Fantasy football managers who will be without Josh Jacobs, James Cook, and Saquon Barkley due to bye weeks are going to have to make some tough lineup decisions on who to start or sit at the RB position.
Here are some of my start/sit options at the RB position for Week 13 of NFL action.
Which RBs Should You Start in Fantasy This Week?
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard has pushed himself back into RB1 consideration after scoring a touchdown in two straight games following eight games in which he didn’t.
Over the last two contests, Pollard’s efficiency has jumped back over 5+ yards per carry, which is what we saw on a consistent basis during his breakout 2022 campaign. Look for Pollard to find plenty of running room against a Seahawks defense that gave up three rushing touchdowns in Week 12 and allowed Christian McCaffrey to go over 100 yards on the ground on just 19 carries.
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
MiRaheem Mostert appeared to be falling out of the RB1 conversation after posting consecutive games with fewer than 55 total yards in Weeks 7 and 8 without De’Von Achane in the lineup.
Well, Mostert has topped 80 yards rushing in three straight games now and managed to score three touchdowns during that span. The struggling Washington Commanders defense just fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio after Dallas’ offense scored five touchdowns in their 45-10 blowout loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
No team in the league puts more stress on an opposing secondary than the Dolphins, which should generate a handful of scoring opportunities for Mostert to produce RB1 numbers in Week 13.
Which RBs Should You Sit in Fantasy This Week?
Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
Brian Robinson Jr. is currently the RB6 in PPR formats and has produced a fantastic sophomore campaign in 2023, but this matchup against the Dolphins defense may not be as favorable as some might think.
Since CB Jalen Ramsey entered the starting lineup back in Week 8 against the New England Patriots, the Dolphins have held their opponent to an average of just 16 points per game. When you compare that to the 26 points on average they were giving up prior to his arrival in Miami’s secondary, you quickly realize this defense is playing at a much higher level.
Robinson will still lead this backfield, but I would temper my expectations with Antonio Gibson back in the mix.
AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers
Even in the Packers’ second-best offensive outing of the 2023 season and with no Aaron Jones in the lineup, AJ Dillon still failed to top 50 yards rushing or find the end zone against the Lions in Week 12.
If Jones remains out of the lineup against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, Dillon will still be a viable starting fantasy option on volume alone. But can we really get excited about his fantasy ceiling?
Dillon hasn’t hit the 12-point threshold in any fantasy outing this season, and that has come with Jones missing four games this year. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have been very stout this season and could welcome back one of the best off-ball linebackers in the league this week, with Nick Bolton eligible to return from injured reserve.
If you simply need a running back to get you around seven points, then Dillon is serviceable. However, if you’re in need of a high-upside option, then I would look at other big-play options at the RB position for Week 13.
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Should You Start Raheem Mostert or Derrick Henry?
Fantasy managers have relied on Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry as an automatic starter in their fantasy lineups for the last four seasons. However, he has been far more boom or bust this season than many would like to admit.
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Sure, on weeks where the Titans will face a struggling offense and a weak rushing defense — like they did against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday — Henry can still produce big fantasy performances. The Indianapolis Colts fall somewhere in the middle, while the Commanders defense has been consistently bad this season.
Henry is the better player, but I’m going to roll with Mostert because I simply believe he’ll have more scoring opportunities in a far superior offense.
Should You Start AJ Dillon or Najee Harris?
Despite the fact that Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris is stuck in a timeshare, he has still managed to produce five double-digit fantasy outings in his last six games. Dillon, who hasn’t been saddled with competing with Jones for touches in four games this year, has just five such double-digit fantasy performances all season long.
Harris is also coming off of a season-high 99 rushing yards in Week 12, which makes me want to roll with his hot hand in an offense that may have new life with Matt Canada no longer calling plays in Pittsburgh.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!