Week 9 RB Start’em, Sit’em: Running Back Fantasy Football Strategy


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If you are in doubt about some players in a tough spot this week, or players that haven’t produced yet this season, you have come to the perfect spot. We dive into a few names to start in borderline matchups, and also talk about players to fade. You can also check out our rankings area to see where players on your team rank and their projections heading into Week 9. Be sure to check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football content.

Start Em

Denver RBs Vs. Cleveland

Royce Freeman is dealing with a bit of a shoulder injury, but expects to play in Week 9. This does put a damper on Phillip Lindsay, as touches have been about equal. However, they are getting enough touches to have standalone value on a week-to-week basis. I don’t mind plugging them in against the 20th ranked run defense. This game should stay relatively close as Denver’s defense is good enough to limit the Browns at home.

Mark Walton Vs. New York Jets

The first game without Kenyan Drake, Mark Walton saw 38 snaps and 14 touches. His touches over the last three weeks are 11, 15, and 14. Miami has some lesser opponents over the next few weeks, and it starts against the Jets. While their run defense isn’t all that bad, they are 12th in fantasy points allowed to opposing backs. Walton is a nice plug and play this week for those dealing with the hefty bye week.

Adrian Peterson @ Buffalo

I’m not going to lie, Adrian Peterson looks pretty good the last few weeks, and has faced two tough defenses in a row. He has rushed for 118, 81, and 76 yards, and also has four catches in that span for over 40 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2 against Dallas, but 23, 20, and 14 rushing attempts over the past three weeks. The Bills have allowed the 10th most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season and rank 28th against the run.

Jamaal Williams @ Los Angeles Chargers

Even with everyone healthy, I like the Packers this weekend, and Jamaal Williams is a strong option even behind Aaron Jones. He has 17 touches over the past two weeks, and the Chargers are a lackluster defense at this point. They are allowing the 9th most fantasy points per game to running backs, and rank 24th against the run. The offense has been creative for the backs and has started to click over the last few weeks.

Sit Em

Kenyan Drake Vs. San Francisco

Arizona traded for Kenyan Drake, and they certainly needed a body given David Johnson and Chase Edmonds are banged up. I don’t love Kenyan Drake over the rest of the season, nor do I like any of the other Arizona backs. They have a bye week still to come and a very tough schedule. I understand you might be limited this week due to a lot of backs being out on bye, so if you are forced into these situations it is what it is. The 49ers are allowing 11.1 PPR points per game to opposing backs this season.

Kansas City RBs Vs. Minnesota

Already seeing limited snaps each for Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy, they are tough starts as it is. The matchup makes it tougher, as Minnesota is allowing the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season. They also rank 10th against the run. Williams touches over the last four weeks have been 12, 2, 11, and 7. For McCoy, it has been 2, 10, 14, and 13. They are going to have to break out the big play to have a big fantasy day.

Carlos Hyde @ Jacksonville

Carlos Hyde has seen some big touches this season, and had over 20 in Week 5 and Week 6. Hyde doesn’t have much value if Houston struggles defensively and gets down early. Weirdly enough, I can see that happening against Jacksonville. Their passing attack is good enough to exploit this secondary and put Houston down or at least push Watson to be the focus of the offense. While the Jaguars are not a great run defense, Hyde has five games under ten PPR points, and one game over 15.

Mark Ingram Vs. New England

Going up against a tough defense, Mark Ingram is one of those backs you don’t feel good about starting but might have to. Most of his fantasy points this season came against Kansas City and Miami. Opposing backs are averaging just nine PPR points against New England this season, and Ingram’s volume isn’t quite high enough to take him over the hump. There have been weeks around the 13-14 touch mark, which isn’t great for Ingram.

Jason Guilbault is the Brand Content Manager for Lineups.com, powered by Catena Media. He has worked 10+ in the sports betting & iGaming space as a writer and content manager. Jason has also written for DailyFantasyCafe, NBAMockDraft, & FantasyPros. He aims to bring the best sports data & insight to the industry for both novice & advanced users.

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