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. Cardinals
2. Tony Pollard at Patriots
3. Bijan Robinson at Jaguars (London)
4. Derrick Henry at Bengals
5. Travis Etienne vs. Falcons (London)
6. Raheem Mostert at Bills
7. Kenneth Walker III at Giants (Mon.)
8. Aaron Jones vs. Lions (Thur.)
9. Josh Jacobs at Chargers
10. Kyren Williams at Colts
Week 4 Start ’Em: Running Backs
Start of the Week
Javonte Williams at Bears (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Williams has had a bad start to the season, scoring fewer than 10 fantasy points in each of his first three games. He is in a good spot to bust out of his statistical slide this week, though, as Williams goes up against a Bears defense that’s surrendered seven total touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
James Cook vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Cook has been getting plenty of work in the Bills backfield, leading the team in both snaps and touches after three weeks. He’ll be in the RB2/flex starter conversation this week, as he’ll face a Miami defense that’s allowed three running backs to score 15 or more fantasy points in the first three games. The total opened at 53.5 too, so expect lots of points.
Jerome Ford vs. Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Ford was held to 18 rushing yards on 1.8 yards per rush last week, but he still scored 19.1 points (two touchdowns) in a win over the Titans. He’ll be an RB2/flex option this week against the Ravens, who just allowed Zack Moss to beat them for 122 rushing yards and 22.5 points. In all, backs have scored 11-plus points against them 16 times since last season.
Zack Moss vs. Rams (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Moss has looked great in the last two weeks, rushing for a combined 210 yards and scoring 43.2 fantasy points. He’s also seen 49.1% of the Colts backfield touches, which makes him even more of an option in fantasy leagues. The Rams defense allowed a touchdown and 14 points to Joe Mixon on Monday night, so Moss should find continued success.
Alexander Mattison at Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Mattison is coming off his best game of the season, scoring 17.5 fantasy points in a loss to the Chargers. While Cam Akers should be active for this game, I’d still flex Mattison based on what is a positive matchup against Carolina. Their defense has allowed seven touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
Najee Harris at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Harris and Jaylen Warren are both flex options this week, as a matchup against the Texans is very favorable. Four runners have scored 11-plus points against them this season, and their defense has also given up 15-plus points to backs 17 times since the start of last year. I know Harris has been pretty bad, but running back is thin so he’s still worth the gamble.
Kyren Williams at Colts (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
Raheem Mostert at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
Miles Sanders vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
DFS Bargains (DraftKings)
Jerome Ford vs. Ravens ($5,400)
Jaylen Warren at Texans ($5,000)
Khalil Herbert vs. Broncos ($4,700)
Week 4 Sit ’Em: Running Backs
Sit of the Week
Rachaad White at Saints (1 p.m. ET, Fox): White has been a true featured back for the Buccaneers, leading their runners in snaps and touches. While that makes him a viable flex option based on volume, he’s facing a Saints defense that’s tough on runners at home. Since the start of last season, their defense has given up just seven touchdowns and an average of fewer than 20 points to the position.
James Conner at 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): I was dead wrong about Conner last week, as he torched the Cowboys for almost 20 fantasy points. And while he’ll be in most starting lineups, I’d be wary of Conner in DFS action against the 49ers. Only four backs have scored more than 14 points against them since last season, and no team has allowed fewer points to opposing running backs during that time.
Brian Robinson Jr. at Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Robinson has looked good this year, averaging more than 16 fantasy points per game. While that makes him a viable RB2/flex starter, keep in mind that he’s facing an Eagles defense that’s been tough on runners at home. In fact, their defense has given up just six touchdowns and the eighth-fewest points to opposing road running backs since 2022.
Isiah Pacheco at Jets (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Pacheco, listed as a start ‘em last week, produced a touchdown and 15.8 fantasy points in a win over the Bears. He has a much tougher foe this week though, as the Chiefs head east to face the Jets. Their defense has been tough on runners at home, allowing just two touchdowns and fewer than 20 points per game to the position since last season.
Gus Edwards vs. Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Edwards was on track for a nice stat line last week, but he suffered a concussion and missed time. Whether he’s cleared to return this week or the Ravens start Justice Hill or Melvin Gordon, I’m fading this backfield against the Browns. Their defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a back, and the position has averaged a league-low 12.6 points against them.
AJ Dillon at Lions (Thur. 8:15 p.m. ET, Prime Video)
Dameon Pierce vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
Dalvin Cook vs. Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
DFS Fades (DraftKings)
Joe Mixon at Titans ($6,400)
Rhamondre Stevenson at Cowboys ($6,200)
James Conner at 49ers ($5,900)