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Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Running Backs - Fades, Sleepers, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Start 'em and sit 'em running backs for Week 14 from senior fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano.

Week 14 Start 'Em: Running Backs

Start of the Week

David Montgomery vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Montgomery has had two huge games in a row, scoring a combined 52.4 fantasy points against the Packers and Lions. He's in line to make it three straight solid performances as the Bears face a vulnerable Houston run defense in Week 14. The Texans have surrendered 16 total touchdowns and an average of 31.1 points a game to enemy runners, and eight different backs have scored at least 17 points against them in 2020.

Week 14 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Be sure to check out my Week 14 rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings.

MORE: Week 14 Rankings, Articles, Reports & Tools Hub

Start 'Em

Jonathan Taylor at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): It appears that Taylor has taken claim to the top spot in the Colts backfield, as he's led the team in both snaps and touches in each of his last two games. He'll be in the high-end RB2 mix this week as the Colts travel to Las Vegas to face the Raiders. Their defense has allowed 16 touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to backs. That includes a huge stat line from backup Ty Johnson in a Week 13 win over the Jets.

Ronald Jones vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, FOX): How much you believe in Bucs coach Bruce Arians' "20 touches" statement as it pertains to Jones could be the difference between starting and sitting him this week. In games where RoJo has seen as least 20 touches, he's been a valuable No. 2 back in fantasy land. The matchup is right too, as the Vikings have allowed three touchdowns to running backs in their last three games. I'd consider Jones a risk-reward No. 2 runner.

Wayne Gallman vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Gallman has become a valuable asset for fantasy fans over the last month-plus. He's either rushed for 100-plus yards or scored a touchdown in each of his last six games. What's more, he's sixth in points among runners since Week 7. Gallman should remain in lineups this week too, as he'll face a Cardinals defense that just surrendered 35.5 fantasy points to Cam Akers and the collective Rams backfield one week ago.

Melvin Gordon at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Gordon has been anything but a reliable fantasy option, scoring fewer than 13 fantasy points in five of his last seven games. Still, he's in the RB2 mix when the Broncos travel to Carolina to face the Panthers. Their defense has struggled against backs, allowing 12 touchdowns and the sixth-most points. So while Gordon continues to split the workload with Phillip Lindsay, the matchup here warrants a starting spot in fantasy lineups.

More Starts

  • Kenyan Drake at Giants (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • J.D. McKissic at 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Giovani Bernard vs. Cowboys (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

DFS Bargains

  • Kenyan Drake at Giants (DraftKings: $5,500)
  • Melvin Gordon at Panthers (DraftKings: $5,200)
  • J.D. McKissic at 49ers (DraftKings: $4,900)

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Week 14 Sit 'Em: Running Backs

Sit of the Week

Miles Sanders vs. Saints (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): Sanders is tough to bench, but he has failed to produce double-digit fantasy points in three straight contests. He's seen a 30 percent touch share during that time but has still averaged just 6.1 points. He'll be a flex starter at best this week, as Sanders faces a Saints defense that has allowed five touchdowns and the fewest points per game to backs. No back has put up more than 15 fantasy points against them since Week 4.

Sit 'Em

Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Fantasy fans who started Edwards-Helaire last week might have been knocked out of the postseason, as he failed to play a single snap in a win over the Broncos. The talented rookie has also seen just a 17.6 percent touch share since the Chiefs added Le'Veon Bell (15.9%), and his 56.8 fantasy points rank just 26th at the position since Week 7. Miami has also surrendered the eighth-fewest fantasy points to visiting runners.

Duke Johnson at Bears (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Texans placed David Johnson on the COVID-19 list, so he's out this week in Chicago. That makes Duke Johnson the featured back, but he's not a must start in fantasy leagues. Duke was mostly a disappointment as the top back a few weeks ago, averaging 9.6 points in games David missed while on injured reserve. The Bears defense has allowed just three touchdowns to backs at Soldier Field, so I'd use Johnson as a flex (at best).

Devin Singletary vs. Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): This might as well be listed as "Bills running backs," because Singletary and Zack Moss are both fades for me. Singletary led the backfield in snaps and touches last week, but he scored a modest 11.3 points against the Niners. Next up is a date with the Steelers, who have allowed just eight total touchdowns and the second-fewest fantasy points to enemy backs in 2020. I'd keep both Singletary and Moss on the sidelines.

Todd Gurley at Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): Gurley has had two absolute stinkers in a row, and the fact that he split touches with both Ito Smith and Brian Hill last week is problematic. It seems that he's not 100 percent due to his nagging knee problems, so Gurley's workload for this week's matchup against the Chargers has to be in question. So, while the matchup is good on paper, it's hard to trust Gurley during the fantasy playoffs. He's a low-end flex at best.

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More Sits

  • Raheem Mostert vs. Football Team (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Zack Moss vs. Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Devontae Booker vs. Colts (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Fades

  • Raheem Mostert vs. Football Team (DraftKings: $6,200)
  • Miles Sanders vs. Saints (DraftKings: $6,200)
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Dolphins (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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