of their running backs. And nowadays that’s translated into having solid starters who not only get a lot of touches, but actually get into the endzone. If they catch too, even better.
However, fear not because we’re here with expert analysis on which running backs present the most favorable matchups, and who’s not only going to put up yards, but also score touchdowns. You may be lucky enough to have some big names, but matchups are key. Here are the backs you should start, and those you should sit this week.

Sit ‘Em: Miles Sanders vs. Cowboys (8:15 p.m. ET Monday, ESPN)

Position Rank: 17
Last Week’s Points: 6.9
This Week’s Point Projections: 9.4
While Miles Sanders has shown himself to be an explosive player, the Eagles are yet to commit to him as their solution at RB, especially since they brought in Kerryon Johnson and drafted another in Gainwell. However, Sanders fits into this high-powered offense, and assuming Hurts continues to throw more, Sanders’ value will steadily increase, especially against bad defenses. The matchup against the Cowboys isn’t an advised starting opportunity, however.

Start ‘Em: Ty’Son Williams vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 20
Last Week’s Points: 11.3
This Week’s Point Projections: 16.2
There’s no question that the running back situation in Baltimore has been catastrophic. Now they’ve been forced to bring in Williams and Latavius Murray, and the situation is even more unpredictable than anyone thought. However, a RB is necessary and on the Ravens’ offense, they’re going to be productive no matter what. We know Williams will be the go-to, and he should get a better chance to shine against the Lions this week.

Sit ‘Em: Kareem Hunt vs. Bears (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 21
Last Week’s Points: 6.3
This Week’s Point Projections: 10.2
Kareem Hunt is forced to split time with Nick Chubb, which is not a bad thing for the Browns, but for fantasy owners, it makes you skeptical of his true output. Hunt is productive in Chubb’s shadow, but he’ll need to make more out of his appearances on a weekly basis. His opponent being the Bears this week presents more receiving opportunities than rushing. Give him a rest.

Start ‘Em: Mike Davis vs. Giants (1p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 30
Last Week’s Points: 13.3
This Week’s Point Projections: 16.7
Mike Davis has been brought in from Carolina to take over starting duties, and as we saw already, Atlanta’s offense is kind of a mess. With new OC Arthur Smith, Davis could be a sleeper that excels to an RB2 role, or he’ll be pushed to a flex option if you have depth at RB. However, this week’s matchup against a wea Giants defense is one of his best all season, and he should absolutely start.

Sit ‘Em: Antonio Gibson vs. Bills (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 12
Last Week’s Points: 9.3
This Week’s Point Projections: 8.5
After receiving a total of 33 total carries (!!!) in college, Antonio Gibson was one of the craziest RB stories of all of 2020. However, while a ceiling isn’t solidified, his expectations are back down to earth, but Gibson will be even more important with Fitzpatrick out. While he’s getting touches and the main focal point out of the backfield, the Football Team rushing attack just hasn’t gotten what it’s needed from the offensive line early on in the season.

Start ‘Em: Jonathan Taylor vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 9
Last Week’s Points: 6.3
This Week’s Point Projections: 12.5
Jonathan Taylor sits in the typical conundrum of today’s NFL where teams often have more RBs than they know how to use. Well, Taylor separated himself from Mack and Hines a year ago, but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the picture. He’s a solid option no doubt, but we can’t expect for all his matchups to be easy. We have a good feeling he’ll be the main one relied upon against a tough Titans D.

Start ‘Em: Saquon Barkley vs. Falcons (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 16
Last Week’s Points: 8.9
This Week’s Point Projections: 12.7
Barkley’s biggest problem continues to be remaining healthy, and the Giants need him to so that they can have reliability for Daniel Jones to lean back on. He’s only played in 17 games in his career so far, and in the first weeks of the season, we barely saw anything to be excited about. However, if Barkley’s going to have a breakout game, against the Falcons would be the time to do it. Week 3 is when he should get going.

Sit ‘Em: Aaron Jones vs. 49ers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)

Position Rank: 6
Last Week’s Points: 2.2
This Week’s Point Projections: 11.3
After Aaron Jones found himself back in Green Bay rather than somewhere where he could shine as an offensive superstar, it was initially tough to acknowledge he’ll put up as many points as he’s capable of.But after bleak first week, Jones bounced back in a massive way, notching a whopping 4 TDs against the Lions in week 2. But against a formidable San Francisco defense, we wouldn’t test our luck.

Sit ‘Em: Damien Harris vs. Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 13
Last Week’s Points: 13.4
This Week’s Point Projections: 10.7
Damien Harris is taking up the majority of duties behind rookie QB Mac Jones, but his output’s ceiling is still in question. New England doesn’t have the most explosive offense, but in an honest one that won’t abandon the run, he’s bound to get touches, just not necessarily big yardage or touchdowns. We’d recommend sitting him for now, just because the splits with James White make it hard to score unless you’re playing PPR.

Start ‘Em: Najee Harris vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 7
Last Week’s Points: 19.1
This Week’s Point Projections: 15.9
Najee Harris is likely going to fly under the radar in casual fantasy leagues, but his presence in Pittsburgh should not be understated. He’s got a fantastic ability to keep defenses on their toes, and that with a QB like Roethlisberger who will likely be dumping it off to him often. He’s a great RB2, and he acclimated into his role nicely last week. Start him for sure against Cincy.

Sit ‘Em: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Chargers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)

Position Rank: 19
Last Week’s Points: 2.6
This Week’s Point Projections: 9.7
As with many Chiefs players, the biggest risk in starting them week after week is that you never truly know what you’re going to get from the action-packed Andy Reid offense. Edwards-Helaire could be amazing if he was guaranteed touches, rushing or receiving, but no expert will tell you that’s a sure thing. While he suffered a crushing fumble that lost the Chiefs game, it’s hard to believe he’ll be the only reason they bounce back in week 3.

Start ‘Em: D’Andre Swift vs. Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 18
Last Week’s Points: ?
This Week’s Point Projections: 14.5
There’s no questioning D’Andre Swift’s electric talent, and Detroit knows they have a superstar in their backfield who can do it all. But with the team he plays for come limitations in fantasy capabilities. At the end of the day, big plays and TDs score points. Swift will be dynamic, sure, and he should be the center of production for a struggling Lions team against the dynamic Ravens.

Sit ‘Em: James Robinson vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 28
Last Week’s Points: 9.4
This Week’s Point Projections: 7.8
With the injury to Travis Etienne that will see him miss the season, James Robinson will now be the sole weapon out of the backfield for the Jaguars. He’ll be valuable in a system that will see Trevor Lawrence relying on the run game no matter what. However, Jacksonville is a work in progress. Patience, especially against a strong Cardinals D-line.

Sit ‘Em: Joe Mixon vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 8
Last Week’s Points: 8.1
This Week’s Point Projections: 9.9
Despite what you’ve been told, Joe Mixon has top-5 potential in this league, and he’s only been stifled by subpar offenses in Cincinnati considering he gets some of the most touches of all RBs in the NFL. With Burrow and Mixon back healthy, the two could combine to become a more forceful team than everyone’s expecting. While he started off strong, the difficult nature of the Steelers defense makes him a hard matchup to lean on this week.

Sit ‘Em: Darrell Henderson vs. Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 26
Last Week’s Points: 17.2
This Week’s Point Projections: 14.4
Henderson will be the beneficiary of Cam Akers’ unfortunate season-ending injury, but the Rams don’t have much to fear considering Henderson was very productive a year ago when he took over as well. But with Stafford throwing a lot more, he’s forced to be productive on the plays he actually gets the ball, and after his injury, his status is really in question. We’d sit him this week.

Sit ‘Em: Myles Gaskin vs. Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 23
Last Week’s Points: 8.6
This Week’s Point Projections: 10.1
Gaskin will assume the number one back in Miami this year, and with him being a good pass catcher first, and runner second, you can assume he’ll have a dynamic role that will probably pay off more in PPR formats, but he’s expected to score. Gaskin didn’t do enough in the first couple of weeks, so it’s hard to be confident in starting him against a viable Raiders side.

Start ‘Em: David Montgomery vs. Browns (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 15
Last Week’s Points: 10.9
This Week’s Point Projections: 13.8
After the monster season Montgomery put up a season ago, fantasy players were shocked by his output on such an iffy offense. However, with Cohen back and teams now having film on Montgomery, his week-to-week production is going to be up in the air until Chicago figures out the offense. But Montgomery is a solid option against the Browns, and should definitely start.

Sit ‘Em: Chris Carson vs. Vikings (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 11
Last Week’s Points: 15.1
This Week’s Point Projections: 8.6
Chris Carson starts at running back for one of the most explosive offenses in the league with Seattle, and he’s an integral part of it. Carson hasn’t played a full season in the NFL yet, but his running style and pure grit is what makes him such a valuable asset to owners everywhere. However, one of the strongest parts of Minnesota’s defense is the line, and they’re known to stifle runners. Don’t start Carson if you don’t play PPR.

Sit ‘Em: Josh Jacobs vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 25
Last Week’s Points: N/A
This Week’s Point Projections: 15.8
Josh Jacobs was left shaking his head after his sole ownership of the starting running back position came into jeopardy when the Raiders signed Kenyon Drake. But Jacobs is still the star runner, and his receiving abilities make him a dual threat despite sharing time. The matchup against an unproven Dolphins team presents a high ceiling, but with his injury concerns, it may be better to sit Jacobs against Miami.

Start ‘Em: Austin Ekeler vs. Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 14
Last Week’s Points: 22.5
This Week’s Point Projections: 18.1
Austin Ekeler will undoubtedly always be a player starting on someone’s fantasy team in your league on a weekly basis, because he’s just that good. He’s consistently productive when he’s healthy, but in high profile matchups like this one against Kansas City, he does even better. The Chiefs have proved to be vulnerable, so expect the Chargers to utilize Ekeler everywhere.

Sit ‘Em: Ronald Jones vs. Rams (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 34
Last Week’s Points: 4.6
This Week’s Point Projections: 6.9
Ronald Jones is a talented back, without question, but his role in a crowded Tampa Bay offense is effectively questionable every week. You never know whether he or Fournette will produce steady points, if any at all on some occasions. Jones could become the feature back he was a few years ago, but for now his inconsistency makes him worth sitting. He’s just not getting enough touches.

Sit ‘Em: Chase Edmonds vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 24
Last Week’s Points: 12.5
This Week’s Point Projections: 8.8
Chase Edmonds is the guy in Arizona, and with the flair the Cardinals’ offense has, he’s bound to have a few weeks that really make him a back worth starting, especially out in the NFC West. Edmonds is a solid back, but with so many weapons on offense, it’s tough to see him receive starting production by fantasy standards. We’d think he’d crush against Jacksonville, but this game may be so far out of reach, we don’t get the production we’re expecting.

Start ‘Em: Nick Chubb vs. Bears (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 4
Last Week’s Points: 16.8
This Week’s Point Projections: 17.4
There’s no doubt about it – from a purely athletic perspective, Chubb is the best running back in the league. His power, balance, and vision are some of the best, and he has the stats to back it up. He’s not getting the receptions he needs to increase his value, which sounds crazy to say for arguably the league’s most consistent running back. Expect him to play another huge role against the Bears.

Start ‘Em: Ezekiel Elliott vs. Eagles (8:20 p.m. ET Monday, ESPN)

Position Rank: 10
Last Week’s Points: 17.7
This Week’s Point Projections: 14.4
It was clear a season ago that Elliott’s production factored on whether or not QB Dak Prescott was in the lineup, because he was much more efficient when Prescott was taking snaps. He’s always been a top tier RB option, but some weeks tend to be more Zeke-influenced than others. He should have a nice chip on his shoulder in this week’s divisional matchup against the Eagles.

Sit ‘Em: Alvin Kamara vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 5
Last Week’s Points: 7.0
This Week’s Point Projections: 10.2
Fantasy owners shouldn’t recoil at the idea of playing Kamara just with the thought that he may have a different season with Jameis at QB. He’s still one of the quickest and most dynamic backs in the league, and is surely one of, if not the most electric playmaker the Saints have. Kamara is a point producer, but he’s struggled in the beginning of this season to score for fantasy owners.

Start ‘Em: Derrick Henry vs. Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Position Rank: 3
Last Week’s Points: 47.7
This Week’s Point Projections: 21.3
Derrick Henry has hit an all-time stride for the Titans, and he doesn’t really show any signs of stopping. His yards and touchdowns have only increased, his workload is more productive, and he’s an absolute physical machine that defense barely can wrap up. He’s one of the best RBs we’ve seen in some time, and he proved it again with an absolutely monster performance in week 2. The Colts could be in for a steamrolling.

Start ‘Em: Dalvin Cook vs. Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Position Rank: 2
Last Week’s Points: 16.8
This Week’s Point Projections: 14.8
Dalvin Cook is a traditional RB in an old school offense, and really no other player at his position gets the touches he does, or performs with the efficiency he does when healthy. Of course, Cook’s health is a concern, but his insane stats and talent land him at the top of the rankings. The Chef will always provide gains when he’s in the kitchen. His matchup against the Seahawks is difficult, but this man nearly always provides.

Start ‘Em: Christian McCaffrey vs. Texans (8:20 p.m. ET Thursday, NFL Network)

Position Rank: 1
Last Week’s Points: 24.7
This Week’s Point Projections: 22.6
Christian McCaffrey stands alone at the top of this list mostly because of his dual threat nature, and no one else has been more effective catching the ball out of the backfield than him. He produces ridiculous numbers every season when he’s healthy, and he’s basically the engine behind the entire Panthers offense. You have to start him each and every week, especially against a team like the Texans.