Week 14 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Shaun Draughn is listed below as a "start" for Week 14. And I'd feel very comfortable going into Week 14 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you own both LeSean McCoy, Devonta Freeman and Draughn and your league starts two backs, you should start McCoy and Freeman -- and in turn, bench Draughn.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my fantasy football rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 14:

RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (at BAL)

Rawls has capitalized on the opportunity created by Marshawn Lynch's injuries this season. In two separate three-game stints with 15-plus carries in each game, Rawls has exceeded 100 rushing yards in four of those six games. In those six games as the primary back, Rawls has 779 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.

While the way to beat the Ravens is through the air (they allow fourth-fewest fantasy points to RBs), Rawls should still get a large workload and he's been running the ball too well to consider sitting. In fact, he's still ranked inside my top-five fantasy running backs for the week.

RB - Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (at CLE)

Draughn gained only 36 yards on his 13 carries last week, but he scored his first touchdown of the season and he continues to be a key component of San Francisco's passing game. Draughn has a minimum of 18 touches in four consecutive games and a total of 22 receptions during that four-game span.

While he's averaged 10.13 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring formats, Draughn has been a top-16 (or better) PPR running back in all four of those games. Meanwhile, the Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points (seventh-most in PPR) to opposing running backs this season.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. PIT)

Hill has been running the ball well lately. One week after setting a season high with 86 rushing yards on 16 carries, Hill carried the ball a season-high 22 times for 98 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in Week 13. This week's matchup is difficult as the Steelers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Hill has now finished as a top-16 fantasy running back in three consecutive games.

RB - Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (vs. DAL)

After back-to-back 100-yard games, Lacy was punished for missing curfew ahead of his Thursday Night Football matchup against the Lions. In his few opportunities (five carries and one reception) that night, Lacy had a total of one (yes, just ONE) yard from scrimmage.

Fantasy owners burned last week may be a bit untrusting this week, but comments from coach Mike McCarthy this week are positive. McCarthy said, "I think Eddie's been rejuvenated ... and I look for him to have a very good week of practice, and I look for him to be productive Sunday."

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 14:

RB - DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. BUF)

One week after gaining just 30 yards on 14 carries against the Lions, Murray carried the ball eight times for 24 yards and played on only 14 snaps in Week 13's win over the Patriots. There was a lot of attention given to the frustrations he expressed to the team's owner about his role within the offense, but I'm not sure that leads to a sizable workload this week.

Teammate Ryan Mathews is likely to return from his concussion and he's been productive on a per-touch basis with an average of 5.69 yards per carry on the season. With no more than 11 touches in his past five games, Mathews has scored a touchdown and has finished as a top-20 fantasy running back in four of those five weeks. At a minimum, I'd rather start Mathews over Murray (assuming both are active) this week.

RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (at KC)

Gordon gained 55 yards on 12 carries last week, but he once again lost a fumble. It was Gordon's sixth fumble, fourth lost, this season. Only Adrian Peterson has more fumbles (seven) this year. Earlier in the season, Gordon had back-to-back games (Week 5 and 6) with lost fumbles and had only seven carries in each of the subsequent games (Week 6 and 7).

It's possible that he sees a reduced workload given last week's lost fumble, and he had just 37 rushing yards on 15 carries (2.47 YPC) against the Chiefs in Week 11. Barely inside the top-50 fantasy running backs this season, now isn't the time to start trusting MG3.

RB - Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (at CHI)

Here is the workload (touches) for Morris since the team's Week 8 bye: four (RB54), 18 (RB18), two (RB72), 24 (RB19) and six (RB76). I suppose he's due for a sizable workload and productive fantasy outing based on his recent pattern, but who knows? Unless you're in a deep league and desperate, there's no reason to take that chance.

RB - Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (vs. WAS)

Before last week, Langford had finished as the weekly RB6, RB1, RB19 and RB15, respectively. With Matt Forte back for a second week, he dominated touches (26) compared to Langford (14) in Week 13. In 12-team leagues, Langford is more of a flex than an RB2 for Week 14.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 14

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