Three Running Backs I’m Trying To Avoid For Week 13 (Marshawn Lynch & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

These are not players that I am 100% sitting this week, depending on my alternatives (we will get to those players later on this week in our Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em column).  Instead these are guys I am reconsidering having them in my lineup for a variety of reasons:


Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks
at San Francisco

It’s hard to imagine sitting Lynch, though his value is going to be diminished on Thursday night.  While he’s rushed for nine touchdowns this season, they’ve come in just four games.  Even more interesting, all nine have actually come at home (though that’s more an interesting stat more than something to read into).

In two matchups with the 49ers last season Lynch was less than stellar from a yardage standpoint though his days were saved by TD (he scored a total of 4 TD in the two games):

  • 28 carries for 98 yards (3.5 YPC)
  • 20 carries for 72 yards (3.6 YPC)

Throw in the quick turnaround with his back issues and sitting him if you have adequate depth may be the prudent decision (of course, depending on the news in the coming days).


Steven Jackson – Atlanta Falcons
vs. Arizona

Jackson has quietly been given the lion’s share of the carries for the Falcons in recent weeks (13+ carries in four straight games), including scoring TD in three of his past four games.  However, that doesn’t mean he’s been productive with those touches:

  • vs. Detroit – 18 carries for 60 yards and 1 TD (3.3 YPC)
  • at Tampa Bay – 16 carries for 81 yards and 1 TD (5.1 YPC)
  • at Carolina – 17 carries for 41 yards (2.4 YPC)
  • vs. Cleveland – 13 carries for 34 yards (2.6 YPC)

In fact, Jackson has been given double-digit carries in all but two games but has managed 3.6 YPC on the season.  As it is the Falcons could start to give a longer look to their other running backs (not that Devonta Freeman, Jacquizz Rodgers and company have excelled), but the matchup is an extremely difficult one as well.  The Cardinals have been far more prone to running backs who catch the ball (375 yards) than run it (736 yards), just further clouding Jackson’s upside.

Given the lack of bye weeks, this definitely is not a matchup you want to try and challenge.


Joique Bell – Detroit Lions
vs. Chicago

With Reggie Bush heading towards a return, Bell’s potential status gets that much cloudier.  As it is Bell has rushed for under 50 yards in four of his past five games and is coming off a pitiful 19 carry, 48 yard performance against the Patriots.

Bell didn’t do much against the Bears last season (17 carries for 53 yards in two games).  The Bears have also allowed just 300 rushing yards (on 70 carries) and 0 TD over their past three games.  In fact, the last rushing TD they allowed was to Lamar Miller in Week 7.

With Bush and Theo Riddick also to get their touches, Bell is going to be a hard player to trust this week.


Sources – ESPN,

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  1. Mike from LA says:

    I’m trying to figure out my RB/Flex situation and am wondering your thoughts…For a Standard Scoring League

    Forte @ DET
    Miller @ NYJ
    Ellington @ ATL
    AJ Green @ TB
    Gordon @ BUF
    Maclin @ DAL
    LaFell @ GB
    J. Thomas @ KC
    Kelce vs. DEN




  2. Steve L says:

    If I get him off waivers, you think Herron might be a better play than either J bell or L Miller?

  3. Mike from LA:
    RB – Forte/Ellington
    WR – Green/Gordon
    TE – Thomas (if he’s playing)
    FLEX – Maclin

    Steve L – Herron has a tough matchup this week, but playing him over Bell isn’t the craziest thing I’ve heard

  4. Brian says:

    Crowell or Herron for the rest of the season?

  5. Beth says:

    Hello. I am thinking about benching Marshawn Lynch this week and starting Justin Forsett and C.J. Anderson. Am I crazy? Lynch has had a short week, has some health problems, and plays SF, while Forsett and Anderson play SD and KC. What do you think?

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