Week 10 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, Darren Sproles is listed below as a "start" for Week 10. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 10 with him as one of my starting running backs.

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

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray and Sproles and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Murray -- and in turn, bench Sproles.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 10 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).

Week 10 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ATL)

In a potential shootout against the Falcons (highest over/under of the week at 51.0), there should be plenty of offense on both sides as the Falcons and Eagles both rank inside the top-nine in terms of implied totals from Vegas odds. Emerging as the team's lead running back over the past couple of weeks, Sproles is a top-15 play this week with upside for much more.

Sproles has 20 and 16 touches in Weeks 8 and 9, respectively, which equates to 65.46 percent of the running back touches over that two-game span. In addition, he has 16 of the 19 running back targets.

The Falcons have been relatively stingy in terms of yards per carry allowed to opposing running backs (3.83, eighth-lowest in NFL), but opposing backs have done plenty of damage as receivers out of the backfield. So far this season, only the Chargers (73) have allowed more receptions to running backs than the Falcons (71).

- Related: Sproles was among our favorite Week 10 DraftKings plays

RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (at SD)

Before the season began, the Dolphins tried to sign restricted free agent (at the time) C.J. Anderson and then later signed Arian Foster, who has since retired. In half of a season, Ajayi has gone a long way -- from Week 1 inactive to 30%-owned waiver-wire back less than a month ago to an every-week must-start workhorse now.

While he didn't rush for 200-plus yards for a third consecutive game, Ajayi rushed 24 times for 111 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Jets. With 529 yards and four touchdowns on 78 carries (6.78 YPC), the Dolphins have won three consecutive games. Despite being a road underdog, Ajayi is a top-five option at the position this week.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at CAR)

After leaving Week 8 early with a concussion and missing Week 9, Ware returns to the starting lineup in Week 10. The matchup against the Panthers isn't great, but I expect the Jeremy Maclin-less Chiefs to rely heavily on Ware as long as the game is close. (And it should be a fairly close game as the spread is only three points.)

Over their past three games, the Panthers have allowed only 141 rushing yards on 45 carries (3.13 YPC) to opposing running backs. That said, they have allowed 24 catches for 198 yards to the position during that same three-game span.

In his past 16 games, Ware has 906 rushing yards on 172 carries (5.27 YPC), 318 receiving yards on 23 receptions (13.83 Y/R) and a total of 10 touchdowns -- eight rushing, one receiving and one return.

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RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (at TB)

It had appeared that Howard's role was diminishing as he ceded touches to Ka'Deem Carey prior to his monster performance in Week 8 against the Vikings. Prior to his Week 9 bye, Howard posted a 26/153/1 rushing line while adding four catches for 49 yards.

With two top-three weekly finishes in his past four games, all signs point to another big week for the rookie out of Indiana. At least for this week, I'm optimistic that the Bears stick with Howard after his 202-yard game in Week 8 despite recent comments by Dowell Loggains.

“You don’t have Matt Forte who was the Workhorse, the No. 1 back,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains told WGN Radio. “We keep saying ‘running back by committee,’ well Jordan has been the workhorse the last five weeks, but we’re getting (Langford) back healthy and the carries — however it works out — could end up balancing out a little bit.”

Week 10 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. CIN)

Playing in five games (and missing a few others), Jennings saw his second-lowest share of the carries in Week 9 (45.83 percent). His lowest share (40.63 percent) occurred in Week 2 when he left the game early with a thumb injury. Since Week 2, Jennings has 46 carries for 93 yards (2.02 YPC) in four games. As Paul Perkins sees a larger share of the workload, Jennings remains someone to avoid in fantasy even with four teams on bye.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ATL)

In each of the past two weeks, Mathews has been saved by a rushing touchdown, but he had four carries for 10 yards and five carries for 15 yards against the Cowboys and Giants, respectively. With only 20 percent of the RB touches -- 11 of 55 -- over the past two games, Mathews belongs on your bench.

RB - Matt Asiata/Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (at WAS)

When Adrian Peterson went on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, it wasn't necessarily clear which running back would benefit the most -- Asiata or McKinnon. Neither have been great, though. Or even good.

Since Week 2, they both have finished as a top-24 running back once each -- Week 4 for McKinnon and Week 5 for Asiata. The duo has combined to rush for 452 yards on 146 carries (3.10 YPC) this season.

Even in a favorable matchup against the Redskins, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, neither McKinnon nor Asiata can be trusted. In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise if Ronnie Hillman was the team's most productive back as the trio split carries last week.

[For what it's worth, Asiata had 10 carries for 26 yards the last time (2014) he faced Washington. Three of those 10 carries were touchdowns.]

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 10

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