Complete Week Eleven Player Rankings & Projections l More Sit & Starts
If you are reading this, it is likely you have made it through the yards of raw sewage that is the college fantasy football regular season and have emerged triumphant on the other side showered by the glory of a playoff berth.
However, the journey is not over as it is time to hunker down, jettison dead weight, and start building for the next few weeks. Here are some nice running back selections that can get you one week closer to that coveted title.
Last Week's Running Back Starts: Daniel Herron (20), James White (4), Perry Jones (26), Brandon Harton (16), Jahwan Edwards (11), Alonzo Harris (7), Jamal Woodyard (13)
Grade: C. A lot of mediocre performances, but not too shabby.
Last Week's Running Back Sits: Zach Brown (8), Fitzgerald Toussaint (11), Zac Stacy (4), Robbie Rouse (10), Orleans Darkwa (4)
Grade: A. Just two guys in double digits but called out the future role of Brown at Pitt.
Start Em! Running Backs
John White, Utah vs. UCLA
Even without Jordan Wynn at quarterback, the Utes have found a winning recipe on offense, and this is to hand the ball off early and often to White. Since Wynn went down with injury, White has averaged 26 carries per game with a 35-carry, 205-yard game against Oregon State. The Bruins are currently giving up over 186 yards per game on the ground so you can bet White will come close to getting 150 of those himself.
LaMichael James, Oregon vs. Stanford
Now it might be tempting to look at Stanford's rush defense and shy away from starting James. After all the Cardinal are surrendering a miniscule 78 yards per game. However, upon closer inspection of their schedule, Stanford has not faced many top-tier running backs and when they have, they were gouged by them. Chris Polk and Curtis McNeal both rushed for over 140 yards against them. This will be a high stakes game for both parties so there is no way that the Ducks are not going to feed James the ball as much as they can as they attempt to derail Stanford's national title hopes.
Silas Redd, Penn State vs. Nebraska
Redd is the Nittany Lion workhorse and is the main reason (at least on offense) that they sit at 8-1. The Cornhusker defense is wearing Blackshirts but are certainly not playing like them as they are allowing teams to run for an average of 160 yards per game. Redd is a load to bring down and should see carries flirting with around 30, which makes him a solid start.
Branden Oliver, Buffalo vs. Eastern Michigan
Now this year's version of Eastern Michigan's is remarkably improved over previous defenses the Eagles have fielded, but Oliver is ripe for a big day. He gets the ball a ton and the Eagles are still a soft defensive unit. Oliver could very well tote the ball 30 times which will be good for at least 120 yards and a score.
Chris Nwoke, Colorado State vs. San Diego State
Outside of our very own John Baker, I doubt many have paid attention to the backfield development coming out of Fort Collins. Nwoke has been on fire lately, recording 249 yards in the last two weeks. San Diego State's weakness is playing into Nwoke's favor as the Aztecs are a sieve on defense, allowing over 195 ground yards per game.
Mike DeWitt, Air Force vs. Wyoming
Of all the ball carriers on an option team, there is only one who is designed to get the ball. The quarterback and slot backs will carry the ball but only after the fullback gets his chance. Against Wyoming, DeWitt should get plenty of chances which makes him a solid one-week start.
Sit Em! Running Backs
Henry Josey, Missouri vs. Texas
Josey is back at full health and has been unstoppable at times this season, but he has also not faced the caliber of rush defense that he will see from the Longhorns' 9th-ranked ground defense. Josey benefits a great deal from quarterback James Franklin rushing the ball, but neither will find much running room against Texas.
Brandon Wilds, South Carolina vs. Florida
Wilds looked like a stud against Tennessee as he rushed for 137 yards on a whopping 28 carries in his first start. However, the very next week against Arkansas, Wilds only mustered 21 yards rushing. Against Florida, he will still see a lot of carries but they will likely go for little as the Gator front four is a deep unit that is very good at stopping the run.
Doug Martin, Boise State vs. TCU
Boise State head coach Chris Peterson says that Martin will play against TCU, but this will be a hard-fought game by the Horned Frogs, which may leave running lanes hard to find. Martin will also see plenty of involvement in the passing game. Still, in such a spirited game, it is best to leave him on your bench.
Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic vs. Florida International
Morris has returned to the form that saw him lead the Sun Belt in rushing two years ago, but the Golden Panthers will make it difficult for him to keep his streak of 100-yard games alive. FIU is giving up 127 yards per game but that could drop even lower in this heated rivalry.
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky vs. LSU
This may come as a no-brainer but it makes sense. Rainey has performed very well against BCS-level teams and is also a threat in the passing game. If you were thinking about starting him, just don't.