Week 12 Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs

Kevin Hanson@EDSFootballAnalyst IIINovember 23, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson said earlier this week that running back Darren McFadden won't play until he is 100 percent.

From a fantasy perspective, it's frustrating for McFadden owners but music to the ears of Michael Bush owners.

With McFadden out, Bush had exactly 30 carries and rushed for 100-plus yards for a second straight game. In all four of the games that McFadden has missed, Bush has rushed for at least 96 yards and had more than 110 yards from scrimmage.

While this week's matchup against the Bears may not be ideal, the Raiders will undoubtedly give Bush a high volume of work (again) provided McFadden misses another game. The Bears rank 10th in the NFL in rush defense (101.2 yards allowed per game) and have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Here are some more running back notes for Week 12:

Against the Falcons before the bye, Saints running back Darren Sproles finished with only three yards from scrimmage—one rushing yard (on two carries) and two receiving yards (on four receptions). Through 10 games, however, Sproles leads all running backs in receptions (60) and ranks third in the NFL behind Wes Welker (74) and teammate Jimmy Graham (62).

Michael Turner had 21 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown last week. It was the sixth time this season that Turner had 20-plus carries and the fifth time that he had 100-plus yards. Turner, who has eight rushing touchdowns, has scored and/or rushed for 96 yards in every game except one (Week 3).

Bengals running back Cedric Benson had 15 carries for only 41 yards last week, but he scored two touchdowns. It is now the fourth consecutive game in which the Ravens have allowed a rushing touchdown after allowing only one rushing touchdown in their first six games.

Ravens running back Ray Rice had 20 carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns last week. It was the first time in five games that Rice had 20 carries or 100-plus rushing yards.

Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya rushed for a career-high 115 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars, who came into the game allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. In his past two games, Ogbonnaya has 205 rushing yards and 38 receiving yards. Peyton Hillis has already been ruled out for Week 12, but Montario Hardesty will start if he returns this weekend.

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 87 yards and a score. It was the ninth time this season that MJD has rushed for at least 80 yards although the Browns had allowed four 100-yard rushers in their previous three games.

Lions running back Kevin Smith finished with 201 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns last week and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. This week, Smith, who was on our waiver-wire list, has a much more challenging matchup against the Packers on Thanksgiving.

Both Panthers running backs finished with 100-plus yards from scrimmage in the same game for the first time this season. DeAngelo Williams finished with 73 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards while Jonathan Stewart had 22 rushing yards but also 87 receiving yards on six receptions (both team highs). It was only the second time that each of them had 100 yards from scrimmage in a game. This week, they have a favorable matchup against the Colts, who have allowed the second-most rushing yards per game (145.6) this season.

Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount had 18 carries for 107 yards including a 54-yard touchdown run where he made multiple Packers defenders miss tackles. It was only his second 100-yard game of the season.

Running back James Starks is dealing with a knee sprain and ankle injury and may play on Thursday. That said, I would prefer to keep him on my bench if he's active. In addition, Starks has yet to have more than 13 carries in a game.

Miami running backs Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas both carried the ball 15 times in Week 11, but Bush scored his fourth touchdown in three games. Bush had only 32 rushing yards, but he added 34 receiving yards on four receptions and now has double-digit fantasy points in four consecutive games.

Bills running back Fred Jackson, who ranks third in the NFL in rushing (934 yards), was placed on injured reserve today. Jackson has six 100-yard rushing games and has at least 50-plus receiving yards in four games. On the season, C.J. Spiller has 21 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown (which would be a great game). That said, Spiller has only six carries for eight yards in his past five games.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson scored his league-leading 11th rushing touchdown before leaving last week's game with a high ankle sprain. Although Peterson has yet to be ruled out, it seems unlikely that he will be able to play this week against Atlanta.

For the first time in a game with 20-plus carries this season, Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray failed reach 100 rushing yards. Murray had 25 carries for only 73 yards and had 32 receiving yards on six receptions.

As usual, Mike Shanahan-coached running backs cannot be trusted. None of the team's running backs had double-digit carries: Roy Helu (eight), Tashard Choice (six) and Ryan Torain (five). Although Helu rushed for only 35 yards, Choice, who has been cut, and Torain had a total of 11 yards on their 11 carries.

Beanie Wells rushed eight times for only 33 yards against the 49ers, who have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. Wells has 62 rushing yards or fewer in five of his past six games. While he has a favorable matchup against the Rams, he ran for a season-low 20 yards on 10 carries in their first matchup this season.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch ended his streak of 100-yard game at two games, but he had 27 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. It was the sixth touchdown he has scored in the past six games in which he has started.

Tennessee running back Chris Johnson had another horrible game: 12 carries for 13 yards. With the exception of two 100-yard games against bad run defenses (Cleveland and Carolina), Johnson has rushed for 64 yards or fewer in every other game this season.

Marion Barber had six carries for 23 yards and a touchdown last week. He has now scored in four of his past five games and in five of his past seven games.

Here are our top 50 fantasy running backs for Week 12:

1. Arian Foster, Texans (at JAX)
2. LeSean McCoy, Eagles (vs. NE)
3. Matt Forte, Bears (at OAK)
4. Ray Rice, Ravens (vs. SF)
5. Michael Turner, Falcons (vs. MIN)
6. Michael Bush, Raiders (vs. CHI)
7. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (vs. HOU)
8. Steven Jackson, Rams (vs. ARI)
9. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (at KC)
10. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys (vs. MIA)
11. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (vs. WAS)
12. Frank Gore, 49ers (at BAL)
13. Cedric Benson, Bengals (vs. CLE)
14. Chris Johnson, Titans (vs. TB)
15. LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers (at TEN)
16. Willis McGahee, Broncos (at SD)
17. Shonn Greene, Jets (vs. BUF)
18. Reggie Bush, Dolphins (at DAL)
19. Beanie Wells, Cardinals (at STL)
20. Ryan Mathews, Chargers (vs. DEN)
21. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (at IND)
22. Darren Sproles, Saints (vs. NYG)
23. Kevin Smith, Lions (vs. GB)
24. Brandon Jacobs, Giants (at NO)
25. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots (at PHI)
26. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (at IND)
27. Mike Tolbert, Chargers (vs. DEN)
28. Toby Gerhart, Vikings (at ATL)
29. Joseph Addai, Colts (vs. CAR)
30. Ben Tate, Texans (at JAX)
31. C.J. Spiller, Bills (at NYJ)
32. Ryan Grant, Packers (at DET)
33. Montario Hardesty, Browns (at CIN)
34. Donald Brown, Colts (vs. CAR)
35. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants (at NO)
36. Mark Ingram, Saints (vs. NYG)
37. Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns (at CIN)
38. James Starks, Packers (at DET)
39. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (at DAL)
40. Marion Barber, Bears (at OAK)
41. Roy Helu, Redskins (at SEA)
42. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (at ATL)
43. Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (vs. PIT)
44. Jackie Battle, Chiefs (vs. PIT)
45. Pierre Thomas, Saints (vs. NYG)
46. Javon Ringer, Titans (vs. TB)
47. Joe McKnight, Jets (vs. BUF)
48. Kendall Hunter, 49ers (at BAL)
49. Lance Ball, Broncos (at SD)
50. Johnny White, Bills (at NYJ)

If you're in a point-per-reception (PPR) league, here are our running back PPR rankings for Week 12.

For more positions and/or flex rankings, visit our fantasy section.

To keep track of our fantasy updates throughout the week, you can (1) follow us on Twitter @EDSFootball or (2) "like" us on Facebook or both.

Good luck in Week 12!


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