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 – Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers at WAS
The Washington Redskins have allowed at least 100 total yards to opposing running backs each week, though things have been ever worse over the past three weeks:
- Week 4 (at NYG) – 163 yards and 2 TD
- Week 5 (vs. NE) – 237 yards and 2 TD
- Week 6 (at MIA) – 152 yards and 1 TD
Considering Saquan Barkley was injured for the Week 4 matchup it’s not like they were facing dynamic runners. That alone puts all of San Francisco’s deep running back corps on radars, though Coleman gets the nod having averaged 17 carries in two games since returning from injury and scoring a TD in both of them.
Sit – David Montgomery – Chicago Bears vs. NO
A tough matchup with the Saints is going to knock any back down a little bit, but Montgomery’s struggles only add fuel to the fire. Only once this season has he averaged more than 3.4 yards/carry and it’s been particularly bad the past two games:
- vs. MIN – 21 carries for 53 yards (2.5 YPC)
- vs. OAK – 11 carries for 25 yards (2.3 YPC) & 1 TD
The likely return of Mitch Trubisky may help open up the defense. Having failed to break a run of more than 7 yards in these two games and not yet topping 67 rushing yards in a game, he’s going to be hard to trust regardless. He’s not completely unusable, but he’s far better as a desperation RB2/FLEX.
Start – Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders vs. GB
The key for Jacobs will be Oakland staying with Green Bay, and not falling behind early and needing to go pass heavy to try and keep up. Considering the slew of injuries the Packers have to their receiving corps, that likely won’t be an issue.
Jacobs is coming off his best game as a professional, turning 26 carries into 123 yards and 2 TD. There’s no threat to his workload in terms of other running backs and he’s averaged at least 4.4 YPC in four straight games (overall he has averaged 4.9 YPC with 430 yards). He’s even started to make an impact in the passing game, with 5 receptions for 49 yards over the past two weeks.
The Packers have allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing running backs, including 644 yards and 7 TD (4.9 YPC) on the ground (as well as 280 yards and 1 TD through the air). Get him fired up in all formats.
Sit – Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins vs. SF
It is easy to get excited after Peterson turned in his best performance of the season (23 carries for 118 yards), as well as the notion that under their new coaching staff Washington will be a more run-centric offense. However the 49ers have been the toughest team against opposing running backs, holding them down in all areas:
- Rushing – 346 yards
- Receiving – 121 yards
With no TD allowed to opposing running backs, Peterson becomes more of a desperation play strictly due to the matchup.
Other running backs to start
- Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans vs. LAC) – The Titans are going to be changing to Ryan Tannehill at QB, and that alone should put the focus on Henry and the running game to carry the load. While he struggled last week (15 carries for 28 yards) he has 416 yards and 4 TD overall, plus the Chargers have allowed 4.6 YPC and are coming off a day where they allowed 208 total yards and 2 TD to opposing RB.
- Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals vs. JAX) – It’s been a disappointing season for Mixon, who is averaging 3.4 YPC on 74 carries. He’s also coming off an abysmal showing against the Ravens, taking 8 carries for 10 yards. The Jaguars have allowed the seventh most points per game against opposing running backs, however, making this an ideal bounce back spot and creating a RB2.
Other running backs to sit
- Kenyan Drake (Miami Dolphins at BUF) – Does anyone want to trust someone in Miami’s offense? As it is we’ve seen Mark Walton leapfrog Kalen Ballage on the depth chart, and it’s very easy to see him rising further and start to get more and more touches. Drake himself hasn’t gotten more than 12 carries in a game while averaging a meager 3.7 YPC. Throw in 0 TD and there’s far more risk than reward.
- Jamaal Williams (Green Bay Packers vs. OAK) – The Raiders have been surprisingly strong against opposing running backs this season and while Williams is coming off a monster day, do you really believe that he’s locked in atop the depth chart? Aaron Jones will at least share the workload, and easily could be the leader once again.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: