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The Cutback: Running Back Start/Sit Week 6

Week 6 is here, and the Dynasty Nerds writers are back once again to provide you with your weekly starts and sits, and we’re here to talk running backs.

Welcome Back! Week 6 is here, and the DynastyNerds 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 are the cast and the position groups they will 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 law. Any questions? The DMs are always open.

Week 5 Hit/Miss Recap

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

Starts

James Conner: Hit – RB20

Devin Singletary: Miss – RB48

Mark Ingram: Miss – Tied for RB40

Sits

Darrell Henderson: Miss – RB6

Joshua Kelley: Hit – RB44

David Montgomery: Miss – RB13

Week 4 was bad, but I got absolutely smoked this week. I went just two of six, and one of those hits was still close. Despite the absence of Zack Moss, Singletary couldn’t get anything going against the Tennessee Titans. It doesn’t help when your team has three turnovers on the night. I’m officially off of the Ingram train. Teammate J.K. Dobbins is outscoring him through five weeks, and he just isn’t getting enough volume to be fantasy-viable.

It wasn’t pretty, but Henderson was my biggest miss of the week. He was inefficient, but he got the all-important two touchdowns. That will swing your week in a big way. I nailed Kelley as the running game was stagnant for much of the night, and Justin Jackson took on a lot of work. I was mad and happy with the Montgomery pick. He’s finally starting to show some life here, and there’s a hope he can keep it rolling.

Starts

Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

Similar to Ingram last week, this will be my last time going to the Drake well this season. He’s 32nd in PPR scoring among running backs through five games, and, even in a good matchup last week, he was just 24th-best guy at the position. Teammate Chase Edmonds is getting a healthy amount of work, and if Drake doesn’t score a touchdown, he just can’t get anything going.

Looking at his splits over the first five weeks, Drake has struggled, even in the games he has scored. If you take away his touchdowns, he’s averaging right around eight points per game, and, for a player you drafted in the second or third round, that’s just simply not enough. Teammate Chase Edmonds, in the four games he hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown, he’s averaging just under 10 points a game for a guy you got at a much cheaper spot in the draft.

In Week 6, Drake has a matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, who are allowing 20 fantasy points per game to the running back position. The main reason that Drake deserves consideration this week is the other players that are missing this week. Three top 10 fantasy running backs are on byes this week, along with the Los Angeles Chargers. You can have some confidence with Drake getting into the RB2 category this week.

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

I faded him last week, but I’m going for him this week. Montgomery has the best matchup possible against the Carolina Panthers this week. The Panthers are allowing the most fantasy points per game to running backs at 27.4 per game. With Tarik Cohen out with an injury, it has been the Montgomery show by a mile.

In the one game that Montgomery got at least 15 carries, he nearly doubled his fantasy average from 11.35 to 21.7. He also got into the end zone for his first receiving touchdown of the season. With how quarterback Nick Foles has looked in his games under center, head coach Matt Nagy needs to get Montgomery more involved in the receiving game to give him more easy completions. 

In fantasy, volume reigns supreme. Since Cohen was lost for the season, Montgomery has played over 80 percent of the snaps in the last two games, and he has no significant threat to his carries workload. In a great matchup during the week that there are limited options at the position, get him into your lineups this week.

D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

This is my longest shot of the week. This is exclusively a PPR play. If you play in standard leagues, I don’t recommend the play of Swift. He’s not the highest ceiling player that you have available, but he’s a safe option that you can plug in your lineups without worrying if he will produce that week or not. Think of him like the Kareem Hunt lite. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but you could do much worse.

He’s currently averaging 10.4 PPR points per game right now, and he sees a consistent snap count every week. Among the three Lions’ running backs that have seen consistent snaps this season, he is the only one seeing fewer than 30 percent of the snaps in a game, outside of Week 3 when he left early with an injury. While Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson have seen their touches fluctuate, his have been locked in.

In Week 6, he draws a matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars that are one of the worst in football this year. They’re the eighth-worst team in fantasy this year as they’re allowing over 22 points per game to the position. Swift has the opportunity to really grab a firm hold of this position this week with a strong performance.

Sits

Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens

I said that I was done going to the well, and I meant it. For more reason than one, you should be avoiding Ingram this week. Last season, Ingram had a stranglehold on the running back work, which has not been even close to the case this season. He’s second on the team in running back snaps, and he’s not getting the receiving opportunities he had last year. He’s second on the team in running back receptions, and he has half the targets of rookie J.K. Dobbins.

These splits are absolutely putrid. Even when Ingram is getting some volume, he’s not able to do anything with it. He has zero games with at least 15 carries, and, in the two games he cleared at least 10 carries, he’s averaging just 4.3 per game. The hope for Ingram was that he could be an RB3 for your rosters, and he’s not even hitting that level in the biggest of leagues.

Toss in the fact that he has a difficult matchup this week with the Philadelphia Eagles, who are allowing less than 3.5 yards per carry on the season, and it’s a perfect storm for leaving him on your bench this week. The absolute only way that you’re going to be starting Ingram is if you’ve been snake bitten by injuries, and you have no other choice.

Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Rams head coach Sean McVay said after the team’s Week 5 win, they had plans to get Cam Akers more touches moving forward. Henderson needed two touchdowns to give him fantasy value in Week 5, and he has yet to play more than 49 percent of the snaps in any game this season. With all of that in mind, how can you have any confidence in Henderson in the weeks coming up?

We talk a lot about players being touchdown reliant, but that fits Henderson to a T. In the games where he has scored a rushing touchdown, he’s averaging over 20 points per game. In the other two games, his average is just two. Touchdowns have made Henderson successful to start this season, and you can’t trust touchdowns as much as you can trust volumes.

I haven’t even gotten to the matchup this week, which is one of the most difficult parts of this whole process. The 49ers have been the second-best team to start the season, and they’re allowing just 13.1 points to the running back position this season. Despite their injuries, you shouldn’t be counting on Henderson to break out for another big week. We always chase volume and never touchdowns. If you have the depth, let Henderson ride the pine this week.

Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos

Aside from the fact that he may or may not play this week due to being arrested during the week for reckless driving and driving under the influence, Gordon is probably a safer option on your bench this week. Teammate Phillip Lindsay is expected to return from his injury this week, and quarterback Drew Lock should return, which will give him less rushing opportunities due to a shift in offensive philosophy. 

Gordon is just 20th in total scoring thus far because he had to miss Week 5, and he’s averaging over 16 PPR points per game. However, he has needed some touchdowns to get him playing up to the value that you invested in him. In the two games he failed to get into the end zone, he had just 12 points per game compared to the nearly 22 he’s putting up otherwise.

With all of the drawbacks working against him, he’s also got a matchup with the New England Patriots waiting for him. The Patriots have the defensive backs to sit back in coverage against the Denver receivers, and they can pack the box against Gordon. Similar to Ingram, you may have to play Gordon because you don’t have a better option, but if you have the depth, let him ride your bench.

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