Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR)
After missing back-to-back games Freeman returned in Week 13 but stumbled, with 64 total yards (51 rushing, 13 receiving). In fact, over the past four games that he’s played he has just one solid performance:
- vs. LAR – 9 touches for 25 yards
- vs. SEA – 21 touches for 102 yards
- at NO – 13 touches for 48 yards
- vs. NO – 21 touches for 64 yards
He hasn’t scored since October 13, but there’s a good chance that changes this week. The Panthers have allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing running backs over the past four weeks, including 8 TD (360 rushing yards and 4 TD over the past two). Freeman is going to carry the load and should be able to produce.
Sit – Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills (vs. BAL)
While Singletary should remain on FLEX radars, there are a few factors working against him this week:
- Frank Gore continues to play a fairly significant role in the offense
- The Ravens have allowed the seventh fewest points per week to opposing running backs (fifth fewest over the past four weeks)
He shouldn’t be ignored, but look towards your alternatives before settling on him.
Start – Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos (at HOU)
The Houston Texans have allowed the most points per week to opposing running backs over the past four weeks, and they’ve been burned by both those who can run and catch the football:
- Rushing – 472 yards & 2 TD
- Receiving – 198 yards & 4 TD
While Royce Freeman will share the load, Lindsay has at least 50 rushing yards in nine of his past ten games and has also racked up 31 receptions. Even in a timeshare, the matchup and production screams of a must start.
Sit – Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. IND)
The talk is that Jones was benched due to blocking issues, though he should remain the starter ahead of Peyton Barber. With your fantasy title hanging in the balance, is that really something you want to bet on?
Maybe in a favorable matchup we’d be willing to roll the dice, but the Colts have allowed the sixth fewest points per week to opposing running backs. In fact they’ve only allowed 6 total touchdowns and they’ve allowed 1,003 rushing yards.
Questionable Usage + Difficult Matchup? That’s not a formula for success.
Additional Running Backs to Start:
- Bo Scarbrough (DET at MIN) – The Vikings are generally seen as a difficult defense, but their strength has been keeping opposing running backs out of the end zone and not off the stat sheet completely (1,125 rushing yards allowed). Over the past four weeks they haven’t even done that, with 432 total yards and 4 TD allowed (3 rushing, 1 receiving). Scarbrough has assumed the lead back duties, with 14+ carries in three straight games and back-to-back weeks with at least 83 yards. With that workload, he’s a viable RB2/FLEX in all formats.
Additional Running Backs to Sit:
- Tevin Coleman (SF at NO) – After watching Raheem Mostert explode in Week 13, how could anyone be willing to trust Coleman? In fact this is a timeshare, regardless of who is healthy, and Coleman has 12 carries or fewer in six straight games. At best he’s a FLEX option, but even as that he’s far too risky.
- LeSean McCoy (KC vs. NE) – While the injuries have piled up in the Chiefs backfield, does anyone really think McCoy is a good gamble to take? The Patriots defense hasn’t been quite elite as of late, but they’ve still managed to keep running backs relatively quiet (222 rushing yards, 117 receiving yards, 1 TD over the past four weeks). Considering he’s failed to break a run of more than 9 yards over his past four games, he’s a TD dependent option taking on a team that hasn’t given up TD to opposing running backs.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 14 rankings: