Running backs are still putting up major numbers and it’s not just with touchdowns.

Much like quarterbacks putting up major yardage totals, running backs had little trouble achieving more than 100 total yards in week 12. Thirteen running backs totaled more than 100 total yards when combining rushing and receiving output.

That offers a little bit of the diversity among the group, and that came with Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt, two of the higher-producing running backs, sitting out because of a bye.

There is still major value with the running back position, so here’s the week 13 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em guide for running backs.


Austin Ekeler vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

With Melvin Gordon likely out for a few weeks, Ekeler should see an increased workload both in the passing and rushing categories for the Chargers.

And with the way the Steelers looked in week 12, that should be a major boon to Ekeler’s fantasy output.

The Steelers have been a bottom-half defense in allowing fantasy points to running backs, and against the Broncos in week 12, Pittsburgh gave up 5.4 yards per rush attempt.

The Chargers won’t run the ball like the Broncos, but Ekeler offers a different dynamic in the passing game. With Ekeler seeing more playing time, he should easily be an RB1 candidate in week 13.

Phillip Lindsay vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are terrible on the defensive side of the ball. I’m not sure you’ve gathered that yet as the theme for week 13.

Lindsay has been a regular RB2 for the Broncos, not always being the main contributor for the Broncos.

However, with his recent returns, he should be catapulted more in the RB1 range. He has at least 90 total yards in every game since week 7. And the Broncos are more than determined to run the ball, giving Lindsay several opportunities at producing.

The Bengals are allowing the most fantasy points per game to running backs for a reason, so there’s no reason not to believe in Lindsay as a top-12 option in week 13.

Matt Breida vs. Seattle Seahawks

This isn’t only about Seattle’s porous rush defense. Breida is showing flashes of brilliance.

He has more than 100 total yards in each of his last two outings. What’s also encouraging about those numbers is that Breida is contributing in the passing game, too, allowing his fantasy totals to increase.

Breida should continue to be able to run the ball well in this offense, especially against Seattle, which is allowing the most yards per carry in the NFL at 5.3.

That works well in the 49ers gameplan, so Breida should be considered not only as a fantasy starter, but a DFS contributor.


Peyton Barber vs. Carolina Panthers

Barber has had a nice fantasy run in recent weeks, plowing into the endzone in two consecutive weeks.

And he’s the unquestioned main running back for the Buccaneers.

However, he’s still not generating enough in yards per carry to be a formidable running back, and this matchup just doesn’t work for Barber.

The Panthers are terrible against the pass, but good against the run. Carolina is a top-10 defense in yards per carry allowed, so Barber won’t find any room to run in week 13. At this point, he’s a touchdown-dependent running back, who shouldn’t be trusted on a weekly basis.

Sony Michel should not be trusted in the week 13 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em list for running backs. Flickr

Sony Michel vs. Minnesota Vikings

Teams don’t run the football against the Vikings.

Minnesota ranks third in yards per rush attempt allowed and it is a top-10 defense in limiting fantasy points to running backs.

Michel was dominant in a week 12 win against the New York Jets, but New England is legendary for switching up gameplans from week-to-week.

Michel will get plenty of playing time, but something tells me he won’t be near as involved as week 12. Trust the defense in this case and a New England offense looking to find weaknesses in the pass game.

Kenyan Drake vs. Buffalo Bills

Don’t buy into Drake’s recent fantasy football prowess.

Drake scored two touchdowns in week 12 against Indianapolis, but it wasn’t because of playing time. He played in less than half of Miami’s plays from scrimmage in week 12 and still wasn’t productive in his yardage.

That should downgrade his ability to put up major fantasy production in week 13 against a Buffalo defense that ranks in the top-half in the NFL in yards per rush attempt allowed. Drake aggravated an injury in week 12, too, making him uncertain for much playing time he’ll receive in week 13.

I would dismiss Drake as a fantasy option in week 13.

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