It has been a chaotic season for fantasy running backs, but it is time to analyze the position and matchups to find must-starts and must-sits for Week 9. Below we will break down the NFL fantasy football rankings and go over the Week 9 fantasy football start ’em/sit ’em running backs.
Week 9 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Must Start: Michael Carter — Jets at Colts
Carter had the best game of his rookie season last week against the Bengals, with 15 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown and nine receptions on 14 targets for 95 yards. The Jets have fully committed to Carter as their lead back, and over the last two games he has seen over 70% of the running back snaps. Even with Mike White under center, who had a solid showing against the Bengals, expect Carter to be a reliable option going forward.
Must Start: Zack Moss — Bills at Jaguars
Moss was a disappointment last week in the matchup against the Dolphins, with just eight carries for 19 yards and six receptions for 39 yards. However, the whole Bills offense struggled most of the game. This week against the Jaguars fantasy owners should expect a bounce back.
Must Start: Darrel Williams — Chiefs vs. Packers
As Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still on the injured reserve, Williams should continue to play a lot. With that said, some may be nervous because of the surprising use of Derrick Gore against the Giants. In that game Gore had 11 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown, while Williams had 13 carries for 49 yards and five receptions for 61. So even with Gore seeing more work than expected, Williams still had a solid game. As such, this week against the Packers Williams is still a potential top-12 back.
Must Sit: Kenneth Gainwell — Eagles vs. Chargers
While everyone was all over Gainwell’s value last week against the Lions, he was a total bust. Nick Sirianni finally committed to the run, but Boston Scott and Jordan Howard were the benefactors of that. Gainwell put up a measly 27 yards on 13 carries with zero involvement in the receiving game. Many of his rushing opportunities came in garbage time late in the game. At this point, Gainwell is not a trustworthy fantasy asset.
Must Sit: Jeremy McNichols — Titans at Rams
With Derrick Henry on IR for the rest of the regular season, the Titans will look towards McNichols and Adrian Peterson to fill the void. This scenario is unlikely to be a situation like with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison, where Mattison saw the lion’s share of carries with Cook out. With Henry gone, it is very likely that this will go to a committee system. This would likely be with Peterson as the guy on the first two downs and McNichols as the third-down back. Match that with the tough matchup against the Rams, and McNichols should remain on fantasy benches.
Must Sit: Mike Davis — Falcons at Saints
Starting Davis at this point is a tough sell. Even though he started the season as the clear lead back on Atlanta, he has been surpassed by Cordarrelle Patterson in touches. In Week 8 against the Panthers Davis out-snapped Patterson by two, yet he had just nine carries for 44 yards and five receptions for 22. Meanwhile, Patterson had nine carries for 35 yards and five receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown. The team is now also without Calvin Ridley for the foreseeable future, so establishing the run will be even more difficult.
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