Fantasy Football Week 6 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Start ‘Em

Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

There is some danger with starting Moreno against the worst rushing defense in the NFL, believe it or not. The Broncos figure to blow this one out early and might turn to the likes of Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball in garbage time. After all, the Broncos need to establish their power-running game, and there is no better time to do it than here.

Here is a vote of confidence Moreno picks up 60 yards and a touchdown before he gives way to the younger backups, though. Start Hillman and even Ball in leagues too. Each of the three might be good for 50-plus yards and a touchdown apiece.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Jonathan Stewart (ankle) might be nearly ready to practice off the PUP list, but Williams is the Panthers’ feature back for at least a couple more weeks. This one figures to be bountiful against a Vikings defense that has allowed the second-most points to fantasy running backs thus far. Williams can rack up a high-carry total for a 30-year-old back, especially if the Panthers are confident Stewart will be a second-half reinforcement.

Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers

Ryan Mathews (concussion) returned to practice Friday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune‘s Kevin Acee, but that doesn’t mean he will be cleared for Monday night’s game against the Colts. If Mathews is held out, Woodhead becomes a top-10 fantasy back. Heck, because of his receiving numbers of late, he might be that already regardless in PPR formats.

Ben Tate, Houston Texans

We didn’t expect to be this excited about the prospects of a backup running back, but Arian Foster (thumb and chest) has been limited in practice this week.

Foster is going to play and star against a Rams defense that has been a sieve against running backs (third worst), but there should be ample time for Tate to rack up 60 yards and a touchdown spelling the feature back. It certainly helps that the Texans’ Matt Schaub is struggling in the passing game. It should be a lot of handoffs Sunday in Houston.

Bilal Powell, New York Jets

No, the Steelers are not as bad against the run as their dead-last standing against fantasy running backs suggests, but you cannot ignore the feature back in a run-heavy scheme against Pittsburgh at this point.

Powell will have to contend with Chris Ivory and even Mike Goodson for carries, but 20 touches for 100 yards and a touchdown is a reasonable expectation for Powell this week in a game that should be a slobberknocker.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

We have to admit the Bills are better against the run this year (seventh best against fantasy running backs), but the Bengals should have control of this game throughout, especially with Thad Lewis starting at quarterback off the practice squad. There should be ample touches for both of the Bengals’ time-share backs, even if Bernard has had issues with fumbling of late. Both are top-25 options this week.

Sit ‘Em

Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

When you have three running backs (or four), you really have none. The Rams are going to a power back in Stacy, but a matchup against the Texans run defense is not a great one for Stacy’s fantasy owners, despite what the numbers suggest.

The Texans are a lot more stout than their fourth-worst rush defense (tied) suggests. Stacy also has to deal with the rib issue that knocked him out last week and the rotation that will still include former starter Daryl Richardson, former back-of-the-future Isaiah Pead and even Benny Cunningham.

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

Like we said above, Mathews is at risk of missing Monday night or at least being limited. Heck, he has been limited all season, if not for his injury-plagued career. The Colts have been surprisingly good against fantasy backs despite allowing the third-most rushing yards per game to date. A lot of that damage has come against quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Russell Wilson, who both went over 100 yards against them.

Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals

He has held up fairly well as Bruce Arians’ feature back despite some hiccups, but this is a bad week to trust him. The 49ers are a lot better against the run than they have shown, so consider their seventh-worst standing against running backs fantasy fool’s gold right now. Mendenhall is a bad play, especially at San Francisco.

LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots

The Pats tried to make do with this combo in place of Stevan Ridley (knee) last week, but it didn’t go well. Ridley is expected to play Sunday against the Saints, according to NFL insider Albert Breer.

We cannot be sure of how the rotation’s touches will be distributed, but we are pretty sure you should have better options than the plodding Blount or Bolden this week. The Saints defense has been much better under Rob Ryan, and it is in the top 10 of fantasy against running backs.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions

Granted, Bell is more pass receiver than running back, but the Browns have one of the top-10 rush defenses in the NFL, and they figure to take the backs away, especially with Calvin Johnson (knee) at less than 100 percent. Bell hasn’t been starter-quality the past two weeks, and this is the toughest matchup he has faced yet. Look elsewhere.

Week 6 Running Backs Rankings – Eric Mack
1 Adrian Peterson Min vs. Car 1 0
2 Arian Foster Hou vs. StL 3 +1
3 Jamaal Charles KC vs. Oak 2 -1
4 DeMarco Murray Dal vs. Was 7 +3
5 LeSean McCoy Phi at TB 4 -1
6 Matt Forte Chi vs. NYG 6 0
7 Doug Martin TB vs. Phi 8 +1
8 Marshawn Lynch Sea vs. Ten 5 -3
9 Ray Rice Bal vs. GB 9 0
10 Trent Richardson Ind at SD 13 +3
11 Alfred Morris Was at Dal 10 -1
12 Frank Gore SF vs. Ari 14 +2
13 Reggie Bush Det at Cle 11 -2
14 Knowshon Moreno Den vs. Jac 12 -2
15 DeAngelo Williams Car at Min 15 0
16 Danny Woodhead SD vs. Ind 21 +5
17 Darren Sproles NO at NE 18 +1
18 C.J. Spiller Buf vs. Cin 16 -2
19 Chris Johnson Ten at Sea 23 +4
20 Le’Veon Bell Pit at NYJ 20 0
21 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. Pit 26 +5
22 Maurice Jones-Drew Jac at Den 25 +3
23 Eddie Lacy GB at Bal 17 -6
24 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cin at Buf 30 +6
25 Giovani Bernard Cin at Buf 19 -6
26 Willis McGahee Cle vs. Det 24 -2
27 Fred Jackson Buf vs. Cin 22 -5
28 Stevan Ridley NE vs. NO 28 0
29 Ben Tate Hou vs. StL 33 +4
30 Darren McFadden Oak at KC 37 +7
31 Zac Stacy StL at Hou 31 0
32 Ryan Mathews SD vs. Ind 35 +3
33 Brandon Jacobs NYG at Chi 40 +7
34 Pierre Thomas NO at NE 27 -7
35 Rashard Mendenhall Ari at SF 32 -3
36 Joique Bell Det at Cle 29 -7
37 Ronnie Hillman Den vs. Jac 34 -3
38 Montee Ball Den vs. Jac 46 +8
39 Brandon Bolden NE vs. NO 38 -1
40 Daryl Richardson StL at Hou 47 +7
41 Bernard Pierce Bal vs. GB 45 +4
42 LeGarrette Blount NE vs. NO 41 -1
43 Kendall Hunter SF vs. Ari 56 +13
44 Michael Bush Chi vs. NYG 53 +9
45 Andre Ellington Ari at SF 36 -9
46 Donald Brown Ind at SD 48 +2
47 Da’Rel Scott NYG at Chi 43 -4
48 Mike Goodson NYJ vs. Pit 58 +10
49 Chris Ogbonnaya Cle vs. Det 55 +6
50 Robert Turbin Sea vs. Ten 68 +18
51 Bryce Brown Phi at TB 54 +3
52 Ronnie Brown SD vs. Ind 50 -2
53 Roy Helu Was at Dal 49 -4
54 Rashad Jennings Oak at KC 39 -15
55 Anthony Dixon SF vs. Ari 82 +27
56 Chris Ivory NYJ vs. Pit 44 -12
57 Knile Davis KC vs. Oak 72 +15
58 Jordan Todman Jac at Den 84 +26
59 Mark Ingram NO at NE 66 +7
60 Lance Dunbar Dal vs. Was 78 +18

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