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 Josh Allen, Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp. Instead, I'll look at the players you have questions about who could exceed or fail to meet expectations at each position. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the NFL season.
Fabs Top 10 Running Backs
1. Jonathan Taylor vs. Chiefs
2. Christian McCaffrey vs. Saints
3. Saquon Barkley vs. Cowboys (MNF)
4. Austin Ekeler at Jaguars
5. Derrick Henry vs. Raiders
6. D’Andre Swift at Vikings
7. Joe Mixon at Jets
8. Dalvin Cook vs. Lions
9. Leonard Fournette vs. Packers
10. Nick Chubb vs. Steelers (TNF)
Week 3 Start ‘Em: Running Backs
Start of the Week
David Montgomery vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Montgomery looked great last week in Green Bay, rushing for 122 yards while averaging over eight yards a rush. He also saw 50% of the backfield touches, so there was no committee with Khalil Herbert. Next on the schedule is a date with the Texans, who have allowed an average of more than 28 points per game to running backs since Week 13, 2021.
Antonio Gibson vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gibson didn’t post a huge stat line last week, but he did score a touchdown and 12.1 fantasy points in a loss to the Lions. Next up is a date with the Eagles, who have allowed the sixth-most points to running backs since Week 13, 2021. During that time, which includes a total of seven games, their defense has allowed 16 or more points to a back five times.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire at Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS): CEH has had a very nice start to the 2022 campaign, scoring a combined 38.2 points in his first two games. He’s in the RB2 or flex conversation this week, as he’ll face a Colts defense that’s been bad against the run without LB Shaquille Leonard. The talented linebacker is out of action once again, so Edwards-Helaire will be in a great position to find success.
James Robinson at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox): What Achilles surgery? Huh? Forget about it! Robinson has been a star in the first two weeks, scoring a combined 35.7 fantasy points while seeing 35.6% of the Jaguars backfield touches. While the Travis Etienne truthers won't like it, Robinson is still the best runner in this offense and should be considered a solid flex option against the Chargers.
Dameon Pierce at Bears (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Pierce scored just 8.7 fantasy points last week, but he did see 43.2% of the backfield touches in a loss to the Broncos. That was up from the 23.5% share he had in the opener. The rookie also averaged a solid 4.6 yards per rush in the contest. He’ll be on the flex radar against the Bears, who were smoked for 193 rushing yards by Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
• Miles Sanders at Commanders (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
• Cordarrelle Patterson at Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
• Michael Carter vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
• James Robinson at Chargers ($6,100)
• David Montgomery vs. Texans ($5,900)
• Michael Carter vs. Bengals ($5,200)
Week 3 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Sit of the Week
Ezekiel Elliott at Giants (Mon. 8:15 p.m., ESPN): As a Cowboys honk, I'm hoping that having Zeke as the Sit of the Week invokes some sort of reverse jinx. His level of production has been minimal in the first two games, and just 4% of his carries have come with eight-plus men in the box this season. He's also averaged just 13.9 points in four career road games versus the Giants, and those were in his prime.
A.J. Dillon at Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Dillon will be in a lot of fantasy lineups this weekend, so consider this more of a warning than a hard sit 'em. The Buccaneers' defense is tough on running backs, allowing an average of just 11.7 points in their first two games. Tampa Bay also has the seventh-fewest points to the position since Week 13, 2021, and Dillon is splitting work with Aaron Jones.
Cam Akers vs. Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Anyone who tells you they know what to expect from the Rams backfield is lying. Akers started and saw more touches than Darrell Henderson last week, but he was second in snaps (35-27) in what is now a committee. Akers also averaged a meager 2.9 yards per rush compared to Henderson's 4.7. Starting either of these backs is a risk regardless of the matchup, so I wouldn't trust Akers as much more than a low-end flex starter.
Chase Edmonds vs. Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Edmonds burned a lot of fantasy fans last week, as he saw a mere 11.1% touch share in a win over the Ravens. That was down from the 34.8% share he had in Week 1, as the Dolphins went with Raheem Mostert as their lead back. This rotation is confusing, to be certain, and the Bills have one of the top defenses in the NFL. Edmonds is a risk-reward flex.
Jeff Wilson Jr. at Broncos (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Wilson did lead the 49ers backs in touch share (33.3%) in his first game without Elijah Mitchell, and he should see even more work with Tyrion Davis-Price out of action. I’d still be wary of him as more than a flex this week, as the Niners face a Broncos defense that’s allowed an average of 16.9 fantasy points per game to runners since Week 13 of last season.
• Damien Harris vs. Ravens (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
• Travis Etienne at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)
• Devin Singletary at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
• A.J. Dillon at Buccaneers ($6,000)
• Damien Harris vs. Ravens ($5,600)
• Devin Singletary at Dolphins ($5,600)
More fantasy & NFL coverage:
- Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups
- Week 3 Dynasty Stock Watch
- IDP Waiver Wire Report
- Week 3 Good News, Bad News
- Early Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups
- Top 10 Week 2 Fantasy Takeaways
- Fantasy Impact: Trey Lance Out, Jimmy Garoppolo In
- Which of the Winless NFL Teams Can Still Save Their Season?
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 to help you win a fantasy championship!