by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 12 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Trent Richardson – Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
Ahmad Bradshaw has been lost for the season to a broken leg, leaving Richardson as the lead back for Indianapolis. He has averaged 3.4 yards per carry overall and has had 13 total carries over the past two games (including a 6 carry, 0 yard performance against the Patriots).
Of course, the news comes at an ideal time for Richardson who draws the porous Jaguars defense (who are allowing the seventh most points per week to opposing running backs, fourth most over the past two weeks). Richardson also arguably had his best game of the season against them, with 80 total yards and averaging 4.1 YPC.
Lineup Recommendation – There’s obviously still risk, but consider him a viable RB2 for the coming week
Mark Ingram – Running Back – New Orleans Saints
In his recent Saints Mailbag, when asked about Ingram’s role on Monday night Mike Triplett (click here for the article) said:
“I’ve got to imagine that Ingram’s success has been a bit of an eye-opener for coach Sean Payton, who can’t ignore the fact that Ingram has gotten into such a nice rhythm with his high volume of carries. So I’d expect Ingram to still be the clear leader in the backfield, getting 15-plus touches.”
Khiry Robinson is out again but Pierre Thomas is set to go. Regardless, at this point it doesn’t have an impact on Ingram’s value. The problem, however, is that the Saints draw a Ravens’s defense that is giving up the fewest points to opposing running backs this season. While Ingram has gone for at least 97 total yards in four straight games, this is going to be tough sledding.
Lineup Recommendation – He’s been playing too well to ignore, but consider him more of a RB2 for this week
Delanie Walker – Tight End – Tennessee Titans
According to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean (click here for the article):
“Titans tight end Delanie Walker passed his final concussion tests and doctors have cleared him to return to action.”
Walker hasn’t played since November 9 against the Ravens. The Eagles are allowing the second fewest points per week to opposing tight ends, though they have allowed 10 catches for 180 yards over the past two weeks to them. Still, Walker has been above 60 yards just twice all season and has 1 TD in his last five games.
Lineup Recommendation – Consider him a risky TE1 and only playable if you have no other alternative
Alfred Blue – Running Back – Houston Texans
According to Tania Gangulia (via Twitter):
“Foster? Very, very low. And yes to the second question. “@MartyDawood: @taniaganguli chances of playing? And if blue starts, 20+ touches?”
The Bengals have allowed 344 total yards and 3 TD to opposing running backs over the past two weeks making this a matchup to exploit. Obviously check Foster’s status, just in case, but Blue appears primed for a heavy workload.
Lineup Recommendation – If Foster is out, consider Blue a potential RB1
Lamar Miller – Running Back – Miami Dolphins
Miller is listed as questionable, courtesy of a knee injury he suffered during the week. Complicating matters even more, with a 4:25 start time we likely won’t have any clarity of his status before the early games kickoff.
Denver has actually yielded the fewest rushing yards to opposing backs this season (567) and the Dolphins could easily split the load between Miller, Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams.
Lineup Recommendation – Unless you have no other alternative, Miller is probably too risky to trust
Larry Fitzgerald – Wide Receiver – Arizona Cardinals
He’s listed as questionable, missed practice all week and draws the Seahwaks. What part of that equation sounds like a good idea?
Lineup Recommendation – Consider him virtually unusable this week
Giovani Bernard – Running Back – Cincinnati Bengals
He’s listed as probable, but how much is he going to play? Jeremy Hill has excelled in his absence, including a pair of games of over 150 rushing yards. Could Bernard be more of a passing down/third down back upon his return? It seems incredibly realistic.
The Texans have allowed the fifth most receiving yards to running backs this season, so even if that’s role he will be usable. However, his value is not quite what it was prior to his injury.
Lineup Recommendation – He’s potentially a RB2, but more of a FLEX play
Charles Sims – Running Back – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
According to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times (click here for the article):
“For the first time all season, the Bucs’ four backs are all expected to be healthy, though Martin and rookie Charles Sims are listed as questionable. Smith said Martin got back into his routine with a great week of practice after missing the past three games with an ankle injury.”
Chicago’s defense has allowed 275 total yards to opposing running backs over the past two weeks, but the uncertainty makes this a difficult situation to trust.
Lineup Recommendation – Unless you are desperate, avoid all Tampa Bay running backs this week
Kyle Rudolph – Tight End – Minnesota Vikings
We should see his role expand this week after being eased back into action last week. That said, exactly how much he’s going to play is a bit of an unknown and he also draws a much tougher matchup in Green Bay? While there’s clearly still upside, letting things play out and seeing how he’s used would be the prudent decision.
Lineup Recommendation – He’s more of TE2 unless you are desperate for an option
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: