1 of 5 | Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) is among my fantasy football players to avoid in Week 13. File Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Nov. 29 (UPI) — Austin Ekeler is among my fantasy football running backs to avoid in lineups in Week 13.
If you need more options for your roster, check out my top add/drops article. My Week 13 rankings for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will also be available and updated throughout the week.
Christian McCaffrey, Raheem Mostert, Alvin Kamara, Bijan Robinson and Kyren Williams lead my Top 30 rankings, which are listed below. Rachaad White, Rhamondre Stevenson, Derrick Henry, Tony Pollard and Isiah Pacheco round out my Top 10 plays.
All of my running backs to avoid rank outside the Top 12 of my rankings. You should only bench my players to avoid if you roster a higher-ranked option.
Running backs from the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders should be benched, as those teams have Week 13 byes.
Running back Austin Ekeler and the Los Angeles Chargers will face the New England Patriots on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
Ekeler was likely an early first-round pick in your fantasy draft, but injuries and poor performances continue to result in lackluster showings from the running back.
The Los Angeles Chargers veteran hasn’t eclipsed 67 rushing yards in a game since Week 1. He also failed to break 70 yards from scrimmage in five of his last seven appearances. This week, the Chargers will travel for a matchup with the New England Patriots.
The Patriots allowed the ninth-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs through 12 weeks. I expect the Patriots to attempt to win the time of possession battle in this home game, limiting the Chargers’ offensive opportunities.
Ekeler, my No. 16 play, can still be plugged in as a low-end RB2, but I wouldn’t expect elite level production. Look for a player with a better matchup and more recent track record of success.
Running back Breece Hall (R) and the New York Jets will host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Hall was among my favorite preseason draft targets, but an injury to starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, paired with the New York Jets’ overall offensive struggles, makes it hard to justify keeping him in your lineup.
The Jets scored a league-low 12 times on offense through 12 weeks. They also logged the third-fewest amount of plays from scrimmage and second-fewest rushing attempts and points so far this season.
Hall still possesses explosive playmaking ability, but the Jets’ inability to maintain sustained drives limits his upside.
The Jets also will face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13. The Falcons allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs and are the only team in the NFL that did not allow a rushing touchdown to the position through 12 weeks.
Hall hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown since Week 6. He also failed to exceed 56 rushing yards in nine of his 11 appearances. He salvaged some fantasy value as a receiving threat in recent weeks, but I don’t like his upside in what I expect to be a low-scoring matchup.
Hall is my No. 18 play.
Running back Jerome Ford and the Cleveland Browns will face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Ford is my No. 24 running back for Week 13. The Cleveland Browns ball carrier ranks outside the Top 25 in fantasy points per game among running backs over the last four weeks. He also scored just twice over the last nine weeks.
The Browns will travel for a game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13. The Rams allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs so far in 2023, but that isn’t my only concern. They also surrendered a league-low 19.2 receiving yards per game to the position.
Ford’s lack of recent success, paired with the Rams defense’s ability to defend pass catching running backs and the Browns’ split backfield strategy could result in a subpar day for the ball carrier. Ford should only be counted on for low-end RB2/flex production in leagues with at least 14 teams.
Charbonnet, my No. 25 option, claimed the starting role last week for the Seattle Seahawks, after Kenneth Walker sustained an oblique injury. He was a fantasy football waiver wire must add at the time and should stay on rosters, but his schedule is absolutely brutal for those who were hoping for RB2 production.
Charbonnet totaled 58 yards from scrimmage on 18 touches in the Seahawks’ Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He will face another tough defense this week, when the Seahawks battle the Dallas Cowboys. His upcoming schedule also features another matchup with the stingy 49ers and a brutal battle with the Philadelphia Eagles.
This week, he’ll face a Cowboys defense that allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points and seventh-fewest rushing yards and receiving yards per game to running backs through 12 weeks. This game could get ugly early, with the Cowboys jumping ahead and using their pass rush to penetrate the Seahawks offensive line.
Look elsewhere for RB2 production if you roster a player listed higher in my rankings.
Running back Christian McCaffrey (L) and the San Francisco 49ers will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Philadelphia. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Week 13 fantasy football running back rankings
1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers at PHI
2. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at WAS
3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. DET
4. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons at NYJ
5. Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams vs. CLE
6. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. CAR
7. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. LAC
8. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. IND
9. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. SEA
10. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs at GB
11. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at TEN
12. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. CIN
13. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions at NO
14. D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles vs. SF
15. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders vs. MIA
16. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at NE
17. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. ARI
18. Breece Hall, New York Jets vs. ATL
19. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at JAX
20. David Montgomery, Detroit Lions at NO
21. Devin Singletary, Houston Texans vs. DEN
22. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers vs. KC
23. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at PIT
24. Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns at LAR
25. Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks at DAL
26. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos at HOU
27. Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts at TEN
28. Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. ARI
29. Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots vs. LAC
30. Samaje Perine, Denver Broncos at HOU
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts celebrates a touchdown during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on November 26, 2023. Photo by Laurence Kesterson/UPI | License Photo