Miles Sanders vs. Boston Scott: Which Eagles RB should you start in Week 13?

Are either Boston Scott or Miles Sanders fantasy options this week, or should you avoid the entire backfield in Week 13?

The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the more frustrating teams for fantasy football managers. QB Jalen Hurts has been the lone bright spot, but that’s not saying much. This week, the team faces the New York Jets, but fantasy managers want to know if any Eagles running backs are worth starting. Specifically, where do we stand with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott’s fantasy value at the moment?

Miles Sanders vs. Boston Scott: Which Eagles RB should you start in Week 13?

With all of the injuries at the running back position and another week with four teams on a bye, Sanders’ fantasy value is definitely worth some analysis. Both he and Scott are in the RB2/flex conversation this week. Let’s see how we got here and try to figure out the best plan of attack for Week 13.

Eagles have been leaning on the run

Believe it or not, the Eagles are the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL with 1,895 yards. Ironically enough, their leading rusher is Hurts with 695 yards. Following their signal-caller is Sanders (458), Scott (285), Howard (274), and rookie Kenneth Gainwell (155).

The team has spread the touches around so much that while they’re the top rushing team, none of their RBs are even in the top 40 in PPR scoring for fantasy.

While Gainwell is fourth among RBs in rushing yards, he’s the top scorer in PPR formats with 83 points. This is largely due to his pass-catching work, but still, it illustrates the point perfectly. The team’s best fantasy RB is the worst on the team in rushing.

Usually, this would make me avoid the entire backfield. Two-headed monsters are brutal in fantasy, but four-headed ones are downright deadly. It’s been a game of Whac-A-Mole deciding who will be worth starting in fantasy each week.

Miles Sanders just isn’t the team’s RB1 anymore

Heading into the season, Sanders was the clear RB1 on the team, both on the field and for fantasy. He may have been the RB1 on paper, but after a few weeks, he felt more like an afterthought.

Sanders scored his season-best 17.3 PPR points in Week 1 but has only cracked 10 PPR points one other time (Week 5). By comparison, Gainwell and Scott have both scored over 10 PPR points in three separate weeks. Howard has done it twice himself in the four games he played. Gainwell has been the best fantasy option overall with 83 PPR points (RB45), but Howard has been the best in points per game. He’s RB32 on the year with 11.4 PPR points per game in a smaller sample size.

Sanders is 47th among all running backs in both categories. He’s scored 77.6 total points in nine games, an 8.6 average. Sanders’ ankle injury forced him to miss Weeks 8-10. This injury is likely a contributor to his poor performance, but it also feels like the coaching staff would rather bench him for other options as well. This combination makes Sanders a risky start in fantasy every single week.

Should you start Sanders or Scott against the Jets?

Looking ahead to the Jets, the picture is still a little blurry. Scott is reportedly dealing with an illness that might force him to miss the game, and Howard has already been ruled out with a knee injury. You could argue that this means Sanders should definitely be in your lineup — but not so fast.

Sanders’ ankle is still bothering him

Sanders re-injured his ankle in Week 12 in the loss against the Giants. After the game, there were questions as to whether he would play in Week 13. Nevertheless, he was removed from the injury report and is in line to play.

Just because he’ll play doesn’t mean that Sanders will avoid re-injuring his ankle again. No one can predict that. But the fact that this injury has forced him to miss time really worries me. On top of that, the Eagles haven’t exactly shown that they’re willing to lean on him even when he’s healthy.

Should you stat either if both are active?

Ultimately, the decision comes down to what alternatives you have on your bench. Scott worries me as much as Sanders does. He missed practice all week due to a non-COVID illness, so even if he’s good to go, he might not see a lot of playing time since he didn’t get to prepare much.

If both Scott and Sanders are good to go, I’m probably benching both of them unless I’m desperate. I just don’t want to bother with this backfield. If Scott is ruled out, Sanders’ and Gainwell’s values bump up. But again, neither really seem all that exciting. I guess you could start Gainwell with Scott out if you need to shoot for the moon, but that’s tough to do.

Ultimately, I recommend avoiding the entire backfield this week and potentially for the rest of the year if you can. Sanders started the year as an RB1 candidate, but now he is a fantasy dud. You just can’t trust any of the Eagles’ backs to produce consistently, and this late in the season, you need reliability more than anything else.

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