Why You Should Start Todd Gurley and Other RB Start/Sit Fantasy Advice For Week 7

Gurley comes off of a bye and has a home matchup with the league's worst rushing defense in the Browns

So how accurate was my start/sit fantasy running back advice for Week 6? Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good week at all.

 

Good Calls:

 

Sit Alfred Morris (3.2 fantasy points) – Even with Matt Jones inactive, Morris couldn’t get anything going.

 

I also warned you against starting Charcandarick West. He played okay, but found himself on the bench after a fourth quarter fumble.

 

Bad Calls:

 

Start Eddie Lacy (2 FP) – Lacy was supposed to have his breakout game against the Chargers, instead he was pathetic.

 

Start Dion Lewis (3.9 FP) – He still played more snaps that LeGarrette Blount, but with the game flow, Lewis just didn’t see as

many touches as usual.

 

Sit Chris Ivory (25.6 FP) – Moving forward Ivory is a must-start RB1.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on byes: Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay

 

START THESE RBs...

 

Todd Gurley, STL (vs. CLE)

This will probably be the last time that I can include Gurley as a start in this column because he’s going to be a must-start like Adrian Peterson (if he isn’t already) every week. Gurley has been sensational since he’s been giving the reins as the Rams’ No. 1 back. In his last game before last week’s bye he ran the ball 30 times for 159 yards against Green Bay. That’s very impressive, especially when you consider that the Rams were playing from behind. That means that Gurley is going to get the ball no matter the game flow or what the game script says. This week the Rams play host to the Cleveland Browns and their defense who is allowing a league-high 149.8 rushing yards per game and are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Start Gurley and enjoy winning your matchup this week.

 

LeSean McCoy, BUF (at JAC, London)

To the surprise of almost everyone, McCoy played last week against the Cincinnati Bengals and even though we wasn’t 100 percent healthy, he played very well. He finished with 90 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. The Bills really needed McCoy since they were starting EJ Manuel at quarterback instead of Tyrod Taylor, and this might be the case again this week. Provided there are no setbacks during practice, McCoy is a sure-fire RB1 this week going up against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs this season. There’s no doubt that the Bills are going to rely heavily on McCoy so look for him to get his first 100-yard rushing game as a Bill with at least one touchdown for good measure.

 

Frank Gore, IND (vs. NO)

Gore played well last week against the New England Patriots, picking up 78 yards rushing on 13 carries to go along with two receptions for another 16 yards. Gore would have had an even better day if the game flow had gone his way, but instead the Colts played most of the second half from behind. That shouldn’t be the case this week as the New Orleans Saints come to town. Andrew Luck is back (finally), but still not 100 percent, so the Colts are not going to let him chuck the football 50 times and are going to use Gore to control the clock and game flow. It also helps that the Saints are 10th thus far in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs so Gore should easily go over 100 yards rushing with a touchdown in this one.

 

Lamar Miller, MIA (vs. HOU)

Miller finally put together the game everyone was expecting from him. All it took was his head coach to get fired and the new regime to come in and actually give Miller the ball. Miller had the most touches he’s had all year and that led to 113 rushing yards and a touchdown and helped the Dolphins get a huge win. With the erratic play of Ryan Tannehill you know that interim head coach Dan Campbell is going to keep giving Miller the ball and that’s a good thing because this week the Dolphins play host to the Houston Texans, whose defense that has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs. This is the week that Miller really breaks out with over 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns. You read it here first.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

DeMarco Murray, PHI (at CAR)

Remember two weeks ago when Murray complained that he wasn’t getting the ball enough? It appears that he was on to something and that Chip Kelly was listening because in the last two weeks Murray has carried the ball over 20 times in each game, which has led to a total of 192 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Oh and the Eagles have won both those games. This week’s matchup in Carolina is not a good one for the Eagles or Murray, but the offense seems to have found its recipe for success so there’s no reason Murray shouldn’t continue to get the ball. It won’t be easy, but don’t be surprised if Murray cracks the century mark against the Panthers’ stout defense.

 

SIT THESE RBs...

 

Dion Lewis, NE (vs. NYJ)

Lewis is coming off his worst week fantasy-wise this season. He only scored 3.9 fantasy points last week against the Colts in standard leagues, which isn’t good. What’s really interesting is that it’s not as if Lewis didn’t see any action. He played more snaps than LeGarrette Blount but because of the game flow, he just wasn’t utilized. Expect that to be the case at least for one more week as Lewis and the Patriots are hosting the New York Jets and their defense that has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Lewis might still be worth a shot in PPR leagues, but don’t expect much.

 

Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs. PHI)

Stewart had his best game of the season by far last week in what was supposed to be a terrible on the road in Seattle. Stewart scored 20.6 fantasy points thanks to 20 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns. It was those two touchdowns from the one-yard line that made Stewart’s day and that won’t happen again because Cam Newton will probably get at least one of those. This week the Panthers have a really tough matchup as they play host to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have a really good run D. Currently they’re allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs. If the Panthers are going to win this game it will because of Newton and not Stewart.

 

Charcandarick West, KC (vs. PIT)

We all know that the Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles to a torn ACL in Week 5, which meant that the whole fantasy football world blew their FAAB budget to pick up Charcandarick West. How did that turn out? Not so good. West had just nine carries for 33 yards and lost a fumble last Sunday. Luckily, for West owners, the main competition for touches, Knile Davis, didn’t do much better (five carries for 13 yards). While you should be worried about West because the Chiefs have one of the worst run-blocking offensive lines in all of football, don’t give up on him just yet, but make sure to leave him on your bench this week. The Chiefs take on the Pittsburgh Steelers and their defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game this year to running backs. Plus the Chiefs will be playing from behind, limiting West’s opportunities. Wait until Week 8 before considering playing West again.

 

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Christine Michael, DAL (vs. NYG)

It seems like Michael has been in the league for over a decade now because all we have been hearing about is how talented he is and how he has freakish ability and if he only got a chance he could be one of the greats – blah, blah blah. Now it looks like Michael is finally going to get his chance this week as he will start in the Cowboys’ backfield against a poor New York Giants run defense. Heading into Week 7 the Giants have allowed every backfield to score at least 15 fantasy points, which is great. The problem is that no one knows how many touches Michael is going to get. Is he going to start, but split carries with Joseph Randle? Is he going to play on third down or will that be Darren McFadden? There are too many questions to rely on Michael this week. Use the wait-and-see approach

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

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