Before we get to Week 6, let’s take a quick peek back at what went right and what went wrong as far as the fantasy running back start/sit advice that was offered last week.
Start Devonta Freeman (25.7 fantasy points) – Hopefully by now everyone has jumped on the Freeman bandwagon.
Start DeMarco Murray (18 FP) – The gutsiest call of the week and Murray finally proved himself.
Sit Jeremy Hill (2.5 FP) – It’s looking more and more like Hill is a bust this season and that the Bengals are going to continue giving Giovani Bernard more and more touches.
Sit C.J. Anderson (4 FP) – The Broncos are pathetic at running the football. I think you should sit all Denver RBs until they can proved they can gain more than two yards per carry.
Todd Gurley (15.9 FP) – While I thankfully didn’t tell you to sit Gurley, I warned you against playing him. Looks like Jeff Fisher and the Rams’ offense is going to go through Gurley from here out.
Here’s your start/sit for running backs in week 6.
Teams on bye: Dallas, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
START THESE RBs…
Eddie Lacy, GB (vs. SD)
Normally you wouldn’t ever find Lacy in a start/sit article because he’s always a must-start. But so far this season Lacy has been terrible and he’s scared many fantasy owners. Well, if you are a savvy fantasy player, Lacy is an excellent buy-low candidate. So far the 2015 season has been eerily similar to the way Lacy started last season. He really struggled at the beginning then picked up steam down the stretch and still finished with 1,139 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. This is the week that Lacy finally gets going because the Packers will make more of an effort to get their No. 1 ball carrier involved because of the matchup with San Diego. The Chargers have given up the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season. This has 150 rush yards and two touchdowns written all over it for Lacy.
Dion Lewis, NE (vs. IND)
Lewis is an absolute must-start this week, especially if you have him in a PPR league. In fact, if you have a bunch of Patriots on your roster, start them all this week against the Colts. Anyways, Lewis has become a vital part of the Patriots’ attack and not only does he appear to have the trust of head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots are specifically planning plays to get Lewis involved each and every week. While LeGarrette Blount will get the lion’s share of the carries, Lewis will be dynamic once again in the open field catching passes in the flat and making things happen. It also helps that the Colts currently rank 28th in the NFL in passing defense. Look for Lewis to score another 15-plus fantasy points this week thanks to his ability to make plays all over the field.
T.J. Yeldon, JAC (vs. HOU)
Yeldon scored the most fantasy points of his career last week against the Buccaneers, producing 12.3 thanks to 16 total touches and a touchdown. He did leave the game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury, but he should be good to go this week, which is good for the Jaguars since Blake Bortles is nursing a shoulder injury. Yeldon also has a great matchup this week against a Houston Texans defense that is giving up an average of 22.3 fantasy points to RBs so far this season. Look for Yeldon to have the best game of his young career with over 100 rushing yards and at least one touchdown.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK…
Marshawn Lynch, SEA (vs. CAR)
Lynch should be back this week after missing the last two weeks thanks to various ailments (ankle, back, hamstring). While Lynch has been on the sidelines, he’s watched his replacement Thomas Rawls rack up 321 rushing yards. While Lynch shouldn’t be worried about losing his starting gig, he should be worried about losing touches to Rawls. That’s why this week against a Carolina Panthers defense that is eighth in the league in fantasy points allowed to running backs, Lynch should finally show that he still has it and gain over 100 yards and score at least one touchdown.
SIT THESE RBs…
All Buffalo Bills RBs (vs. CIN)
That’s right. Save your time and don’t waste it gambling on whether or not Karlos Williams will play if he is cleared due from the league’s concussion protocol. He had his chance in Week 4, and gained 40 yards on 18 carries (although he did get lucky and catch a touchdown pass). Don’t gamble on Boobie Dixon or Dan Herron. Dixon played last week and had 19 yards on seven carries, while Herron, who signed just a few days before the Bills played the Titans, had 28 yards on nine carries. The Bengals have a pretty good defense and Dixon and Herron will likely split carries anyways, so forget about them this week.
Chris Ivory, NYJ (vs. WAS)
The Jets are coming off a bye week and they last played two weeks ago in London so you might forget that in that game Ivory returned from injury and ran for 166 yards and one touchdown – scoring 22.6 fantasy points. So you probably want to start him this week just in case he puts up similar numbers. That might not be such a good idea. The Jets are home this week against a Washington Redskins defense that has been surprisingly stout against the run. This defense has surrendered just two rushing touchdowns all season while giving up the fewest fantasy points to RBs. If the Jets are going to win this game, it’s going to be on the arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick and not on the ground with Ivory.
Alfred Morris, WAS (at NYJ)
If you drafted Morris in the second or third round of your fantasy draft, I feel for you. Heading into the season there was really no reason to doubt that Morris would once again get the majority of carries and rack up another 1,000-yard season. Now he’s barely a RB4. Last week he had eight carries for a whopping 15 yards – that’s 1.5 fantasy points. Each week Morris is losing touches to Matt Jones and now Chris Thompson. It doesn’t help that on Sunday Washington plays the Jets and their awesome run-stuffing defense that has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to RBs on the season. Leave Morris on your bench this week.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…
Charcandrick West, KC (at MIN)
I know it’s going to be really tempting to start West this week, especially if you own or owned Jamaal Charles. But remember that West isn’t even close to being Charles. Charles is so good that he has been hiding the fact that the Chiefs’ offensive line is terrible. West will remind us of that fact this week. Plus, while it looks like West will at least get the first crack at replacing Charles, head coach Andy Reid stated this week that both he and Knile Davis are going to get touches and they are basically going to go with the hot hand. If you can, wait to see what West can do and don’t think that he is going to turn into this year’s C.J. Anderson.
— 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.