Fantasy Football Week 11 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Running backs

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Editor's note: Welcome to Week 11! We're handling Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em column a bit differently this season. You're still getting the same in-depth analysis as always, we're just presenting a bit differently, in an effort to get it out to you earlier in the day. This column takes a long time to write, and in the past, we've usually gotten it out to you in the evening. This year, we're going to publish it position-by-position, to get it into your hands quicker. Here's Jamey's take on running backs for this week.

Don't worry: If you want the classic Start 'Em & Sit 'Em, we'll still be publishing that at the end of the day with every position included. For now, here's running back.

Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg. Projected points are for PPR leagues.

Running backs

Start 'Em
12.2 projected points
Kerryon Johnson Detroit Lions RB
Johnson had an impressive game in Week 10 at Chicago. He had multiple touchdowns for the first time in his career, and he became the first running back to score on the ground vs. the Bears . His final stat line was 14 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown, along with six catches for 38 yards and a touchdown on six targets (he has 19 targets in his past three games). He has now scored at least 14 PPR points in three of his past four games, and he should have another good outing against Carolina this week. The Panthers have faced six running backs who had at least 14 touches against them this season, and all of them had either 95 total yards or a touchdown, including James Conner in Week 10. Johnson has at least 14 touches in five games in a row.
9.0 projected points
Alex Collins Baltimore Ravens RB
Collins scored in each of his past two games before Baltimore's bye in Week 10, and he has a good chance to find the end zone again this week against Cincinnati. Since Week 6, a span of just four games, the Bengals have allowed a whopping nine touchdowns to running backs, including six on the ground. Now, four guys who beat up Cincinnati over that span include Conner, Kareem Hunt , Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram , but Peyton Barber also had 19 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 8. In their first meeting in Week 2, Collins had nine carries for 35 yards, as well as three catches for 55 yards, while Javorius Allen had a rushing touchdown. A similar situation could easily happen again, and we might see Ty Montgomery make his Baltimore debut. But I'm trusting Collins as a No. 2 running back this week at home.
12.8 projected points
Tevin Coleman Atlanta Falcons RB
Coleman had a rough outing in Week 10 at Cleveland with just eight PPR points, but he came into that game with at least 10 PPR points in three games in a row. He should rebound this week against Dallas at home, and Coleman is averaging 12.6 PPR points in five games in Atlanta. Dallas is without standout linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) this week, and that's been bad for the Cowboys' run defense. Lee has missed nine games due to injury over the past two seasons, and six times a running back has scored at least 11 PPR points over that span. I expect Coleman to be in that range this week, especially at home, and he's a solid No. 2 running back in all formats. Ito Smith will take away some production, but Coleman has 32 total touches in the past two weeks, making him a safe Fantasy option in Week 11.
12.2 projected points
Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints RB
Ingram has been up and down in the five games he's played this season since coming back from his four-game suspension. He has three games with either 90 total yards or a touchdown and two games with fewer than 45 total yards and no scores. His best game was in Week 10 at Cincinnati with 13 carries for 104 yards, as well as three catches for 58 yards and a touchdown on three targets, and I'm expecting him to build off that performance. The Eagles run defense is tough, but in two of the past four games, it has struggled against Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott . Kamara and Ingram should give Philadelphia problems at home, and I'm sticking with Ingram again this week.
11.3 projected points
Dion Lewis Tennessee Titans RB
There were two sides to Lewis' performance in Week 10 against New England. His production wasn't good with just eight PPR points, which snapped his two-game streak with at least 21 points. But his touches were still impressive with 20 carries for 57 yards, as well as two catches for 11 yards on two targets. He continues to be the lead back in Tennessee ahead of Derrick Henry , and Lewis has three games in a row with at least 19 total touches. This week, against the Colts , Lewis should have the chance to get back on track with his production. Indianapolis is one of three teams with at least 70 receptions allowed to running backs this season, and six running backs have scored at least 10 PPR points against the Colts this year with just their receiving totals alone, including two last week with Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon. Lewis should be a star in the passing game.

Sleepers

  • Doug Martin and Jalen Richard (at ARI): Martin has played well since taking over for the injured Marshawn Lynch (groin) in Week 8. In three games against Indianapolis, San Francisco and the Chargers, he's averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and he has two games with at least 89 total yards. He's yet to score a touchdown, but he can be a good flex option this week against the Cardinals, who allow the third-most Fantasy points to running backs this year. Richard is also worth using in PPR since he has at least 10 PPR points in four of his past five games.
  • Theo Riddick (vs. CAR): He's almost more of a receiver than a running back these days. In two games since Golden Tate was traded to Philadelphia, Riddick has 13 catches for 96 yards on 15 targets, and he's scored at least 10 PPR points in each game over that span against Minnesota and Chicago, without getting a carry. With Marvin Jones (knee) hurt, Riddick could see an uptick in targets. He's a flex option in all leagues this week, especially in PPR.
  • Peyton Barber (at NYG): Barber only has two games this season with double digits in PPR points, and he's risky to trust as anything more than a flex option. But he has a tremendous matchup against the Giants this week. In two games without defensive tackle Damon Harrison, the Giants have allowed Adrian Peterson and Matt Breida to each gain more than 130 total yards and score two touchdowns each. Barber is unlikely to reach that ceiling, but he does have the potential for a solid floor. And hopefully he can find the end zone for just the third time this year.
  • Mike Davis (vs. GB): Even with Chris Carson (hip) expected to return this week after missing Week 10 and the emergence of Rashaad Penny, I still like Davis in PPR. He has 14 targets for 11 catches, 67 yards and a touchdown in his past two games, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points with his receiving totals alone in each outing. His carries will likely be limited because of Carson and Penny, but if Seattle is chasing points against Green Bay, then look for Davis to be heavily involved in the passing game.
  • Derrick Henry (at IND): While Lewis has done a nice job as the lead back for the Titans, Henry has done a nice job finding the end zone in recent weeks. In his past three games, Henry has scored four touchdowns on just 29 carries for 118 yards, and he's even managed four receptions over that span. He's risky to trust since he's touchdown dependent, but he's worth using as a flex option this week given his recent production.
Sit 'Em
10.8 projected points
Jordan Howard Chicago Bears RB
Howard's run of recent success came to an end in Week 10 against Detroit, and it will be hard to trust him in a tough matchup against Minnesota this week. After scoring four touchdowns in his previous three games prior to facing the Lions, Howard was held to 11 carries for 21 yards and one catch for 11 yards last week. The Vikings have allowed just two running backs to score on the ground this season (David Johnson in Week 6 and Kamara in Week 8), and Howard's production will likely be limited if he doesn't find the end zone. Only once in his past four games has Howard had more than 50 total yards. I like Tarik Cohen this week as a No. 2 running back in all formats, but Howard is someone I would try to avoid.
11.6 projected points
Lamar Miller Houston Texans RB
The last time we saw Miller in Week 9 at Denver, he had fewer touches than Alfred Blue, which is troubling. Miller had 12 carries for 21 yards, along with two catches for 27 yards on two targets, while Blue had 15 carries for 39 yards. Hopefully, that's not a sign of things to come, and Miller has a tough matchup in Week 11 at Washington. In recent weeks, Washington has limited the production for guys like Kamara (39 total yards and no touchdowns) in Week 5, Christian McCaffrey (66 total yards and no touchdowns) in Week 6 and Elliott (42 total yards and no touchdowns) in Week 7. Barkley had 15 carries for 33 yards against Washington in Week 8, but he added nine catches for 73 yards. I wouldn't expect Miller to do that, and he's more of a flex option this week. It could be a tough day for him if Blue continues to cut into his workload.
4.9 projected points
Rashaad Penny Seattle Seahawks RB
Make sure Carson is going to play this week, and if he does, then I would bench Penny against the Packers. He'll be sharing touches with Carson and Davis, and it could be tough for him to build off his performance from Week 10 at the Rams when he had 12 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown. It will likely be ugly for all three running backs, making them flex options, although I like Davis the best in PPR, followed by Carson and then Penny. And in non-PPR leagues, I have it ranked Carson, Davis and then Penny. I'm still hopeful Penny will make an impact down the stretch, but he's not worth starting in Week 11.
7.7 projected points
Austin Ekeler Los Angeles Chargers RB
Ekeler continues to trend in the wrong direction, and he had a season-low three touches in Week 10 at Oakland. He now has four games in a row with seven touches or less in the games where Melvin Gordon was healthy – Ekeler had 17 total touches for 68 total yards in Week 7 against Tennessee when Gordon was out – and this has become a lopsided backfield in Gordon's favor. Ekeler also has become a non-factor in the passing game with two catches in his past four outings with Gordon healthy. Unless you own Gordon and are keeping Ekeler as a handcuff, he's a potential drop candidate in most formats and certainly not worth starting in Week 11.

Bust alert

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Adrian Peterson WAS • RB • 26
Week 11 projection10.0 Fantasy points

The offensive line injuries in Washington have become a problem for Peterson, and he struggled in a plus matchup against Tampa Bay in Week 10. He had 19 carries for 68 yards, along with two catches for 1 yard against the Buccaneers, but it wasn't easy. Washington is without guards Brandon Scherff (shoulder) and Shaun Lauvao (knee) for the season, and left tackle Trent Williams (thumb) is still out. It will be tough for Peterson to have success against Houston, and the Texans have allowed just three rushing touchdowns to running backs this year. In his past six games, Peterson has scored double digits in PPR just twice, and he's a low-end starting option at best in Week 11.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 11? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top five this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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