Fantasy Football Week 11 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Running backs
With some of the biggest names at the position on bye in Week 11, you'll need replacements with upside. Jamey Eisenberg gives you his start and sit calls for the position here.
I'm always a fan of players getting the chance to return to their hometown, and Devin Singletary grew up in South Florida. He went to American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., and he attended Florida Atlantic University.
This should be fun for him in his first NFL game back home. I'm expecting him to put on a show in Miami as my Start of the Week.
Singletary was great in Week 9 against Washington with 20 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, as well as three catches for 45 yards on four targets. But instead of building on that in Week 10 at Cleveland, Singletary only had eight carries for 42 yards, along with three catches for 8 yards on seven targets.
The play-calling against the Browns has been questioned in Buffalo, and I expect the run game to be featured here against the Dolphins. It makes sense to give Singletary 15-plus touches in this matchup, especially since he's averaging 6.4 yards per carry and 7.4 yards per catch. He's No. 1 in the NFL in yards per attempt of running backs with at least 40 carries this year.
This matchup against Miami won't be easy since the Dolphins have played better of late in wins against the Jets and Colts. But Le'Veon Bell had 111 total yards in Week 9, while Marlon Mack had 82 total yards, and the Dolphins are still No. 5 in Fantasy points allowed to running backs for the season.
Frank Gore will again be a speed bump in slowing down Singletary a little bit, but the Bills should give him all the touches he can handle to avoid losing for a third time in the past four games. Singletary has the chance to be a star if the Bills give him work, especially in his return home.
SF San Francisco • #26
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Coleman has struggled for the past two games against Arizona and Seattle with a combined 16 PPR points over that span, but I'm sticking with him this week. Matt Breida (ankle) could be out, which will hopefully give Coleman a few more touches. And I like that he has eight targets in his past two outings, which could be useful if Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and George Kittle (knee) are out. In the Cardinals' past three road games at the Giants, Saints and Buccaneers, they have allowed five total touchdowns to running backs, so hopefully Coleman can find the end zone here. Raheem Mostert would be a sleeper and worth using as a flex if Breida is out.
Brian Hill RB
ATL Atlanta • #23
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
It's always fun when you can add someone off the waiver wire and put them right into your starting lineup, and that's the case with Hill this week. With Devonta Freeman (foot) out, Hill has the chance to be a top 15 running back in all leagues. After Freeman was hurt in Week 10 at New Orleans, Hill stepped in with 20 carries for 61 yards, along with one catch for 10 yards and a touchdown. He should have the chance for a heavy workload against the Panthers, who allow the third-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs. In their past five games, the Panthers have allowed 13 total touchdowns to opposing running backs, which is crazy and bodes well for Hill.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Ekeler's workload has declined with Melvin Gordon's return in Week 5, and Ekeler is averaging just 11.2 total touches per game in his past six outings. Despite that, he's still scored at least 11 PPR points in three of his past four games, and he's worth using as a No. 2 running back in PPR, as well as at least a flex option in non-PPR leagues. The Chiefs allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs, so there's a chance for Gordon and Ekeler to have a big outing here. And Kansas City is tied for ninth in receptions to running backs with 54. In their past five games, the Chiefs have allowed 28 catches for 358 yards and five touchdowns to running backs, and Ekeler had five carries for 39 yards, as well as five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against Kansas City in one meeting last year.
KC Kansas City • #26
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
I'm hopeful that his fumble in Week 10 at Tennessee doesn't come back to haunt him because he looked good in a featured role for the Chiefs. With LeSean McCoy a healthy scratch, Williams had 19 carries for 77 yards, as well as five catches for 32 yards on five targets. He's scored at least 13 PPR points in consecutive games, and he should do well again in Week 11 against the Chargers – if he's not punished. He beat up the Chargers last year with 10 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns, along with six catches for 74 yards. And the Chargers come into this game having allowed a running back to score in six games in a row.
Joe Mixon RB
CIN Cincinnati • #28
Age: 23 • Experience: 4 yrs.
It's been a bad season for the Bengals, but let's give Mixon some credit. He's playing hard, and he just had his best game to date in Week 10 against Baltimore with 151 total yards. He's yet to score on the ground this year, but he does have three receiving touchdowns. And his role in the passing game continues to grow with six catches on seven targets in his past two outings. That could get even better this week with Giovani Bernard (knee) hurt, and the Raiders have allowed a running back to score in five games in a row, including five receiving touchdowns over that span.
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
We'll see if Ty Johnson (concussion) is able to play this week, but McKissic should continue to see more work for the Lions. He just had a career-high 10 carries in Week 10 at Chicago, and he has 12 catches in his past three games on 14 targets. It also helps his case in PPR that the Cowboys are fourth in the NFL in receptions allowed to running backs.
Kenyan Drake RB
ARI Arizona • #41
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I like Drake better than David Johnson this week, and hopefully the Cardinals give him a heavy workload. The last time he faced the 49ers in Week 9 with Johnson and Chase Edmonds out, Drake went off for 162 total yards and a touchdown. Johnson looks off, and the Cardinals should lean on Drake as much as possible. He's worth trusting as at least a flex this week, especially in PPR, since he has 10 catches on 11 targets in two games with Arizona.
James White RB
NE New England • #28
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
White should continue to be a must-start option in PPR, and he's worth using as a flex in non-PPR leagues. He has either a touchdown or 75 total yards in back-to-back games, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points in every game this season. The Eagles have allowed 15 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown to running backs in their past three games.
MIA Miami • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Ballage got 24 total touches (20 carries and four catches) at Indianapolis in Week 10, but he managed 43 rushing yards and 2 receiving yards, which shows you that sometimes volume isn't the answer for someone's Fantasy value. That said, he should get a heavy workload again in Week 11 against the Bills, especially if the Dolphins are competitive in this matchup. And the Bills have allowed a running back to score or gain 100 total yards in six games in a row, including when Ballage scored against the Bills in Week 7 when he was third on the depth chart behind Drake and Mark Walton.
Nyheim Hines RB
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Jordan Wilkins (ankle) could be out for the Colts, which would help Hines get a few additional touches in tandem with Marlon Mack. And he does have at least four catches in three of his past six games, so he's worth a look as a flex play in PPR. The last time he played Jacksonville in 2018 he had nine catches for 50 yards, and the Jaguars have allowed 21 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown to running backs in their past five games.
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
There's no way you can trust Johnson this week after his performance in Week 10 at Tampa Bay. He had five carries for 2 yards, along with one catch for 8 yards on one target, and he lost a fumble. He was benched down the stretch of that game in favor of Drake, and Drake could be the lead running back this week against the 49ers. Maybe Johnson still isn't 100 percent after dealing with multiple injuries of late, and the Cardinals have a bye in Week 12 if they want him to get more rest. At best, Johnson is a flex play in all formats.
Sony Michel RB
NE New England • #26
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I expected Michel to struggle the last time we saw him in Week 9 at Baltimore, and he finished with four carries for 18 yards and one catch for 12 yards on two targets. He continues to have minimal production whenever Rex Burkhead is active. In the three games Burkhead missed this year, Michel averaged 18.7 PPR points per game, but he's at 6.0 PPR points per game when Burkhead is playing. This is a tough matchup against the Eagles this week, who have allowed six touchdowns to running backs on the year, but only Ezekiel Elliott in Week 7 has rushed for more than 63 yards against this defense, including matchups with Freeman, Aaron Jones, Le'Veon Bell, Dalvin Cook and David Montgomery.
DEN Denver • #28
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Freeman had a rough game in his last outing against the Browns in Week 9 with five carries for 15 yards, along with one catch for minus-1 yard on one target. The six total touches were his fewest of the season, and hopefully that changes this week against the Vikings. But this is a tough matchup against Minnesota since the Vikings allow the fifth-fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs. No running back has scored on the ground in Minnesota, including matchups with Devonta Freeman, Josh Jacobs, Howard and Adrian Peterson. You're still starting Phillip Lindsay in all leagues, but Freeman is easier to bench in a tough matchup.
NO New Orleans • #28
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
I don't want to use the Falcons game in Week 10 as a basis of what to expect from Murray moving forward, but that was disappointing to see him get just seven total touches with Alvin Kamara back. We'll see if the Saints give him more work against Tampa Bay, but so far we've seen him at 11 touches or less in every game with Kamara this year. It doesn't help that the Buccaneers are tough against the run and allow the fewest Fantasy points to opposing running back. I would only use Murray as a flex option in deeper leagues this week.
Carlos Hyde RB
HOU Houston • #23
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Hyde was excellent in Week 9 at Jacksonville with 19 carries for 160 yards, and he's been a workhorse for the Texans with at least 19 total touches in four of his past five games. But the problem is that he has just one catch over that span, and he only has three touchdowns on the season. If he doesn't score, his Fantasy production can be minimal, especially in PPR, and this is a tough matchup against the Ravens. Duke Johnson is better than Hyde in PPR this week, and I would only use Hyde as a flex in non-PPR leagues in this matchup.
WAS Washington • #26
Age: 35 • Experience: 13 yrs.
Peterson could be good this week if Washington continues to give him a heavy workload, and he has at least 81 total yards in all four games under interim head coach Bill Callahan. But with Derrius Guice coming back this week, we don't know how the touches will be shared. And the Jets have actually been good against the run of late in keeping Jacksonville, Miami and the Giants out of the end zone, as well as limiting Saquon Barkely to 13 carries for 1 yard in Week 10. Peterson hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2, and he only has eight catches on the season. I'm fine with using him as a flex in non-PPR leagues, but he could be a letdown if Guice takes over this backfield in Week 11.
So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 11 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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