With Week 11 of the NFL season kicking off on Thursday night, it is good time to start looking at your fantasy football lineup. In Week 10, we saw running backs Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, and Dalvin Cook all have great performances. But we also saw some under-the-radar guys make some plays and put themselves in the convo to be either starting or picked up off the waiver wire.
Below we’ll be taking a look at a few running backs that you should start in Week 11 and others that you might want to stay from.
Running Back Starts
James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Conner has been a touchdown machine in his first season with the Arizona Cardinals. The veteran running back has racked up 493 yards on 125 carries and 11 touchdowns (career-high). Last week against the Carolina Panthers, Conner scored his seventh touchdown in the last four games. He’s also averaging 20.5 fantasy points per game over that stretch of games.
The veteran running back has a favorable matchup on Sunday against the Seahawks, who are allowing 23.8 fantasy points and a league-high 684 receiving yards to running backs this season.
AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
With star running back Aaron Jones sidelined for 1-to-2 weeks due to injury, it will be the AJ Dillon show in the backfield. The Packers’ second-year running back recorded 66 yards on 21 carries, two touchdowns, and 62 receiving yards. For his efforts, Dillon rewarded fantasy football managers with a season-high 26.8 fantasy points.
The Packers will now play the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC North showdown on Sunday. The Vikings’ defense is giving up 20 fantasy points per game to running backs and 130.6 rushing yards per game (28th in the NFL).
Michael Carter, New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
Our third running back to start is Jets rookie Michael Carter. The young running back has been productive in the running and receiving games. Carter had 39 rushing yards (16 carries), a touchdown, and 43 receiving yards against the Buffalo Bills last week. He also scored 18.2 fantasy points in the Jets’ 45-17 defeat at home to Buffalo.
The former UNC running back has scored 10 or more fantasy points in five out of his last six games. Carter will now get ready to play the Dolphins, who are allowing 109.3 rushing yards per game and 17.8 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Running Back Sits
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If Barkley ends up starting this week, do not be quick to put him in your starting lineup. The star running back has not played in a month and will be going up against the Buccaneers, who are only giving up 79.8 rushing yards per game (2nd in the NFL). Tampa Bay’s run defense has gotten beat up recently, but that doesn’t mean you should go with Barkley on MNF.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
I understand that the Jets’ run defense has been putrid this season, allowing a league-high 19 rushing touchdowns and 31.6 fantasy points per game to running backs. However, it is hard to trust this Dolphins’ offense to stay committed to the run and actually be productive.
Last week against the Ravens defense, Gaskin had 31 rushing yards on 14 carries and a 14-yard reception for 5.5 fantasy points. In his last three games, he has ran for 101 combined rushing yards. Gaskin’s fantasy production is solely based around him scoring a touchdown, it could happen this week against the Jets. However, we don’t know what Miami team we’ll see every week.
Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints
Despite his recent success on the ground, it might be best to bench Howard for this week’s game against the Saints. The Saints enter Week 11 with the league’s best run defense, only giving up 72.9 yards per game. They are also only allowing 14.1 fantasy points per game to running backs this season.
In Week 10 against the Denver Broncos, Howard had 83 yards on 10 carries for 8.3 fantasy points. But we should not expect a similar output on Sunday with Miles Sanders eligible to return.