How many running backs are truly must-start Fantasy options heading into the playoffs? In Tuesday's edition of the Fantasy Football Today Newsletter, Chris Towers named Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara, Austin Ekeler, Nick Chubb and James Robinson as the only backs you can't sit under any circumstances, assuming health, and you may be able to squeeze David Montgomery on that list, too. Beyond those 10, pretty much everyone is taken on a week-to-week basis. Some guys would be must-start players in a different offense or with a more assured role, and a few may be able to establish themselves with a big Week 14.
Chances are, you've got at least one of lineup spot to make a decision for in this pivotal matchup. Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em column for running back can help you make the right call.
More Week 14 help: Start 'Em & Hit 'Em | Starts & Sits, Sleepers & Busts | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: RB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: WR | Waiver Wire Priorities | Trade Values | QB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Week 13 Winners | Losers | Believe It Or Not
IND Indianapolis • #28
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Taylor is hot right now, and that should continue this week against the Raiders, who have allowed a running back to score in three games in a row, including five total touchdowns over that span. In his past two games against Green Bay and Houston, Taylor has at least 16 total touches, 114 total yards, three targets and three catches, and he scored a touchdown against the Texans in Week 13. This is the guy we've been waiting for all season.
Ronald Jones RB
TB Tampa Bay • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Bruce Arians plans to commit to Jones, although we've heard that before -- many times. But this seems like a logical time to lean on Jones with Tampa Bay coming off a bye against the Vikings, who have allowed three total touchdowns to running backs and two guys to gain at least 110 total yards in their past three games. Jones has scored at least 16 PPR points in two of his past three outings, and he should have the chance for a big game here at home.
ATL Atlanta • #25
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I expected Gallman to struggle in Week 13 at Seattle with Colt McCoy under center, but I was wrong. Gallman was awesome with the best rushing performance of his career, gaining 135 yards on 16 carries. I didn't like that he didn't have a catch or that Alfred Morris stole two touchdowns, but it's hard to argue with what Gallman has done as the replacement for Devonta Freeman (ankle). He comes into Week 14 with six games in a row with at least 12 PPR points, including six touchdowns over that span. He should stay hot against the Cardinals, who have allowed five rushing touchdowns in their past three games.
WAS Washington • #41
Age: 28 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I likely would have listed McKissic as a sleeper given his matchup with the 49ers if Antonio Gibson (toe) was healthy. But with Gibson likely out, McKissic should be treated as a starter in all PPR leagues and a flex in non-PPR formats. He comes into Week 14 with at least 10 targets and seven catches in three of his past five games. I don't expect Washington to lean on Peyton Barber this week, and McKissic again has the chance for double digits in targets, with an uptick in carries as well. There have been six running backs with at least five targets against the 49ers this year, and all six had at least seven PPR points with just their receiving totals alone. That gives McKissic the chance for a nice floor if his targets remain constant.
Cam Akers RB
LAR L.A. Rams • #23
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
We'll put Akers here because he has the chance to be a flex option this week against the Patriots. Akers has scored in three games in a row, and he was finally the lead back for the Rams in Week 13 at Arizona, playing 63 percent of the snaps compared to 22 percent for Darrell Henderson and 16 percent for Malcolm Brown. Hopefully, Akers can get at least 14 carries against New England, and he had 21 carries in Week 13. There have been eight running backs with at least 14 carries against the Patriots, and all of them have at least 80 total yards this year.
TB Tampa Bay • #25
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
It will take a high level of trust to use Bernard this week since he's been terrible in his past four games, but the matchup is great against the Cowboys. Part of the problem for Bernard has been the offense with Joe Burrow (knee) getting hurt in Week 11, and he's faced some tough matchups over that stretch against Pittsburgh, Washington, the Giants and Miami. He's been at 14 total touches or less in each game over that span, and he's scored eight PPR points or less in each outing. But here come the Cowboys. Dallas has allowed a 100-yard rusher in three games in a row against Dalvin Cook, Antonio Gibson and Gus Edwards, and there have been five rushing touchdowns scored over that span. Bernard is a low-end starter this week.
DET Detroit • #30
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
No team allows more Fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Lions, including 23 total touchdowns to the position. That's great news for Aaron Jones, but Williams could also be considered a flex option in this matchup. He had eight carries for 63 yards in Week 2 against Detroit in tandem with Jones, and six times this season a pair of running backs against the Lions has scored at least eight PPR points, including each of the past two games against Houston and Chicago.
ARI Arizona • #2
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Edmonds, who played at Fordham, loves going back to the New York area. Last year against the Giants, Edmonds went off for 27 carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns, along with two catches for 24 yards. And this year against the Jets in Week 5, Edmonds had three carries for 36 yards and a touchdown, along with five catches for 56 yards on six targets. The Giants are tied for second in receptions allowed to running backs with 74, which bodes well for Kenyan Drake and Edmonds, and Edmonds should be considered a flex play in PPR.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #28
Age: 29 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Booker got the start for the Raiders in Week 13 at the Jets with Josh Jacobs (ankle) out, and he failed to impress with 16 carries for 50 yards, along with one catch for 1 yard on two targets. It was great that he had 17 total touches, and he will likely have that workload again, which makes him a flex play in most leagues. But I'm not excited about Booker taking on a Colts team that has been tough to run on all season when healthy.
PHI Philadelphia • #26
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I'm extremely hopeful that Jalen Hurts taking over for Carson Wentz at quarterback for the Eagles will be good for Sanders, but it's hard to trust him this week against the Saints. New Orleans has now gone 50 games in a row in the regular season without allowing a 100-yard rusher, and the Saints lead the NFL in fewest touchdowns allowed to running backs with three rushing and five total. Sanders has combined for 16 PPR points in his past three games and has just 18 total touches in his past two outings. He also hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 5.
NE New England • #37
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The good news for Harris is the Rams have allowed a running back to score in five games in a row. The bad news for Harris is he only has two rushing touchdowns on the season, and Cam Newton is always a threat to steal rushing scores. The Rams also haven't allowed a running back to gain more than 48 yards on the ground since Week 6, and Harris is limited in the passing game with just four catches on five targets for the season. Harris is a flex option in non-PPR leagues and someone to avoid in PPR.
Zack Moss RB
BUF Buffalo • #20
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
I'd like to avoid Moss and Devin Singletary if possible, but Moss is an easy guy to bench this week. He fumbled an exchange with Josh Allen in Week 13 at San Francisco and was limited to three carries for 9 yards, along with one catch for 5 yards. Singletary, who has scored 11 PPR points in consecutive games, likely won't fare much better than Moss this week against the Steelers, who are No. 3 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this year. Even with Steelers linebacker Robert Spillane (knee) out, I still wouldn't trust Moss this week in most leagues.
SF San Francisco • #31
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
I still plan on starting Mostert as a low-end No. 2 running back in non-PPR leagues and a flex option in PPR this week, but I'm concerned about his performance. The Washington run defense is stout, and the Football Team hasn't allowed a running back to score on the ground in four games in a row. In fact, Washington has allowed just one rushing touchdown to a running back since Week 5. And in Week 13 against Buffalo, Mostert played less snaps than Jeff Wilson, along with Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon getting touches. I'm still hopeful Mostert can be the lead running back for the 49ers, but it's hard to start him with confidence this week.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 14 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.