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Fantasy Points Against: Running Backs to Start and Sit in Week 10

49ers RB JaMycal Hasty

Fantasy stats based around 4 points per passing TD and 0.5 points per reception.

There are two main approaches when look at fantasy player scoring trends. The first is to see how that player is performing from an output perspective. The second is to look at how their upcoming opponent has performed.

This article leans heavily on Fantasy Points Against (FPA). This number measures the total fantasy points given up per game to a position group by a defense. Other stats referenced may come from sources including Pro Football Reference, Pro Football Focus, and Football Outsiders.

STARTS:

Antonio Gibson

Washington has implemented a running back committee in a way that hasn’t been too harmful to fantasy players. Rookie Antonio Gibson is still in control of the ground game and JD McKissic acts mostly as a receiving back.

Washington RB Antonio Gibson
Antonio Gibson (Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

The Football teams faces the Detroit Lions who are allowing almost five yards per carry and the most FPA to running backs. They have also allowed nine top 24 running back performances.

It is concerning that Gibson just had his first game with fewer than 10 touches. He hasn’t faced any matchup nearly as favorable though all year. Gibson is a solid RB2 in Week 10.

Leonard Fournette

Last week was an utter disappointment for almost everyone involved on the Tampa bay Buccaneers. Leonard Fournette had one of the more salvageable nights with 7.1 fantasy points. All of that came in the receiving game.

Fournette and the Bucs will look to bounce back against another division rival in the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have allowed the fifth most FPA to running backs and nine top 24 performances.

Ronald Jones may be worth a desperate flex play based on the matchup but Fournette seems to be the guy. Fournette is an RB2 with some receiving game upside.

SITS:

Joe Mixon

DISCLAIMER: If Mixon is not playing, he is obviously not startable.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a rock solid defense all season. They’ve been especially strong against running backs allowing the second fewest FPA to running backs. Pittsburgh has only allowed six total touchdowns to running backs.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon
Joe Mixon (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh also has the third best WR-RB FPA. This indicates that they are significantly more prone to allowing fantasy production by wide receiver than running backs. With Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and AJ Green, the Bengals have many pass options.

Monitor Mixon’s health going into Sunday and bench him with any news of a snap count. Assuming Mixon is a full go, expect no better than low RB2 numbers.

Jerick McKinnon / JaMycal Hasty

There is a chance to hit the sweet spot with San Francisco running backs. With Tevin Coleman healing and Raheem Mostert not far from returning, there is extra pressure for the Niners running backs to earn their play time.

Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty will likely split usage this Sunday. Unfortunately they go against a New Orleans Saints defense that has allowed the fifth fewest FPA to running backs. The Saints have also allowed only five top 24 running back performances.

Only two running backs have totaled over 100 scrimmage yards against New Orleans. The Saints have also allowed just five touchdowns to running backs.

With a muddled backfield in San Francisco, fantasy managers are best suited leaving McKinnon and Hasty on the bench.

Featured Image courtesy of Thearon W Henderson / Getty Images

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