Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em Fantasy Football Week 5: Running Backs – Fades, Sleepers, Clashes, DFS Bargains


Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst PPR based scoring system matches in fantasy football. This column will not cover elite NFL players like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams or Travis Kelce. Instead, I’m going to look at which players you have the most questions about to help you define the most effective starting roster possible. For all of your final fantasy roster decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Week 5 Start ‘Em: Running Backs

Beginning of the week

Cordarrelle Patterson vs. Jets (London 9:30 a.m. ET, NFL): Patterson is # 2 in fantasy football (not a typo) after four weeks, yet he only started in 31% of Yahoo! leagues last week. That won’t be the case anymore, as the veteran faces a Jets defense that has allowed the running backs the most fantastic points this season. This includes second receiving yards (288) to position.

Week 5 Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em

• QUARTERS
• BACK TO THE RACE
• WIDE RECEIVERS
• TIGHT ENDS
• KICKERS
• TEAM DEFENSES

Start them

Darrell Henderson at Seahawks (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL): Henderson looked good on his return from rib disease, scoring a fantastic 16.6 points while seeing a nearly 39% touchdown share in the Rams backfield. I would keep him active this week, as the Rams face a Seahawks defense that struggled against the running backs. Opposing runners have on average the second-highest number of fantastic points against the Seattle defense this season.

Damien Williams at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): Williams is expected to see a starring role in the Bears’ offense this week in the absence of David Montgomery, who injured his knee in a win over the Lions. Las Vegas’ defense can be nicked by running backs, as Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris and Ty’Son Williams have all scored over 16 fantastic points against them. If you managed to catch Damien, cast him this weekend.

Leonard Fournette Against the Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Fournette appears to be the best fullback in Tampa Bay as he saw a 44% touchdown share and played 63 snaps against the Patriots last week. He’ll be a solid No.2 fantasy this week when the Buccaneers host the Dolphins. Miami’s defense has been terrible against the running backs, allowing six total touchdowns and the third most fantasy points for the position in 2021.

Damien Harris at the Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Harris put on a stench last week, but it’s no surprise against the Buccaneers. He should bounce back this week in a positive game against the Texans. The Houston defense gave up four touchdowns and the fourth-most rushing yards to running backs, so consider Harris a nice FLEX option.

More departures

  • By Andre Swift at Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Chase Edmonds vs. 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Chuba Hubbard vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS good deals

  • Chase Edmonds at 49ers ($ 5,900)
  • Damien Harris at the Texans ($ 5,500)
  • Leonard Fournette against the dolphins ($ 5,200)

Week 5 Sit ‘Em: running backs

Seat of the week

Miles Sanders at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Sanders’ stock has taken a huge hit as the Eagles have become a heavy offense over the past two weeks. He totaled nine runs combined and a 17.1% touchdown share in those games. Sanders also loses touches to Kenneth Gainwell, who averaged 2.3 points per touch in a loss to the Chiefs. At best, Sanders is a risk-reward FLEX option against the Panthers.

Sit down

Melvin Gordon at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gordon will be a low-end RB2 or FLEX option this week, but beware of a clash against the Steelers. Their defense has been brutal against the pass, but the running backs haven’t had much success with no running back having scored more than 11 fantastic points against them this season. Gordon also continues to share the job with rookie Javonte Williams, which hurts his value every week.

San Francisco 49ers Trey Sermon

Trey’s Sermon to the Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Sermon looked good in last week’s loss to the Seahawks, rushing for 89 yards while passing the rest of the Niners backfield, 19-6. This is the good news. The bad news is that the Niners could get Elijah Mitchell back from an injured shoulder, and a clash against the Cardinals isn’t great on paper. At best, Sermon should be viewed as a risk-reward FLEX option this week.

Myles Gaskin at Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Gaskin has been a huge miss this season, averaging a fantastic 7.9 points in his first four games. He’s also losing touchdowns to Malcolm Brown, who saw a 25% touchdown share last week. If that’s not enough to seat Gaskin, this week’s game against the Buccaneers is brutal. Their defense has allowed just one touchdown and 2.8 yards per attempt to running backs this season.

James Conner vs. 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX): I was wrong about Conner last week because he scored two touchdowns for the second week in a row. He will play the same role against the Niners, who surrendered the eighth most points to the runners. Looking more deeply at the numbers, however, 52% of the points the 49ers defense gave to fullbacks came in the passing game. Start Chase Edmonds, but beware of Conner.

More seats

  • Josh Jacobs vs. Bears (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Latavius ​​Murray vs. Colts (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Javonte Williams at the Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS fade

  • Josh Jacobs Against the Bears ($ 5,900)
  • Miles Sanders at Panthers ($ 5,700)
  • James Conner vs. 49ers ($ 5,600)

Michel Fabien is an award winner fantasy football analyst on Illustrated sports and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram for your latest fantastic news and the best analysis in the business!

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