In the final week of the fantasy regular season for most leagues, countless managers have a lot on the line. For some, success or failure will determine whether they reach the playoffs. With that in mind, we have some suggestions for running backs to prioritize and some to avoid where possible.
Running Back Starts
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
The Eagles have rolled the past few weeks and additional touches for Miles Sanders has played a role in that success. Meanwhile, the Giants’ run defense has imploded in recent weeks, allowing five rushing touchdowns to running backs since Week 11.
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
Last week marked the first time Swift saw double-digit touches since his injury. While Jamaal Williams won’t go anywhere, Swift appears to have reemerged as a significant part of the offense again. Given his presence in the passing game, he looks like a nice buy-low option right now.
Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
With the clear control of the Chiefs backfield, rookie Isiah Pacheco has plenty of opportunities for production in perhaps the NFL’s premier offense. And while the Broncos defense has played well overall this season, the unit has struggled against running backs of late, allowing the position to score fantasy points in the high teens or greater during two of the past three outings.
Running Back Sits
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers
Leonard Fournette’s hot October has faded down the stretch. That trend coincides with the rise of Rachaad White, who looks like the leader in the backfield at the moment. Combined that development with a less-than-ideal matchup against the San Francisco defense, and staying away from Fournette this week seems like the prudent move.
Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
Managers with Travis Etienne have waited roughly a month for the running back to deliver a strong fantasy performance. That wait seems likely to extend another week as Etienne draws a strong Titans run defense this Sunday.
Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers
Through no fault of his own, Kenneth Walker might not deliver for fantasy managers this week. According to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, the rookie running back has an “unusual” ankle injury but might still suit up this weekend. Even if Walker does, the team has signaled that he probably won’t see much action.