Week 12 RB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 12 Running Back Sleepers
Week 12 Start N' Sit
Week 12 Waiver Wire Tips





RBs title bar graphic
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
This is how we rank the top 25 RBs for Week Twelve of the fantasy season. Our rankings aren't just based on name value or past performance - each week we take a comprehensive look at the match-ups and each RBs past performance and factor that into our projections. The ratings are based on a standard non-PPR league where 10 rushing or receiving yards equal 1 point, rushing and receiving TDs equal 6 pts. and fumbles deduct 2 points.



Running Back Rankings
  1. Jamaal Charles
  2. DeMarco Murray
  3. Matt Forte
  4. * Arian Foster
  5. LeSean McCoy
  6. Eddie Lacy
  7. Mark Ingram
  8. Andre Ellington
  9. Marshawn Lynch
  10. Justin Forsett
  11. Rashad Jennings
  12. C.J. Anderson
  13. Isaiah Crowell
  14. Denard Robinson
  15. Alfred Morris
  16. Frank Gore
  17. Jeremy Hill
  18. * Gio Bernard
  19. Ryan Mathews
  20. Tre Mason
  21. Lamar Miller
  22. Shane Vereen
  23. Trent Richardson
  24. Bishop Sankey
  25. Chris Ivory
* Check the player's injury status prior to gametime!
photo of LeSean McCoy
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Paying attention to the match-ups each week can help you identify less heralded players with the upside to surprise and help you avoid some potential land mines. This is our list of players we expect to surpass expectations, along with a few stud RBs who may fail to deliver:



Start
LeSean McCoy
photo of LeSean McCoy
Shady has been a huge disappointment this season considering the fact that he was drafted within the first three picks in most fantasy leagues. After being expected to be a top-three running back, McCoy is ranked 16th at his position with just six weeks left in the season. However, he has been making some progress lately as he has rushed for at least 80 yards in five of his last six games. In the one game that he failed to do so, he scored a touchdown to make up for it. In last week’s deflating loss at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, McCoy gained 106 total yards. Up next for the McCoy, the Eagles host a Titans defense that allowed Le’Veon Bell to rush for over 200 yards on Monday Night Football. Tennessee is allowing the 4th-most fantasy points to running backs so look for Shady to turn his season around as he gains 120 total yards and a touchdown for his best outing of the season.

Justin Forsett
Ravens RB Justin Forsett
Forsett has been a pleasant surprise for the Ray Rice-less Ravens. He is the 8th ranked running back in fantasy football this season, as he has accumulated 923 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns. Forsett is the clear-cut starter in Baltimore and rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns in his last outing against the Tennessee Titans. After the Week 11 bye, the Ravens travel to New Orleans to take on a Saints defense that is allowing the 12th most fantasy points to running backs. Forsett is a dual-threat running back so if the Ravens fall behind to Drew Brees’ Saints, he can still rack up plenty of receiving yards. Look for the veteran back to go for 100 total yards but fail to find the end zone. Still, a solid day at the office for Justin Forsett.


Sit
Jonas Gray
After another Belichick change-up, Jonas Gray of all people not only rushed for over 200 yards against the Colts on Sunday Night Football but added a whopping four touchdowns! The undrafted rookie is the most sought after commodity in fantasy football and perhaps he should be. However, those of you who scooped the Patriot off of the Waiver Wire should not be starting him this week. The Pats must host a Detroit Lions defense that allows a league-low average of 68.8 rushing yards per game. It’s easier to pass against the Lions than it is to run, though only by a slight margin. Coach Belichick may switch things up and feature Shane Vereen in this one since Vereen is the superior pass catching back. Gray was a great addition to any fantasy squad but this is not the week that you should be playing him. Wait until Week 13 when the Pats travel to Lambeau to take on a less than average Green Bay rushing defense.

Fred Jackson
Bills RB Fred Jackson
After returning from injury in Week 10, Jackson rushed for just 10 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs. He did add 39 receiving yards but was largely ineffective. He sat out of a matchup with the Miami Dolphins last week but is expected to suit up against the Jets this week. Unfortunately, he is still not 100% and Rex Ryan’s defense allows the 8th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Because Jackson is still not completely healthy, coach Marrone will likely go with the three-headed monster consisting of Jackson, Bryce Brown, and Boobie Dixon. F-Jax will not receive enough touches to make a significant difference. Keep him on your bench until he is healthy enough to be utilized as the workhorse of this offense.


Trent Richardson
Colts RB Trent Richardson
The Colts have placed Ahmad Bradshaw on Injured Reserve leaving Trent Richardson as the No. 1 back in Chuck Pagano’s offense. Richardson has struggled since becoming a Colt but things should turn around when Indianapolis hosts the 1-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are allowing the 7th-most fantasy points to running backs and Richardson will most likely be used to run the clock out. I see him piling up 25 carries in this one on his way to a 100-yard performance. This is the perfect storm of events to get Richardson’s confidence going. He is a solid RB2 with enormous upside in this matchup. Start him.

Isaiah Crowell
The Browns backfield just got a whole lot simpler with the release of veteran Ben Tate. Coach Pettine has decided to trust his two rookies and ride them into the post-season chase. After not recording a carry in Week 9, Crowell was somewhat effective in Week 10 and started in Week 11. He gained 91 yards against the Texans, though he did lose a costly fumble. Still, it seems like Crowell is the starting back at this point, and with a matchup looming against the dreadful Falcons defense, he is a must-start. The Falcons allow 23.32 fantasy points per game to running backs, the 2nd-most in the entire league. Cleveland is going to run it down their throats.


Broncos RB C.J. Anderson
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Running Backs to Add

Jonas Gray
The undrafted rookie was an absolute beast on Sunday Night Football. Jonas Gray did his best Marshawn Lynch impression bulldozing through Colt defenders like it was no one’s business. Coach Belichick rode the rookie all night, feeding him 38 carries as Gray rushed for 199 yards and an unbelievable four touchdowns! The 43.9 fantasy points were the most by a running back all season. Gray is owned in just 1.3% of NFL.com leagues and that number needs to increase dramatically. Although his Week 12 matchup against the Lions will be tough, Gray should be featured in Week 13 against a poor Packers rushing defense. After Sunday night’s performance, Gray is a great addition to any fantasy squad.

C.J. Anderson
Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball are both out with injuries leaving C.J. Anderson as the workhorse back in Denver’s offense. In last week’s deflating loss against the Rams, Anderson produced 115 yards from scrimmage. The week before, he gained 90 yards rushing, 73 yards receiving, and scored a touchdown. Anderson is a fast and elusive back with Peyton Manning by his side. He must be owned in all leagues until Ronnie Hillman returns to the lineup.

Running Backs to Drop

Ahmad Bradshaw
Bradshaw suffered a fractured fibula in the Colts loss to the Patriots and may miss the rest of the year. Bradshaw has been great this season but unfortunately, his season may be over. After eleven weeks, Bradshaw is the 10th ranked running back in fantasy football. Owners should thank him for his services and pick up his teammate Trent Richardson or Dan Herron.

Montee Ball
Montee Ball was drafted within the first two rounds of most fantasy leagues. He produced solid numbers in his first game as the Broncos starting running back. However, his numbers began to decline and in Week 5, he suffered a serious groin injury sidelining him for the next five weeks. He finally returned to action in Week 11 and restrained his groin. The Denver Post expects him to miss the next 2-3 weeks. Ball has been the biggest bust of the season. Drop the injury prone back and pick someone up that can help you make a post-season push in your fantasy league.