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2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running backs for Week 12

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Tiered RB rankings for Week 12.

NFL: DEC 15 Browns at Cardinals Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL Week 12 is here and so are my running back fantasy football rankings.

The impact of Taysom Hill drops Alvin Kamara to the RB3 spot.

Both Browns backs are top five options against the Jacksonville Jaguars’ hapless front-seven.

Austin Ekeler’s likely return lands him firmly in the Top 12.

The NFC West gets two of their best running backs back in Chris Carson and Raheem Mostert.

Gus Edwards is a locked-in RB2, even in a tough match-up, with Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins on the COVID-19/Reserve List.

Myles Gaskin is likely to return and he’s a mid-tier RB2.

James White offers flex appeal after Rex Burkhead’s Week 11 knee injury.

The Los Angeles Rams’ running backs are a complete avoid.

Week 12’s Tiered Running Back Rankings

Rank High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB1s Team Opponent Breakdown
Rank High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB1s Team Opponent Breakdown
1 Dalvin Cook MIN CAR .5PPR's highest scoring running back (228.8)* gets a hilariously good match-up against a Carolina front-seven allowing the 4th-most .5PPR points per game (25.4)*.
2 Nick Chubb CLE at JAX The Jags are allowing the 6th-most .5PPR PPG to opposing RBs (24.1)*.
3 Alvin Kamara NO at DEN Denver's pure rush defense stats -- a middling unit* -- now matter as Kamara saw his target total plummet (1)* with Taysom Hill at QB.
4 Kareem Hunt CLE at JAX Hunt and Chubb could seriously combine for 50 touches this week.
5 Austin Ekeler LAC at BUF Buffalo's allowed the 5th-most rushing yards (1,350)* and 3rd-most rushing touchdowns on the year (15)*.
6 Derrick Henry TEN at IND The spry giant is impossible to stymie.
7 Ezekiell Elliott DAL WAS The return of Andy Dalton has stabilized the Cowboys' offense.
8 Aaron Jones GB CHI It took Dalvin Cook 30 rushes to pile up 96 scoreless yards* against this Bears' defensive-front and Cook doesn't have to split time with Jamaal Williams.
9 James Robinson JAX CLE Mike Glennon at QB doesn't help Robinson's chances of hitting his ceiling. His floor is potentially the highest in fantasy though.
10 Antonio Gibson WAS at DAL Washington's defensive-front should harass Andy Dalton enough that this one stays competitive, ensureing Gibson has a healthy workload for Week 12.
11 Miles Sanders PHI SEA The Eagles' offense is a mess and Seattle's run defense has been solid this year.
12 Raheem Mostert SF at LAR Should Mostert return, Kyle Shanahan would gleefully incorporate him into all aspects of the offense.
Rank High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB2s Team Opponent Breakdown
13 Chris Carson SEA at PHI Carson's back to lead the Seattle backfield but it's a crowded one and Philly's front-seven is a tough bunch.
14 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC at TB CEH's passing game usage is key here. TB's allowing the most receptions per game to opposing backfields (6.6)*.
15 Wayne Gallman NYG at CIN Gallman should see a full workload of 20 or more touches against a lacking Cincy front.
16 Gus Edwards BAL at PIT With J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram on the COVID-19/Reserve List, Edwards should see a bulletproof workload.
17 Josh Jacobs LV at ATL Atlanta's front-seven is much more vulnerable to pass catching backs than they are pure rushers.
17 Mike Davis CAR at MIN Second good match-up in a row for Carolina's fill-in running back.
18 Myles Gaskin MIA at NYJ Great spot for Gaskin to be eased back into things while still producing in an efficient manner against the league's worst team.
19 Brian Hill ATL LV With Gurley's knee likely keeping him out, Hill is set to take lead back duties in a great match-up. Vegas is allowing the 5th-most .5PPR PPG to opposing RBs (24.4) and averaging 1.1 rushing scores allowed*.
20 Benny Snell PIT BAT Although this game might not actually happen, Snell would be the clear-cut lead back if it does. The availability of Ravens' DT Brandon Williams and DE Calais Campbell is critical to Snell's box score success.
21 Kenyan Drake ARI at NE Drake has retained his rushing role in his two games since injury and he gets a soft Patriots front-seven to return RB2 value against.
22 David Montgomary CHI at GB The speed-deficient back gets a great match-up against a Green Bay front that's allowing the 3rd-most PPG to opposing RBs (27.6)*.
23 Nyheim Hines IND TEN Hines is the likely lead back in a stellar match-up with Jonthan Taylor now on the COVID-19/Reserve List.
24 Melvin Gordon DEN NO Not a great match-up but the front office keep feeding him due to the cash they paid him.
Rank High-Floor/High-Ceiling RB3s Team Opponent Breakdown
25 Chase Edmonds ARI at NE If Edmonds retains sole ownership of kick return duties -- a job that netted him 100 yards last week* -- he adds a rock-solid floor to his high-volume passing game usage.
26 J.D. McKissic WAS at DAL JDM should see a tad more work than he did last week. WAS at DAL will be quite a bit more competitive than Washington's plastering of Cincinnati.
27 Leonard Fournette TB KC TB's passing game back should see a solid workout in a looming shootout.
28 Duke Johnson Jr. HOU at DET Even against Detroit's league worst defense when facing opposing RBs (32.7 .5PPR PPG), Duke can only be trusted as a flex option. His back-to-back duds in favorable situations are glaring failures.
29 Samaje Perine CIN NYG New York is surprisingly vulnerable to pass catching backs. Perine had already begun siphoning targets away from Gio Bernard last week and will now operate as Cincy's lead back with Bernard unlikely to play (concussion).
30 Kalen Ballage LAC at BUF With Ekeler likely returning, Ballage becomes the team No. 2 back.
31 James White NE ARI With Rex Burkhead out (ACL), White now owns rights to the full-time pass catching back role.
32 Damien Harris NE ARI It's likely Sony Michel eats into his workload but Harris has earned 1A rushing duties.
33 Zack Moss BUF LAC Tough match-up and he gets goal-line poached by Josh Allen.
34 Jordan Wilkins IND TEN Wilkins should see at least 10 touches, likely operating as Indy's No. 2 with Jonathan Taylor now on the COVID-19/Reserve List. it's possible that the coaching staff gives him a significantly bigger workload than expected though as his big-bodied frame can handle more bruises than Hines' can.
35 Matt Breida MIA at NYJ Breida will have a large role this week with Ahmed likely out and Gaskin's status up in the air.
36 Frank Gore NYJ MIA Miami's defense is built to stop the pass, not the run. The Jets offense is built to fail though.
Rank Low-Floor/Questionable-Ceiling RB4s Team Opponent Breakdown
37 Carlos Hyde SEA at PHI Back to the No. 2 role with Carson healthy.
38 Latavius Murray NO at DEN Seeing lots of time as the 1B option.
39 Phillip Lindsay DEN NO Best back in Denver.
40 Boston Scott PHI SEA Seeing lots of work in the passing game.
41 Le'Veon Bell KC at TB Tough match-up and has a max of 10 touches.
42 Ronald Jones TB KC Shootouts are for Fournette.
43 Justice Hill BAL at PIT Will see passing game usage.
44 Rams Running Backs LAR SF Full-blown committee.
45 Tony Pollard DAL WAS Playing very well on limited snaps.
46 Justice Hill BAL at PIT Will see passing game usage.
47 Rams Running Backs LAR SF Full-blown committee.
48 Adrian Peterson DET HOU Great match-up but impossible to trust.
Source Links: .5PPR RB scoring, the Carolina Panthers’ defense as it pertains to Dalvin Cook’s Week 12 outlook, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense as it pertains to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt’s Week 12 outlook, the Denver Broncos’ defense as it pertains to Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray’s Week 12 outlook, Alvin Kamara’s severe dip in targets with Taysom Hill at quarterback, the Buffalo Bills’ defense as it pertains to Austin Ekeler’s Week 12 outlook, Dalvin Cook’s results against the Chicago Bears as it pertains to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, the Houston Texans’ defense as it pertains to D’Andre Swifts’ Week 12 outlook, the Las Vegas Raiders’ defense as it pertains to Todd Gurley’s Week 12 outlook, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense as it pertains to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell’s Week 12 outlook, the Detroit Lions’ defense as it pertains to Duke Johnson Jr.’s Week 12 outlook, Chase Edmonds’ kick return usage against the Seattle Seahawks, and the Green Bay Packers’ defense as it pertains to David Montgomery’s Week 12 outlook.