Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey or Justin Jefferson. Instead, I'll look at the players you have questions about who could exceed or fail to meet expectations at each position. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2023 NFL season.
Fabs’ Top 10 Running Backs
1. Christian McCaffrey vs. Cowboys
2. Bijan Robinson vs. Texans
3. Tony Pollard at 49ers
4. Derrick Henry at Colts
5. Josh Jacobs vs. Packers (Mon.)
6. David Montgomery vs. Panthers
7. Kyren Williams vs. Eagles
8. De’Von Achane vs. Giants
9. Travis Etienne at Bills (London)
10. D’Andre Swift at Rams
Byes: Browns, Buccaneers, Chargers, Seahawks
Week 5 Start ’Em: Running Backs
Start of the Week
Breece Hall at Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Hall has had a rough start to the season, scoring single digits in three of four games including one game where he had just 0.9 points. Still, this could be his breakout game of the season based on a positive matchup in Denver. Their defense has allowed four backs to score more than 20 fantasy points, including 51.3 points to De’Von Achane in Week 3.
Brian Robinson vs. Bears (Thur. 8:15 p.m. ET, Prime Video): Robinson has earned the featured role in Washington’s backfield, and he’s in a great spot to put up a nice stat line against the Bears. Their defense has been awful against running backs, allowing six to score more than 12 points including three with more than 19 points. Robinson should push for low RB1 value in this NFC matchup.
James Cook vs. Jaguars (London, 9:30 a.m. ET, NFL Network): Cook continues to be the lead back in Buffalo, averaging nearly 17 touches and 14.5 fantasy points per game. He’s in the RB2 conversation against the Jaguars, who have given up 14-plus points to a running back in each of their last two games. That includes an 18.7-point performance from Bijan Robinson in London just last week.
David Montgomery vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Montgomery went off last week, scoring three touchdowns on 34 touches in a huge win over the Packers. He is clearly the Lions’ best fantasy runner (sorry, Jahmyr Gibbs), and he should be in lineups against the Panthers. Their defense has allowed seven touchdowns and the fourth-most points to opposing running backs in the first four weeks.
D’Andre Swift at Rams (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox): Swift has put up great totals over his last three games, averaging nearly 20 points per game and well over six yards per rush. While he is losing some work to Kenneth Gainwell, Swift remains the top back in Philadelphia and a solid No. 2 option against the Rams. Their defense has given up 14-plus points to a runner in two of their last three games of the year.
Kyren Williams vs. Eagles (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)
James Conner vs. Bengals (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox)
Raheem Mostert vs. Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
DFS Bargains (DraftKings)
Breece Hall at Broncos ($5,400)
Gus Edwards at Steelers ($5,000)
Jaleel McLaughlin vs. Jets ($5,000)
Week 5 Sit ’Em: Running Backs
Sit of the Week
Miles Sanders at Lions (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Sanders continues to be an unreliable fantasy option, scoring fewer than eight PPR points in two of his last three games. He’s also been dealing with an injured groin, which has led to a few more looks for Chuba Hubbard. I’d be wary of Sanders against the Lions, who have allowed just two touchdowns and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to runners in 2023.
Najee Harris vs. Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Harris has been a disappointment in the stat sheets, averaging just 7.1 points in his first four games. He’s also losing work to Jaylen Warren in what’s become a backfield committee of sorts. He’ll be tough to trust this week, as Harris faces a Ravens defense that’s allowed just one touchdown and fewer than 18 points a game to running backs this year.
Dameon Pierce at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Pierce has been better over the last two weeks, scoring a combined 26.7 fantasy points. I’d still beware him this week based on a tough matchup against the Falcons, who have quietly been tough on runners. In fact, only the Cowboys have allowed fewer fantasy points to the position over their first four weeks of the season. Consider Pierce a risky flex option.
Zack Moss vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Moss had been one of the hottest backs in fantasy football, but he came back down to earth with just nine points last week. I’d consider him a risk-reward flex at best this week, as Moss faces a Titans team that’s allowing the third-fewest points to runners. There’s also a chance that the team gets Jonathan Taylor back this week, so keep tabs on that situation.
Alexander Mattison vs. Chiefs (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Mattison’s numbers have been better in the last two weeks, as he’s scored a combined 28.3 points while seeing a combined 43 touches. That makes him a viable flex option this week, but a matchup against the Chiefs makes him a gamble. Their defense has allowed just one touchdown and an average of 14.4 points per contest to runners.
Khalil Herbert at Commanders (Thur. 8:15 p.m. ET, Prime Video)
Dalvin Cook at Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
AJ Dillon at Raiders (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC)
DFS Fades (DraftKings)
Zack Moss vs. Titans ($5,800)
Rhamondre Stevenson vs. Saints ($5,600)
Najee Harris vs. Ravens ($5,400)