One of the key components to fantasy football success is making the correct lineup decisions. Here to help you make those decisions are our positional start ’em and sit ’em picks.
Fantasy decisions will only get more difficult from here on out, so let’s take a look at our Week 7 start/sit plays for the RB position.
Which RBs Should You Start in Fantasy This Week?
D’Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears (vs. LV)
Initially, this was Roschon Johnson or D’Onta Foreman. At this point, we know Johnson is still in the concussion protocol and will not get cleared in time for Sunday’s game. The primary concern with Johnson is getting healthy. The fact that he hasn’t yet cleared the protocol is very concerning. I hope he ends up OK.
From a football standpoint, that means it will be D’Onta Foreman once again. Foreman played 61% of the snaps last week, carrying the ball 15 times for a respectable 65 yards.
While Foreman only caught one pass for two yards, the move from Justin Fields to Tyson Bagent will add possible pass attempts, as Bagent won’t run as much as Fields.
The matchup is ideal against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that has been a cure-all for struggling running backs. The plodding AJ Dillon got going against the Raiders, and last week, they made both Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott look serviceable. The Raiders allowed all three of them to score. Start Foreman this week.
Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns (at IND)
I am not sure what the general consensus is on Jerome Ford. There isn’t much discourse surrounding him like other running backs. Are fantasy managers happy with him? Do they view him as a clear weekly starter? I really don’t know.
What I do know is they absolutely should. Ford is averaging a very respectable 13.1 fantasy points per game. He is the RB19 on the season (by points per game) among backs with at least three games played.
The Browns get the Indianapolis Colts this week. The Colts are allowing 23.7 PPG to running backs, the 10th-most in the league. While this is largely due to the fact that they’ve allowed seven rushing touchdowns, this is still a nice spot for Ford.
Even though the Browns are on the road, the Colts are starting Gardner Minshew, who has been prone to turning the ball over. As a result, this game should stay competitive, allowing the Browns to stick to the run game. Kareem Hunt was more involved last week, but make no mistake about it, Ford remains the lead back. He is an excellent RB2 this week.
Which RBs Should You Sit in Fantasy This Week?
Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens (vs. DET)
I am just about ready to throw in the towel on the Baltimore Ravens’ backfield. The only thing we know for sure is it’s a two-man show between Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. How much will each play, and who will serve what role? Your guess is as good as mine.
Over the past three games, Edwards’ snap shares have been 69%, 43%, and 62% vs. 12%, 56%, and 38% for Hill. They’ve flip-flopped roles in three straight games.
MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings
Edwards is seeing more carries, but Hill has caught all seven of his targets over the past two weeks.
Edwards profiles more as the goal line back, but it’s Hill who has the lone touchdown from short yardage over that span.
All of this is to say it’s a guessing game between two uninspiring options. And this week, they get a Lions defense that is elite against the run.
The Lions allow the fewest PPG to running backs by a margin of 1.9 PPG. They are allowing 3.1 YPC and have surrendered just two rushing touchdowns all season to the position. Dan Campbell’s defense has also completely shut down running backs in the passing game. Just 8.6% of their total receiving yards allowed have gone to running backs.
Edwards and Hill are unlikely to get anything going on the ground this week and are bad bets to score. Both belong on fantasy benches.
Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots (vs. BUF)
This one is another example of you probably thinking to yourself, “Who is starting Ezekiel Elliott?” Well, have you seen the options this week?
Elliott’s opportunities by week: 14, 5, 17, 9, 12, 8. That’s not terrible. He is coming off 49 yards and a touchdown last week. I promise some fantasy managers would love that in their RB2 slot this week.
Unfortunately, the situation couldn’t be worse. The Buffalo Bills are coming off a win, but it sure felt like a loss with how they played. The New England Patriots offense looks like the worst in football. If they are going to move the ball on the ground, it will be Rhamondre Stevenson who gets it done. Do not chase last week’s points with Zeke.
Trending Searches for RB Start/Sit
Did you know that we have a Start/Sit Optimizer here at Pro Football Network?! It’s completely free to use, allowing you to enter up to six players to find the best option to plug into your starting lineup!
It also allows us to see the most popular trending searches, which we’ve jotted some of them down here to help provide some clarity on!
Should You Start Jerome Ford or Jonathan Taylor?
Every week, Jonathan Taylor’s role continues to grow. He played 15% of the snaps in his first game back. That jumped to 42% last week. And it really would’ve been higher, but with the Colts trailing late, Zack Moss was in the game for all of the passing downs.
This should be the week Taylor flips the timeshare in his favor. Unfortunately, it’s a really tough spot against a Browns defense allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. The Browns allow just 3.6 ypc and 66 rushing yards per game.
On the other hand, the Colts are quite generous to running backs. They’re allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to the position.
The Start/Sit Optimizer has this firmly in favor of Taylor. I think it’s much closer than that. In fact, the two are back-to-back in my rankings, with Ford just barely ahead. You can’t go wrong here, but I lean toward Ford until we actually see it with JT.
Should You Start Ezekiel Elliott or Jaylen Warren?
Somehow, Elliott is actually a viable RB3 this week. OK, to be fair, we know how. It’s the convergence of bye weeks and injuries.
Zeke totaled 49 yards and a touchdown last week, giving him a nice fantasy day. However, he played just 38% of the snaps and handled only eight touches. And that was with Rhamondre Stevenson missing a chunk of the game due to an ankle issue.
Jaylen Warren is still not playing as much as we’d like, but he’s been producing reasonably well. He’s averaging over four receptions per game and has carry counts of eight, eight, and nine in his last three games.
The Bills have actually been a more favorable matchup for running backs than the Rams. Nevertheless, Warren is the vastly superior player with the much better role. His team also isn’t likely to get blown out. The Start/Sit Optimizer says Warren by a lot. I agree.