Bo Scarbrough Fantasy: Start or Sit Lions RB on Thanksgiving Day?

Getty Bo Scarbrough of the Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have scoured their depth chart, practice squad, and the free-agent pool for weeks on end in search of a running back capable of handling the workload left behind by the injured Kerryon Johnson.

Ty Johnson, JD McKissic, and Tra Carson all tried their hand at filling the void, and all fell short. The continued ineptitude in the run game forced Detroit to promote running back Bo Scarbrough from their practice squad to their active roster on November 16 of this year.

Since then, Scarbrough has made two starts in the Lions backfield and added a pop to the team’s run game that has been sorely missed since the loss of Johnson.

Can Scarbrough keep his stellar play going, and be a key reason why his fantasy football owners will be overly thankful this Thanksgiving? Let’s discuss.

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Bo Scarbrough’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Chicago Bears

In Bo Scarbrough’s first NFL career start two weeks ago, he flashed, finding the endzone and racking up 55 rushing yards. That performance made him one of the hotter waiver wire pickups for the week. However, it was reasonable to question whether Scarbrough truly looked capable of being a viable fantasy option, or if we were just comparing him to the poor play of previous Lions running backs. After all, Scarbrough averaged just 3.9 yards per carry on that day, lost a fumble, and failed to haul in a single reception.

Yet, Scarbrough put all that doubt aside a week ago when he touted the rock 18 times for 98 rushing yards and an impressive 5.4 yards per carry against the Washington Redskins. Most importantly, the former Alabama Crimson Tide star announced to the world his grip hold on the team’s lead back duties, out-touching the next closest Lions running back by 14 rushing attempts. Scarbrough has now carried the ball 32 times over the last two weeks, while the next closest Lions RB, Ty Johnson, has a whopping six over that same span.

Scarbrough’s opponents on Thursday, the Chicago Bears, have been somewhat surprisingly susceptible to high-volume running backs this season. Running backs to see at least 16 rushing attempts against the Bears (the amount the Scarbrough has averaged over his two-game stint in Detroit), have averaged 96 rushing yards 20.98 fantasy points.

Chicago has also surrendered six touchdowns over their last six games to the position since returning from a Week 6 bye.


Should You Start or Sit Bo Scarbrough in Week 13?

Scarbrough has failed to reel in a single reception during his tenure in Detroit, while only being targeted once over that time. That trend will likely not improve much over time, as JD McKissic is locked in as the team’s receiving back.

With that said, Scarbrough has quickly become one of the league’s few featured backs in the ground game, and for that his fantasy outlook continues to trend up.

Scarbrough is an RB2 in standard leagues and an RB3/Flex start in PPR scoring formats on Thanksgiving day against a Chicago defense that has struggled to recapture their stout ways from a season game.


  1. *Check out our Week 13 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
  2. Start-Sit QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]

READ NEXT: Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: RBs


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