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Latavius Murray or Devonta Freeman: Which Ravens RB should you start in Week 13?

Which running back brings more fantasy upside and should be started in Week 13 between Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray?

As the Baltimore Ravens get set to take on their bitter AFC North rival, fantasy football managers pour over the data as they try to make one final push towards the fantasy playoffs. While the Ravens continue to delegate backfield duties, which running back brings more fantasy upside and should be started in Week 13 between Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray?

Devonta Freeman continues to find success for the Ravens and fantasy managers

Let’s be honest. Back in the summer, the last person we thought we would be talking about in the Ravens backfield would have been Devonta Freeman. But season-ending injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and even Justice Hill will make you do things you never expected. With that said, Freeman has been better than expected once he took the reins of the backfield.

Since Week 9, Freeman is the RB16 in PPR scoring. If you go back to Week 6, Freeman has been an RB3 or better in five of six games. That’s a startable player if you needed someone to flex or fill in for a bye week. Freeman has taken advantage of the Ravens’ philosophy, relying on the rushing game.

Over his last four games, Freeman has rushed 55 times for 215 times with a touchdown while catching 12 of 14 targets for 66 yards and another score, averaging 13 points per game.

But it’s not just Freeman in this offense. He’s played on just 56% of the offensive snaps over his last four games as the Ravens continue to implement a committee approach, further complicating things for fantasy managers.

Latavius Murray has been difficult to trust for fantasy managers

Injury aside, Murray has been difficult to reliably start in fantasy. Murray’s RB21 finish in Week 6 (13.6 PPR) is the only game he’s finished as an RB2 or better.

Murray missed three games (Weeks 7-10) due to an ankle injury he sustained against the Los Angeles Chargers back on October 17 that continued to linger. Since he returned in Week 11, the Ravens have worked Murray back into the offense.

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Still, he’s the clear No. 2 option behind Freeman. While his snap count was just four behind Freeman (40 to 36) last week, Freeman has the clear rush advantage (16 to 8). Furthermore, Murray did very little with his rushes against the Browns, totaling just 14 yards on the ground (1.75 yards per carry).

Based on his efficiency, or lack thereof, Murray has become an extremely difficult RB to trust, especially right now with just two weeks left until the start of the fantasy playoffs.

Which Ravens RB should you start in Week 13 between Murray and Freeman?

For my money, it has to be Freeman between the two players. He’s not only the No. 1 in touches, but Freeman’s doing more with his opportunities than Murray is.

There is some trepidation about starting Freeman among fantasy managers as they see the Pittsburgh Steelers on the schedule. Here’s the thing, this is not the same Steelers’ defense of years past. They’re 20th in fantasy points allowed to RBs at 24.1 and 31st in yards per carry at 4.78. Over their last four games, they’re 30th vs. RBs (32.63).

Freeman comes into Week 13 as a high-end RB3 based on his projected volume and the possibility to find the end zone. This season, the Steelers have allowed 12 RBs to score double-digit fantasy points, including five different running backs since Week 9.

Murray is a higher-end RB4 who could be used as a flex play in a pinch. But odds are there are higher upside options to choose from floating around on the waiver wire.

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.

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