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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Running backs for Week 7

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers GB
AJ Dillon
Green Bay Packers GB

Jones has been banged up, but if he suits up this week, he’s a must-start option. He finished as the RB1 in Week 1, but has struggled to see the field since. If he sits, Dillon becomes the must-start option -- and he's still in play as a flex option, even if Jones is a go. Dillon, who enjoys virtual farming in his downtime, is coming off his best game of the season, running for 76 yards and a touchdown in a favorable Week 5 matchup against the Raiders. There is no more favorable RB matchup than the one the Packers get this week. The Broncos have allowed the most rushing yards to running backs. They have allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns. They give up an average of 5.9 yards per carry, the highest mark in the league. They also have allowed the second-most catches, second-most receiving yards and most receiving touchdowns to running backs. 

Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts IND
Zack Moss
Indianapolis Colts IND

Last week in this space, both Colts backs were listed as starts. Taylor posted with 11.5 fantasy points, playing 43 percent of the snaps with eight carries and six targets on 21 routes. He finished with 65 yards. Meanwhile, Moss played 49 percent of the snaps with seven carries and seven targets on 25 routes, totaling 59 total yards and a touchdown. He scored 17.9 fantasy points. Moss has now outscored Taylor in both games the latter has been active. Taylor should continue to see more work, but Moss will not go away quietly and should continue to be used in the passing game. The Browns are a tough matchup, but the upside with both of the Indy backs is too high to avoid -- especially with six teams on bye. 

Brian Robinson
Washington Commanders WAS

Robinson continues to be the RB1 for the Commanders. The second-year pro has shown to be very reliable, too, topping 13 fantasy points in four of six games so far this season. His safe floor is his best attribute in fantasy, but he has shown he brings upside in the right matchup. And that’s what he has this week against the Giants. The G-Men have allowed the third-most rushing yards and touchdowns to backs. This is a game where the Commanders could be playing from ahead, which means more Robinson to grind out the clock. Start him this week. 

Rhamondre Stevenson
New England Patriots NE

Stevenson had an injury scare last week, but was still able to score 18.0 fantasy points and finish as the RB6 on the week. He found the end zone and might have done so twice if not for that brief stint on the sideline for injury evaluation (during which Ezekiel Elliott scored). But what really stands out is that Stevenson played 64 percent of the snaps and was targeted six times, catching five passes for 24 yards. Those are all highs since Week 1 for the Pats' top back. If he is once again a part of the passing game, it elevates both his floor and ceiling. Now he faces the Bills, who have allowed the 10th-most catches to RBs. They have also yielded 5.2 yards per carry to backs, third-most in the league behind only the Broncos and Panthers. Stevenson remains in play as an RB2 this week. 


Roschon Johnson is very much in play if he suits up this week. He and the Bears take on the Raiders, who seemingly have been a get-right opponent for running backs all year. They have allowed more than 20 fantasy PPG to RBs. If Johnson does not clear concussion protocol, D’Onta Foreman will be an RB2. (He will also be a deeper flier if Johnson is active.) Both Jaleel McLaughlin and Javonte Williams are flex options. Williams led the way on the ground for Denver last week, while McLaughlin played more snaps and had more passing-game work. The Packers allow 107 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown per game to backs. They also give up a lot of production to backs through the air. McLaughlin is the preferred play, as he brings more upside, but Williams is a deeper flex option. 49ers RBs Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason are also strong streaming options if Christian McCaffrey sits.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Roschon Johnson has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Raiders with a concussion, the team announced Friday.

Sit 'Em

Rachaad White
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB

White has been heavily featured in this article as a sit. For good reason: He has had one big game … against the Bears back in Week 2. In Tampa Bay's other four games, he's averaged just 7.9 fantasy points and has not reached 11 fantasy points in any of them. He gets a tough matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed 83 rushing yards per game to backs and no rushing touchdowns. They have yielded the fewest catches and third-fewest receiving yards to backs. With six teams on bye, some of you might need to start White because of volume, but you should get away if you can. 

Alexander Mattison
Minnesota Vikings MIN

Mattison continues to see big volume in Minnesota's backfield, but has not shown much upside. He has been more of a safe-floor option, as you can rely on him for fantasy points in the low double digits most weeks. But this is not most weeks, as he faces the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards and just three rushing touchdowns to backs. The Niners also have a high-powered offense, meaning the Vikings could be in catch-up mode. This is a similar matchup to the Eagles, who held Mattison to fewer than five fantasy points. He is not a must-sit with six teams on bye, but if you have another option, take it. 

Gus Edwards
Baltimore Ravens BAL
Justice Hill
Baltimore Ravens BAL

Both Edwards and Hill were sits last week and they both scored between 6.3 and 6.5 fantasy points. Edwards played 61 percent of snaps with 16 carries to Hill’s 39 percent and eight carries. But Hill out-targeted Edwards 3-1 and is still being used near the goal line. While Edwards is the preferred option, it's hard to trust either as more than a deeper flex option while they cannibalize each other. This is a week to get away from both, as the Lions have been extremely stingy against the run. They have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to backs and have given up just two rushing touchdowns. Go in another direction this week. 

Emari Demercado
Arizona Cardinals ARI
Keaontay Ingram
Arizona Cardinals ARI

The Cardinals used three different running backs last week. Demercado led the team in routes and snaps, while Ingram led in carries and targets. Damien Williams was also eating into production. None of them reached eight fantasy points. Now they have a very difficult matchup in Seattle. The Seahawks have given up the fewest rushing yards to running backs this season, yielding a league-low average of 2.7 yards per carry. Given that three different backs were involved last week and that this has been one of the toughest matchups for RBs, I would avoid this backfield altogether, even with six teams on bye. 

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