NFL Fantasy: Week 6 start ‘em, sit ‘em running backs

Sometimes you have to look deeper than last week’s running back performances before deciding to start ‘em or sit ‘em.

After several breakout performances in Week 5, NFL fantasy owners scrambled to the waiver wire. But one week does not a start ‘em make. Check out who should be in your lineup and which new stars you should sit in Week 6. 

Start this guy: Alvin Kamara, NO vs DET

As of Monday, Alvin Kamara was only owned in 50% of NFL fantasy leagues and only started by 50% of those owners. If you were among those scared off by the Adrian Peterson diversion, the trade of AP to the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday should be your sign. It is time for Kamara to be started in every league. New Orleans comes off their bye week at home with Kamara and Willie Snead integrated into one of the most prolific offenses in the game. Kamara’s dual threat as a deep receiver and strong runner have me saying “start ‘em” in Week 6 and probably every week after. 

Sit this guy: Marlon Mack, IND at TEN

Marlon Mack is a waiver wire darling for the second time this season after a nifty display of running in Week 5. So, what happened the first time? Mack followed up a similar outing in Week 1 with seven touches for eight yards in Week 2. Meanwhile, veterans Frank Gore and Robert Turbin still out-snapped Mack by a 2:1 margin last week. With a coach traditionally loyal to his veterans, don’t expect Mack to take over the Colts’ offense anytime soon. 

Start this guy: CJ Anderson, DEN vs NYG 

Before the bye week, much was made of Jamaal Charles’ increased role in the Denver offense. What is true is that when Charles is in the game, he is more likely to touch the ball than Anderson – but Anderson is still on the field 70% of the time. Against the Giants, expect Denver to run the ball a lot whether Anderson or Charles is in the game. The Giants have not been strong against the run and are dealing with as many injuries on defense as they are on offense. Count on a big game, probably by both Denver running backs, as they look to run the clock down and go home.

Sit this guy: Aaron Jones, GB vs MIN

After a monster game last week in his first NFL start, Aaron Jones is about to learn what the savviest NFL fantasy owners already know; Minnesota’s defense is much better than the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. They also have a week and a half of game film to see what Jones can do. Minnesota has given up only one rushing touchdown in the first five weeks. Green Bay will be hard-pressed to make it two. With several top ten receivers by yardage in this game, the game could turn into an aerial battle, further limiting Jones’ fantasy contribution. 

Start this guy: Elijah McGuire, NYJ vs NE 

There is a good chance the Jets’ running back committee will be down to one runner this Sunday against the second-worst run defense in NFL fantasy football. If Matt Forte or Bilal Powell are available, they will probably not carry a full load with their toe and calf injuries on the turf at MetLife Stadium. Newly-signed Travaris Cadet could see carries, but not enough to think twice about saying “start ‘em” at the explosive Elijah McGuire. 

Sit these guys: Carlos Hyde/Matt Breida, SF at WAS

Matt Breida is another waiver wire favorite this week after he took over the fourth quarter against the Colts. Coach Kyle Shanahan says he went with the hot hand and there is nothing changed about the status of Hyde. There won’t be a hot hand in Washington DC this week as the Redskins come back from their bye week to the realization they have as good a chance as any NFC East team to take the division title. Their defense has been incredible two weeks in a row. Look for that to continue against San Francisco. 

Week 6 flash in the pan prediction

Fullback James Connor vultures two touchdowns from Le’Veon Bell and tacks on a 30-yard rumble on a four-and-one play to finish with more NFL fantasy points than his star teammate against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Full disclosure: why you should listen to me

Last week’s start ‘em and sit ‘em picks all made the grade, even if a few of them were shaky. Melvin Gordon was the best start, coming in as the RB #2. Marshawn Lynch and Lamar Miller both were in the second tier (top 20) while two of my sits scored about seven points for the 20th and 22nd place. My prediction of the Seattle committee disaster also came true. 

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Pat Opperman


Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.