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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Fantasy Football Week 11: Running Backs - Sleepers, Fades, Matchups, DFS Bargains

With Aaron Jones sidelined, A.J. Dillon is ready for his star turn with the Packers.

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Byes: Broncos, Rams


Week 11 Start ‘Em: Running Backs

Start of the Week

A.J. Dillon at Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Dillon will see a sizable role for the Packers moving forward, as Aaron Jones will miss time with an injured knee. That makes the Boston College alum a virtual must start when the Packers face the Vikings. Their defense has allowed six different running backs to score 14-plus fantasy points so far this season, including two who have gone over 20 points. Dillon will be a top-12 option.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports


Start ‘Em

Josh Jacobs vs. Bengals (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Jacobs put up a stinker last week, as the Raiders fell into a negative game script that took the run game out of the plans. I’d keep the faith against the Bengals, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs over the last four weeks. Overall, their defense has given up 17-plus points to eight runners, including three who have gone over 28 points.

Myles Gaskin at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Gaskin’s trend of alternating good and bad stat lines continued last week, as he had a 5.5-point stinker against the Ravens. He should rebound this week, however, as the Dolphins face a Jets defense that’s given up an average of more than 47 fantasy points per game to running backs in the last four weeks. That’s absurd, but true. Gaskin should be a solid No. 2 fantasy runner.

Michael Carter vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Carter continues to be a PPR star in fantasy land, catching a combined 22 passes in his last four games. He’ll remain in the RB2 conversation this week, as the rookie faces a Dolphins defense that’s allowed 52 catches and 10 total touchdowns to enemy running backs. Miami has also allowed seven different runners to score at least 14 fantasy points in a game this season.

Jeff Wilson Jr. at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, Fox): The Niners will be without Elijah Mitchell this weekend, which should mean a bigger role for Wilson. I like him as a No. 2 back or flex starter, as the Niners travel east to face the Jaguars. Their defense has allowed seven running backs to score 12-plus points, including three that have scored 18-plus. Wilson could be floating around on the waiver wire in some smaller fantasy leagues.

More Starts

  • James Conner at Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Mark Ingram at Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • D'Onta Foreman vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

SI Recommends

DFS Bargains

  • Myles Gaskin at Jets ($5,700)
  • Jeff Wilson at Jaguars ($5,100)
  • D'Onta Foreman vs. Texans ($4,900)

Week 11 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

Sit of the Week

Devin Singletary vs. Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Singletary has scored a combined 24.8 fantasy points in his last two games, but he’s a risky flex option this weekend. The Bills used a three-back rotation against the Jets, using Singletary, Zack Moss and Matt Breida. That’s a problem if it continues. The Bills also have a bad matchup against the Colts, who allow the second-fewest fantasy points a game to opposing running backs.

Sit ‘Em

New York Giants Devontae Booker

Devontae Booker at Buccaneers (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Booker has been a real asset for fantasy managers, scoring 14-plus points in four of his last five games. However, the Giants are expected to have Saquon Barkley back when the team faces the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. That would severely limit the starting value of Booker in fantasy leagues against one of the NFL’s more ferocious run defenses.

Jordan Howard vs. Saints (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Howard has been a viable option over the last few weeks, scoring 39.1 fantasy points in his last three games. He has been in a backfield committee with Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell, though, and the Eagles have activated Miles Sanders off injured reserve. Howard also has a tough matchup against the Saints, who have allowed the third-fewest points per game to runners.

Devonta Freeman at Bears (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Freeman has actually been a pretty nice flex option in recent weeks, scoring 11-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games. The Ravens could be getting closer to having Latavius Murray back in the mix, however, and a matchup in Chicago is a bad one. Their defense has allowed just six touchdowns on the ground and the 10th-fewest points per game to running backs.

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Adrian Peterson vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Titans have “replaced” Derrick Henry with a backfield committee including Peterson, Jeremy McNichols and D’Onta Foreman. That makes it tough to trust the veteran, even with McNichols out and a matchup against the Texans next . Houston’s defense has been beaten down by backs in recent weeks, but Peterson is still no more than a touchdown-dependent flex starter.

More Sits

  • Alex Collins vs. Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • David Johnson at Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • D'Ernest Johnson vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET,  Fox)

DFS Fades

  • Antonio Gibson at Panthers ($5,900)
  • Chuba Hubbard vs. Football Team ($5,300)
  • Devonta Freeman at Bears ($5,100)

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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!

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