Should You Start Isiah Pacheco or Saquon Barkley in Fantasy Football Week 11?

Should You Start Isiah Pacheco or Saquon Barkley in Fantasy Football Week 11?
Video week 11 saquon barkley

We’ve passed the halfway point of the 2023 fantasy football season. Fantasy players can now see which of their draft picks were an excellent selection and which they were better off leaving for someone else in the league.

This week, four teams are on a bye, leaving fantasy players with some difficult decisions, especially at the running back position. One of those decisions could be between starting Kansas City Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco or New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley. Let’s dive into it.

Should You Start Isiah Pacheco or Saquon Barkley This Week?

According to the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say Barkley is the player to start. He is projected to score 11.5 half-point PPR fantasy points.

His projections include 53.6 rushing yards, 0.4 rushing touchdowns, 3.4 receptions, and 19.9 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Pacheco’s projection is for 10.9 fantasy points with 64.7 rushing yards, 0.4 rushing touchdowns, 1.3 receptions, and 13.6 receiving yards this week.

I agree with the optimizer. Both running backs have played well this season, averaging over 11.5 fantasy points per game. However, Barkley will see a larger workload this week. The Giants are down to their third-string quarterback. They also won’t have Darren Waller, leaving the former Penn State star the team’s only viable and consistent weapon on offense.

Meanwhile, Pacheco saw his role on offense diminish over the past few weeks. The former Rutgers star averaged 14.3 rushing attempts and three receptions per game over the first seven games this season. However, he averaged 12 rushing attempts and 1.5 receptions over the past two games heading into the Chiefs’ bye week.

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Pacheco’s Fantasy Outlook This Week

Pacheco has been a solid RB2 for fantasy players this year. He has scored at least 12.8 points in five of the past seven games.

However, the second-year player is coming off back-to-back awful fantasy performances. Pacheco scored 5.2 fantasy points in Week 8 and 6.6 in Week 9 despite having two fantasy-friendly matchups.

MORE: Should You Start Breece Hall or D’Andre Swift in Week 11?

Unfortunately, Pacheco’s Week 11 matchup couldn’t be worse for fantasy players. The Philadelphia Eagles have held running backs to only 11.6 fantasy ppg this season, the fewest in the NFL. They’ve surrendered fewer than 8.7 fantasy points to RBs in two of their past three games and just two rushing touchdowns to the position this year.

Barkley’s Fantasy Outlook This Week

Barkley has been outstanding for fantasy players when healthy. Unfortunately, he missed three games earlier this season with a high ankle sprain. Since returning from the injury, the former Penn State star has averaged 12.6 fantasy points per game, scoring 11.8 or more in all but one contest.

However, that one game was last week against the Dallas Cowboys in a blowout loss. Thankfully, his matchup is more fantasy-friendly this week. The Commanders have surrendered 105.5 rushing yards and 26.5 fantasy ppg to RBs over the past two weeks, giving up over 100 yards in both contests.

More importantly, Barkley had 77 rushing yards and 17.3 fantasy points in the Week 7 win over Washington.

Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!

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