Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13: Running backs

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

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Start of the Week - Phillip Lindsay vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Lindsay was a disappointment in the stat sheets for owners last week, but he did play 56.5 percent of the snaps and out-touched Royce Freeman 14 to four. He's a great start this week, as the Broncos face a Chargers team that's allowed 13 total touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to enemy runners. Consider Lindsay a nice RB2.

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Jonathan Williams vs. Tennessee Titans

Williams dominated the Colts backfield snaps and touches a week ago, so he's a fine flex option when he faces the Titans in Week 13. Over the last four weeks, Tennessee has allowed five rushing touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to enemy running backs. That bodes well for Williams in this AFC South matchup.

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Ronald Jones vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jones has scored 15-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games, and an upcoming matchup in Jacksonville makes him a solid flex option. The Jaguars defense just gave up two touchdowns and 28.5 fantasy points to Derrick Henry, and no defense has allowed more production to running backs over the last four weeks.

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David Montgomery vs. Detroit Lions

Montgomery was a sit 'em for me last week, and he put up yet another bad line in a win over the Giants. I'd play him this week, though, as the Bears face a Lions defense that's allowed 17 total touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to running backs. Let's hope the rookie doesn't make us all look like turkeys. He's a flex starter.

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Miles Sanders vs. Miami Dolphins

Sanders hasn't put up huge numbers in recent weeks, but he has gotten a nice volume of touches with Jordan Howard sidelined. If that scenario is the same this week in Miami, the rookie should be seen as a nice No. 2 fantasy running back. The Dolphins have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to enemy runners this season.

Start 'Em: Josh Jacobs at Kansas City Chiefs, Todd Gurley at Arizona Cardinals
Sleepers: Benny Snell vs. Cleveland Browns, Derrius Guice at Carolina Panthers

Sit 'Em

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Sit of the Week - David Johnson vs. Los Angeles Rams

Johnson has barely been in the Cardinals backfield in recent weeks, as he's seen 21 percent of the snaps since Week 7 and lost his starting role to Kenyan Drake. There's also talk that Chase Edmonds could be back in time to face the Rams, which muddies the Cardinals backfield waters even more. For now, D.J. needs to be sidelined.

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Tevin Coleman vs. Baltimore Ravens

Coleman will be a flex starter in leagues this week, but I'd temper expectations. He's scored fewer than 13 fantasy points in four of his last six games, and he's averaged 29 yards on the ground in his last four. Coleman also has a tough matchup against a Ravens defense that's allowed the eighth-fewest points to opposing runners.

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Carlos Hyde vs. New England Patriots

Hyde continues to be the main man in the Texans backfield, but he's a tough sell against the Patriots. No defense in the league has allowed fewer touchdowns (one) or fantasy points (14.6 PPG) to enemy running backs, so Hyde will be hard pressed to produce a nice stat line this week. Keep the former Buckeyes star on your bench.

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Jaylen Samuels vs. Cleveland Browns

Samuels was expected to be a featured runner last week without James Conner. Instead, he played just 27.9 percent of the snaps and had fewer touches than Benny Snell. With his touches in question and a game against the Browns, who have allowed the fewest points to backs since Week 9, Samuels is difficult to trust right now.

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Rashaad Penny vs. Minnesota Vikings

Penny went off for 18.9 fantasy points last week, as he saw a bigger role in the offense after Chris Carson fumbled on consecutive plays. Still, he's not going to see a featured role and will instead share work with Carson on Monday night. The Vikings also have one of the league's toughest defenses against runners, so I'd fade Penny.

Sit 'Em: Duke Johnson vs. New England Patriots, Royce Freeman vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Busts: Sony Michel at Houston Texans, Chris Carson vs. Minnesota Vikings (Mon.)


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network 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 fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!