Week 13 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Latavius Murray is listed below as a "start" for Week 13. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 13 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and Murray and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and MG3 -- and in turn, bench Murray.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs. SF)

With the exception of Week 7 against the Packers, Howard has a minimum of 15 carries in his other seven games since Week 4. During that span, he has four 100-yard rushing games and the odds of him rushing for 100-plus yards this week is high.

Not only have the 49ers allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, but no team has allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the 49ers (5.18). The Raiders are a distant second at 4.61 YPC to RBs. In addition, the 49ers have allowed RBs a league-high 14 rushing touchdowns and a total of 17 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the 49ers have allowed eight 100-yard rushers this season.

Given the teams injuries and/or suspensions on offense, we should see Howard get north of 20 carries and possibly 25 touches in this game provided it remains close.

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RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at ATL)

Ware hasn't been great recently with 60-70 rushing yards and no touchdowns in his three games since returning from a concussion. That said, Ware has 16, 19 and 19 touches, respectively, and I would expect Kansas City to try to control the clock as much as possible against the high-powered Falcons offense on the road. Regardless of whether Jeremy Maclin suits up or not, the Chiefs aren't built to win shootouts.

As far as the matchup goes, it's favorable for Ware. Only the 49ers (see above) and the Browns (on bye) have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. No team has allowed more receptions to opposing running backs than the Falcons and Ware has multiple receptions in six consecutive games and even had a 7/129 receiving line in Week 1.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (vs. BUF)

Since missing a couple of games earlier in the season, Murray has a minimum of 16 touches in five consecutive games. During that five-game span, he carried the ball 80 times for 299 yards (only 3.74 YPC). That said, Murray has scored six touchdowns and added 16 receptions for 142 yards on 22 targets over that stretch.

Far from efficient, Murray's volume (19.2 touches per game over his past five), role as a receiver and opportunities near the goal line make him a top-12 play this week. Only five other teams are projected to score more points than the Raiders, who are three-point home favorites.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at CHI)

In many weeks, Hyde is a mid- or back-end RB2 in my rankings, but he's solidly inside the top-10 this week. It's not often that the 49ers are favorites and even though they are on the road this weekend, San Francisco is currently a two-point favorite against the Bears.

Even in losses, Chip Kelly has shown his commitment to the running game. Provided this game stays close or that 49ers play with a lead, Hyde could see 25-plus touches.

And while the matchup may not look great on paper as Chicago has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, the team has been decimated by injuries and/or suspensions. I currently have Hyde projected for 21 touches, 91 yards and a touchdown.

Week 13 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. MIA)

The matchup against the Dolphins isn't great, as they have limited opposing running backs to the 13th-fewest fantasy points this season. More concerning for West's outlook, however, is the role (or specifically the rise of it) for Kenneth Dixon. The Ravens have said they would get their fourth-round rookie more involved -- and they have.

Not only did Dixon have one more touch than West last week, but he played more snaps (31 to 23) than West as well. In addition, the Ravens have the fourth-lowest run-to-pass play percentage in the NFL this year. With the trend not favorable for West, it's hard to trust him as anything more than a flex option at this point.

RB - James White, New England Patriots (vs. LA)

If I were to start a Patriots running back, it would be LeGarrette Blount. In fact, the Blount is flirting with RB1 territory in a game where the Patriots are expected to blow out the Rams. If I were to start two Patriots running backs, it would be Blount and Dion Lewis. Since returning to action, Lewis has had five and six carries in addition to roughly 14 percent of the team's target share. On the other hand, White has maintained a role as a receiver (10/85/1 on 15 targets), but he has zero carries in his past two games.

RB - T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. DEN)

Even with Chris Ivory ruled out this week and Yeldon active last week, it's unlikely that he sees a large enough workload to warrant RB2 consideration. With Ivory leaving early last week, Yeldon had just six carries for 17 yards and one three-yard reception on two targets. Meanwhile, Denard Robinson had 13 carries for 39 yards and he's expected to get a sizable workload this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 13

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