Week 13 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Nov 30, 2022
Week 13 Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Wondering whom to start and sit at running back this week? Below are three top-notch starts and one sit option at the running back position for Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sits: QB | WR | TE

Week 12 Review – half-PPR scoring



Running Back – Starts

D’Andre Swift (Detroit Lions) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Detroit Lions passing-game specialist D’Andre Swift finally snatched passing-down duties back from backup Justin Jackson last week, hogging 62.5% of the team’s third-down snaps, per 4for4’s NFL Player Stats Explorer. Swift also led the backfield during the two-minute drill.

Since returning from his injury-induced absence in Week 8, which had continued slowing him through Week 11, Swift maintained a helpful passing-game role sans passing-down control. The table below ranks Swift in parentheses among 20 NFL running backs with at least 15 targets between Weeks 8-12. "WOPR" refers to Weighted Opportunity Rating.

NFL RB Receiving - Weeks 8-12 Per Routes Run %: Tgt. - Yards WOPR Target Share Air Yards Share
D'Andre Swift 40.0% (T-No. 1) - 1.88 (No. 9) 0.24 (T-No. 5) 15.9% (No. 7) 3.0% (No. 3)

Swift’s return as the passing-down specialist unlocks his fantasy upside and this game should be a back-and-forth affair with a 51.5-point over/under, the highest of Week 13.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are allowing 21.5 half-PPR points per game to the position, the 13th most in the league, and their 5.4% explosive run plays allowed rate ranks 10th highest. Both Jacksonville’s 6.4 running back receptions and 47.8 running back receiving yards allowed per game are four of the league’s highest respective rates.

Zonovan “Bam” Knight (New York Jets) @ Minnesota Vikings

The New York Jets lost lead running back Michael Carter to a third-quarter ankle injury last week and had already deactivated James Robinson as a healthy scratch pre-kickoff, leaving rookie Zonovan Knight and veteran Ty Johnson to shoulder the load for much of the second half. Prior to Carter’s exit though, the 5-foot-10, 209-pound Knight was already rotating in. Carter’s Week 13 status is unknown at this time but Knight’s performance is believed to have earned him a role moving forward. The table below ranks Knight’s performance in parentheses among 32 NFL running backs with at least 10 carries and/or three targets in Week 12. "GZ" refers to the green zone.

NFL RB Production - Week 12 YPC - Broken Tackle % GZ Carry % Per Routes Run %: Tgt. - Yards
Zonovan Knight 4.9 (T-No. 9) - 14.3% (No. 5) 100.0% (T-No. 1) 38.0% (T-No. 6) - 4.25 (No. 4)

Carter’s Week 13 status is unknown but running backs average 1.7 games missed due to low, inversion-ankle sprains, per Adam Hutchison’s Injury Index.

Minnesota is allowing a mid-tier 21.1 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs.

David Montgomery (Chicago Bears) vs. Green Bay Packers

Starting running back David Montgomery is the Chicago Bears’ last man standing. Quarterback Justin Fields (shoulder) is a toss-up to play. No. 1 wide receiver Darnell Mooney (ankle) is out for the season. Featured No. 2 running back Khalil Herbert (hip) is on Injured Reserve.

Montgomery’s 64.3% route participation rate trailed only tight end Cole Kmet (92.9%) and wide receiver Chase Claypool (75.0%). Though journeyman Darrynton Evans was given nine rush attempts, he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry to Montgomery’s 5.6 (14 rush attempts).

The Green Bay Packers are allowing 23.9 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs, the seventh most at the position. Their 154.1 rushing yards allowed per game and 6.7% explosive run plays allowed rate rank fourth- and third-softest rates in the league, respectively.

*Check out the full RB rankings here.

Running Back – Sits

Latavius Murray (Denver Broncos) @ Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos lead running back Latavius Murray is a sit against the Baltimore Ravens this week. Denver is projected for a pass-heavy game script as +8.5-point road underdogs and Murray’s pass-catching profile leaves tons to be desired.

Fellow veteran running back Melvin Gordon was cut following Denver’s Week 11 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, freeing up Murray for a full-time role. While Murray did see a healthy 65.0% route participation rate, his 4.0% targets per route run rate was tied for second worst among 71 NFL running backs to earn at least one target in Week 12. Murray’s 0.23 yards per route run were similarly abysmal.

Murray maintained a solid rushing workload, 68.4% of the team's carries but Denver’s lackluster play volume resulted in just 13 total carries. That number is unlikely to increase versus Baltimore.

Baltimore’s ferocious per-game 82.5 rushing yards allowed and 3.3% explosive run plays allowed rates are both top three in the NFL and their 17.1 half-PPR points per game allowed to opposing running backs is the league’s fifth-lowest rate.

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