Week 13 Running Backs
RB Notes: The recipient of 12-plus targets in four of his past six games, Austin Ekeler encounters a Raiders defense handing out the third most RB fantasy points. … Nick Chubb shook off his mini slump in Week 12. His reward is a date with the Texans' No. 32 — and well beyond — run defense. The Chubb dynamic will be interesting down the stretch, as Deshaun Watson will be by far the best quarterback he has ever played with. … Derrick Henry has flipped his usual script, slumping when he is usually going into takeover mode. Week 13 opponent Philadelphia might have Ryan Tannehill in hell, but they are far from lockdown on the ground. Henry will do his thing, at least from a touches perspective. … Saquon Barkley is finally slumping and the Commanders are no one's idea of a good running back matchup. I'll keep the faith because the Giants are playing at home with little chance of getting blown out. Barkley will continue to gobble up touches in run-friendly game script. … I'm sorry to keep making the same comparison, but Rhamondre Stevenson really has been the real Alvin Kamara this season. With Damien Harris (thigh) out, Stevenson can't get game scripted vs. Buffalo.
Coming off only the 11th 300-yard effort by any player in NFL history, Josh Jacobs is highly questionable with a calf issue. It's a shame, because he would be pushing for RB1 overall status at full health. The Chargers have literally one of the worst run defenses of all time. If Jacobs can't go, rookie Zamir White and journeyman Ameer Abdullah will form a committee. White sensibly slots into early-down duties while Abdullah has quietly totaled 18 receptions. … Ken Walker seems to have finally hit a rookie wall. The good news is, the literal wall he would have been facing in Week 13 has been torn down with Aaron Donald sidelined with a high-ankle sprain. There is nothing concerning about a matchup where the Seahawks are touchdown-plus road faves. … Jonathan Taylor has reached 20 carries and 23 touches in all three of Jeff Saturday's coaching efforts. The ground is the only place the Colts have any prayer vs. the Cowboys. … Christian McCaffrey (knee) isn't practicing. Elijah Mitchell (knee) is done for the season. That leaves UDFA Jordan Mason and undead Kyle Shanahan zombie Tevin Coleman. Mason would be the upside play, but there is an all-too-real possibility Coleman is the lead back. If CMC plays, managers probably have to assume 12-15 touches rather than 15-20.
NYJ/MIN could be a “sneaky” shootout, or the Vikings could have to grind it out at home. Either scenario requires plenty of Dalvin Cook. … Aaron Jones smashed the Bears for 170 yards and two touchdowns on only 18 touches in Week 2. Chicago's defense hasn't exactly gotten better in the interim. Especially with Aaron Rodgers (thumb, ribs) ailing, expect a Jones commitment. … Joe Mixon (concussion) is returning for the highest-totaled game of Week 13 (53.0). His goal-line carries over/under can be set at 2.5. … Tony Pollard has reached 20 touches in both games since Ezekiel Elliott's return. Zeke has out-scored him 3-2 in the process, but Pollard's handles remain higher upside. Massive home favorites against the Colts, both should get home as RB2s. … The Jags have put a brave face on Travis Etienne's foot aggravation, but at the very least, fantasy managers should expect a more measured Week 13 workload. We still wouldn't be stunned if the Jags “opt for caution,” though Etienne's Wednesday practice has him on track to play against the Lions' cellar-dwelling defense. JaMycal Hasty will be involved in this one.
Rachaad White has reached 22 touches each of the past two weeks as Leonard Fournette was either banged up or sidelined. Fournette's (hip) Week 13 status is a mystery ahead of Monday Night Football, but I'll give White the rankings advantage either way. A high-end RB2 without Lenny, White will find himself on the RB2/3 borderline if Fournette plays. … Justin Fields' (shoulder) return would help, but David Montgomery's RB2 setup is good either way against a Packers run defense that just got pulverized by Miles Sanders. … Jamaal Williams is entirely touchdown dependent. Thankfully, the TD odds will be good in this 50-plus totaled showdown with the Jags. … Alvin Kamara has bettered 50 yards rushing one time in six weeks. He has reached 10 carries only three times in the process. Brutal. The Bucs' run defense isn't what it once was but is still allowing the fourth fewest RB fantasy points. … For only the second time all year, Miles Sanders reached 20 carries and 100 yards rushing against the Packers. He will have a difficult time repeating the trick against a Titans defense that struggles in the skies but blockades the ground.
Jeff Wilson would have been a Week 12 mega-bust had he not found the end zone. Wilson botched a dream setup against the Texans and will probably have Raheem Mostert (knee) back in the backfield for what is a revenge game for both backs vs. San Francisco. … Being on the Texans has finally caught up with Dameon Pierce. He does have a dream Week 13 matchup with a Browns defense that ranks 32nd in rush defense EPA. … Isiah Pacheco's Week 13 case is based more on touchdowns than carries as the Chiefs figure to be in pass mode for what should be a close, high-scoring date with the Bengals. … Michael Carter (ankle) isn't practicing. Although James Robinson won't be healthy scratched this week, it's unlikely the Jets will slot him in ahead of Zonovan Knight after they saw fit to activate Knight ahead of his veteran teammate against the Bears. Ty Johnson's pass-catching has him in the mix as a lower-end FLEX in PPR leagues. … The Commanders can't seem to make up their running back mind, but the Giants profile as a strong “pure” RB matchup. That is Brian Robinson, not Antonio Gibson. … It's pretty simple: When Gus Edwards is healthy, the Ravens commit to him as their lead back.