NFL RB Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 7: J.D. McKissic, James Conner belong in fantasy lineups

With a heavy bye week and injuries piling up, what RBs made the list of the top start 'em and sit 'em options for Week 7?

Now that we are into the part of the season where bye weeks wreak havoc on lineups, fantasy football managers will be facing even more difficult lineup decisions. Let’s take a look at our Week 7 RB start ’em and sit ’em plays.

Week 7 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

Which running backs are starts for Week 7?

Start ‘Em | J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (@ GB)

Antonio Gibson has been battling a shin injury for a few weeks now. This past Sunday, it may have finally gotten the better of him. Gibson was in and out of the game for a while before getting completely shut down in the fourth quarter. J.D. McKissic out-snapped Gibson for the first time all season.

McKissic certainly does not have the skill set to be a three-down back. But he does play the most important role for fantasy — the pass-catching back.

Even if Gibson continues to play through his injury, McKissic’s role is bound to increase. Add in the fact that Washington should once again be facing a negative game script as they travel to Green Bay, and it could be another heavy McKissic week. Packers opponents target the running back on 20.6% of passes, which is the 10th-highest rate in the league.

Start ‘Em | James Conner, Arizona Cardinals (vs. HOU)

It pains me to recommend James Conner. As entertaining as it is to watch him barrel into the backs of linemen and then accelerate with the burst of a young Philip Rivers, it’s not helpful for your fantasy teams. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of the scheduling and injury gods in Week 7.

The NFL decided that all of the best players should get Week 7 off, and then the universe decided that everyone else should just get injured. That’s how Conner ends up being a must-start.

Conner out-snapped Chase Edmonds last week for the first time all season. No, Conner has not overtaken Edmonds and is no threat to do so as the Cardinals’ primary running back. Conner is just the guy the team uses to put away leads.

The Cardinals are 17-point home favorites against the Texans this week. They will probably score 4 or 5 touchdowns. You can bank on Conner falling into the end zone at least once. That’s all he’ll need to justify RB2 status this week.

Week 7 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

These running backs should be left on your bench in Week 7.

Sit ‘Em | Mark Ingram, Houston Texans (@ ARI)

I know that Mark Ingram isn’t exactly an every-week starter. The problem in Week 7 is finding players to recommend to sit when the circumstances are such that any healthy RB playing football this week is probably worth starting.

Following an 18-carry, 73-yard effort in Week 6 where Ingram managed to hit double-digit fantasy points in PPR leagues, it’s possible managers will chase that production. In Week 7, 10 points from your RB2 would be fantastic.

Prior to last week, however, Ingram hadn’t surpassed 5 fantasy points since Week 1. It was a complete anomaly. This week against the Cardinals, the Texans project to be trailing throughout. Ingram likely won’t even reach the 44% snap share he saw last week. The Texans certainly won’t be able to give him 18 carries. Don’t start Ingram this week.

Sit ‘Em | Khalil Herbert & Damien Williams, Chicago Bears (@ TB)

This one is especially difficult because it’s unlikely that you have someone better to start if you have Khalil Herbert. I included Damien Williams in the event he returns from the reserve/COVID-19 list and ends up playing.

Herbert’s Week 6 performance probably cemented his status as the primary ball carrier for the Bears, even when Williams returns. Williams will not be useless, though, as he’ll likely be the passing-down back. Both will have at least RB3 value for as long as David Montgomery remains out … just not this week.

You can’t start running backs against the Bucs. Tampa Bay allows the fewest rushing attempts and yards per game — just 12.5 carries for 42.3 yards. That is staggeringly low. They’ve surrendered just a single rushing touchdown to running backs. If you can find a way to avoid starting the Bears’ running backs, you should do so.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.