Fantasy Football Week 13: Start or Sit Isaiah Crowell, Tevin Coleman, or Peyton Barber?
It’s week 13, which means for many of us it is a de facto week one of the playoffs. For those of us scraping and scrambling at 6-6, losing this week makes it impossible to stamp our tickets to the postseason come week 14 and beyond. This is the week where the grind of the fantasy football season abates for the rest of the year, as every week is for your life (assuming proverbially, though I do not know the stakes of your particular fantasy football league). With every start or sit decision potentially meaning heading onto the playoffs, or packing it in for the year, every decision needs thorough vetting. We are here to help, as we hope to provide you with some basic facts to help you with your start or sit decisions. This week, we highlight three running backs who should stay far away from your lineups this week.
Start or Sit Isaiah Crowell at Tennessee
At first, I didn’t think that Isaiah Crowell would have the ownership to make me feel as though he was worth writing about. Boy howdy was I wrong. He’s, inexplicably, still owned in 75% of Yahoo! leagues, and he’s done nothing to earn that type of trust outside of 333 yards combined in weeks one and five. Those two games represent a shocking 54% of his year-long total, as he averaged just 43.3 rushing yards per game outside of those two blowup contests. He stinks, and two massive contests wallpaper over a subpar effort from Crowell this season. That’s unlikely to change this week, as he takes on a Titans squad that’s allowed six RB touchdowns on the year and only one running back has more than 100 yards rushing against them this year. To start or sit Crowell should not even be a decision, to be honest. At this point in the year, we know who he his: a limited-upside play who offers nothing in terms of roster flexibility. Don’t just sit Isaiah Crowell. You can cut him if you’re still in it, as a hole on your roster has more helpfulness than Isaiah Crowell.
Start or Sit Tevin Coleman versus Baltimore
Tevin Coleman’s performance over the last few weeks has been… disappointing, to say the least. He plugged in decently enough once Devonta Freeman went down, but hasn’t developed as that league winning level producer that we all thought he would be without Freeman. He had a 30.10 performance in week nine, but since then, he’s averaged just 57 yards rushing per game and has crossed the goal line just once. That three-game stretch of mediocrity is likely to continue this week against a stout Baltimore Ravens rush defense. They’ve yielded the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season, which means the chances of a Coleman blowup are exceptionally low. However, all is not lost for a desperate Tevin Coleman owner. He’s not a guy that I would want to start in most “start or sit Coleman” comparisons, but here’s a silver lining if you can’t get away with a sit of Coleman: While the Ravens allow the second-fewest fantasy points, they’ve allowed a double-digit fantasy day in all formats in each of their last five games. The bad news? Tevin Coleman isn’t exactly Christian McCaffrey, James Conner, Joe Mixon, or Alvin Kamara… though he is better than Doug Martin. I would try to sit Tevin Coleman this week, especially given the players that have popped up in the last few weeks, but if you can’t, it probably isn’t the end of the world. Think of him as a middling RB3 option.
Start or Sit Peyton Barber versus Carolina
Peyton Barber is not a great running back, though he has gotten a lot of volume this season. I rode the Ronald Jones II train heavy early in the year until it became clear that RoJo2 is a garbage monster. Volume, however, is not everything, as Barber has shown. He had 3.5 or fewer fantasy points in four of his first six games, punctuated with double-digit games (aka games where he scored a touchdown). He isn’t a great pass catcher, which means he’s mostly a rushing attack back. That’s where the problems come in against Carolina this week. Over the last five weeks, they’ve allowed under four yards per carry, and their ground-game domination extends back to week three, as Tevin Coleman in week two was the last running back to go for over 100 yards rushing against the Big Cats. Peyton Barber is likely to get a lot of carries but at a pretty bad clip. You can start him if you want 5-6 points with a shot at a touchdown, but if you can get away from him, I would sit Peyton Barber this week. If you’re trying to decide who to start and sit between Barber and any of the guys who have popped up on waiver wire lists lately, he sits firmly at the end of the pack.
None of these guys are likely to be a week winner for you, no matter who you decide to start or sit. If you’re in a bind and need to go with one of them, I would start them in this order:
- Tevin Coleman
- Peyton Barber
- Isaiah Crowell