For many fantasy football leagues across the globe, Thanksgiving’s slate of NFL games will kick off the final week of our regular seasons. Whether you’re trying to squeeze your way into the playoff picture or earn a higher seed than your competition, Week 12 is one of the most important weeks of the entire season. Running back is a position that has been decimated by injury in 2016, but there are plenty of viable choices in play this week.
Here are my Top 55 RBs for Week 12 vs. FantasyPros' ECR rankings:
Fantasy Football rankings - Week 12View Available Players
|#||Player (team)||Matchup||ECR™||vs. ECR|
|1||Le'Veon Bell (PIT)||at IND||1||0|
|2||David Johnson (ARI)||at ATL||2||0|
|3||Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)||vs. WAS||3||0|
|4||Jay Ajayi (MIA)||vs. SF||4||0|
|5||Melvin Gordon (SD)||at HOU||6||+1|
|6||DeMarco Murray (TEN)||at CHI||5||-1|
|7||Lamar Miller (HOU)||vs. SD||9||+2|
|8||Thomas Rawls (SEA)||at TB||7||-1|
|9||LeGarrette Blount (NE)||at NYJ||14||+5|
|10||Todd Gurley (LA)||at NO||10||0|
|11||Devonta Freeman (ATL)||vs. ARI||11||0|
|12||Spencer Ware (KC)||at DEN||8||-4|
|13||Carlos Hyde (SF)||at MIA||19||+6|
|14||LeSean McCoy (BUF)||vs. JAC||13||-1|
|15||Robert Kelley (WAS)||at DAL||15||0|
|16||Rashad Jennings (NYG)||at CLE||17||+1|
|17||Matt Forte (NYJ)||vs. NE||16||-1|
|18||Frank Gore (IND)||vs. PIT||12||-6|
|19||Jordan Howard (CHI)||vs. TEN||18||-1|
|20||Jonathan Stewart (CAR)||at OAK||21||+1|
|21||Latavius Murray (OAK)||vs. CAR||22||+1|
|22||Wendell Smallwood (PHI)||vs. GB||27||+5|
|23||Jeremy Hill (CIN)||at BAL||24||+1|
|24||Doug Martin (TB)||vs. SEA||20||-4|
|25||Tim Hightower (NO)||vs. LA||30||+5|
|26||Theo Riddick (DET)||vs. MIN||23||-3|
|27||Devontae Booker (DEN)||vs. KC||25||-2|
|28||Mark Ingram (NO)||vs. LA||26||-2|
|29||Chris Ivory (JAC)||at BUF||28||-1|
|30||Dion Lewis (NE)||at NYJ||38||+8|
|31||Terrance West (BAL)||vs. CIN||31||0|
|32||Tevin Coleman (ATL)||vs. ARI||33||+1|
|33||James Starks (GB)||at PHI||29||-4|
|34||Jerick McKinnon (MIN)||at DET||39||+5|
|35||Isaiah Crowell (CLE)||vs. NYG||32||-3|
|36||Kenneth Dixon (BAL)||vs. CIN||34||-2|
|37||Mike Gillislee (BUF)||vs. JAC||36||-1|
|38||Duke Johnson (CLE)||vs. NYG||42||+4|
|39||James White (NE)||at NYJ||35||-4|
|40||Bilal Powell (NYJ)||vs. NE||37||-3|
|41||Darren Sproles (PHI)||vs. GB||40||-1|
|42||Matt Asiata (MIN)||at DET||41||-1|
|43||Paul Perkins (NYG)||at CLE||43||0|
|44||T.J. Yeldon (JAC)||at BUF||46||+2|
|45||Dwayne Washington (DET)||vs. MIN||47||+2|
|46||Kapri Bibbs (DEN)||vs. KC||48||+2|
|47||Jeremy Langford (CHI)||vs. TEN||49||+2|
|48||Jalen Richard (OAK)||vs. CAR||51||+3|
|49||Akeem Hunt (HOU)||vs. SD||57||+8|
|50||Derrick Henry (TEN)||at CHI||53||+3|
|51||Alex Collins (SEA)||at TB||63||+12|
|52||Rex Burkhead (CIN)||at BAL||55||+3|
|53||Charcandrick West (KC)||at DEN||61||+8|
|54||DeAndre Washington (OAK)||vs. CAR||56||+2|
|55||Christine Michael (GB)||at PHI||52||-3|
Notes & Analysis:
- Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson are an unstoppable trio that find themselves in a tier of their own. If you need a win this week, these aren’t the guys you want to be up against: Each one of them faces a less-than-stellar defense versus fantasy RBs.
- Jay Ajayi is easily a top-5 option this week against the hapless 49ers defense, which has proven to be useless against stopping the opposing running back.
- Melvin Gordon returns to action after a late-season bye week to face the Texans, who just shut down the Raiders rushing attack on MNF. However, Gordon has looked reborn this season and should produce fantasy numbers in the form of yardage and scoring potential.
- Lamar Miller is coming off a heavy dose of carries after multiple weeks where his workload was noticeably scaled back. Assuming he came out of Monday night’s contest feeling relatively healthy, he should resume his former role as Houston’s workhorse against Gordon’s Chargers.
- Thomas Rawls went from being the odd man out in Seattle’s backfield to the only injury-free runner all in the past couple weeks. With C-Mike getting cut and now the exciting rookie, C.J. Prosise, sidelined for the rest of the regular season, Rawls finds himself atop the depth chart. He’s a low-end RB1 who should see plenty of action against the Bucs.
- Devonta Freeman faces an extremely stout run defense in the Arizona Cardinals this week and may also be losing carries to a now-healthy Tevin Coleman. He can still be an upside RB2, but his recent RB1 production is sure to regress.
- Carlos Hyde was impressive last week against the Patriots and should be given anywhere from 15 to 20 carries at the least this week in Miami.
- LeSean McCoy couldn’t “pop” his thumb back into place last week during his game against Cincinnati, so he was forced to get surgery on Monday morning. It was on his non-dominant (left) hand, and Rex Ryan expects him to play this week, giving him RB2 appeal regardless of being less than 100%.
- Robert Kelley exploded onto the fantasy and real-life scene in Week 11 when he ran for 137 yards and three TDs on Sunday Night Football against the Packers. “Fat Rob” will likely face a tougher test in Dallas on Thanksgiving, but he’s a rock-solid RB2 in standard leagues.
- Rashad Jennings deserves legitimate RB2 consideration this week against the obviously tanking Cleveland Browns. It’s pretty hard to imagine him rushing for less than, say, 80 yards and a touchdown...
- Frank Gore has been ageless once again this season, serving as a quality fantasy option more weeks than not. However, without Andrew Luck at the helm on Thursday night, Gore’s scoring chances are looking bleak.
- Wendell Smallwood is sure to be a hot pickup this week for teams still scrapping to grab a playoff spot, but will only be worth starting if Ryan Mathews and/or Darren Sproles sits out. As it stands now, Mathews looks questionable at best while Sproles should play his normal receiving role. The rookie Smallwood is in line to lead the Eagles backfield in carries. He’s an upside RB3/flex on MNF.
- Jeremy Hill should see a bump in usage after the news of Giovani Bernard’s torn ACL, which certainly won’t hurt his fantasy outlook. Yet, against a stout Bills defensive front, he’s likely just a touchdown-dependent RB3 this week.
- Keep an eye on Mark Ingram’s concussion recovery this week, as Tim Hightower would rise in the rankings if the former Heisman trophy winner were to sit out against the Rams at home.