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NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 14: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys DAL · RB
Houston Texans
2022 · 1-10-1

Pollard played 43 percent of the snaps with 12 carries and three targets on Sunday night, which was fewer snaps and carries and the same number of targets as Ezekiel Elliott. It was frustrating after Pollard had appeared to take over the backfield the week before. Even despite that, Pollard scored nearly 25 fantasy points last week, enough to make him the RB2 on the week. But it does not matter this week since they get the Texans. Houston has allowed 28.7 fantasy PPG to RBs, the most in the NFL. That includes giving up the most rushing yards and touchdowns to running backs. Pollard is so explosive that he brings top-five upsides every week but especially in a matchup like this one. Pollard is a must-start this week. Elliot is also in play in this fantastic matchup. 

D'Andre Swift
Detroit Lions DET · RB
Minnesota Vikings
2022 · 10-2-0

Swift has been a sit way more than I anticipated at the start of the year, but it was never about talent with him. It was just about the usage he was seeing on a weekly basis, and Swift has slowly been seeing more. In Week 13, he led the Lions backfield in snaps (51 percent), carries (14), targets (6) and yards (111) while also scoring a touchdown. Swift is a must-start back if he is seeing 20 opportunities in a game, especially when he has a matchup like this one against the Vikings, who have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to RBs in the last month (32.5). Make sure to get Swift back into your starting lineups.  

D'Onta Foreman
Carolina Panthers CAR · RB
Seattle Seahawks
2022 · 7-5-0

Foreman has started six games for the Panthers, and he has run for at least 113 yards in four of those games. He has topped 16 fantasy points three times. Foreman brings a low floor, as he is game script-dependent, which means that if the Panthers fall behind, they tend to pull him for a back who is better in the passing game. However, this week's matchup against Seattle should be competitive. Not only that, but the Seahawks have been ran all over this season. After allowing over 300 yards to Josh Jacobs in Week 12, we saw Cam Akers have his resurgence against them last week. On the year, they have allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to RBs at 27.7 per game. It jumps to a league-high 36.4 in the last month. Start Foreman this week if you are in need of some RB help.

Miami Dolphins
2022 · 8-4-0
Los Angeles Chargers
2022 · 6-6-0

Last week was a huge disappointment for Wilson, who was listed as a sit. Wilson played just 38 percent of the snaps with one carry and two targets, finishing with just three yards. It was the first time since Wilson was acquired that Mostert played over him. It was a very tough matchup, and that likely impacted the usage. Luckily, he gets a better matchup this week, as the Chargers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy PPG to RBs (27.1). They have also allowed the third most rushing yards to the position, struggling particularly on outside carries. They have allowed nearly 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns on those carries. Wilson leads the Dolphins in carries (15) and yards (82) and is tied on touchdowns on outside carries. He also leads on inside carries and gets more usage in the red zone and near the goal line. Plus, they tend to split pass game work. Wilson can be left in your starting lineup even after last week's disappointment. Mostert is in play as an upside option in this matchup.  

Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams LA · RB
Las Vegas Raiders
2022 · 5-7-0

Akers seemingly took over the Rams backfield last week, playing 73 percent of the snaps, his first time playing over half the snaps all season. He saw 17 of the 20 running back carries and added a target, going for 60 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks. The yardage could have been better, but when it comes to the Rams, you will take what you can get. Akers has another matchup against the Raiders, who have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (28.0) and the eighth-most in the past month (26.6). Understand that the floor is low, but if you need a streaming option, it is worth taking a shot on Akers in a good matchup.  

Sit 'Em

Dameon Pierce
Houston Texans HOU · RB
Dallas Cowboys
2022 · 9-3-0

Not only did I have to tell people not to drop Pierce last week, but I also advocated starting him. He finished with 95 yards and 12.5 fantasy points against the Browns, enough to make him a top-22 RB on the week. But that was in a very favorable matchup. This week is not that. It is no secret that the Texans offense has been struggling mightily, and the Cowboys defense is in a position to take advantage of that. The Cowboys lead the NFL in sacks and should be able to make life tough on the Texans' offensive line. This has the makings of a game that can quickly get out of hand, and we have seen a negative game script ruin Pierce’s week completely. Plus, it's not like the Cowboys have been issuing many points to running backs. On the season, they have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG to halfbacks (18.8). I would get away from Pierce, if possible, this week.  

Latavius Murray
Denver Broncos DEN · RB
Kansas City Chiefs
2022 · 9-3-0

Murray has been reliable for about 10 fantasy points per game, more if he is able to score a touchdown. He even saw more targets last week, but that was in a game in which the Broncos were playing with a lead until late in the fourth quarter. This week against the Chiefs likely won’t go that way. And if the Broncos fall behind early, we could see them get away from Murray, now that Mike Boone is back and can pass-protect if the Broncos are in catch-up mode. The Chiefs are in the bottom third in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed to running backs this season, but where they have allowed production is in the passing game. This seems like a risky spot where the floor could bottom out due to a negative game script for Murray. And the ceiling is not high enough to risk rolling those dice in such a big week. If you have another option, take it.  

Gus Edwards
Baltimore Ravens BAL · RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2022 · 5-7-0

None of the Ravens running backs played even half the snaps in Week 13. But what’s worse is Edwards didn’t even lead the way. No, that was Kenyan Drake. In total, Edwards played just a quarter of the snaps with six carries, no targets and 12 yards. There is just no floor and not much upside here. Edwards returned with that two-touchdown game, but since then, he has yet to reach double figures and reached a new low last week. The Steelers have ranked in the middle of the pack against the run, but right now, there is no way Edwards can be trusted. Go in another direction this week.  

Kareem Hunt
Cleveland Browns CLE · RB
Cincinnati Bengals
2022 · 8-4-0

Hunt saw nine carries and three targets last week against the Texans. It was the most touches and targets he has had in a game since Week 8. And it's worrisome because it came in a game they had a massive lead and likely opted to get Nick Chubb some rest. His 9.4 fantasy points were also the most in a game since Week 8. The upside is not high, as Hunt hasn’t topped 15 fantasy points since Week 1. The floor is less than five, which just makes Hunt a player to avoid. The Bengals rank middle of the pack against running backs, but that’s still a tougher matchup than a week ago, as the Texans allow the most production to backs. Hunt is a name people recognize and may think he is a solid streaming option. Do not make that mistake.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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