Playing running back in the NFL can be brutal–just ask Le’Veon Bell who was knocked out on Thanksgiving night. Finding a solid option to play running back for you in your week 13 fantasy football matchup doesn’t have to be nearly so painful. These are five options who I think have major upside this week and will outperform their expectations. Here are my five last-minute sleepers at RB for this week:
Shane Vereen-New England Patriots
The other Patriots running backs have struggled with ball security leaving Vereen with a big chunk of the timeshare in the backfield. In his last two games since coming off the IR, he has a total of 16 receptions for 125 yards and last week also got 10 carries. The Patriots take on Houston this week who have allowed 45 ESPN standard points to opposing RB’s the last two weeks. Vereen is a great RB2 and could even be a top ten option in PPR leagues. There is some risk involved since the Pats seem to use different weapons every week, but I like Vereen’s matchup and form coming into week 13.
Rashard Mendenhall-Arizona Cardinals
Mendenhall has found the end zone the last two weeks and appears to be fully healthy after struggling with injury for much of the early season. He takes on the Eagles this week who have struggled lately against the run, and Mendenhall should get some extra work with Andre Ellington ailing. I’ve been down on Mendenhall all season, but I like him in this matchup.
Donald Brown-Indianapolis Colts
After trending upward for the last few weeks, Brown put up a dud last week getting just a yard on the ground and -2 through the air. Two weeks ago against the Titans, Brown ran for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and this week he’ll face them at home at Lucas Oil Stadium. Brown is a solid flex play, but there’s definitely risk after last week’s dud.
Toby Gerhart-Minnesota Vikings
Gerhart and the Vikings host the Bears this week, and Gerhart could get some increased carries with Adrian Peterson hurting. Gerhart has run for 67 and 91 yards the last two weeks as he and Peterson share the backfield which should be the situation again this week. The Bears run defense has been awful lately, so if Gerhart gets the carries he should have a good week.
Chris Ogbonnaya-Cleveland Browns
Ogbonnaya looked primed to get the feature-back role last week but an early fumble and the game situation took away any work he would have gotten last week. This week, he faces the Jaguars in what should be a good matchup for him to get some points if he gets the touches.
Make sure to check out our Fansided fantasy football page for full coverage of this week’s sleeper options and other fantasy football goodness throughout the week.