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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

David Montgomery
David Montgomery
Chicago Bears · RB
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
2020 · 4-7-0

I haven’t had the stomach to go back and watch the Bears game yet. Maybe ever. But I do want to go back and look at Montgomery again. He was great, no doubt. And the matchup was in his favor. But I really loved the way he was moving. He caught the ball really well. If the Bears do tear this offense down to the studs for next season, the studs are Montgomery and Allen Robinson, who is in the final year of his contract. I hope Theo Epstein extends him (Bears fan fantasy talking). That notwithstanding, I’m all-in on Montgomery this week. I know things seem awful for the Bears right now. Mostly, because they are. Everything sucks. This seems like a good opportunity for the Bears to come together as one team and beat the Lions. Because if that doesn’t happen, we could be wishing Matt Nagy well in his future endeavors. Plus, Montgomery showed the Bears offense doesn’t have to be humming to get some solid production. And I kind of liked the way a couple of the kids on the line performed.

Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders
Philadelphia Eagles · RB
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
2020 · 8-3-0

I know you might have watched the Eagles on Monday night and thought to yourself that there is no way you could ever start Sanders this week given the way the Philly offense has performed this year. But have you seen the Bears offense this season? And David Montgomery went out there and had a ton of fantasy production against this Packers defense. Which could end up being a problem for them in the playoffs with some of the ground games they will face. But whatever. I like Sanders this week.

Nyheim Hines
Nyheim Hines
Indianapolis Colts · RB
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
2020 · 4-7-0

I know, I know. We talked up Hines last week and nothing really came of it. Trust me, I KNOW. It’s funny, some of you kids who get big mad at us on the social media act like we’re not out here suffering with you when the Colts would rather give Jacoby Brissett a pair of touchdown scores instead of going with Hines. But what we can be encouraged by is the fact Hines got 65% of the snaps, partly because Jonathan Taylor was out on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We will keep tabs on that this week, but we love the matchup against the Texans. We saw what Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson did last week, so maybe if the Colts decide not to give their backup QB a couple of scores, that would be great.

Frank Gore
Frank Gore
New York Jets · RB
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 6-5-0

I know some of you might find it weird that Gore is still a thing in 2020. But to me, it’s a lot like watching the show Scrubs. I know there’s a lot of cool new stuff out there. But I would much rather just watch one of my favorite shows ever late at night because I know it’s going to deliver reliable laughs. Of course, Gore continues to see more than half of the snaps for Adam Gase. And when a coach is desperate to get that win, he’s going to be relying on his veteran players. Gore is going to get the opportunities. And he’s going up against the Raiders, who are top five in fantasy points allowed to running backs this season.

Wayne Gallman
Wayne Gallman
New York Giants · RB
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
2020 · 8-3-0


Gallman is a stud. I said it right when Saquon Barkley went down, that they should just be going to Gallman anyway. They didn’t need to go out of the house to find somebody. Kind of like when The Office brought in James Spader and Kathy Bates after Steve Carell left. And maybe this isn’t spot-on, because Robert California is not only great, but if you actually believe that Robert California is actually Raymond Reddington, then it makes it even better. But it was something like that. But Gallman has double digits in five straight. He’s scored a touchdown in five straight. He’s got a great matchup against the Seahawks, who are top five in fantasy points allowed to running backs. You start this man.

Damien Harris
Damien Harris
New England Patriots · RB
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
2020 · 3-8-0

Harris is still a good play this week, even though he lost out on a couple of touchdowns as James White scored a pair. And that’s fine. I mean, not really. I’m kind of upset about it still. But we’re good. Harris still played 64% of the snaps, which is great. There will likely be more opportunities in the future. The Chargers aren’t a bad matchup. They have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to running backs this season. But the Patriots are a running team, so we’re just going to go ahead and take what we can get.

Antonio Gibson
Antonio Gibson
Washington Football Team · RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 · 10-0-0

Huge advocate of Gibson for a while. And he spotted everyone a huge lead on Thanksgiving that hopefully carried you through Week 12. But now you’re bummed out that he’s got a tough matchup against the Steelers. Don’t be. There have been some running backs who have had some success against the Steelers this season. Sanders had a huge fantasy game against them in Week 5. J.K. Dobbins ran for 113 yards against them in Week 8. So you’re fine. And what’s really important to note is his increase in targets recently. He had seven against the Cowboys. If that continues, Gibby is a league winner. It also means you don’t start J.D. McKissic, which you weren’t going to do anyway. But I’m telling you right here, so one of my hard-working editors doesn’t have to code it up and take that extra time.

Duke Johnson
Duke Johnson
Houston Texans · RB
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
2020 · 7-4-0

Look: I promised I would like Duke Johnson in this space. Just in case you didn’t read about Deshaun Watson and you’re just browsing around. Like we did back in the 1990s looking for these things called compact discs (hard copies of MP3s). And you’d see a used Harvey Danger CD and think to yourself, I’ll grab this for a $1. But in any event. The Colts have been tough on running backs this season. Well, until Derrick Henry nuked them into oblivion. But I like Duke’s upside for targets. He had four against the Lions on Thanksgiving. I could see that number double without Will Fuller in the lineup.

Sit 'em

Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley
Atlanta Falcons · RB
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 9-2-0

Gurley was ruled out in Week 12, and I’m not confident that he’s going to be healthy and ready to go this week against the Saints. But I wouldn’t start him regardless. And I wouldn’t start any running back against the Saints, who just aren’t allowing any production on the ground. The Saints have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. They have allowed just three touchdowns. And if Gurley is out, just consider this a warning against all Falcons RBs. I just put a name to this so the ticker operator has a name to throw out there.

Benny Snell
Benny Snell
Pittsburgh Steelers · RB
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
2020 · 4-7-0

The Steelers running back situation is also in flux, and this could extend to James Conner if he is able to return this week. Honestly, I just don’t know when these games are going to be played. But the Football Team has been great against running backs this season. The FT has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the position this year and just five rushing touchdowns.

Zack Moss
Zack Moss
Buffalo Bills · RB
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2020 · 5-6-0

Moss had his largest snap-share of the season, coming in at 60% of the snaps against the Chargers. But as always, this is going to be Josh Allen rushing for touchdowns. Don’t really care for the matchup against the 49ers this week. Obviously Cam Akers looked pretty good against the 49ers last week. But I really think people are underestimating this 49ers team because of the injuries. It has played well after sweeping the Rams. Again. The 49ers have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. 

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