Week 12 RB Start’em, Sit’em: Running Back Fantasy Football Strategy


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If you are in doubt about some players in a tough spot this week, or players that haven’t produced yet this season, you have come to the perfect spot. We dive into a few names to start in borderline matchups, and also talk about players to fade. You can also check out our rankings area to see where players on your team rank and their projections heading into Week 11. Be sure to check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football content.

Start Em

Jaylen Samuels @ Cincinnati

James Conner is questionable, and even if somehow he suits up, an early exit is possible. I don’t believe we will see Conner anyway. Jaylen Samuels hasn’t been good on the ground, although that might change this week, but we know his work in the passing game will be there. He has seen 26 targets over the last three weeks. I also think Trey Edmunds gets 10+ touches in more of a true between the tackles type back. The Bengals rank 24th against the run, allowing five yards per attempt, and 167 rushing yards per game. Overall the Bengals are allowing the 4th most fantasy points per game. With injuries to two starting wideouts, Samuels should be in line for a hefty amount of targets.

David Montgomery Vs. New York

David Montgomery is coming off a dreadful game, where he had 31 rushing yards on 14 attempts, and one catch for 19 yards on three targets. New York isn’t a bad run defense, ranking 14th in DVOA, and are allowing four yards per carry. Backs against the Giants have gotten their fantasy points through volume. Teams are rushing 30.3 times per game against the Giants, and they are allowing 122.7 rushing yards per game. On a week with a few backs on bye, and injuries still going around, Montgomery is a guy to still start.

Tevin Coleman Vs. Green Bay

We are now up to three consecutive weeks where Tevin Coleman has struggled. He continues to see around 15 touches per game, but not much more. It is another good matchup for Coleman, as Green Bay ranks 28th in DVOA against the run, and have allowed the third most fantasy points per game. Coleman has the opportunity to put together solid all-purpose yards, and of course touchdown upside is there as we saw against Carolina. I’m still riding Coleman in these positive matchups.

Phillip Lindsay @ Denver

Phillip Lindsay is in a good spot this week, and snaps and touches have been up of late. He saw 21 touches against Indy, just nine against Cleveland, but 92 yards and a score, and 18 touches against Minnesota. The Bills are middle of the league in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and rank 27th in DVOA against the run. Over the last five weeks, the Bills are allowing the 8th most fantasy points per game to opposing backs. Lindsay should see 15+ touches in this spot, and should be a grind it out style game on both sides.

Kareem Hunt Vs. Miami

Kareem Hunt has come back and had an instant impact in PPR leagues. He has 13 receptions and over 90 receiving yards in the first two games back. The 17 targets is also showing how they plan on using him. He has 11 and 12 touches in the first two games back. Miami obviously is one of the worst teams against the run, and have allowed a ton of fantasy production to opposing backs. The Browns have nearly a four touchdown implied total at home, and they are in a good enough spot to produce big games for both backs.

Sit Em

Kallen Ballage @ Cleveland

The workload has been there for Kallen Ballage, but the fantasy production hasn’t. He has seen ten targets over the last two weeks, and has 29 rushing attempts. This was against two of the poorer run defenses per DVOA, as Indy ranks 23rd and Buffalo ranks 27th. Cleveland isn’t too far ahead at 20th, but Ballage is a below average back and it shows. Cleveland’s offense should be able to capitalize on a weak Miami defense and jump out to a lead where Ballage usage looks more like last week compared to the week against Indy.

Sony Michel @ Dallas

Sony Michel is back in the sit em column after a 5.4 fantasy point outing against the Eagles. Snaps are going to every back right now in New England, as James White and Rex Burkhead are both getting worthy snaps and touches. Michel has been struggling this season, and has not scored more than ten fantasy points in the last three games. While Dallas has an average run defense, the workload and efficiency has been the biggest concern for Michel. He is an extremely tough start right now.

Brian Hill Vs. Tampa Bay

Devonta Freeman continues to not practice, and is questionable for this week. It sets up for another Brian Hill week, who saw three targets and 15 rushing attempts against Carolina. Volume has been there since Freeman went down, but outside of the receiving touchdown against New Orleans, he has not produced much fantasy value. Tampa Bay is a strong defense against the run, allowing 3.5 rushing yards per attempt, and allowing just 80 rushing yards per game. They rank 1st in DVOA against the run. I anticipate most of the production against Tampa to be through the air, so it is a good week for Ryan, Julio, Ridley again.

Jason Guilbault is the Brand Content Manager for Lineups.com, powered by Catena Media. He has worked 10+ in the sports betting & iGaming space as a writer and content manager. Jason has also written for DailyFantasyCafe, NBAMockDraft, & FantasyPros. He aims to bring the best sports data & insight to the industry for both novice & advanced users.

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