Running Back Matchups For All Week 13 Games

This is not intended to be a start/sit or a rankings sheet. Use it when you have a tough decision regarding 2 running backs at similar levels. I’m just presenting the data here to help you make more informed decisions so you can win more often. From best to worst the matchups will be listed as (Great, Good, Average, Bad, Terrible). Good luck!

Denver @ Jacksonville

Devontae Booker, DEN
Matchup: Good
Jacksonville ranks 23rd in run DVOA, allows 4.1 YPA, have given up 13 touchdowns to running backs and rank 19th in fantasy points allowed to the position. Booker could finally give owners that day they’ve been waiting for.

T.J. Yeldon/Denard Robinson, JAC
Matchup: Good
Denver ranks 24th in run DVOA, allows 4.3 YPA, has given up 12 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 21st in fantasy points allowed to the position. The question mark here is Yeldon’s health. If he sits Robinson could be a sneaky play.

Kansas City @ Atlanta

Spencer Ware, KC
Matchup: Great
Atlanta ranks 26th in run DVOA, allows 4.2 YPA, has given up 13 touchdown to running backs and ranks 30th in points allowed to the position. Ware is a must start this week.

Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman, ATL
Matchup: Average
Kansas City ranks 17th in run DVOA, allows 4.3 YPA, but has given up just 8 total touchdowns to running backs and ranks 5th in points allowed to the position. Even if both backs struggle a bit on the ground they should have some success in the passing game.

Houston @ Green Bay

Lamar Miller, HOU
Matchup: Average
Green Bay ranks 7th in run DVOA, allows just 3.8 YPA, has given up 10 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 16th in points allowed to the position. They have struggled against elite running games but it’s hard to call anything the Houston offense does “elite”.

James Starks, GB
Matchup: Good
Houston ranks 18th in run DVOA, allows 4.1 YPA, has given up 13 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 22nd in points allowed to the position. Starks should be a low end RB2 in week 13.

Philadelphia @ Cincinnati

Wendell Smallwood, PHI
Matchup: Good
Cincinnati ranks 22nd in run DVOA, allows 4.4 YPA, has given up 11 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 23rd in points allowed to the position. If Smallwood can get the carries he should have a solid game.

Darren Sproles, PHI
Matchup: Average
Cincinnati allows just 43.82 yards through the air to running backs and just 3 touchdowns. Unless Sproles goes back to getting more carries he’s a better play in PPR than standard formats.

Jeremy Hill, CIN
Matchup: Bad
Philadelphia ranks 12th in run DVOA, allows 4.3 YPA, has given up just 8 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 10th in points allowed to the position. Still the workload will be there and if he can catch 6 passes again he could be in for a big day even with a poor matchup.

Detroit @ New Orleans

Theo Riddick, DET
Matchup: Good
New Orleans ranks 15th in run DVOA, allows just 3.9 YPA, but they have given up 16 touchdowns to running backs and rank just 29th in points allowed to the position. Sometimes they look good and sometimes they look bad. This should be a shootout and Riddick can do plenty of damage through the air as well.

Mark Ingram/Tim Hightower, NO
Matchup: Average
Detroit ranks 28th in run DVOA and allows 4.2 YPA. The only thing keeping this from being a good matchup is the fact Detroit has only allowed 7 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 4th in points allowed. The yards will be there but don’t expect huge games from either unless one can buck the Lions’ touchdown trend.

San Francisco @ Chicago

Carlos Hyde, SF
Matchup: Bad
Chicago ranks 21st in run DVOA but allows just 3.8 YPA, has given up just 9 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 7th in points allowed to the position. Even with key injuries on defense they just held DeMarco Murray to 43 yards on 17 attempts.

Jordan Howard, CHI
Matchup: Great
San Francisco ranks 30th in run DVOA, allows 5.1 YPA (worst), has given up 17 touchdowns and ranks 32nd in points allowed to the position. Any way you look at it Howard has one of the best matchups of the week. Start him with confidence.

Los Angeles @ New England

Todd Gurley, LA
Matchup: Bad
New England ranks 4th in run DVOA, allows 4 YPA, has given up just 8 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 11th in points allowed to the position. On top of that New England is favored by 13.5 so game script could also work against Gurley.

LeGarrette Blount, NE
Matchup: Average
Los Angeles ranks 10th in run DVOA, allows 4.3 YPA, has given up 11 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 18th in points allowed to the position. Blount could get plenty of work when New England is in clock killing mode late in the game.

Dion Lewis/James White, NE
Matchup: Bad
Los Angeles is good against pass catching backs allowing just 35.27 yards per game and giving up just 3 touchdowns. Game script could work against both players as New England could be in clock killing mode early in this game. However the loss of Rob Gronkowski could open up more targets.

Miami @ Baltimore

Jay Ajayi, MIA
Matchup: Terrible
Baltimore ranks 1st in run DVOA, allows just 3.4 YPA, has given up just 5 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 1st in points allowed to the position. This is the matchup no owner wants to see for his running back. With Albert and Tunsil set to play the offensive line will get a boost but the matchup is as tough as it gets.

Terrence West/Kenneth Dixon, BAL
Matchup: Average
Miami ranks 19th in run DVOA, allows 4.6 YPA, has given up 9 touchdowns to running backs but ranks 13th in points allowed to the position. On top of that you never know week to week how much work either running back will get.

Buffalo @ Oakland

LeSean McCoy, BUF
Matchup: Great
Oakland ranks 27th in run DVOA, allows 4.6 YPA, has given up 15 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 24th in points allowed to the position. All signs point to Shady having a big game.

Latavius Murray, OAK
Matchup: Good
Buffalo ranks 25th in run DVOA, allows 4.1 YPA, has given up 13 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 15th in points allowed to the position. Murray has slowly seen his snaps increase and if DeAndre Washington is inactive again could be a great play for his owners this week.

Tampa Bay @ San Diego

Doug Martin, TB
Matchup: Good
San Diego ranks 13th in run DVOA, allows just 3.9 YPA but has given up 18 touchdowns to running backs and ranks just 26th in points allowed. The yards may be hard to come by for Martin but with his workload he may finally find the end zone.

Melvin Gordon, SD
Matchup: Good
Tampa Bay ranks 20th in run DVOA, allows 4.4 YPA, has given up 11 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 20th in points allowed to the position. Gordon is a must start RB1.

Washington @ Arizona

Rob Kelley, WAS
Matchup: Bad
Arizona ranks 11th in run DVOA, allows just 3.7 YPA and ranks 2nd in points allowed to the position. The one area they have struggled in is touchdowns as they have given up 15 to running backs. If Kelley can’t find the end zone his owners may be disappointed.

David Johnson, ARI
Matchup: Great
Washington ranks 32nd in run DVOA, allows 4.7 YPA (2nd worst), has given up 17 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 27th in points allowed to the position. Don’t be surprised if Johnson is week 13’s #1 fantasy running back.

NY Giants @ Pittsburgh

Rashad Jennings, NYG
Matchup: Good
Pittsburgh ranks 9th in run DVOA, allows 4.2 YPA, has given up 14 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 28th in points allowed to the position. As is always the case with Jennings much will depend on how much the Giants run the ball and how many carries he gets.

LeVeon Bell, PIT
Matchup: Bad
The Giants rank 8th in run DVOA, allow just 3.5 YPA, have given up just 9 touchdowns to running backs and rank 14th in points allowed to the position. Still it’s LeVeon Bell so you aren’t sitting him, just temper expectations a bit.

Carolina @ Seattle

Jonathan Stewart, CAR
Matchup: Terrible
Seattle ranks 2nd in run DVOA, allows just 3.5 YPA, has given up 9 touchdowns to the position and ranks 5th in points allowed to the position. Unless Stewart can score a touchdown it’s hard to see him as more than a low end RB2 this week.

Thomas Rawls, SEA
Matchup: Terrible
Carolina ranks 5th in run DVOA, allows just 3.3 YPA (best), has given up just 7 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 9th in points allowed to the position. Rawls is a great running back but the matchup makes him nothing more than an RB2 this week.

Indianapolis @ NY Jets

Frank Gore, IND
Matchup: Bad
The Jets rank 3rd in run DVOA, allow just 3.6 YPA, have given up 9 touchdowns to running backs and rank 17th in points allowed to the position. Gore gets plenty of work and should be a high end RB2 even against a tough defense.

Matt Forte, NYJ
Matchup: Great
Indianapolis ranks 32nd in run DVOA, allows 4.6 YPA, has given up 13 touchdowns to running backs and ranks 25th in points allowed to the position. Forte makes a great start in week 13.

Bilal Powell, NYJ
Matchup: Great
Powell gets some carries every week but is really involved in the passing game. The Colts have allowed 40.18 yards per game to running backs through the air and have given up a 5 touchdowns. Powell makes for a solid RB2 in PPR leagues and could even be a low end RB2 in standard leagues.

Have more questions about any matchups? Disagree with anything? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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