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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 13: Running backs

There are a lot of concussions in the world of running backs. A couple of studs suffered injuries on Thanksgiving, but one is coming back on Sunday.

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When Week 12 ended it looked like it was going to be a dark week, with a couple of RB1s going down with injuries. However, things have looked up for them and they're both great options as we head into Week 13.

As a quick aside, fantasy owners should know where they stand this week. If they need a win and they're going up against a whipping boy, there's no need to start a cold guy like Ben Tate. It might make more sense to go with a safer guy.


Zac Stacy - This one is fairly simple. Stacy is back at practice and he seems like he's not going to be affected by the concussion he suffered last week. The St. Louis Rams went off against the Chicago Bears last week, especially on the ground. As a unit, they ran for 258 rushing yards on just 29 carries. The big-time production didn't really come out of the blue, either. Stacy is coming in hot, averaging 107.7 rushing yards with three scores and nine catches in his last three games. He should be in all lineups.

Knowshon Moreno - After a scare late in the Denver Broncos' Week 12 game against the New England Patriots, Moreno looks to be good to go. He suffered a leg injury against New England and had to leave the stadium on crutches.

Moreno is back at practice and is probable to face the Kansas City Chiefs in another game with first-place implications. Moreno is coming off a 224-yard game, so it's not a tough decision for fantasy owners to put him in their lineups.

Giovani Bernard - The Cincinnati Bengals have been hit or miss on offense, but they were a direct hit with 41 points against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. They might need a lot of points against the San Diego Chargers on the road this week.

The Chargers have been putting up a lot of points, but they've also been giving up a lot of points, ranking 28th in opponent passing yards per game. An inept Chiefs offense just scored 38 points against San Diego.

Yes, Bernard is a running back, but he's always involved in Cincinnati's passing attack. He has 42 catches on the season and he's up to 345 receiving yards to go along with his 464 rushing yards.

The Bengals have been handing Bernard the ball more, with 11 carries per game in their last three outings. He's a must-start player this week in PPR and a very strong RB2 in standard leagues.

Obvious starts from players that weren't drafted high: Andre Brown, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen


Lamar Miller - Nothing says "bench me" like a 10-carry, eight-yard game in Week 12. The Carolina Panthers shut down Miller last week and this was this third disastrous week in a row. He's averaged just 9.0 yards per game on the ground. On the other hand, he's caught eight balls and has been solid in the passing game.

Fantasy owners can't start Miller this week with a brutal road matchup against the New York Jets. The Jets allow a ridiculous 2.9 yards per carry and the Miami Dolphins might help bring that average down.

Steven Jackson - The Atlanta Falcons can't get any wins these days and it has a lot to do with their running game. Nobody runs the ball fewer times than they do and they only manage 74.7 rushing yards per game.

The Falcons actually get a tough matchup on the road this week against the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo ranks fourth in stopping running backs in fantasy and Atlanta will likely be counting on quarterback Matt Ryan on Sunday. Jackson is more of a flex play this week.

Ryan Mathews - He's a little banged up, which is not a good sign. Mathews is one of the most injury-prone players in the NFL, so playing him at less than 100 percent is a huge gamble. The Fresno State product has a hamstring injury and those tend to be some of the most commonly aggravated injuries in all of sports -- just ask Miles Austin.

What's more, his matchup isn't the greatest against the Bengals. They allow just the sixth-fewest fantasy points in the league to running backs. Mathews just has too many things working against him, even though he's playing well this year.

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