Week 12 Rankings (2020): Top 40 Running Backs

12
1959

by Ray Kuhn

The good news about this week is that there are no teams on bye. Additionally, we have three games to feast on while we enjoy our Thanksgiving holiday. Of course everything comes with a price and in this situation, that means we are forced to make a lot more roster decisions earlier than we otherwise would have. Sometimes there is no perfect answer, so let’s take a look at how our options rank as we try to do the best we can.

  1. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Carolina
  2. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Chicago
  3. James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Cleveland
  4. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – at Atlanta
  5. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
  6. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Seattle
  7. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
  8. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Denver
  9. Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – at Minnesota
  10. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Jacksonville
  11. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – vs. Houston
  12. Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team – at Dallas
  13. Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Las Vegas
  14. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Philadelphia
  15. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – at New England
  16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – at Tampa Bay
  17. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
  18. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  19. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at Jacksonville
  20. Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. NY Giants
  21. Damien Harris – New England Patriots – vs. Arizona
  22. Kalen Ballage – Los Angeles Chargers – at Buffalo
  23. Salvon Ahmed – Miami Dolphins – at New York Jets
  24. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at Green Bay
  25. Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
  26. Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – at Cincinnati
  27. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Kansas City
  28. J.D. McKissic – Washington Football Team – at Dallas
  29. Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – at LA Rams
  30. James White – New England Patriots – vs. Arizona
  31. Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – at Detroit
  32. Frank Gore – New York Jets – vs. Miami
  33. Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – vs. New Orleans
  34. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
  35. Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – at New England
  36. Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Kansas City
  37. Zach Moss – Buffalo Bills – vs. LA Chargers
  38. Malcolm Brown – Los Angeles Rams – vs. San Francisco
  39. Samaje Perine – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. NY Giants
  40. Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at Denver

Notes:

  • The words “full practice” are often music to the ears of my fantasy owners waiting for their injured players to return. This week that applies to Chris Carson as after missing four games with a foot injury he appears to be on the verge of returning on Monday against the Eagles. While the Seattle backfield has been crowded in Carson’s offense, there doesn’t appear to be any impediment in him taking back what is his. In the six games that Carson has appeared in so far this season he has six total touchdowns with an average of just under 15 touches per game. It may not be elite production, but it warrants a return to your starting lineup in most situations.
  • Sometimes it is all about being the last man standings. With both Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins on the COVID-19 list for the Baltimore, along with seven others, that leaves Gus Edwards as the target in the Ravens’ backfield. In general the Ravens are having virus issues with their facility closed this week due to multiple positives, but to this point there doesn’t appear to be any issues surrounding their prime time game on Thanksgiving. In what is otherwise a crowded backfield, remember Edwards is also competing with Lamar Jackson for carries, he is averaging 4.4 yards per carry so far this season on 85 touches while scoring three touchdowns. The natural inclination here is to give Edwards 15 to 20 carries and I’m not sure there are many who wouldn’t take 80 yards and a touchdown from him.
  • We all want the new and exciting option, but sometimes boring and dependable works just fine as well. The thought here was that the Jets would continue to give rookie La’Mical Perine more and more opportunity as the season wound down but instead Frank Gore continued to be a factor. Now with Perine sidelined with an ankle injury, the Jets have no choice but to lean on Gore. And based on what we saw from him yesterday, the veteran is up to the task. Last week he carried the ball 15 times for 61 yards and a touchdown showing that he is capable of carrying the load. That means we are forced to put him back on our radars this week.
  • Don’t doubt the talent. Yes, Ezekiel Elliot failed to reach the century mark in rushing yards entering last week and the Cowboys offense was in flux, but he is still one of the better running backs there is. And sure enough last week Elliot picked up 103 yards on the ground while also catching two passes for 11 yards and a touchdown. Now Elliot wasn’t exactly the measure of efficiency as he needed 21 carries to break the century mark but, at the end of the day, as long as he reaches that mark there are no complaints here and it was actually better than the 3.9 yards he is averaging per carry so far this year. We know what Elliot can do and we know that Dallas is committed to him, so we should be as well.
  • Don’t hold last week against Todd Gurley. Despite last week’s effort, he is still averaging 18 touches per week and that is the first step in value when it comes to a fantasy running back. The Saints defense never gave Atlanta a chance to get anything going offensively as they jumped out to an early lead and Gurley was essentially taken out of the equation. Last week Gurley carried the ball just eight times for 26 yards while only catching one pass for three yards. For the season though Gurley has carried the ball 167 times for 610 yards and nine touchdowns as he looks to return to the 1,000-yard club after a one year absence. Facing the Raiders this week should allow him to get back on track.
  • In the same game last week it was odd to see Alvin Kamara targeted just once as a receiver. Kamara did carry the ball 13 times in Taysom Hill’s first start but he gained just 45 yards while saving some of the day with a touchdown. We do have to note that Kamara was limited by a foot injury in practice last week, but it truly is his receiving production that we count on. While Kamara is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and eight touchdowns, he is also averaging just 12 carries game. It is Kamara’s 67 receptions for 648 yards and four touchdowns that truly puts his value over the edge and this week we have to have some doubts. Whether it is Kamara’s foot, the game plan with Hill under center, or the fact that Denver has allowed just 45 reception’s and one touchdown to opposing running backs so far this season, it is not an ideal situation. However it is not enough to take Kamara out of our starting lineup as there simply aren’t many better options, I’m just going into things with a little doubt.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses



12 COMMENTS

  1. 14 Team 1/2 PPR..”the girl” remains in pole position!! Mostly looking towards playoff players/stashes type decisions. Would also appreciate if you believe anyone is droppable, either now or after this week.

    1. Teddy Bridgewater or Andy Dalton? I normally only carry 1 QB on the roster but would you advise keeping two for the playoffs?

    2. Starting RB’s are Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and WR’s are DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs. On the bench is Gus Edwards, Salvon Ahmed, JD. MC Kissic, Jacoby Myers and Alan Lazard. Who would you flex?

    3. Notable free agents Antonio Brown, Nelson Agholor, James White, Deebo Samuel, Frank Gore (please God no!), Denzel Mims, Breshard Perriman, Latavius Murray, Keke Coutee, Emmanuel Sanders…would you flex or stash any? If so, who would you drop?

    4. Currently have Houston’s DST…status quo or Seattle, Dallas, Buffalo. Indy?

    • 1) With the risk of cancellations haiving protection makes sense. I’m going Bridgewater

      2) For this week Meyers or Ahmed (not sure I trust Edwards), but we can wait until Sunday

      3) Brown is intriguing, but not yet. Ahmed is the first drop once Gaskin is back and healthy.

      4) Seattle or Indianapolis (Indy has been the better group and could be wortyh long-term)

  2. Right now I have Duke Johnson in my flex spot std league. I have Mosert and Ekelar on the bench. Do I leave Duke in tomorrow morning or wait and see if either or both end up playing this week? If I put Duke on the bench and both end up sitting my only option for the flex would be Antonio Brown. What should I do?

    Thanks.

  3. 1 pt. PPR Need 2 of the 3 below”
    RB Ronald Jones
    RB Melvin Gordon
    WR Cee Dee Lamb

    Standard need 2 ( one is a Replacement for Thielen)
    Can you rank the four below for Week 12
    Allen Robinson, Leonard Fournette, Damien Harris, or Gio Bernard?

    1/2 PPR Need 2
    RB: Miles sanders or Devante Parker?
    TE: TJ Hockenson or Dallas Goedert?

    QB: Cousins or Bridgewater?

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