Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 13: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Antonio Gibson
Washington Football Team · RB
Las Vegas Raiders
2021 · 6-5-0

I hope they got the ice tub ready for AG after he had 29 carries against the Seahawks on Monday night. And notice I said 29 carries, not touches. He also added seven receptions on seven targets as well. You know, Ron Rivera once said he wanted AG to be his D.C. version of CMC, but it was TBD until MNF. So, it was awesome to finally see it come to fruition. As of this writing, we’re stilling waiting on an update about J.D. McKissic which means there are 12 touches -- and two touchdowns -- available this week. Which could mean Jaret Patterson or maybe Curtis Samuel also starts to get some more looks this week. But we do know it’s going to be huge for AG, unless he goes MIA. But that doesn’t seem likely in a decent matchup against the Raiders.  

Myles Gaskin
Miami Dolphins · RB
New York Giants
2021 · 4-7-0

Gaskin was a sit last week in this space, based on a tough matchup against the Panthers. And he was held to less than 50 rushing yards. I mean, he did score a pair of touchdowns ... taking some direct snaps. Hey, look. If you started him despite the matchup, that’s awesome for you. I’m sincerely happy. But it was a bad matchup, and the Panthers were tough against him on the ground. Don’t beat yourself up about it. This happens. I’m still playing matchups. It’s like being in Las Vegas and hitting on a 19. Sometimes you get lucky and draw the two. But overall, I stick with the process. But that’s me. 

Jamaal Williams
Detroit Lions · RB
Minnesota Vikings
2021 · 5-6-0

The Vikings have been somewhat strong against the run over the past couple of weeks, but have been middle of the road over the past month. Seriously, just about dead center in fantasy points allowed. Here’s my thing with Williams. He’s the only option with D’Andre Swift not expecting to go, according to coach Dan Campbell. Williams did rush for 65 yards in place of Swift last week. Most important -- to me -- were his five receptions on five targets. His work in the passing game shows us he likely won’t be game-scripted out of this when Minnesota starts clubbing this team. So that’s big. 

Boston Scott
Philadelphia Eagles · RB
New York Jets
2021 · 3-8-0

You know, Boston Scott sounds like the nickname your cousin’s friend gives to himself when you first meet him for a bachelor party. And all the stories that start, “We were hanging out with Boston Scott” will somehow end up legendary. But for our purposes here we need Scott in our lineup this week. Boston led the Eagles with touches as Miles Sanders dealt with an injury. He was also targeted three times. Overall, he managed double-digit fantasy points despite losing a fumble. He’s got the Jets this week, and you couldn’t ask for a better matchup. I’m keeping him in my lineup. Yeah, I’m kind of sneaking in the fact I had to play him last week and wasn’t that bummed out about it. I think this is a good week to play him regardless of the health of the other Eagles running backs. 

Sit 'Em

Saquon Barkley
New York Giants · RB
Miami Dolphins
2021 · 5-7-0

I know this is going to cause some outrage in the “start your studs” community. But how has that worked out for you so far? Saquon has rushed for fewer than 60 rushing yards in every game this season. The Dolphins have not allowed a running back to top-10 fantasy points in the last four games. And look at what they were doing to CMC. I mean, Christian was targeted only once, and he didn’t even make that catch. It’s a rough scene for the Giants. And if you think Freddie Kitchens is going to get this figured out for this weekend, then I encourage you to play Saquon. But you’ve likely gotten this far without him and it’s time to look at some of those guys who had been carrying you over the last couple of weeks. If he breaks out, feel free to screen-grab this and send it over to my friend at Old Takes Exposed. I’m not scared.

Rex Burkhead
Houston Texans · RB
Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 6-6-0

I know some of you might see what Leonard Fournette did to the Colts last weekend and think that you want to start a running back against the Colts, but it’s not going to work out well for you. No disrespect to Tyrod Taylor, but he’s not Tom Brady, so he’s not commanding that respect from the Colts defense. Our guy Rex led the Texans in carries and was second on the team in targets. Still, he couldn’t manage 10 points against the Jets. THE JETS. I mean if Brevin Jordan wasn’t just out there stealing touchdowns... But that’s what the Texans do: Favor the rando tight end over their established stars. And I realize I just low-key called Burkhead a star, so I’ll just see myself to the door. 

Tevin Coleman
New York Jets · RB
Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 5-7-0

Coleman was the go-to guy for the Jets on Sunday, we were able to establish that. But being the go-to guy on the Jets is not really the humble brag that you think that it is. Like that guy you know who is super proud of his '87 Fiero. The one with the Proclaimers cassette tape stuck in the stereo. But it really didn’t add up to a whole lot. This week shouldn’t be much better. The Eagles have been one of the toughest defenses against running backs over the last four weeks. And hell, with the Jets giving nine rushes to Austin Walter, there is no way you can trust one of these running backs. 

Matt Breida
Buffalo Bills · RB

Zack Moss was a surprise inactive again, this time on Thanksgiving night against the Saints. And it was Breida who looked impressive against the Saints and New Orleans' tough run defense. Breida has gone double-digits in two of his last three for the Bills. But I’ve got to be honest with you and say that I’m not crazy about the matchup in the Patriots. It makes me uneasy. Like watching that Squid Game on Netflix. No disrespect to those of you who enjoyed it, that just wasn’t for me. And this matchup isn’t for me, either. And it’s not like the Patriots have been great against the run this year. Falling right about in the middle on the year. But it’s Bill Belichick in a big prime-time game, and I’m not going with Breida, no matter how well he has played recently.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter.

Related Content

Single game tickets available now!

You won't want to miss a moment of the 2022 season!