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

With Dalvin Cook sidelined this week, Alexander Mattison primed for another big game vs. the Lions.

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.

Byes: Browns, Packers, Panthers, Titans


Week 13 Start ‘Em: Running Backs

Start of the Week

Alexander Mattison at Lions (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Mattison figures to play a huge role in the Vikings offense this week, as Dalvin Cook suffered a shoulder injury against the 49ers. Ironically, Mattison was also the Vikings' top back the last time they faced the Lions. He scored a season-high 26.3 fantasy points on a bananas 60% touch share. Mattison will be in the No. 1 running back conversation while Cook is sidelined.


Start ‘Em

Elijah Mitchell at Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Mitchell’s finger injury didn’t bother him last week, as he saw a 57% touch share and scored 27.8 fantasy points in a win over the Vikings. Next up is a date with the Seahawks, who have surrendered 12 total touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. Mitchell should be considered a borderline No. 1 running back in fantasy land.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gibson at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox): Gibson, listed as a start em a week ago, saw a bananas 51.4% touch share and scored 23.6 fantasy points in a win over the Seahawks. That stress fracture in his shin doesn’t seem to be an issue at this point, and I’d keep him in your starting lineups against the Raiders. Their defense has given up 13 total touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing runners.

Jamaal Williams vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Williams is in line to see a bigger role in the Lions' offense this week, as D'Andre Swift suffered a shoulder injury last week in a loss to the Bears. The veteran should produce well in a featured role, as the Vikings have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the last four weeks. I like Williams as a solid No. 2 back or flex in this NFC North tilt.

Myles Gaskin vs. Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Gaskin has been hot in recent weeks, scoring 15-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games. He's also scored at least 15.7 points in each of his last four odd-numbered weeks (weird trend), and a matchup with the Giants is favorable. Entering the week, their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing runners. Consider Gaskin a No. 2 runner.

More Starts

  • Javonte Williams at Chiefs (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Miles Sanders at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • James Conner at Bears (1 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS Bargains

  • Antonio Gibson at Raiders ($5,700)
  • Jamaal Williams vs. Vikings ($5,400)
  • Miles Sanders at Jets ($5,200)

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Week 13 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

Sit of the Week

David Montgomery vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Montgomery is a tough player to bench in traditional redrafts, so consider this a warning for those in daily leagues. He has failed to score more than 10.4 fantasy points each of his last three games, and he’s scored fewer than 10.9 points in five of seven games on the season. Montgomery also has a tough matchup against the Cardinals, so be sure to temper expectations.

New York Jets Tevin Coleman

Sit ‘Em

Tevin Coleman vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Coleman led the Jets backs in snaps and touches last week, but this remains a committee including Coleman, Ty Johnson and Austin Walter. So while the matchup against the Eagles looks great on paper, putting any trust in Coleman or any Jets running back for that matter is not advised. Game script could also be an issue for this trio, which should be avoided if at all possible.

David Johnson vs. Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Johnson hasn’t produced great numbers this season, and he now finds himself in a committee with Rex Burkhead. In fact, in the last two weeks, D.J. has seen fewer snaps and touches than his veteran teammate. Johnson, who got banged up in last week's loss to the Jets, also has a tough matchup against a Colts defense that's allowed the sixth-fewest points a game to enemy backs.

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Rhamondre Stevenson at Bills (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Listed as a sit ‘em last week, Stevenson played just 20 snaps and had nine touches in a win over the Titans. The rookie remains behind Damien Harris on the Patriots depth chart, and he's not been a factor in either the red zone or the passing attack. The Bills defense has given up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to runners, too, so sit Stevenson once again.

Alex Collins vs. 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS): Collins continues to run as the top back in Seattle, but he’s done nothing in the stat sheets. Since scoring 16.8 fantasy points against the Steelers, Collins has produced 21 points total in his last five games. So, despite a matchup against a 49ers defense that’s allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs since Week 9, Collins should remain on the sidelines.

More Sits

  • Darrel Williams vs. Broncos (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Mike Davis vs. Buccaneers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Latavius Murray vs. Steelers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Fades

  • Saquon Barkley at Dolphins ($6,300)
  • Josh Jacobs vs. Football Team ($6,000)
  • David Montgomery vs. Cardinals ($5,600)

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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!

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