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Week 14 Running Back Starts & Sits: Can You Trust Rookies Rachaad White, James Cook & Zonovan Knight?

Nick Roberts Dec 7th 10:43 AM EST.

In case you’re new to the column, here’s a quick explainer of what we’re trying to do here (skip down if you’ve been here before). We’re here to wrestle with the decisions that are keeping us up at night. Do you bench a struggling player you took in the second round? Do you take a chance on the guy who has seemingly been playing over his head? Do you sit the high-floor/low-ceiling player for the low-floor/high-ceiling player?  We won’t know the “correct” answers until the games are over. But we’re going to do our best to talk through it. 

With quarterbacks in the books, let’s dig into the Week 14 running back start/sit decisions that are keeping us up at night.

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Start ‘Em

START OF THE WEEK: Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I’m absolutely kicking myself for not grabbing White off waivers everywhere I could have a few weeks ago. He’s been a fantasy monster lately and it looks like Tom Brady has finally found his new James White/Shane Vereen/Kevin Faulk/Dion Lewis. While White only has 23 carries over his last two games, he has a ridiculous 17 targets during that span and has put up over 40 receiving yards in each of those games. I’m not sure we can bank on that type of volume every week, but I do think we can bank on White being a fantasy starter from here on out.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills

Similar to White, I’m kicking myself for not grabbing Cook off waivers wherever possible. He’s part of a messy backfield (more on that below) on a team that doesn’t like to run the ball much, but he’s still been very useful for fantasy purposes. Cook carried the ball a season-high 14 times last week and (perhaps more importantly) has seen 11 total targets over his past two games. He’s been a difference-maker in an offense that is surprisingly thin on weapons, so I think we’ll see him continue to be involved in the Bills game plan – especially in the passing game against a tough Jets run defense.

Zonovan Knight, New York Jets

Are you sensing a theme of Nick missing out on rookie running backs? Well, here’s another one. I even wrote about Knight being a sit last week. Whoops. Sorry about that, my friends. While he has a tough matchup against the Bills, he’s carried the ball 29 times over the past two weeks and has seen eight targets during that span. While we still need to keep an eye on Michael Carter’s status heading into Sunday, Knight looks like a solid start this week.

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Sit ‘Em

SIT OF THE WEEK: Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

I’m not saying you have to sit Singletary. Running back is a mess this week and you probably don’t have many other options. But if you do, Singletary is a great bench candidate. He has a tough matchup against the Jets and, as mentioned above, James Cook is coming on strong down the stretch. We’ll still probably get 12-15 touches for Singletary this week, but those may only go for 50 yards. If you have any semblance of a safer option this week, keep Singletary on your bench. 

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens

We’ll always have Week 7, Gus Edwards. Other than that, we haven’t really gotten much out of Gus the Bus this season. With Lamar Jackson out this week, the Ravens may turn to their ground game more, but Kenyan Drake is still in the mix and I don’t think we’re going to see more than 12-14 carries from Edwards. Can he do damage with that amount of volume? Sure. Do I want to risk my week on it? Not really. 

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins

While Mostert has a great matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers and their shaky run defense, there jsn’t much to be excited about here. Mostert is splitting touches with Jeff Wilson and is coming off a game in which he had seven carries for 30 yards. And the week before that, he had eight carries for 65 yards. Even though there’s some potential upside here (and I’m not saying he’s a must-bench), Mostert is a risky bet this week.


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