Week 13 Rankings (2019): Top 40 Running Backs

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With the bye weeks complete we have a full stable of weapons at our disposal for the upcoming week. Of course there are still injury issues, among other things, but why would we expect anything to be easy? After all, for most fantasy owners the last week of the regular season really is the first week of the playoffs. So let’s take a look at how our options rank for Week 13:

  1. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – vs. Washington
  2. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Seattle
  3. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
  4. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tampa Bay
  5. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
  6. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Buffalo
  7. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
  8. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants – vs. Green Bay
  9. Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
  10. Le’Veon Bell – New York Jets – at Cincinnati
  11. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – at NY Giants
  12. Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – vs. San Francisco
  13. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Minnesota
  14. Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – at Denver
  15. Todd Gurley – LA Rams – at Arizona
  16. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  17. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. LA Chargers
  18. Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers – at Baltimore
  19. Jonathan Williams – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  20. James White – New England Patriots – at Houston
  21. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. LA Rams
  22. Benny Snell – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
  23. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at Miami
  24. Bo Scarbrough – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
  25. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Jacksonville
  26. Aaron Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Denver
  27. Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
  28. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. NY Jets
  29. Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans – vs. New England
  30. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
  31. Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
  32. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
  33. Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at Houston
  34. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at Dallas
  35. Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins – at Carolina
  36. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – at NY Giants
  37. Jaylen Samuels – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
  38. LeSean McCoy – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
  39. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  40. Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta

Thoughts:

  • We spent a lot of time in the waiver wire article building up the Jets, so let’s continue that trend. They are facing the Bengals this week, and Cincinnati has made top five options out of opposing fantasy running backs this season. That brings us to Le’Veon Bell, who is still a borderline RB1 to this point. As Sam Darnold looks more comfortable, Bell will only benefit. As a runner Bell has been less than impressive (3.4 yards per carry), but it is production in the passing game that has helped to preserve his value (51 receptions for 368 yards). While he gained just 49 yards on 12 carries last week, he was an impressive weapon in the passing game catching five passes for 59 yards. Perhaps this is the week that he eclipses his season high of 70 rushing yards?
  • Nothing went right for Josh Jacobs last week, but the same could be said for the Raiders as a whole as game flow took him out of the equation and left him with just 34 yards. This coming week things will likely bounce back to normal for the rookie as he faces the Chiefs who are at the top of the list for most points allowed to opposing running backs (5.1 yards per carry). With 957 rushing yards on the season, 4.8 yards per carry, and seven touchdowns it is a pretty good bet that Jacobs will surpass the 1,000 yard mark this week. It does hurt his value that with just 18 receptions he is not much of a factor in the passing game, but he is the clear bell-cow in Oakland’s offense as he looks to bounce back from the worst game of his career.
  • With Jordan Howard banged up the thought was that Miles Sanders would perhaps take a step forward in the Eagles offense. However, while Sanders hasn’t been a complete disappointment, that has not been the case. Philadelphia has been cautious with him from a running perspective, and the 12 carries he had last week was one less than his career high. It’s not like Sanders struggled, as he did impress with 63 rushing yards while also catching three passes for 23 yards. For the most part it seems like Sanders catches three balls per game, and with just two touchdowns overall on the season there isn’t much upside.
  • Perhaps one of the bigger surprises on this week’s running back slate is the Arizona situation. David Johnson appears to be healthy, but at this point the Cardinals’ backfield appears to be under Kenyan Drake’s control. Prior to Arizona’s bye week Drake gained 67 yards on 16 carries, but more importantly he caught six passes (for the second straight week) for 13 yards. While Johnson has been battling health issues, he has also been less than impressive while on the field (3.7 yards per carry). It’s hard to even feel confident in starting Johnson, and we have to be aware that this is not the same Drake we saw in Miami.
  • At this point let’s assume that John Conner will be sidelined another week with his shoulder injury. That means we have another week of Benny Snell on the heels of him taking advantage of Cincinnati’s run defense last week. This week he gets the Browns and that success should continue, as once again he is slated to be the main recipient of carries in Pittsburgh’s backfield. The track record isn’t there this season thanks both to Conner and Snell’s own knee injury, but with 21 carries for 98 yards he was more than up to the task.
  • With three games under his belt this season, let’s check back in on Kareem Hunt. It is clear that Hunt’s role is to support Nick Chubb in the running game, and that is certainly to the delight of Chubb owners as he is already at 1,117 yards with five games of more than 100 yards. Last week the game was a blowout in Cleveland’s favor, so it’s no surprise that Hunt saw a season high in carries with eight (for 37 yards) while catching two passes for nine yards. Hunt’s rushing touchdown saved the day from a fantasy perspective, as in the two previous games he had 13 receptions for 90 yards. Tread carefully in your FLEX spot, but in PPR leagues he warrants strong consideration.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

18 COMMENTS

  1. Full PPR. Gurley @ Arizona ( good match up and should get 15 touches or more IMO) or Ekeler@ Denver ( last time he faced Denver had 15 receptions).

    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Full point PPR, need a win this week big time. Is it a stretch to consider starting Snell over Coleman, Hyde, and Cohen? Seems like the ceiling for Snell is higher than the other three (assuming Connor is out).

    Also, at QB, I am leaning Kyler Murray over Dak. I don’t like Dak’s matchup and I need the higher upside given my playoff situation (need to score a bunch of points this week).

    • It seems like Mack may not be out long, so that’s a bit of a stretch (but if you need a W desperate then you do what you’ve got to do)

  3. 1/4pt PPR, Sony Michel was just dropped to waivers, who do I drop to pick him up, between, L. Murray (also have Kamara), Guice, AJ Green, or NO DST? Or am I better off leaving him on waivers?

  4. Hi, Prof. 0.5 PPR. I have Benny Snell Jr., Jordan Howard, and Darrel Williams. Leaning towards starting Snell obviously. However, what is your take on Howard if he’s healthy and cleared for contact possibly in Thursday’s practice, and Darrel Williams, if Damien Williams sits out this week? Thanks.

  5. 1 pt PPR
    Need 3

    RB D Freeman ATL (tough NO DST)
    RB R Jones TB
    WR. DK Metcalf SEA
    WR A Theilen MIN didn’t practice Wed)
    WR D Parker MIA
    WR C Kirk ARI (might get Ramsey)

    Standard
    Need 2

    RB K Drake ARI
    WR D Parker MIA
    WR A Theilen MIN

    .5 pt PPR
    Need 1
    RB L Murray or WR M Gallup

  6. Hi Professor,

    10 team Standard League.

    Keenan Allen, Adam Theilen(still questionable), Sterling Shepherd, DeDe Westbrook, Alshon Jeffrey, Darious Slayton, Chris Conley, A.J. Brown, Will Fuller, Deebo Samuel, Larry Fitzgerald.

    LeVeon Bell, Joe Mixon, Sony Michel, Austin Ekeler, Benny Snell, Darrel Williams

    Need 2 RB, 1 WR, and 1 Flex.

    Thank you.

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