The fantasy fluctuations caused by shared backfields can be maddening. 

Two weeks ago, Aaron Jones absolutely went off, ranking as one of the top Week 8 running backs after an explosive showing against Kansas City. Aaron Jones has arrived! Then, the following Sunday, he was a practical no-show against the Chargers. SMH. Jamaal Williams got more shine.

Similarly, Tevin Coleman had a huge Week 8, scoring four times against the Panthers. It’s the Tevin Coleman show in San Fran! Then, in Week 9, he had a pedestrian 12 carries for 23 yards and two catches for 13 yards. Yawn. Instead, Matt Breida was a bigger part of the 49ers’ game plan.

Starting a player in a multi-back system is obviously risky and can be infuriating, but you shouldn’t rule it out. Some players in such a situation—like James White and Austin Ekeler—have proven to be pretty reliable week in and week out, and you don’t need to worry about a disappearing act from them.

Others—Jones and Coleman among them—will always be boom-or-bust prospects. Pull the trigger if you wish. The payoff may well be worth it, as we saw in Week 8. But just know what you’re getting into. How much are you willing to gamble? You might find yourself screaming at the TV as another back siphons touches.

As we look ahead at Week 10, a number of fascinating matchups, including Seahawks-49ers and Vikings-Cowboys, are on the docket. We’re here to give you a heads-up on what might unfold from a fantasy perspective. 

Below, we lay out players who are must-starts and must-sits for your lineup, based on variables such as opponent strength, recent trends, and injuries.

If you’d like to keep tabs on how we’ve been performing, check out our picks for Week 9.

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