TOP 5 RUSHING MATCHUPS WEEK 13
To view all of our Week 13 Matchup content, please see the links below:
Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 13
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 13
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 13
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 13
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 13
Passing Matchup Chart Week 13
Indianapolis at Houston
The Indianapolis running back situation remains fluid as Jonathan Taylor was placed on the injured reserve COVID-19 list prior to last week’s game. Taylor has yet to test positive as of early in the week, so he does have a chance to suit up for this game--but he would surely be ruled out again if he were to test positive at any point in time this week. Taylor was just beginning to possibly take control of this backfield after a dominant 22-carry performance for 90 yards in Week 11. Prior to that game, however, this backfield was in flux with Taylor seeing most of the work but Nyhiem Hines and Jordan Wilkins mixing in heavily at times. Last week it was Hines who saw most snaps and carries, as can be expected again this week if Taylor were to sit. The Colts offensive line has been the cream of the crop unit for most of the season, but they will now likely be without starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who suffered a knee injury that has his Week 13 status in doubt. This is a very strong overall unit, but the loss of Castonzo certainly ticks them down a few notches.
The Texans defense has consistently struggled against the run in 2020, giving up the most rushing yards and second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs both for the season and over the past four weeks. There has been only one game in which an opposing running back has not scored when facing Houston--another big reason why they are allowing fantasy points in bunches to opposing running backs. The front seven for Houston is not a strong group, with really just J.J. Watt as their only impact player amongst that group. Play from their interior defenders has yet to improve. Poor health and poor play also plague this linebacker position group as neither Tyrell Adams nor Zach Cunningham can get in a groove against the run. The Colts offensive linemen, even without Castonzo, should have a clear advantage in this one--the big question and key to this matchup for the Colts will be whether or not Jonathan Taylor is cleared to play.
Chicago at Detroit
David Montgomery resurrected the struggling Chicago rushing offense last week with his best performance of the season after being sidelined for two weeks in the concussion protocol. While 11 carries were far from an eye-popping workload, Montgomery was efficient with his touches and easily reclaimed his spot atop this Bears backfield. Montgomery has seen heavy workloads throughout this season despite not doing much with the opportunity, so seeing him cross the 100-yard mark for the first time this season is certainly an encouraging sign. The offensive line for Chicago has been a hit-or-miss group with guard Alex Bars and tackle Rashaad Coward taking over starting jobs mid-season and playing poorly. Left tackle Charles Leno has been the best lineman on this team though and helps offer some consistency along with right guard Germain Ifedi and center Cody Whitehair.
The Lions have played relatively well against the run for three straight weeks now, but it is still tough to trust this team that still has allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing running backs than any other defense in 2020. Strength of opponent certainly plays a factor as all three opposing offenses Detroit has faced in recent weeks have been lackluster rushing offenses, two of which were led by backup running backs. Jahlani Tavai is a huge weak spot in the middle of the field, while some of the once-feared names on this defensive line have all regressed significantly--giving even the Bears offensive line a slight edge in the trenches this week. While Chicago certainly has no world-beating ground game, the volume that should be afforded to David Montgomery can help buy him a few big plays against what has shown to be a porous defense throughout the season.
Minnesota vs Jacksonville
The Vikings have heralded one of the most effective ground games in football this season, averaging 145.7 rushing yards per game (sixth-most) with Dalvin Cook at the helm. Cook is one of just two running backs with over 1,000 rushing yards despite missing a week due to injury. Cook did have a scare with an ankle injury that sidelined him for a couple of series last week, but he returned to the game and is not in imminent danger of missing any time based on early-week reports. The Vikings offensive line has been a middling unit from a run-blocking perspective, but look to have found a new right guard in Brett Jones who has played well in a couple of starts. Dalvin Cook has not needed a top-tier offensive line to produce eye-popping numbers this season, and this premium matchup should afford Cook every opportunity to have another big game on Sunday.
The Jaguars run defense has played poorly for most of the season, coming out strong against weaker rushing offenses but falling short in a big way when facing any proficient backfield. Big plays have been a problem for this defense, as they have given up a league-leading 12 rushes of 20 or more yards. Lackluster tackling from Jaguars cornerbacks is a big reason for those big plays popping off so consistently, but ultimately, this run defense is defined by the lack of playmakers on their defensive line. Rookie tackle Doug Costin has been about the best lineman this team has had on the season, and that is saying a lot considering how dominant this Jaguars front was in year’s past. They still have some talent at linebacker in Myles Jack, but injuries last week to linebacker Dakota Allen and tackle Davon Hamilton could hurt their depth at two already thin position groups. All in all, this front seven simply lacks the impact players needed to put up a fight against the likes of this Vikings ground game.
Philadelphia at Green Bay
The Eagles ground game has suffered from what has been a terrible offensive display by the Eagles in recent weeks. Last week’s performance was their worst of the season by a large margin as this backfield amassed only 28 rushing yards with Carson Wentz out-rushing all running backs combined. It was a tough game script. This rushing offense should have a shot at success in a better matchup this week though. Miles Sanders remains the leader of this backfield, but not by as wide of a margin as he led the team prior to his Week 6 injury. since returning in Week 10, Sanders has lost an extra 10-15 snaps per game to Boston Scott, who remains involved in the ground game. Still, Sanders has rushed 15 or more times in two of his last three games and remains a potentially explosive weapon--albeit with a lower floor now. The Eagles also still have an above-average offensive line despite some shifts in personnel. New left tackle Jordan Mailata is playing well while Jason Peters hopes to bounce back from some poor play now playing right guard.
The Packers defense will represent a bounce-back opportunity for the Eagles rushing offense. Green Bay has given up an above-average 4.6 rushing yards per attempt on the season while opposing running backs have scored the third-most fantasy points per game (3rd-most) against this unit. Green Bay has also allowed an opposing running back to rush for 90 or more yards in five of their last seven games, including a season-best performance from David Montgomery last week, who has been one of the least-efficient running backs in the league to date. The Packers don’t have a bad defensive line, but this unit has simply underperformed against the run for most of the season. Beyond Kenny Clark, they lack run-stopping power and depth, which prompted a move this week to add free-agent defensive tackle Anthony Rush--who can’t be expected to make any immediate contributions this week. Linebacker is also a weak spot Christian Kirksey playing terribly since taking over as the starter in Week 10. The Eagles offensive line has the advantage here and should be in a good spot to set up both Miles Sanders and Carson Wentz (or perhaps Jalen Hurts) for a productive rushing outing.
Kansas City vs Denver
The Chiefs backfield has been a middling unit on the season with 111.3 yards per game and 4.4 rushing yards per attempt, right around league-average in both categories. Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to lose volume to Le’Veon Bell, who has worked in for just over a quarter of the offensive snaps and has seen at least one red zone look in each of his games with the Chiefs. Both running backs had a terrible outing last week as the Chiefs offense operated a very pass-heavy game script, which has happened on multiple occasions this season. Edwards-Helaire remains the leader in this backfield with over half of the snaps and the majority of rushing attempts, but this remains a difficult fantasy situation with Bell taking red zone snaps and Edwards-Helaire having topped 70 rushing yards only twice this season.
In both cases of Edwards-Helaire and Bell, they should be in solid spots to be productive this week against a Broncos defense that has allowed over 175 rushing yards to running backs in three of their last five games. Last week, the Broncos got shredded by the Saints allowing 178 yards rushing to Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara. Injuries have played a big part in the lackluster performance of this run defense since three of their top defensive lineman landed on injured reserve earlier this season, while Shelby Harris is still working his way back from a positive COVID-19 test and will miss this week. While the Broncos do have run-stopping talent in the secondary and at linebacker, they are vulnerable on the edges and are running a skeleton crew on the defensive line. As a heavy favorite coming into this game, Kansas City’s high-octane offensive attack could easily get out to a quick lead and provide a positive game script adding to this already positive matchup for both Chiefs running backs.