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:
James White – New England Patriots (at CIN)
The Bengals represent a favorable matchup for the New England running game, including allowing the fourth most rushing yards over the past four weeks (455). That is going to put White on fantasy maps, but it’s not like he is guaranteed carries:
- at Philadelphia (11/17) – 5 carries for 20 yards
- vs. Dallas (11/24) – 2 carries for 5 yards
- at Houston (12/01) – 14 carries for 79 yards
- vs. Kansas City (12/08) – 6 carries for 33 yards
White is the pass catcher, and he’s had 13 catches over the past two weeks. The Bengals have actually been far less prone to pass catching running backs (20 catches for 155 yards over the past four weeks), and they’ve only allowed 3 receiving TD to opposing running backs all season.
Verdict – PPR FLEX option, and nothing more (Sit ‘Em for most)
Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers (vs. ATL)
It’s easy to say that Mostert has emerged as the leader of San Francisco’s backfield in recent weeks and he’s produced, but it’s not like he’s a true “lead back” in the traditional sense. He’s going to share the load, given the number of options the team has. Just look at the breakdown of carries from a week ago:
- Raheem Mostert – 10 carries for 69 yards & 1 TD
- Matt Breida – 6 carries for 54 yards
- Tevin Coleman – 3 carries for 6 yards
Both Breida and Coleman are going to get touches, and Mostert may not get more than 8-12 touches against the Falcons. It’s also not like the Falcons are an easy matchup to target and while Mostert could continue to make the most of limited opportunities, is it hard to envision a new hot hand emerging that they focus on?
Verdict – FLEX option (but highly risky Sit ‘Em for most)
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts (at NO)
Mack returned in Week 14 but wasn’t very impressive, taking 13 carries for 38 yards (2.8 YPC) and 1 TD against the Buccaneers. The matchup doesn’t get much easier this week, as the Saints have allowed the eighth fewest points per week to opposing running backs and just 5 rushing TD. Mack also doesn’t have the benefit of being a part of the passing game, as he’s been targeted 14 times all season.
While it’s nice to see him healthy, the matchup alone makes him tough to trust.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills (at PIT)
The Steelers are among the best defenses against opposing running backs this season, allowing the fifth fewest points per game. At the same time Singletary just faced the Baltimore Ravens (fourth fewest points per week), and they couldn’t slow him down:
- Rushing – 17 carries for 82 yards (5.2 YPC)
- Receiving – 6 catches for 29 yards
He’s clearly emerged as the lead back, and after proving he can produce even in a tough matchup it’s hard to say he isn’t a viable RB2.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (as a lower end RB2)
Bo Scarbrough – Detroit Lions (vs. TB)
Sure he’s the “leader” of the backfield, but he’s a TD dependent option that has now gone three straight games without finding the end zone. Then you get what is among the most difficult matchups for running backs in Tampa Bay:
- 763 rushing yards (fewest in the NFL)
- 5 rushing TD (tied for fifth fewest in the NFL)
Verdict – Sit ‘Em
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN