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The Cutback: Dynasty Nerds Running Back Start / Sit Week 14

You made the playoffs! Great- now let’s nail those RB starts to help you advance

The DynastyNerds writers are back to with your weekly starts and sits. We will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here are the cast and the position groups they will be covering to help you win your week. Follow us, friend us, stalk us, whatever floats your boat

QB: Mike Liu (@MikeMeUpP)

RB: Erik Kortz (@ekballer)

WR: Tristan Cook (@tristancook_)

TE: Mychal Warno (@dynastydadmike)

FLEX: Tyler Grzegorek (@tyler_grez)

A Quick Note:

Don’t take these as law.  Read the data, understand the context and make the best decision for your own roster.  Ask questions, my DMs are open. 

Let’s go!

RB Starts:

Mark Ingram, BAL @ BUF

Mark Ingram (USA Today)

Ingram has left owners satisfied this year,  sitting as the RB9 as we enter the fantasy playoffs. 

He needs TDs to hit his ceiling, but, with 12 scores in 12 games, he’s got you there more often than not.  

Baltimore gets the Bills this week.  Buffalo is a top-3 defensive unit, but the way to beat them is on the ground, and that’s what Baltimore does best. 

Look for the Raven’s speedy bowling-ball to roll for another 100 yard-ish game, find the endzone, and hopefully deliver more post-game gold in the presser.  

Dalvin Cook / Alexander Mattison, MIN v. DET

Alexander Mattison (Idaho State)

There’s much speculation that Cook won’t play this week, but I’m not buying it.  He’s been unequivocal in stating that he will play. All reports are that his shoulder injury is a pain-tolerance issue.  

The Vikings are in a heated battle with the Packers for playoff position, so they won’t taking their foot off the gas. Zimmer will have his troops ready to beat down their weaker division rival in convincing fashion.  

It’s also likely that Cook’s reps are managed and he comes off the field more once the Vikings get ahead.  But this isn’t reason to be skittish about Cook; by that time he’ll have done enough damage to land as a low-end RB1.  It’s reason to be bullish about Mattison, who has RB2 upside this week himself. 

Devonta Freeman, ATL v. CAR

This train-wreck of a game will feature two rapidly collapsing franchises, one with a lame-duck HC and one who has just fired their own coach.  Fortunately for us, the defenses of both teams are far more dysfunctional than are the offenses, so we should get some points up on the board.  

Freeman’s back from his hiatus and relatively healthy.  He’s been bad this year, but his backups have been worse, so there’s no reason he should see less than a full workload.  

The Panthers have given up the best y/a to opposing rushers as well as the most rushing TDs.  

Freeman’s ceiling isn’t what it was in his heyday, but there’s plenty of opportunity for him to finish as a high-end RB2 this week.  

Miles Sanders, PHI v. @ NYG

Miles Sanders (NBC Sports)

Despite entering week 14 with a losing record the Eagles are only one more Cowboys-implosion away from winning their division.  

I’m no devout Sanders truther- he’s squandered his opportunities as the lead back, leaving yards on the table- but it’s undeniable that he’s making improvements.  

It seems that Doug Pederson thinks so as well.  Since Howard’s injury Sanders has played at least 85% of snaps and seen 13 or more touches (including 4.3 targets a game).  

The Giants have become a bit of a funnel defense, a middling unit against the run but bottom-five against the pass.  But a struggling Giants offense- led by Eli Manning this week in relief of an injured Daniel Jones- should give the Eagles plenty of opportunities and provide a run-friendly game script for the young back.  

Monitor Howard’s status throughout the week, but, so long as he sits, Sanders will be a solid RB2 for week 14.  

RB Sits:

Tevin Coleman, SF @  NO

It’s a good idea to stay out of Kyle Shannahan’s head.  Proclaiming that one back or the other has taken the lead job in SF has made me look stupid more times than one.  But, even setting aside the possibility that Mostert has earned himself the first crack at carries, Coleman’s been no lock.  Since his 40 point outburst in week 8 he’s broken 10 points only twice. He’s also finished below 6 points twice. Not great.  

San Fran (sorry, is that offensive?) plays in NO this week against an aggressive defense that’s limited backs all year.  Sean Peyton will dare Jimmy G to beat him through the air, tangling up the backs and sending an aggressive pass-rush to disrupt the Niners offense.  

I don’t like any of the SF runners this week- particularly not with my playoff life on the line.  I’d have them all ranked in the high RB3 / low-end RB2 . Any of the three backs could have a big game, but you’re as likely to double up your stack on black as you are to pick the right one.     

Jonathan Williams / Jordan Wilkins, IND @ TB

Jonathan Williams (Fox59)

Williams… Wilkins… whichever gets the bulk of the workload this week, I’m disinterested.  A hobbled Brisset is throwing to practice-squad receivers and Jack Doyle, giving no reason for opponents to do anything other than stack boxes against the backs.  

The TB defense has been tough on RBs all year, most recently holding Fourette to 38 yards on 14 carries.  They did give up nearly 60 yards to him in the passing game, but that’s the domain of Nyheim Hines rather than Williams / Wilkins.  

The Williams moment was nice while it lasted, but hopefully you have a better option on which to stake you championship hopes this week. 

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