Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Backs: Week 12

Getty Bo Scarbrough of the Detroit Lions

Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em running back edition for Week 12 of the NFL season. In this column, we feature two of the week’s biggest waiver-wire must-adds.

* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of their caliber check out our weekly fantasy football running back rankings.

Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]

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RB: Start ‘Em

Start of the Week: Browns RBs vs. MIA

For the fantasy owners that were worried about Nick Chubb’s value taking a hit with the arrival of Kareem Hunt, you can all breathe a sigh of relief. The former Georgia Bulldog has averaged 104 rushing yards since Hunt returned from suspension. Speaking of Hunt, he’s worked brilliantly alongside Chubb, mainly as a receiver, having averaged 8.5 targets per game. The Dolphins allow the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. They’ve also allowed leading receivers from the RB position in two of their last three games to average six receptions and 42.5 receiving yards.

Bo Scarbrough vs. WAS

In a week of many firsts for the former Alabama stud, Scarbrough scored his first-ever NFL touchdown in his first career NFL start. Scarbrough out-attempted the next closest Lions running back by 11 carries a week ago. The last three starting running backs to face off with the Redskins have averaged an impressive 21.1 fantasy points, with each hitting paydirt on the ground.

Tevin Coleman vs. GB

Don’t give up on Coleman quite yet. While it’s true the running back has scored below double-digits in two of his last three games, and is fresh off of averaging an abysmal 1.2 yards per carry, there’s still reason to be optimistic. That reason? A matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Over the last two weeks, Green Bay has surrendered an average of nearly 30 fantasy points and three total touchdowns to opposing RBs.

Derrius Guice vs. DET

Guice returned to action a week ago, and flashed his big-play potential on his 45-yard catch and scamper into the endzone. His workload was certainly limited, however, expect that workload to grow with an extra week under his belt. Only the Kansas City Chiefs have allowed more fantasy points to running backs this year than the Lions have. Detroit has surrendered a total of 11 total touchdowns the position since returning from their Week 5 bye.

Sleeper: Jaylen Samuels at CIN

With James Conner once again ruled out with an injury, Samuels will likely draw the start in the Pittsburgh backfield this week. If you’re in a league that operates on a PPR-scoring format then Samuels is certainly worth a look. The running back has averaged nine receptions in two of his last three games. With wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson both also potentially inactive this week, Samuels’ share rate in the passing game will likely increase.


RB: Sit ‘Em

Sit of the Week: Brian Hill vs. TB

The Brian Hill hype from a week ago proved to be vastly overrated. The running back was a dud in his first career start, racking up just 4.8 fantasy points. While he did have a touchdown called back due to a penalty, that wouldn’t have saved him from the fact that he averaged just 3.0 yards per carry on the day. This week Hill will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the league’s second-best run defense and the second-best fantasy defense in terms of points allowed to opposing running backs.

Kalen Ballage at CLE

Fantasy owners, whatever you do, do not fall for the bait. Ballage is fresh off of a 12+ point outing a week ago, his best performance from a fantasy perspective all season long. With that said, the running back had as many carries (9) as he had rushing yards (9) in the game. He’s now accounted for single-digit rushing yards in seven of his 10 games this year. Ballage’s evening a week ago was saved by finding the endzone, however, Cleveland has allowed just one rushing touchdown to opposing RBs since returing from a Week 7 bye.

Buyers Beware: Joe Mixon vs. PIT

Mixon has been rejuvenated over the last two weeks, not so much by the change of quarterback, but by the team’s unwillingness to trust their new quarterback. In return, they are finally featuring their best offensive playmaker. With that said, no opposing running back has eclipsed double-digit fantasy points against the Steelers since Week 5, with each failing to find the endzone as a runner or a receiver.


READ NEXT:  Fantasy: Running Back Rankings Week 12

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