Week 12 Start 'Em Sit 'Em: C.J. Spiller and Six Running Backs to Start
There are seven running backs that fantasy owners should plan on starting.
I'm going to save some of the elite fantasy running backs and not list them in the article because there's a reason they are elite players at their position! No matter the matchup, these backs are must-starts each week of the fantasy season.
What about other running backs that owners have on their roster but usually play on a week-by-week basis?
Here are seven running backs you should plan on starting in Week 12.
Shonn Greene, NY Jets
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Shonne Greene has to break out at some point, right? Up to this point in his career, Greene has shown signs of brilliance but has been an overall disappointment.
Could this be a breakout week for Greene? He's expected to play (ribs) and will see a heavy workload with LaDainian Tomlinson unlikely to suit up.
Prior to leaving last week's game with an injury, Shonne Greene had averaged close to 19 carries over his past five games. Expect that number to increase on Sunday.
The Bills rank 20th against the run.
LaGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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LeGarrette Blount has had an up-and-down season but showed the league how good he can be after rushing for 107 yards against the Packers.
One of his runs against Green Bay was a 54-yard scamper where he broke several tackles, reminiscent of Marshawn Lynch's playoff run last season.
The Buccaneers face off against a Titans team on Sunday that ranks 22nd against the run.
Blount's confidence should be through the roof after Aaron Rodgers gushed about the Bucs back. Rodgers told Blount his admiration does not extend to just anyone.
Expect a big week from the former Oregon star.
C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
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C.J. Spiller experienced some growing pains in his rookie season and became an afterthought in his sophomore season, which has seen Fred Jackson break out as one of the better running backs in the NFL.
In a rapid change of events, Spiller will be vaulted into the starting lineup after the Bills placed Fred Jackson (broken leg) on the IR.
Spiller has not made much of an impact this season, his speed and athleticism out of the backfield make him an intriguing play now that he will be the Bills' primary back.
Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers
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Ryan Mathews played against the Bears but had a critical fumble. Mike Tolbert had a similar situation earlier in the season and saw his carries diminish.
On top of that, Mathews (knee) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and was held out of practice on Thursday.
Considering his recent struggles, Mathews should be limited on Sunday.
Mike Tolbert should see an increased role on Sunday. He becomes an intriguing play in PPR leagues because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and being the primary goal-line back.
Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders
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With all indications of Darren McFadden sitting out for yet another week, the carries will be given to Michael Bush.
McFadden was injured in the first quarter against Kansas City on October 23rd, and Bush stepped in without any problem.
As the primary back over Oakland's past four games, Bush has rushed for 95-plus yards in each contest and has amassed 100 yards in consecutive games to go along with two rushing touchdowns.
Chicago ranks 11th against the run, but given Bush's recent history, it's very hard to sit him.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
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Keep playing Marshawn Lynch if you have been. If you've been sitting him off-and-on, this is the week to play him.
The Seahawks go against a very pedestrian Redskins rush defense.
In the last six games that Lynch has played, he has scored in every single one of them and is now seeing a heavy workload over his past three games, which has seen him rush for 100-plus yards in two of them and average over 27 carries per game.
The Seahawks go against a very pedestrian Redskins rush defense that ranks 18th in the league. With the way Lynch has been playing in recent games, he's good for at least one touchdown.
Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals
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Cedric Benson has had an underwhelming season and has not rushed for 100 yards since Week 4.
Benson sees a good amount of carries but does not have much to show for them. This leaves fantasy owners frustrated and ready to explore different options, if they haven't already.
I'd recommend giving Benson one more chance to help you make a late push to the playoffs as he and the Bengals go up against Cleveland—a defense that ranks 29th against the run.
In the Bengals' Week 1 win over the Browns, Benson rushed for 121 yards and a score.