Week 7 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Oct 19, 2022
 Week 7 Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Wondering whom to start and sit at running back this week? Below are two top-notch start and two sit options at the running back position for Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sits: QB | WR | TE

Week 6 Review – half-PPR scoring



Running Back – Starts

Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) vs. Houston Texans

Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ the Carolina Panthers) opened with a larger point spread (-11.0) than the Las Vegas Raiders, who are -7.0-point home favorites over the Houston Texans this week. Las Vegas’ 26.25-point implied team total signals three-touchdown potential—a good sign for the team’s do-it-all running back Josh Jacobs.

Jacobs earned some much-needed rest ahead of Las Vegas’ Week 6 bye, racking up an 86% snap share (second among all NFL running backs), 11th targets (third most), and 59.8 half-PPR fantasy points (second most) in Weeks 4 and 5. It took three weeks for head coach Josh McDaniels to incorporate Jacobs into the passing game and Jacobs handled his new found responsibilities with aplomb.

Houston’s 27.9 half-PPR points per game allowed to opposing running backs is the second-highest average league-wide, per 4for4's Schedule Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed tool.

Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Detroit Lions

Despite having had a bye in Week 6, the Detroit Lions’ 170-points against are still the highest sum in the league, as is their 47.3% scoring drive rate allowed.

There are 39 NFL running backs with at least 50 carries this year and the once-mighty Ezekiel Elliott’s 4.5 yards per carry average ranks a dreadful 27th among them. That said, the team continues to pile his touches high, as his 94 carries are seventh most at the position and the Detroit Lions are allowing the single-highest half-PPR points per game average, 28.2, to opposing running backs this year. Four running backs have rushed for over 95 yards. Their 10 total rushing touchdowns allowed trail only the Cleveland Browns (11).

Elliott should be in for another voluminous workload as Dallas currently sit as -7.0-point home favorites in a game that received the third-highest over/under, 48.0 points.

*Check out the full RB Rankings here.

Running Backs – Sits

Brian Robinson (Washington Commanders) vs. Green Bay Packers

Brian Robinson triumphantly made his NFL debut in Week 5, and although there will be positive matchups for the run-centric running back, Week 7 likely is not it.

The Green Bay Packers are allowing 19.1 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs, a mid-tier mark to be sure, but Washington opened as +5.5 underdogs in a game with a mediocre 41.5-point over/under. Game script is likely to tip the scales toward a pass-heavy day for the backfield and over the last two weeks, Robinson has failed to run a single route, while passing-game specialist J.D. McKissic and rotational running back Antonio Gibson have logged respective route participation rates of 47.1% and 27.9%, per 4for4's NFL Player Stats Explorer.

Robinson has handily out-carried the two, 26 to a combined 10 but his sloshy 3.2 yards per carry leave a lot to be desired. He is currently producing -1.33 rushing yards over expectation per carry. With the game script unlikely to facilitate a high-volume outing, Robinson is best left on benches.

Jamaal Williams (Detroit Lions) @ Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions lead running back D’Andre Swift was injured in Detroit’s Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and frequently used No. 2 running back Jamaal Williams cruised to the overall RB10 spot from that moment through the team’s Week 6 bye. Unfortunately for Williams, Swift is ready to rock in Week 7, having nursed his shoulder back to relative health over Detroit’s Week 6 bye.

Not only will Williams return to his sidekick role, with Detroit sitting as +7.0-point road underdogs, but Swift’s pass-catching prowess will also likely be the focal point of both the Detroit backfield and the offense as a whole. Swift’s 22.7 routes run per game are ninth-best among NFL running backs with at least five targets this year and his monstrous 12.4 yards after catch per reception sits second best. While Williams is a talented player in his own right, even with Swift out for two-and-a-half games, Williams’ average routes run per game is just 8.4 and his 3.8 yards after catch per reception is not even in the same ballpark.

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