Week 9 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Nov 02, 2022
Week 9 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 9 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sits: QB | WR | TE

Week 8 Review – half-PPR scoring



Running Back – Starts

Khalil Herbert (Chicago Bears) vs. Miami Dolphins

The Chicago Bears coaching staff continues to force David Montgomery into a lead role despite Khalil Herbert soundly outplaying him. There is good news for Herbert, though. Chicago has worked him into the rotation over the last two weeks and the team has an excellent matchup against the Miami Dolphins on tap.

Chicago Bears RBs in Weeks 7-8 % of Total RB Snaps - % of 3rd-Down Snaps Rush Att. - Rush Yards - TD Routes Run % Rec./Tgt. - Rec. Yards - TD
Khalil Herbert 26.5% - 27.8% 28 - 161 - 1 0.00% 1/2 - 25 - 1
David Montgomery 48.5% - 66.7% 30 - 115 - 1 35.60% 3/3 - 22 - 0

Miami is allowing 23.3 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs, seventh most in the NFL, per 4for4's Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed tool.

Miami game scripts have trended toward more pass-heavy than run-heavy this year, thanks to Miami’s own stellar offense and the series of stacked offenses that they have faced. Even so, scored at will via the ground game, racking up 10 rushing touchdowns against them which is tied for fifth most in the NFL.

Herbert should produce regardless of the game script as Chicago’s -15.9% pass rate over expectation is dead last in the NFL per 4for4's NFL Team Stats Explorer.

If Chicago opts to air it out, Miami’s 46.0 running back receiving yards allowed per game are eighth most in the NFL.

A.J. Dillon (Green Bay Packers) @ Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers No. 2 running back A.J. Dillon has been one of fantasy football’s most disappointing mid-round picks. Week 9 brings bounce-back potential.

The Detroit Lions are allowing 26.7 half-PPR points per game to opposing backfields and they are particularly bad in the rushing department. The table below shows Detroit’s relevant run defense statistics. All figures are top-five highs in their respective categories.

Detroit Lions Run Defense Rushing Yards Allowed per Game Explosive Rushing Play Rate Allowed Yards per Att. Allowed Rushing Touchdowns Allowed
Run Defense Statistics 266.7 11.00% 5.1 13

Dillon has been unable to keep up with No. 1 running back Aaron Jones in terms of efficiency but his 10.9 rush attempts per game closely trail Jones’ 12.2, per 4for4's NFL Team Stats Explorer. Both men should see a higher-than-average workload as Green Bay at Detroit is totaled with a 49.5-point over/under, second highest on the week, and Green Bay sits as mild-to-moderate -3.5-point road favorites.

Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs let fantasy managers down last week, producing 54 scoreless scrimmage yards and two receptions. Box score cruisers may be frightened by Ameer Abdullah’s five-target showing but three of them came with less than two minutes left in the game, the New Orleans Saints were winning 24-0.

Jacobs should get back on track against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. The game is totaled at a fantasy-friendly 48.0 points and the Raiders sit as narrow -1.5-point road favorites.

Jacksonville is allowing 23.4 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs and are being diced up by running backs in the passing game. Jacksonville is currently allowing 8.6 running back targets per game, 7.2 running back receptions per game, and 53.5 running back receiving yards per game. All three rates are, respectively, among the top-four highest in the NFL.

Jacobs has been a decent dual threat since earning bellcow treatment in Week 3. The table below shows his receiving usage since then, ranked among 16 NFL running backs with at least 20 targets during that span.

Josh Jacobs Receiving Usage Routes Run Rate - Targets per Game Per Route Run %: Targets - Yards Yards After Catch per Rec.
Weeks 3-8 53.5% (No. 6) - 4.8 (No. 10) 24.0% (No. 13) - 1.22 (No. 12) 7.0 (No. 10)

*Check out the full RB rankings here.

Running Back – Sits

Michael Carter (New York Jets) vs. Buffalo Bills

The New York Jets unveiled their new-look backfield last week with Week 8 trade-acquisition James Robinson in the fold. Michael Carter operated as the lead rusher and pass catcher but maintained just a seven-to-five carry margin over Robinson.

Carter’s 20.6% target share was more than double that of Robinson and Ty Johnson combined, which may bring flex appeal in some full-PPR roster constructions but this week is a brutal week for the whole backfield.

The Buffalo Bills sit as -13.0-point road favorites, which should all but erase Carter’s potential rushing workload. Buffalo’s dominant defensive front has limited opposing backfields to just 18.8 half-PPR points per game, the 11th fewest in the league, and their average 28.6 running back receiving yards per game allowed is the ninth fewest.

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