Week 11 Start ‘Em: Running Backs
Byes: 49ers, Bears, Bills, Giants
Start of the Week
Antonio Gibson vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Gibson was my start of the week a week ago, and he produced a pair of touchdowns in Detroit. So, let's double up as the Football Team faces a Bengals defense that's struggled against runners. Cincinnati has allowed seven performances of 14-plus fantasy points to the position this season. While J.D. McKissic's usage in the passing game does hurt Gibson's ceiling, he's still an attractive No. 2 runner based on this matchup.
Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Mike Davis vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Davis failed to get the job done last week for fantasy fans, but here’s the good news … he still led the Panthers backfield in snaps and saw a 31 percent touch share while missing a few plays with a minor thumb injury. That volume should continue in the absence of Christian McCaffrey, who will miss another game with a shoulder ailment. Davis also has a nice matchup against the Lions, who have allowed the most points to runners.
Kalen Ballage vs. Jets (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Ballage has been solid the past two weeks, as he leads all Chargers backs in snaps, touches and points. During that time, he's also seen a 37 percent touch share in the offense. I'd continue to roll with him in an Adam Gase revenge game, as Ballage faces a great matchup against the Jets. Their defense has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs, and Ballage should be motivated to produce in this AFC contest.
Damien Harris at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Harris went off against the Ravens a week ago, rushing for 121 yards on 22 carries while leading the Patriots backfield with a 41.5 percent touch share. He’ll be in the flex starter conversation this week, as Harris faces a Texans defense that has allowed 11 total touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to runners. As long as Harris doesn’t deal with a negative game script, he’s a good bet to produce a nice stat line in this AFC battle.
Nyheim Hines vs. Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): Trying to figure out the Colts' backfield is an exercise in futility, so I'll suggest that all three have some level of flex value against the Packers. Their defense has allowed the second-most points to runners, including 154.2 total yards per game. Over the Colts' last three games, Hines (78) leads Jordan Wilkins (75) and Jonathan Taylor (64) in snaps, but Wilkins leads in touch share (25.3 percent). Taylor is third in points (6.7 PPG).
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Raiders (SNF 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
- Giovani Bernard at Football Team (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Duke Johnson vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Kalen Ballage vs. Jets (DraftKings: $5,600)
- Salvon Ahmed at Broncos (DraftKings: $4,800)
- Rex Burkhead at Texans (DraftKings: $4,600)
Week 11 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Sit of the Week
Ronald Jones vs. Rams (MNF 8:20 p.m. ET, ESPN): RoJo went off last week in Carolina, scoring 24.8 fantasy points. Of course, 64 percent of those points came on a 98-yard touchdown run. Jones had also been drastically out-snapped by his teammate, Leonard Fournette, the previous two games. This backfield is tough to predict, making it hard to trust either back, and the Rams have allowed five touchdowns and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to runners. Beware RoJo.
Todd Gurley at Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Chances are pretty good that you have to start Gurley. Heck, I have to start him too. However, I would temper expectations with a date against the Saints next on the schedule. Their defense has been tough against backs on their home field. No team in the league has allowed fewer fantasy points (15.7 PPG) to visiting runners. What's more, Aaron Jones is the lone back who's scored more than 14.4 points against them in the bayou.
Darrell Henderson at Buccaneers (MNF, 8:20 p.m. ET, ESPN): Henderson got into the end zone last week, but he still failed to put up a big line (10.3 points). He also split snaps and touches with both Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers, who had more carries. Not only is Henderson's touch share in doubt, but he also has a difficult matchup next against the Buccaneers. Their defense has held Aaron Jones, Mike Davis, Melvin Gordon, and Josh Jacobs to fewer than 14 points.
Melvin Gordon vs. Dolphins (4:04 p.m. ET, CBS): Gordon's fantasy managers got some good news last week, as he dominated Phillip Lindsay in snaps and touches. The bad news is that Gordon failed to score more than 10.7 points for the third straight game. The threat of Lindsay looms too, and game script could be a problem against the Dolphins as long as Drew Lock is playing at such a poor level. At best, Gordon should be viewed as a risk-reward RB2/flex option.
J.K. Dobbins vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): It looked like Dobbins’ value was on the rise, but the return of Mark Ingram turned the rookie into a committee runner. Last week, Dobbins led all Ravens backs in snaps (29) but saw just six touches and had a smaller touch share than Ingram and Gus Edwards. So while the Titans have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, trying to sort out this three-headed monster is impossible for fantasy managers.
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- Jonathan Taylor vs. Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Joshua Kelley vs. Jets (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- James White at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Ezekiel Elliott at Vikings (DraftKings: $6,500)
- James Robinson vs. Steelers (DraftKings: $6,400)
- Todd Gurley at Saints (DraftKings: $5,900)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!
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