Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2020): Running Back Edition: Week 3: Mike Davis, Melvin Gordon, David Johnson & More


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 – David Montgomery (CHI) – at Atl

There was always the risk of a timeshare between Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, and while both are being utilized it’s been clear that Montgomery is going to get more opportunity:

  • Montgomery – 33 touches, 201 yards, 1 TD
  • Cohen – 15 touches, 74 yards, 0 TD

Interestingly Montgomery (6) has even been targeted more than Cohen (3). He’s coming off a 16 carry day and draws an Atlanta defense that’s given up 4 TD to opposing RB. He’s not more than a RB2, but he’s worth utilizing.

Sit – J.K. Dobbins (BAL) – vs. KC

A second round pick everyone wants to believe that Dobbins is going to be a big part of the offense, especially in what may be a shootout, but what makes us think the touches will be there? Over the first two weeks he has a total of 9 carries and 1 catch, including just 2 carries in Week 2 (Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards combined for 19 carries).

Eventually Dobbins could takeover the starting role, but that’s going to take time. There’s far too much downside to risk rolling the dice that he’s suddenly going to get a lot of looks.

Start – Melvin Gordon (DEN) – vs. TB

Philip Lindsay is out… Drew Lock is out… Courtland Sutton is out… There’s obviously a lot of questions about the Denver’s offense, but that should also mean ample opportunity for Gordon. He’s had at least 15 carries in each of the first two games, and he has 5 catches and 1 TD catching the football. It’s that type of dual threat that makes him a must start option, especially against a Tampa Bay defense that’s struggled:

  • Rushing – 120 yards and 3 TD
  • Receiving – 168 yards and 1 TD

Sit – David Johnson (HOU) – at Pittsburgh

We all know that Pittsburgh has been one of the best defenses in the league over the first two weeks, and that included stymying Saquan Barkley in Week 1. Considering that performance it’s hard to envision Johnson making a big impact against them this week, isn’t it?

While he made an impact in Week 1, Johnson has 11 carries for 34 yards in Week 2. He hasn’t had more than 11 carries in either game and, given the matchup, he’s nothing more than a desperation FLEX play.

Start – Mike Davis (CAR) – at Los Angeles Chargers

We learned in Week 2 that Davis can step into the passing game role left behind by the injured Christian McCaffrey, but we will also learn this week just how well he can run the football. Davis has been given just 1 carry in two games and the Chargers aren’t necessarily an easy matchup, but they’ve allowed 12 catches to opposing RB (tied for 7th most). That alone slots him in as a low-end RB2, but the upside is here for so much more.

There were reports in training camp of Davis emerging, so it will be interesting to see if he makes the most of this chance. While there’s risk given the uncertainty, the upside is too high to leave on your bench.

Sit – Malcolm Brown (LAR) – at Buffalo

Cam Akers is battling a rib injury, which would make you believe that Brown could be a good play this week. However there are two factors working against him:

  1. Brown is also banged up, as he had surgery on a broken pinky, though he appears ready to play
  2. Buffalo has allowed 133 rushing yards over two games, fifth fewest in the league

Darrell Henderson will also be in the backfield mix, making Brown impossible to trust.

Sources – ESPN,

Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


  1. Hey Prof.
    I need a little bit of help this week on WRs and Flex..

    2 RB: D. Henry, J. Jacobs (assuming healthy)

    2 WR: R. Woods, OBJ

    1 Flex: David Johnson, D. Montgomery, Mike Davis, & J. Kelley, M. Gallup, & Hollywood Brown

    As always, much thanks!

  2. Please Choose 2 WR, 1TE and 1 FLEX from Golladay, DJ Moore, Robert Woods, Ceedee Lamb, Hunter Henry and Jonu Smith? This is for PPR. Not sure if I trust Golliday yet.

  3. PPR James Connor or Melvin Gordon
    PPR start two-Thielen, Lockett, Diontae Johnson or Mike Evans

    PPR Josh Jacobs(questionable) or Melvin Gordon

    PPR Kupp, Slayton, Lamb or Allen Robinson

    PPR Jordan Reed or Evan Engram

    PPR Reed, Engram or Fant

    • PPR James Connor or Melvin Gordon — Gordon (assuming Lindsay is out)

      PPR start two-Thielen, Lockett, Diontae Johnson or Mike Evans — Evans/Thielen

      PPR Josh Jacobs(questionable) or Melvin Gordon — Jacobs (depending on the news)

      PPR Kupp, Slayton, Lamb or Allen Robinson — Robinson

      PPR Jordan Reed or Evan Engram — Engram

      PPR Reed, Engram or Fant — Fant

  4. Trade Conner for Mark Ingram and Thielen? 12 team ppr, my only other running backs are Jonathon taylor, Snell, Gaskin, Dion Lewis and chase Edmonds


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here