Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13: Running Backs - Fades, Sleepers, Matchups, DFS Bargains

Start 'em and sit 'em running backs for Week 13 from senior fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano.

Week 13 Start ‘Em: Running Backs

Byes: Buccaneers, Panthers

Start of the Week

Raheem Mostert vs. Bills (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Mostert returned to action last week, playing 29 snaps while leading the Niners backfield with a 31.6 percent touch share. I like him to produce solid totals this week, as the Niners host a Buffalo team that’s struggled against home running backs. In fact, the position has put up an average of more than 26 fantasy points per game. Mostert should be considered a solid No. 2 fantasy runner in most leagues this weekend.

Week 13 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Be sure to check out my Week 13 rankings before finalizing any lineup decisions or if your league has special scoring rules, sign up for SI Fantasy+ for customized rankings.

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Start ‘Em

David Montgomery vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Montgomery put up a big total in his return from a concussion, posting a 38 percent touch share and more than 25 fantasy points against the Packers. He has another great matchup next, as the Bears host a Lions defense that’s struggled against backs. In fact, no team in the league has allowed more total touchdowns (21) or fantasy points (33.2 PPG) to the position. Consider Montgomery a solid No. 2 runner in all leagues.

Devontae Booker at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Raiders will be without Josh Jacobs (ankle) this week, and that opens the door for Booker to see a much bigger role in the offense. The Jets have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to enemy running backs, and nine have scored 13-plus points against them in 2020. So while backup runners haven't been great in the stat sheets lately, Booker has a good matchup and is in the RB2/flex conversation in this AFC matchup. 

Wayne Gallman at Seahawks (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX): Believe it or not, but Gallman is the eighth-best fantasy running back since Week 8. He’s tied for third in rushing touchdowns in that time, and he’s seen a 32 percent touch share in the Giants backfield. He warrants another week as a No. 2 runner or flex starter in a positive matchup against the Seahawks. Their defense has allowed 12 total touchdowns and nearly 25 fantasy points per game to running backs.

Myles Gaskin vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Dolphins could be without Salvon Ahmed, DeAndre Washington and Matt Breida, so Gaskin has a shot to be back in a featured role. If that's true, he has a nice matchup against a Bengals defense that's allowed 14-plus fantasy points to runners nine times, including two backs with over 17 points over their last three games. Keep tabs on Gaskin's status, but he's a good option as a No. 2 back or flex starter if active.

More Starts

  • Melvin Gordon at Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Damien Harris at Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • J.K. Dobbins vs. Cowboys (Tues. 8:05 p.m. ET, FOX)

DFS Bargains

  • Nyheim Hines at Texans (DraftKings: $5,300)
  • Damien Harris at Chargers (DraftKings: $5,200)
  • Frank Gore vs. Raiders (DraftKings: $4,400)

Week 13 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

Sit of the Week

Todd Gurley vs. Saints (1 p.m. ET, FOX): Gurley (knee) missed last week’s game against the Raiders, and he’s questionable to face the Saints in Week 13. The Falcons starter this week doesn’t matter, however, because starting a running back against New Orleans isn't wise. The position has scored just five touchdowns and has averaged the fewest fantasy points (16.8 PPG) against them, so Gurley, Brian Hill, and Ito Smith should all be on fantasy benches this week.

Sit ‘Em

Ezekiel Elliott at Ravens, (Tues. 8:05 p.m. ET, FOX): I get it. Chances are you have to start Elliott, but you should do it with tempered expectations. He’s scored 12 or fewer fantasy points in all but one game since Dak Prescott went down, including four games with single digits. The Cowboys' offensive line is in shambles too, and a matchup in Baltimore isn’t favorable. Unless COVID-19 decimates the Ravens on defense, Elliott remains a serious gamble.

Giovani Bernard at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Bernard has fallen on hard times in recent weeks, scoring fewer than nine fantasy points in each of his last three games. He’s also seen no more than 12 touches in those contests, despite the absence of Joe Mixon. Bernard is a fade for me this week too, as the Bengals face a Dolphins defense that’s allowed just three total touchdowns to visiting runners. At best, Bernard is a desperation fantasy flex starter this weekend.

Darrell Henderson at Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX): Henderson’s touches in the Rams backfield have shrunk in recent weeks, as he’s averaged 9.3 opportunities over the last four games. That’s due to a move to more of a three-headed backfield monster with Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers both getting more touches. D.H. has also failed in the stat sheets, scoring fewer than 10 fantasy points in all but one of his last six games. He’s just not startable.

Zack Moss at 49ers (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Devin Singletary led all Buffalo backs in touch share (28.6%) and fantasy points (11.2) last week, so Moss hasn’t separated himself in this difficult committee. He’s also heading into a bad matchup, as the Bills travel west to face the 49ers (in Arizona due to COVID-19 issues). Their defense has been tough on running backs, allowing just nine total touchdowns and the eighth-fewest fantasy points this season.

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More Sits

  • Duke Johnson vs. Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Adrian Peterson at Bears (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Devin Singletary at 49ers (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

DFS Fades

  • Alvin Kamara at Falcons (DraftKings: $7,000)
  • Duke Johnson at Colts (DraftKings: $5,800)
  • Kenyan Drake vs. Rams (DraftKings: $5,700)

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!

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