As we head into Week 13 of the NFL season, fantasy football managers will once again be scrambling as they attempt to set lineups featuring fantasy relevant running backs (RBs) whose potential snap counts, receiving targets, and carries give them the best chance to win their weekly matchups.

With the RB position is one of the most grueling in football as we get deeper into the season health becomes a big concern. There are several RBs who have questionable statuses heading into Week 13. 

One of those RBs is Joe Mixon. He’s still in the league’s concussion protocol as this article is being written. Samaje Perine (19.3 PPR fantasy points in Week 12) would again be the Bengals’ lead back if Mixon remains inactive. 

Bucs RB Rachaad White scored 19.9 PPR fantasy points in Week 12 with Leonard Fournette (hip) inactive. If Fournette is out in Week 13 White will once again be an every down back.

Patriots RB Damien Harris (thigh) is expected to be out in Week 13. Rhamondre Stevenson, who has scored the eighth most PPR fantasy points among RBs this season, will once again be the Patriots’ lead back. The Pats may choose to have Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris, who are on their active roster, or J.J. Taylor, who is on their practice squad, back Stevenson up.

The Steelers may have to reconfigure their backfield for Week 13. Najee Harris left Monday night’s game against the Colts due to an abdominal injury and Jaylen Warren already missed Week 12 due to a hamstring injury. Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. could find themselves splitting carries in Week 13. 

There are several additional backfields which deserve our attention this week as well. Let’s take a closer look at some of those backfields that have been in flux and analyze their recent and potential future RB usage in an attempt to project how their RBs will be utilized moving forward.



NFL Week 12 Running Back Usage Report

New York Jets

With James Robinson a healthy scratch and Michael Carter having to leave the game early in the third quarter due to an ankle sprain, rookie RB Zonovan Knight took over as the Jets’ lead back and played the majority of the early-down snaps in the third and fourth quarters. Head coach Robert Saleh confirmed that Carter suffered a low ankle sprain and was questionable for the Jets’ Week 13 matchup against the Vikings. Knight rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries (4.93 YPC) and caught three passes for 34 yards in Week 12. If Carter is inactive this week Knight has earned the right to get the start. Robinson would also likely be active and get some early down work and Ty Johnson would likely play most of the Jets’ passing downs. 

San Francisco 49ers

Elijah Mitchell is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks due to an MCL sprain. With Christian McCaffrey listed as day to day due to “knee irritation” look for the 49ers to elevate Tevin Coleman from their practice squad. The 49ers seemed to have been limiting McCaffrey’s snap count even before his latest injury and Coleman has a chance to play a significant role in the 49ers offense in Week 13. Jordan Mason, who has played an average of just over 12% of the 49ers’ offensive snaps over the past two weeks and Tyrion Davis-Price (inactive since Week 8) could see some game action in Week 13 as well.

Baltimore Ravens

Gus Edwards saw his first game action since Week 8 and played twice as many snaps (36) as Kenyan Drake (18). Justice Hill played 14 snaps but he and Drake both saw very little game action. Edwards, who led the trio in carries (16) and yards (52) also scored a TD. J.K Dobbins is eligible to be reinstated from the injured reserve list but even when he is activated Edwards is clearly the Ravens’ primary back. 

Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs, who is coming off a monster 303-yard, two TD Week 12 performance against the Seahawks, aggravated his already strained calf and won’t be practicing much leading up to his Week 13 matchup against the Chargers. He’ll likely be a game time decision. With the Chargers giving up an average 5.6 YPC to RBs, if Jacobs is inactive Zamir White should grab most of the early down carries with Ameer Abdullah working the Raiders’ passing downs. With Jacobs being such a workhorse back this season his backups have seen very little action thus far. Brandon Bolden, who’s predominantly been playing with the special teams unit, could also seem limited action as well. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Travis Etienne, who was taken out of Sunday's game against the Ravens with a foot injury, could have returned but the Jags opted to be overly cautious and had him watch the rest of the game from the sidelines. He’s expected to play in Week 13 but monitor his progress this week just in case. JaMycal Hasty took over as the team’s primary back with Etienne sidelined. He only averaged 2.3 YPC but caught five passes for 67 yards and a TD. The Jaguars added RB depth by signing former Ram Darrell Henderson last week but due to his unfamiliarity with the Jags’ playbook , he was inactive in Week 12. Should Etienne miss time, Henderson and Hasty would likely split the majority of the Jags’ backfield snaps. Snoop Conner looks like he’ll continue to be the odd man out. We’ll leave Hasty as Etienne’s handcuff on our RB Handcuff Grid for now, but it will be interesting to note how the Jags rotate their RBs in their upcoming Week 13 matchup against the Lions. 

Denver Broncos

In the Broncos’ first game in the post Melvin Gordon era as expected, Latavius Murray took over as the team’s primary back. He played 82% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps and also led Broncos RBs with 26 routes run. With Mike Boone eligible to return from injured reserve in time for Week 13, the Broncos released Devine Ozigbo on Monday. Marlon Mack who backed up Murray last week will likely retain his change of pace and handcuff role. Boone will probably see most of his work on passing downs.  


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