Running backs are being de-valued in the NFL, and as a result, finding and starting the best running backs in fantasy football is becoming increasingly difficult. It seems like every week there is at least one running back that nobody saw coming, who explodes onto the scene and puts up huge fantasy numbers. With the playoffs rapidly approaching in most fantasy leagues, finding the right matchups and setting the right lineup is becoming increasingly important. Here’s a look at five running backs with favorable fantasy matchups in Week 13.
1. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants
Jennings and the Giants will be traveling to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars in Week 13. Fortunately for Jennings (and Jennings’ fantasy owners), the Jacksonville defense is giving up the tenth-most fantasy points to running backs per game in the league. The Jaguars’ defense is allowing 4.4 yards per carry, 131 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown per game in 2014. Expect to see Jennings carry the ball at least 15 times and see multiple targets out of the backfield in Week 13.
2. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
Anderson had a huge game for the Broncos in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, and they will be counting on him heavily again in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have one of the best pass rushes, and overall pass defenses, in the NFL, so establishing the running game will be a high priority for the Broncos. Anderson is the clear-cut workhorse back for the Broncos with Ronnie Hillman still out of the lineup, which will give him ample opportunity in to put up huge numbers again in Week 13. The second-year pro out of Cal is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield having caught 16 passes in the Broncos’ last three games.
3. Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams
Mason is having an excellent rookie season for the Rams, and looks primed for a big week against the Oakland Raiders in Week 13. The Raiders are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs in the league in 2014. Mason and the Rams have played well at home this season, and with this Week 13 matchup, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Mason post another 100-yard game.
4. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell has been one of the best backs in the league in 2014, and with a strong finish to the season, he could make his first Pro Bowl roster. In Week 13, Bell will be facing a New Orleans Saints defense that has been giving up big games to opposing running backs all year. The Saints have given up the ninth-most fantasy points per game and 4.6 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season. These stats project well in terms of fantasy production for Bell in Week 13.
5. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
Ellington has been a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals in 2014, and appears to have a promising future in the NFL. He is an explosive threat with the ball in his hands, and the Cardinals have found creative ways to use the second-year pro. Aside from averaging 18 carries per game, Ellington has also caught 46 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns this season. In Week 13, he will have a very running back-friendly matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have had one of the worst defenses in the league in 2014, and are giving up the second-most points per game to running backs in the league this season.