Week 11 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs
Wondering whom to start and sit at running back this week? Below are three top-notch starts and one sit option at the running back position for Week 11 of the 2022 NFL season.
Week 10 Review – half-PPR scoring
- RB Travis Etienne (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ Kansas City Chiefs – 8.8 fantasy points (T-RB28)
- RB Jamaal Williams (Detroit Lions) @ Chicago Bears – 11.9 fantasy points (RB17)
- RB James Conner (Arizona Cardinals) @ Los Angeles Rams – 22.1 fantasy points (RB4)
- RB Melvin Gordon (Denver Broncos) @ Tennessee Titans – 9.0 fantasy points (RB27)
Running Back – Starts
Isiah Pacheco (Kansas City Chiefs) @ Los Angeles Chargers
Since their Week 8 bye, Kansas City has featured rookie running back Isiah Pacheco as the team’s lead rusher and veteran running back Jerick McKinnon as the passing-down running back, phasing out Clyde Edwards-Helaire almost entirely. The latter man logged just four snaps in Week 10.
Pachecho has averaged 10.5 rush attempts over the last two weeks, posting a career-high 16 in Week 10. His 4.1 yards per carry led the backfield by a 2.6-yard margin and his 1.5 yards after contact lead by 0.7, per 4for4’s NFL Player Stats Explorer. After Pacheco fumbled in the red zone last week, head coach Andy Reid showed his commitment to the young running back by immediately giving Pacheco the first touch on the following drive.
Kansas City sits as -6.5-point road favorites over the Los Angeles Chargers this week, hinting at a Pacheco-friendly, clock-killing game script.
Los Angeles’ 147.4 rushing yards allowed per game and 27.6 half-PPR points allowed per game to opposing running backs are both top-three most running back-friendly rates in the league, per 4for4’s NFL Team Stats Explorer.
Brian Robinson Jr. (Washington Commanders) @ Houston Texans
Washington Commanders' rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. has out-carried veteran Antonio Gibson since Robinson Jr.’s seasonal debut in Week 5. This weekend, Robinson Jr. gets to tee off on the Houston Texans’ front seven currently allowing 183.2 rushing yards per game and an 8.6% explosive rushing plays allowed rate, both league-highs, per 4for4’s NFL Team Stats Explorer.
Houston’s 30.6 half-PPR points per game allowed to opposing running backs leads the NFL by a 2.9-point margin, per 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed.
Running Back – Sits
Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) @ Minnesota Vikings
Per Adam Hutchison’s Injury Index, running backs average 3.3 games missed with MCL sprains before suffering a -17.5% drop in fantasy production over their first three games following their return to play.
Dallas’ Week 11 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings have allowed a moderate 118.4 rushing yards per game this year but thanks in special part to thumping safety Harrison Smith, Minnesota has limited opponents to just a 4.6% explosive rushing plays rate, 12th-best in the league.
Among NFL running backs with at least 20 carries since Week 8, Dallas’ No. 2 running back Tony Pollard leads with position with 6.8 yards per carry. There is little reason to feature Elliott upon his return.
Minnesota’s 18.3 half-PPR points per game allowed to opposing running backs is tied for the 11th fewest.
James Robinson (New York Jets) @ New England Patriots
The New York Jets opened as 3.0-point road underdogs against the New England Patriots. The game features a disdainful 38.5-point over/under, tied for the lowest on the Week 11 slate. Fantasy points are likely to be few and far between here.
Big-bodied running back James Robinson made his New York debut against New England just three weeks ago and was held to 17 rushing yards on five carries while failing to secure his lone target.
Since joining New York, Robinson and Michael Carter have split carries 18-to-18 but Carter’s 5.7 yards per carry are 2.1 better than the post-Achilles rupture version of Robinson. The latter man is sadly averaging just 0.9 yards after contact per carry.
Robinson, Carter, and Ty Johnson have all factored into the passing game but Robinson’s backfield-low 11.1% route participation rate leaves much to be desired.
New England is allowing just 14.2 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs, the fewest in the league by a 1.7-point margin.