The regular season in fantasy football is rapidly nearing its' conclusion, and with only one or possibly two games remaining before the postseason begins, many teams are facing a must-win situation in Week 12.
For those teams, it's vitally important that they put the best possible lineup on the field even if it means going out on a limb in some instances. To help out those fantasy squads in desperation mode, here's a look at a trio of rock-solid Week 12 running back plays.
Jalen Parmele, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
When your team has one win, you're down to your third running back and your starting quarterback going on injured reserve is actually a good thing then you know the season hasn't gone as planned, but that's where the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in 2012.
Third-year pro Jalen Parmele will start this week after taking over for the unimpressive Rashad Jennings. After gaining 80 yards on 24 carries last week against the Houston Texans, Parmele represents an interesting one-week option for fantasy owners in a hole at running back.
The reason why is simple. Parmele's matchup at home the Tennessee Titans is a very favorable one, as only one team in the National Football League has allowed more fantasy points to running backs this season.
BenJarvus Green Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK)
It took better than half the season, but in last week's win over the Kansas City Chiefs the Cincinnati Bengals finally got a glimpse into the running back they hoped they were getting when they signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis to a free agent contract.
Green-Ellis topped 100 yards for the first time this year a week ago, gaining 101 yards on 25 carries and scoring a touchdown. Afterwards, quarterback Andy Dalton was singing the back's praises according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN:
"Benny getting over 100 was huge," quarterback Andy Dalton said. "It was a goal going in to get over 100 and we came out and we executed. This week we really emphasized the running game, we wanted to get it going and we did. We challenged the guys up front and the backs and they did a great job."
The fifth-year pro has gained 638 yards and scored five touchdowns this year. He has an excellent shot at posting two big games in a row as this week he faces the Oakland Raiders, who rank 22nd in the NFL against the run.
Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (at KC)
The Denver Broncos are squarely in the driver's seat in the AFC West after last week's victory over the San Diego Chargers, but that victory came at a high price as starting running back Willis McGahee was lost for the season with a knee injury.
That injury thrust rookie Ronnie Hillman into the lead role in the Broncos' backfield. After picking up 188 yards on 49 carries so far this season, Hillman is eager to shoulder the workload according to Tom Kensler of The Denver Post.
"I'm very excited," he said. "It's just another opportunity to play ball and I'm looking forward to going out there to play."
At the very least Hillman is getting a good first start schedule-wise, as the Kansas City Chiefs have struggled against the run in both fantasy and reality this year, ranking 25th in the NFL in that regard.