Every week, fantasy football players bemoan the state of their running backs. With good reason. Running backs are falling like wheat from the chaff. In week six, our running back options continue to dwindle, so it is important to figure out which running back to start or sit. Fear not, for Football Absurdity has the answers you are looking for. This week, we will be asking if you should start or sit David Montgomery, Ronald Jones or David Johnson?
Start or Sit David Montgomery versus Carolina
The last two weeks of football have league managers panicking about David Montgomery. His 116 combined yards over the past two weeks look ugly, but Montgomery was also playing the two best defenses against running backs. That means, that things will only get easier for him. And there is nothing easier on a running back than the Carolina Panthers’ defense.
The Carolina Panthers are averaging the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, and frankly, I’m surprised that ranking isn’t lower. Looking at the combined fantasy numbers for all of the Panthers’ previous opponents, the Carolina Panthers account for 33% of their total yards and 47% of their total touchdowns. Put simply, the Panthers let running backs produce twice their normal production in half the time, which means you need to start David Montgomery.
Start or Sit Ronald Jones versus Green Bay
Managers who have Ronald Jones are going to find themselves in a very uncomfortable position this week. Over the last two weeks, Jones has rushed for over 100 yards, which should be reassuring. However, he also hasn’t had Leonard Fournette to vulture carries from him in that time span. Yesterday, Fournette was practicing in a limited capacity, which means he will soon be playing football again. If he plays this week, the running back situation in Tampa Bay becomes muddles.
If Fournette is out, then Ronald Jones has a very tasty match-up. The Green Bay Packers’ defense is bad. How bad? I’m glad you asked. Green Bay has given up the fourth-most touchdowns to running backs. But here is the kicker. They’ve played ONE FEWER GAME THAN EVERYONE ELSE! Green Bay loves letting running backs in the end zone, which is why they are averaging the second-most fantasy points to running backs. This is also why you should start Ronald Jones.
Start or Sit David Johnson versus Tennessee
If you watched Tennessee shut down the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, starting David Johnson might seem like a terrible idea. While Tennessee’s defense has the potential to be stifling, to date running backs are averaging the eighth-most fantasy points against them. Running backs are averaging 156 all-purpose yards per game against the Titans. Perhaps most telling of all, a running back has scored a touchdown against them in every game this year.
On top of all that, David Johnson has been fairly consistent, even if he hasn’t been exciting. Johnson is averaging 90 all-purpose yards a game this season and he hasn’t had an easy path to get there. Between dealing with the Steelers, the Ravens, and Bill O’Brien, David Johnson has had to earn everything he’s gotten. With a good match-up and Bill O’Brien gone, I definitely want to start David Johnson in week six.
Who to Prioritize?
The million-dollar question is how do we rank these three running backs. Since Carolina seems determined to let running backs career them, I would rank David Montgomery first. The next running back depends on the availability of Leonard Fournette. If Fournette has a limited practice or misses it entirely on Friday, I start Ronald Jones. Otherwise, I start David Johnson to play it safe. Whichever order you rank these running backs though, they all should have a great week six.