Week 11 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: DeMarco Murray and Must-Start RBs Stuck in Platoons

Jeremy ReidCorrespondent INovember 17, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 13:  DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against  Nick Barnett #50 of the Buffalo Bills at Cowboys Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With each injury in fantasy football, there is a gift that comes in return. For example, when the fantasy world lost the depressing lack of productivity that Felix Jones brought to the table, we gained the explosive, exciting DeMarco Murray in his stead.

However, when those initial starters come back from injury, it can be a tricky situation for coaches and fantasy owners alike. Let's take a look at a couple of these recently crowded backfields and find the true value in each. 

DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

Felix Jones may be back from injury, but that doesn't mean his job is the same as when he left it. Murray, who was selected in the third round of this year's draft, got his chance to shine and shine he did. He ended up breaking the Cowboys' single-game rushing record in his first real action.

He didn't let up there, either. Murray then broke the record for rushing yards in a three-game span for the Cowboys and one of those games only yielded nine carries in the blowout loss to Philadelphia. 

Felix Jones had the same amount of yardage gained on the season as Murray had in one game against the Rams. Jones also only gained 2.8 yards per carry on the year if you take out his gashing of the Redskins defense. He just wasn't consistently good, which made Dallas leave its running game. 

However, with Murray at running back, the Cowboys actually have incentive to run and they are a much better offense when they have that balance.  Murray won't be going anywhere for the Cowboys if they want to make a playoff push. Therefore, he won't be going anywhere for you, either. 

Start: DeMarco Murray

Sit: Felix Jones, at least until we see the amount of touches he gets and what he can do with them.

Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos offer up a really interesting situation for their running backs. They are just coming off a game in which they ran the ball 55 times. The game before that, they ran it 39 times. It seems this will be the style of offense that they bring to the field for the rest of the season, meaning there will be some serious fantasy points coming from Denver.

However, they probably won't be coming from Eric Decker anymore. That is, unless he continues to do the most he can with one catch per week. 

McGahee is the clear starter in Denver and should have more games like he did against Oakland, two weeks ago, as the season continues. That being said, he did leave last week's game with an injury in Kansas City, where we also saw Knowshon Moreno end his season.

Lance Ball picked up the slack and went for 30 carries. 

McGahee is questionable with the hamstring injury for Thursday's game against the Jets.  He sounded confident that he would play, but anything could change. If he is unable to go, Ball will be the starter and will get plenty of touches against the 15th-ranked rush defense of the Jets.

Start: If he is a game-time decision to go. It sounds like he is able to play. Worst case scenario is a repeat of last week where he leaves the game early.

Start: Lance Ball. If the  word is that McGahee cannot go or will be limited. There could be a lot of touches in store if McGahee leaves early again.

Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are on the comeback trail after winning their last two games. While the team patiently waited for Daniel Thomas to get healthy, Reggie Bush decided to turn it on.  Now they are both healthy and there are platoon questions in fantasy.

There really is no question right now about who has more value at this point. It's all Bush. The former Saints back has averaged an entire yard more per carry on the season and he has won the goal-line job.

That means Bush has earned a role he has never had. He will still get you the catches and the receiving yards, but now he has serious potential for touchdowns. Thomas will be used as a change of pace back, but won't get enough touches to consistently produce enough to start.

Start: Reggie Bush

Sit: Daniel Thomas.  An injury would really be the only way for him to see a significant rise in production.