Najee Harris or Isiah Pacheco: Who should I start in Week 13 Fantasy Football?
Najee Harris and Isiah Pacheco will enter Week 13 of the 2023 fantasy football season with similar values. They each rank among the top 25 overall running backs this year, making both RB2s on many fantasy rosters. This creates a situation where many managers with both of them on their rosters may be debating which one to start this week.
With the fantasy football playoffs right around the corner, every lineup decision is magnified. Starting the right players can be the difference between a postseason appearance and being eliminated early. The following breakdown can help provide clarity on whether Harris or Pacheco is a more favorable option.
Is Najee Harris a good fantasy pick in Week 13?
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened their 2023 NFL season with Najee Harris featured as the clear workhorse in their backfield. Running backs in this type of role often carry a ton of fantasy football upside because volume creates more opportunities for points. Interestingly, in Harris' case, his fantasy value has improved throughout the season despite sharing more of the workload with Jaylen Warren.
The Steelers have recently shifted their backfield distribution to a nearly even split between Harris and Warren. Less snaps have resulted in Harris being much more efficient and, in turn, improving his fantasy football production. After finishing among the top 25 running backs just once in the first five weeks, he has done so successfully in five of his past six games.
All four of Harris' touchdowns this season have also come in the past six weeks, further demonstrating how he has turned things around. He will have a solid opportunity to keep his hot streak rolling in Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals. They have been one of the weakest overall defenses this year, including allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs.
Is Isiah Pacheco a good fantasy pick in Week 13?
The Kansas City Chiefs feature a deep offensive roster with different players contributing to their production. Isiah Pacheco has been one of their consistent weapons, dominating their backfield workload distribution. He has clearly emerged as their workhorse, leaving Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire in complementary roles.
Pacheco has responded to his expanded role by finishing among the top 25 running backs in seven of his 11 games, including four top 12 finishes in PPR leagues. He also enters Week 13 coming off his best fantasy football performance of the season so far, ranking as the overall RB4 and turning his first multi-touchdown game this year.
Also working in Pacheco's favor this week is a favorable matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. The Packers have defended the pass much better than the run this year, including allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Pacheco has recorded 20 touches in both games since the Chiefs' bye week and could be in line for another big week.
Najee Harris vs Isiah Pacheco: Who should I start in Week 13 fantasy football?
According to the Start/Sit Optimizer, Isiah Pacheco makes for a better running back option than Najee Harris in fantasy football lineups for Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season. This valuable tool weighs every possible variable for any player in a given week to generate fantasy projections and lineup suggestions. In this particular scenario, it favors Pacheco for a higher projected output.
While Harris holds the higher projected output as a receiver this week, Pacheco's rushing expectations are nearly doubled. This is likely the result of Harris being in a backfield timeshare with the Steelers, while Pacheco is a clear workhorse for the Chiefs. His higher anticipated workload and favorable weekly matchup make Pacheco the suggested lineup option in Week 13 fantasy football.