Running Back Rundown: Who To Buy, Who To Sell & More After Week 12 (Rashaad Penny, Benny Snell, Must Target Waiver Options & More)


With many teams heading towards a running back by committee, fantasy owners constantly need to be analyzing the situations and determining who has value and is worth utilizing.  Let’s take a look at some of the key situations from yesterday and try to determine who should be used and who should be ignored:

Atlanta Falcons
Is There A Deep League Stash Emerging…

The Falcons have to hope that Devonta Freeman is ready to return for Week 13, but even if he doesn’t it appears that they are ready to take a look at an alternative option:

  • Qadree Ollison – 8 carries for 20 yards and 1 TD
  • Brian Hill – 9 carries for 14 yards

Obviously Ollison hasn’t stood out over the past two weeks, though the fifth round pick has now scored in back-to-back games. Meanwhile Hill has posted a pitiful 44 yards on 24 carries, and while this was a difficult matchup against the Buccaneers it’s not enough of an explanation.

Action – Hill is droppable in all formats; Ollison worth the deep league stash

Chicago Bears
Will David Montgomery Ever Fully Emerge…

It was a poor day against the Giants, while Tarik Cohen looked like the far more explosive option:

  • Tarik Cohen – 6 carries for 25 yards (4.2 YPC)
  • David Montgomery – 13 carries for 22 yards (1.7 YPC)

While the Giants are a surprisingly tough team to run against, Montgomery has averaged 3.5 YPC or worse in four straight games (and has failed to find the end zone in three straight). In fact he’s averaged better than 3.5 YPC just twice all season while routinely failing to break big runs. The Bears appear to be committed to him, and he should continue to get opportunities, but for most he’s nothing more than a depth option.

Action – Continue to stash Montgomery as a bench option

Denver Broncos
Is It A Committee No More…

After Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman shared the touches early in the season, it appears that Lindsay has emerged as the leader over the past few weeks. Just look at the carries in Week 12:

  • Phillip Lindsay – 13 carries for 57 yards
  • Royce Freeman – 2 carries for 20 yards

Over the past two weeks Lindsay has 29 carries, compared to 10 for Freeman (he hasn’t had more than 8 carries in each of the past three games). While it’s always possible Freeman re-emerges, but for most he’s no longer a must hold (especially if you are in need of the roster spot).

Action – Freeman is droppable in most redraft formats

Detroit Lions
It’s Officially The Bo Scarbrough Show…

It was fair to have questions after Scarbrough surprisingly operated as the lead back in Week 11, but after yesterday it’s clear that he’s emerged as the preferred option in Detroit:

  • Bo Scarbrough – 18 carries for 94 yards
  • Ty Johnson – 4 carries for 11 yards

While the matchup with the Bears is somewhat favorable, after that Scarbrough would draw tough tests against the Vikings and Buccaneers. That’s not to say that he shouldn’t be owned, but he may be nothing more than a desperation start in Weeks 14 & 15.

Action – It’s worth stashing Scarbrough (and dropping Johnson), but he may not be usable for long

Miami Dolphins
When Will We Truly Get A Look At The Alternatives…

How badly does Kalen Ballage have to perform in order to be removed from the game plan? For the third straight week he was an absolute disaster:

  • at Indianapolis – 20 carries for 43 yards (2.2 YPC)
  • vs. Buffalo – 9 carries for 9 yards (1.0 YPC) and 1 TD
  • at Cleveland – 7 carries for 13 yards (1.9 YPC)

In fact Ballage’s longest run this season is 8 yards (he’s gotten 64 carries). We did see a few additional opportunities for Patrick Laird (3 carries for 20 yards) and Myles Gaskin (4 carries for 10 yards), but it wouldn’t be shocking to see those numbers increase significantly in Week 13 and beyond.

Action – Laird would appear like a must stash

Pittsburgh Steelers
A New Handcuff Emerges…

It may not have been a big surprise, but with Benny Snell healthy and James Conner sidelined it was Snell who stepped in and carried the load instead of Jaylen Samuels:

  • Benny Snell – 21 carries for 98 yards
  • Trey Edmunds – 2 carries for 7 yards
  • Jaylen Samuels – 2 carries for 6 yards

Samuels did have 3 catches for 26 yards, though that is hardly enough. Obviously when Conner is healthy he’s going to be the lead back, but it looks like Snell is the handcuff to own. While Samuels is worth stashing if you can afford it, he’s not a must own by any stretch.

Action – Snell is a must stash handcuff, Samuels is droppable (but not a must drop)

Seattle Seahawks
Is There A Changing Of The Guard…

This was a bit of a surprise, but it ultimately wasn’t Chris Carson who led the way for Seattle:

  • Rashaad Penny – 14 carries for 129 yards and 1 TD
  • Chris Carson – 8 carries for 26 yards

Of course Carson fumbled the football yet again, his 7th fumble of the season (and 4th in the past three games). Regardless of the production, it’s impossible to trust a running back who can’t hold onto the football. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Penny start to dominate the carries, as long as he’s holding onto the football.

Action – Penny is a must grab and likely the top waiver priority this week

Washington Redskins
The Committee Continues…

The hope was that Derrius Guice would emerge as the leader of the backfield, but instead it was a 50/50 split once again:

  • Derrius Guice – 10 carries for 32 yards
  • Adrian Peterson – 10 carries for 27 yards

Eventually Guice should emerge as the leader, but for now just stay the course.

Action – Continue with the status quo

Sources – ESPN,

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


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