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The Cutback: Running Back Start/Sit Week 10

Week 10 is here already! Time to make that playoff push. @Culture_Coach gives you some running back start/sit this week in order to win your matchup.

Welcome to Week 10 #NerdHerd!! Dennis Bennett here. We are rolling into Week 10 on a heater after going 3-1 on my recommendations in Week 9. That good week moved me to 5 hits, 2 misses, and 1 push over the last two weeks.

There are a few weeks left in the fantasy regular season. Are you jockeying for playoff seeding? Maybe you are trying to get into that last playoff spot. Or you are trying to avoid a last place punishment. Whatever your current situation, I am here to help with the running back start/sit questions.

We get the return of James Conner this week, will he again soar in the desert? Last week’s darling Keaton Mitchell has picked up a hamstring issue leaving the Gus bus to once again roll on. And Jonathon Taylor has ascended back to his bell cow position in Indy.

Be sure to follow our other start/sit articles and authors; they contain great advice to help you each week.

Changing the Call (QB): Mike Hicks
The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver
Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook
12 Formation (TE): Steven Pintado
Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown
IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser

There is one thing I want to note. For this article and every running back start/sit article I write, I won’t include players like Christian McCaffrey or Austin Ekeler. These are apparent starts so long as they aren’t on bye or injured. If you don’t start them, well, you’re a Taco. I’ll be focusing on players who are a bit harder to decide whether to start or what to expect from them. All scoring in this article series will be PPR. All stats/RB# number finishes come from FantasyPros. So, let’s make this a great season as we watch over 200+ games of NFL football. It’s back! Good luck with this dynasty fantasy football season.

The Recap

Let’s take a look at how I did in Week 9.

Hits

Gus Edwards RB21, start, finished RB11 hit

So, as I was saying last week, Gus will keep racking up the touchdowns. Just kidding. The Ravens game script allowed Edwards to take the rest of the day off after a couple of first half touchdowns.

Jerome Ford RB24, start, finished RB16 hit

The Cleveland run game was inefficient in Week 9, but Jerome Ford led the way with 20 carries and 7 targets. Ford turned that opportunity share into 12.7 points and finished 8 spots higher than his ranking. I’d like to see Ford improve the yards per carry, but I love the 23% target share.

Tony Pollard RB13, sit, finished RB26 hit

Let’s make that single-digit points in four of the last five weeks. Pollard was efficient in the run game and third in targets with 5, but with the passing game clicking to Lamb and Ferguson, Pollard didn’t get the volume or touchdown opportunities to hit the RB13 ranking.

Misses

Aaron Jones RB17, sit, finished RB7 miss

I recognize that Jones has upside. I just didn’t expect it to happen in Week 9 against a Rams defense giving up the eighth fewest fantasy points to running backs. Jones had been battling a hamstring injury the last few weeks but seems to have put that behind him.

Start: James Cook, Bills, RB20

CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 26: Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (4) runs with the football in action during a preseason game between the Buffalo Bills and the Chicago Bears on August 26, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Full transparency here– I’ve not been a big James Cook guy. I’m not big on sub-200-pound feature backs. Cook averages just 12 attempts and 2.5 receptions per game. However, in Week 10 Cook gets a Broncos defense that gives up a league leading 27.2 points per game to running backs. The Broncos give up a league worst 131 yards per games rushing and fourth most 6.4 receptions to running backs. Look for Cook to put up low-end RB1 fantasy points in Week 10.

Start: James Conner, Cardinals, RB26

The Cardinals have been floundering in 2023. Week 10 brings back not only quarterback Kyler Murray, but also running back James Conner. Conner has missed the last four games with a knee injury. Conner checked in at RB16 through four weeks. The Falcons have given up 13.2 fantasy points per game in their five losses and that is good for mid-RB2 points in Week 10.

Start: Gus Edwards, Ravens, RB31

via GIPHY

I get it. The Browns defense is tough. The second ranked defense to be clear. But the Ravens defense is ranked #1 which should make for a close game. I’m counting on the Gus bus to lead the Ravens running backs in touches and continue his touchdown streak in a close game with the Browns. I’m calling for Edwards to finish as a mid-RB2.

Sit: Rachaad White, Buccaneers, RB13

TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 02: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Back Rachaad White (29) returns the opening kickoff during a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 02, 2022, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)

This is a case of what a running back does well vs. what a defense does well. White is inefficient running the ball and a good pass catcher. The Titans are middle-of-the-pack in rush yards and rush touchdowns allowed. However, the Titans give up the fewest receptions, second fewest receiving yards and touchdowns to running backs in the NFL. White has the making of a running back who finishes outside of the top 18 in Week 10.

Good luck this week with your running back start/sit dilemmas!

You can find me here on the X machine and hear me talking fantasy football on the Fantasy Football Roundtable podcast.

Do you want to become the best dynasty player you can be? Be sure to use my promo code “Roundtable” for 15% OFF your subscription to Dynasty Nerds! It makes it only three dollars or so!

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