This has not been a good week for running backs, as the bad news for fantasy owners has come early and often. Before I sort through all of the carnage as it relates to start/sit options, let’s see how I did in Week 6.
Start Christine Michael (20.3 FP) – Who knew that he could actually be this good?
Sit Tevin Coleman (1.7 FP) – He just wasn’t a factor all game against the Seahawks.
Sit Matt Forte (2.2 FP) – The entire Jets' offense just looks awful, which isn’t good news if you’re a Forte owner.
Sit Terrence West (24.3 FP) – West is getting a full workload and producing big numbers week in and week out.
I warned you about starting Lamar Miller (29.8 FP) and then he went out and finally had the game that the Texans were hoping for.
Teams on bye: Carolina, Dallas
START THESE RBs...
DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. IND)
The Colts have been run over almost every week, and just gave up 178 total yards and two TDs to Lamar Miller. Murray is coming off one of his weakest performances of the season at 21 carries for 65 yards and a TD (no catches for the first time this year), but the Titans are feeding him the ball. They will do this even more against the Colts, and those that play him will score points, glorious points.
Matt Jones, WAS (at DET)
Jones has been hit-or-miss, mixing in a couple of 100-yard games with some duds. One thing is clear, though – Jones is the workhorse back in Washington. Well, as much as one can be a workhorse there; only nine teams have fewer rushing attempts thus far. The Lions have been a bend-but-don't-break rush defense. They allow 4.7 yards per carry (27th in the league), but have surrendered just one rushing (tied for 1st). Jones will have running lanes, especially if Kirk Cousins can put his passes on the Redskins' receivers. I like the chances of that happening.
Melvin Gordon, SD (at ATL)
Gordon is coming off his worst stat line of the season, scoring fewer than 10 fantasy points in a win over the Broncos. Regardless, he should remain in your starting lineups when the Chargers travel to Atlanta. The Falcons’ defense has struggled to stop RBs, allowing more than 21 fantasy points per game.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
James White, NE (at PIT)
It finally happened — White finally had the game we expected him to have with Tom Brady in the lineup and the offense clicking. White now has 12 catches in Brady’s two starts, and last season he averaged more than five catches per game with Dion Lewis out. Play him now, before Lewis comes back (possibly Week 10). Obviously, this is for PPR leagues only.
SIT THESE RBs...
Matt Forte, NYJ (vs. BAL)
If you've been watching the Jets lately, you might notice the glaring absence of offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't scaring anyone and it's killing the running game. During New York’s four-game losing streak, Forte is averaging 41 yards per game with zero touchdowns. The Ravens are set to play at MetLife Stadium for the second straight week. And they happen to have the No. 1 rush defense. And get this, Baltimore is tops in this category despite giving up the longest run (85 yards) of the season. Forte is well past his days of breaking off a big play on the ground.
Jay Ajayi, MIA (vs. BUF)
Raise your hand if you predicted a 204-yard, 32-point performance from Ajayi last week. **crickets** Now the question is, what can he do for an encore? Miami's backfield has been near impossible to predict, so don't be shocked if the Boise State alum takes a step back against a Buffalo defense that's been difficult on RBs.
All Oakland RBs (at JAC)
It’s unknown if Latavius Murray will be able to make it back to play Sunday (turf toe), but even if he didn’t, the DeAndre Washington/Jalen Richard situation is unpredictable and simply not bearing fruit. Richard caught two balls for five yards and carried it four times for eight yards last week, while Washington got 10 carries but only gained 49 yards. There is no guy in this RB corps, just a group of dudes who will equal one mediocre RB when all the stats are added up.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Frank Gore, IND (at TEN)
Gore has been one of the best draft bargains in fantasy football, scoring 10-plus fantasy points in four of his last five games. He could struggle to keep up that pace this week, though, as a tough matchup against the Titans awaits. Their defense has allowed an average of fewer than seven fantasy points per game to opposing No. 1 RBs.
— 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.