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The Cutback: Running Back Start/Sit Week 10

Week 10 is here, and @GBridgfordNFL is back to provide you with your weekly starts and sits, and we’re here to talk running backs.

Welcome aboard! Week 8 is here, and the Dynasty Nerds writers are back once again to provide you with your weekly starts and sits.

We will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros.

Here’s the cast and the position groups they’ll be covering to help you win your week. Follow their socials, and be sure to check out their picks for this week as well.

A Quick Note: These are recommendations based on matchups, previous performance, and other contributing factors. These are not laws. Any questions? The DMs are always open.

Week 9 Hit/Miss Recap

Last Week’s Starts

  • Devontae Booker: Hit – RB13
  • Jeremy McNichols: Miss – RB41

Last Week’s Sits

  • Khalil Herbert: Hit – RB66
  • Chase Edmonds: Hit – RB74

Analysis

New York Giants RB Devontae Booker had a great game in his revenge matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, and it was a solid performance in what is likely his last game as the starter this year.

As far as RB Jeremy McNichols goes, the Tennessee Titans’ offense couldn’t get out of their own way. They eventually finished the game with a win, but they had barely 200 yards of total offense on the day. He saw ten touches, but he averaged just 3.5 yards per touch on the day.

Well, the start/sit column was written last week before Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery was activated. Still, the RB Khalil Herbert call turned into an absolute slam dunk very quickly.

Montgomery was the leading man for this offensive backfield, and it will remain the case moving forward. We got Edmonds right, although it came at the cost of him getting injured.

If he had stayed healthy, he likely would have been a miss based on the fact that his two running back teammates combined for over 50 PPR points on the day.

*Hits and misses are defined as whether or not a player finishes inside the top 24.*

Starts

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

D’Ernest Johnson (RB25)

You’re telling me that I can start a Cleveland Browns running back knowing that he is the primary running back with no potential for him to cede touches? I’ll take that all day, no matter who the matchup is.

The New England Patriots are likely to crowd the box and force the Browns to throw the ball. Cleveland doesn’t care, though, and they will still run the ball on you.

They’re the number-one ranked team by DVOA in running the football. Meanwhile, New England is only 17th against the run using the same metric

Over the last two seasons, Johnson has had two games with double-digit carries. He has 9.5+ fantasy points in each game in those two outings, with one of those two games being against the Dallas Cowboys last season when he was splitting touches with teammate RB Kareem Hunt.

Three Browns RBs (Hunt (ankle), Nick Chubb (covid-19), and Demetric Felton (covid-19)) are all out for this week, which means it is the Johnson solo show.

Despite giving up only three total touchdowns to opposing running backs, the Patriots are allowing an average of 24.7 PPR points to opposing running backs per game. Johnson has the benefit of a decent matchup combined with a ton of volume.

When he started against the Denver Broncos a few weeks ago, Johnson had 168 yards on 24 total touches and two touchdowns. He may not have that many yards in this game, but Johnson should be in your lineups this week.

Credit: NBC Sports

J.D. McKissic (RB24)

Usually, we’re fading whatever running back is playing against the Bucs. This year, we’re seeing an exploitable trend against this team, which is through the air.

They’ve given up four receiving touchdowns to opposing running backs, which is the third-most in the NFL, and they’ve given up 58 receptions which are the fifth-most. RB J.D. McKissic ranks second on the Washington Football Team with 33 receptions, and he has double the targets that the next running back on the team has. When Washington is throwing the ball, McKissic is the running back they’re targeting the most.

McKissic has needed just three receptions in a game to bring back some value for you for his career. He averages nearly eight more fantasy points per game in his games when he sees at least receptions.

He’s caught three or more balls in six of his eight games this season, and he’s RB25 on the year in full PPR despite totaling just two touchdowns in eight games. McKissic is the perfect example of a player who doesn’t need touchdowns to still have a valuable day.

His teammate, RB Antonio Gibson, is still dealing with a fractured shin that could cause him to be shut down at nearly any time throughout the year, as he’s essentially just playing through pain at this stage.

McKissic has out-snapped Gibson in each of the past three games, and while he’s not getting the red zone touches, he’s still getting the touches in the passing game. Considering the Bucs are likely to be beating Washington in this game, McKissic could very well see double-digit targets in this game.

Credit: Bills Wire- USA Today

Devin Singletary (RB23)

This call is based entirely on the idea that fellow Buffalo Bills RB Zack Moss will not be playing this week. Moss is currently dealing with a concussion, and if he’s unable to play, that gives RB Devin Singletary a pretty good shot to have a good day.

Singletary was the team’s primary running back for a year before Moss came around, and the two now split touches too much for either one of them to have any significant fantasy value.

Looking at his career, there is a pretty clear bump for Singletary when he sees at least three receptions. Last week, in a game where Moss left early, Singletary caught seven of his eight targets for 43 receiving yards.

Just off of his receiving work alone, he had 11 PPR points, and if he had been more efficient on the ground, he would have had an even better day than he ended up with.

This week, Singletary matches up with the New York Jets, who remain one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Jets have given up the third-most receptions and most receiving yards to opposing running backs this year, and they’ve given up 60 more PPR points to opposing running backs than any other team has this year.

If Moss ends up playing in this game, Singletary will fall out of this group, but if Singletary is the only guy in the backfield, he has a lot of upside this week.

Sits

Credit: CBS Sports

James Robinson (RB15)

Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson has been dealing with a lingering heel injury for the last few weeks. It caused him to miss the team’s week nine win against the Buffalo Bills.

While he’s expected to play this week, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see him split touches more than we’re used to seeing from him this year. They’ve already been splitting his touches more than they did a year ago, and, after having 20 or more touches in six games last year, he has done that just twice so far this year.

In addition to Robinson likely having his workload managed this week, he has a terrible matchup. This year, the Indianapolis Colts have given up the fourth-fewest PPR points to opposing running backs, and they are ranked second by DVOA in run defense.

Since giving up 180 rushing yards to the Tennessee Titans back in week three, the Colts have held four of their last six opponents under 100 yards, including those same Titans again in week eight.

One additional aspect of the game that will be working against Robinson is that his quarterback Trevor Lawrence is dealing with an injury. He’s also expected to play this week, but he’s likely going to be limited in some capacity.

With that in mind, the Colts will likely try and put a cap on Robinson and force Lawrence to beat them in the passing game. Robinson could have some value in the receiving game, but he could struggle on the ground.

Credit: Jets Wire- USA Today

Michael Carter – RB19

The New York Jets RB Michael Carter has been building momentum over the last month. He’s played at least 50 percent of the snaps in every game since week four, and he’s seen double-digit touches in every game since week two.

Despite that, we’re fading him against the Buffalo Bills because the script just doesn’t figure to be working in his favor.

The Bills are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Jaguars in a game where they scored just six points, and they need to rebuild their lead in a relatively weak AFC East. Buffalo has the number-one offense by DVOA against the pass, but they’re third against the run, making them such a tough team to move the ball against.

They lead the league in fantasy points allowed to running backs with an average of just 16.0 PPR points per game to the opposing team’s running backs.

Carter caught just one ball against the Indianapolis Colts after catching 17 in the two games prior. He also has scored just three touchdowns this season in eight games.

Throw in the fact that he has only gone over 60 rushing yards twice, and there just seems to be a lot of factors working against him having an above-average fantasy outing for this week.

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