Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em is the latest look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover elite NFL players like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I’ll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you establish the most effective starting lineup possible. For all your Final Fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings, which will be updated daily during the 2021 NFL season.
Byes: Buccaneers, Soccer Team, Lions, Seahawks
Week 9 Start ‘Em: Running Backs
Beginning of the week
Devontae Booker vs. Raiders (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Booker has quietly put up some good totals for fantasy fans in recent weeks. He has scored more than 14 points in three of his last four games. If Saquon Barkley is out one more time, I like Booker as a solid No. 2 running back when the Giants host the Raiders. His defense has been quite generous to opposing running backs this season, allowing five to score more than 14 fantasy points.
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em: CUARTERBACKS | CURRENT BACK | WIDE RECEIVERS | TIGHT ENDS | KICKERS | TEAM DEFENSES
Start with them
Elijah Mitchell vs. Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Mitchell has been a star for fantasy fans of late, scoring more than 16 fantasy points in two straight games while playing nearly 67 percent of offensive plays. Barring any setback in what’s called a minor rib injury, Mitchell should be in the starting fantasy lineups against the Cardinals. His defense has allowed four running backs to score more than 16 points in his last seven games.
Chuba Hubbard vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS): There is still a chance that Christian McCaffrey will return this week, so keep an eye on his condition. If he can’t go one more time, Hubbard will remain a volume-based No. 2 fantasy racer. He has scored more than 13 points in three of his last four games, during which he has seen 76 carries and 16 targets. The Patriots have also allowed six running backs to score more than 13 points this season.
Myles Gaskin vs. Texans (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gaskin, a sit ’em last week, posted just 8.5 fantasy points in a loss to the Bills. Now it has alternated lines of good and bad statistics in five consecutive weeks, so a good statistical performance is expected. He’s also in a good place to produce well, as the Dolphins face a Texans defense that has given up an average of more than 26 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Boston Scott vs. Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS): The Eagles ran the ball a lot last week, as both Scott and Jordan Howard found the end zone twice. Scott led the backfield in plays, however, and averaged five yards per rush. I would consider it a good FLEX option, as the Eagles face a Chargers defense that has allowed seven touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points per game for running backs since Week 5.
- Michael Carter at Colts (Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL)
- Zack Moss at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Darrel Williams vs. Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Myles Gaskin vs. the Texans ($ 5,800)
- Zack Moss vs. Jaguars ($ 5,300)
- Jordan Howard vs. Chargers ($ 4,600)
Week 9 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Sit of the week
Chase Edmonds at 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Edmonds is coming off some good competition, scoring 15.9 fantasy points in a loss to the Packers. While it remains in the FLEX conversation, this week’s matchup against the Niners is not a favorable one. No defense has allowed runners fewer fantasy points per game since Week 5, and no running back has had more than three catches against them since the first game of the season. Watch out for Edmonds.
Khalil Herbert on Steelers (Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Herbert proved he can be a bit match-proof after rushing 100 yards against the Buccaneers, but he crashed to the ground last week against the Niners. Its volume makes it a FLEX start on new drafts, so consider it more of a warning than a real sit ’em. Only one runner has scored more than 11.6 fantasy points against this version of Steel Curtain.
Javonte Williams at Cowboys (1 p.m. ET, Fox): It’s tough to bench Williams with four teams at halftime, but this week’s matchup against the Cowboys isn’t favorable. His defense has limited running backs like Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette to modest stats, and he has allowed running backs the eighth fewest points per game. The rookie has also seen just 44 snapshots in the past two weeks while sharing work with Melvin Gordon.
Mike Davis at Saints (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Davis scored a respectable 11.6 fantasy points in last week’s game against the Panthers, but still plays Cordarelle Patterson’s second fiddle in the Falcons’ backfield. I would continue to seat him this week, as a showdown in New Orleans is really tough. Over the past four weeks, his defense has given up the third fewest points per game to opposing running backs.
Carlos Hyde vs. Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Hyde could see more work in the possible absence of James Robinson, who figures on a day-to-day basis with an injured foot. If he can’t play, Hyde would become a volume- and risk-reward-based FLEX option in what is a bad matchup against the Bills. Their defense has allowed opposing running backs the fewest fantasy points per game, and only two have scored more than 8.6 points.
- David Johnson at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Latavius Murray vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- D’Ernest Johnson at Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Damien Harris in Panthers ($ 6,000)
- Latavius Murray vs. Vikings ($ 5,500)
- Chase Edmonds at 49ers ($ 5,300)
Michael Fabiano he is an award-winning fantasy football analyst in Illustrated Sports and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram for your latest fantasy news and the best analysis in the business.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.