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Fantasy football: Five running backs to avoid in Week 14

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 12/8/2022 Alex Butler

MIAMI, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- D'Andre Swift and Dameon Pierce are among my five running backs to avoid for Week 14 of the fantasy football season. Derrick Henry leads my Top 30 weekly rankings for the position.

Najee Harris, Travis Etienne and Kareem Hunt are among the other players I would lower my expectations for or try to keep out of my lineup.

Week 13 performance, opportunity, strength of Week 14 opponents and expected game script are among the factors I considered when determining the players to avoid. My full Top 30 rankings are below.

The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Washington Commanders are on bye this week, so running backs from those teams should be benched. Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) is my No. 17 fantasy football option for Week 14. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI © Provided by UPI News Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) is my No. 17 fantasy football option for Week 14. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

D'Andre Swift

Swift ranked 24th in fantasy points per game among running backs over the past four weeks. He also logged 11 yards from scrimmage and a score on 18 touches in Week 13.

The Detroit Lions running back should still be started and is my No. 17 option, but I wouldn't expect another monster performance. The Lions will host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Detroit.

Swift totaled just 46 yards from scrimmage on 10 touches against the Vikings in Week 3. The Vikings also allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs through 13 weeks.

Look for Swift to split the backfield workload with Lions running back Jamaal Williams. I don't expect more than 60 yards from scrimmage or a score from Swift in this matchup. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) is a midrange fantasy football RB2 in Week 14. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI © Provided by UPI News Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) is a midrange fantasy football RB2 in Week 14. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Najee Harris

Harris is my No. 18 running back for Week 14. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back scored in two of his last three appearances. He also totaled 92 yards from scrimmage in Week 13.

This week, the Steelers will face the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens allowed the third-fewest rushing yards and sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs so far this season.

Harris can still be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play, but I wouldn't expect more than 75 yards from scrimmage from the Steelers workhorse. Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (C) is my No. 23 fantasy football option. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI © Provided by UPI News Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (C) is my No. 23 fantasy football option. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI

Travis Etienne

Etienne and the Jacksonville Jaguars will face the Tennessee Titans in Week 14. The Titans own one of the best run defenses in the NFL. They also allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points and second-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs through 14 weeks.

Etienne averaged 126.3 rushing yards per game from Week 7 through Week 9, but hasn't been quite as productive over the last three weeks.

He is my No. 23 option due to his recent subpar production and the tough matchup with the Titans. Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce is a low-end RB2 this week. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI © Provided by UPI News Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce is a low-end RB2 this week. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Dameon Pierce

Pierce is my No. 25 play for Week 14. The Houston Texans rookie totaled 95 yards from scrimmage on 21 touches in Week 13, but should only be used as a low-end RB2/flex play this week as he heads into a matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs through 13 weeks. Pierce failed to run for more than 73 yards in four of his last six games. He also hasn't scored a rushing touchdown since Week 5. Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt should be benched this week in fantasy football. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI © Provided by UPI News Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt should be benched this week in fantasy football. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Kareem Hunt

Hunt isn't inside my Top 30 running back rankings. The Cleveland Browns running back received fewer than 10 carries in six of his last seven games. He also scored just one time since Week 5.

This week, the Browns will battle the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals allowed the 13th-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs through 13 weeks. I expect Browns starter Nick Chubb to dominate the backfield workload in this matchup. Keep Hunt benched if you have a better option.

Week 14 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. JAX

2. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at CIN

3. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. MIA

4. Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE

5. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers vs. TB

6. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at DET

7. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. PHI

8. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. HOU

9. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at LAR

10. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles at NYG

11. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriot at ARI

12. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs. NE

13. D'Onta Foreman, Carolina Panthers at SEA

14. Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins at LAC

15. Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams vs. LV

16. Zonovan Knight, New York Jets at BUF

17. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. MIN

18. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL

19. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at SF

20. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs at DEN

21. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. HOU

22. Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions vs. MIN

23. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars at TEN

24. James Cook, Buffalo Bills vs. NYJ

25. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans at DAL

26. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens at PIT

27. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at LAC

28. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. NYJ

29. Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams vs. LV

30. Tony Jones, Seattle Seahawks vs. CAR

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