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The week 12 running back waiver wire list sees a lot of familiar faces. However, some injuries have brought new relevance to a couple of backs who show a lot of promise in upcoming matchups. If you’re looking to fill a bye-week roster gap, or just looking to potentially see some extra points, here are some recommendations for week 12 running back waiver wire pickups.
Brian Hill was probably the most hyped-up running back waiver option for last week. Unfortunately, he didn’t really live up to the hype that he helped create for himself the week prior. Against the Saints in week 10 he had 20 carries for 61 yards and one reception for 10 yards and a touchdown. Against the Panthers in week 11, he had 15 carries for 30 yards and 1 reception for 8. Therefore, I put him very tentatively on this list. The Falcons are playing the Buccaneers on Sunday, who have one of the better rushing defenses in the league. The Falcons already lean more toward the pass, and the Buccaneers allow 290.9 passing yards average, the 2nd most in the league. I’m expecting this to be a pass-heavy game for the Falcons, but I think we’ll still see usage from Hill. The waiver wire is running thin and a starting back like Hill is a good pickup based on the amount of carries he gets as the starter.
Samuels had 5 carries for 26 yards and 5 receptions for 19 yards and the Steelers’ only touchdown in their Thursday night matchup against the Browns. This was a 15.5 point performance in PPR leagues which is worthy of a spot as a FLEX or RB3. The Steelers have a great matchup coming up against the Bengals, and the Steelers are going to be fresh off of a long week. The Bengals allow an average 167.0 rushing yards, the most in the league. If Samuels is going to have a big day, I think it’ll be against the Bengals on Sunday.
Guice was back this week against the Jets, and was splitting carries with Adrian Peterson. Guice had 7 carries for 24 yards. I assume the low number of carries is due to two reasons. One, Guice hadn’t played since week 1, so the Redskins were easing him back into things. Two, the Jets are one of the hardest teams to run against in the league. They allow an average 79.1 rushing yards per game, the fewest in the league this season. The Redskins are up against the Lions in week 12, and the Lions have been much easier to run against, allowing an average 124.2 rushing yards per game. I think we’re going to see a big uptick in carries and yardage for Guice this week making him potentially the most valuable pickup on this list for week 12.
Again, Ballage didn’t put up the most stunning performance on the ground. He had 9 carries for 9 yards and a touchdown. He also had 5 receptions for 8 yards. Despite the low yardage, those 5 receptions and the rushing touchdown bumped him up to 12.7 points in PPR leagues. I have hope again for Ballage this week, as the Dolphins take on the Browns. The Browns allow 127.2 rushing yards per game, the 7th most in the league. I expect that average to go up, as they’ll be playing their first game without Myles Garrett who has been suspended for the season. I think giving Ballage another chance this week might work out well in your favor based on their week 12 matchup.
Hines is going to be a good pickup if you can’t get Jonathan Williams, who is going to be discussed below. Marlon Mack is out with a hand injury, which leaves Hines and Williams to pick up his slack. Hines had 3 carries for 11 yards and a touchdown, and three receptions for 24 yards. These numbers led to a 12.5 point week for Hines in PPR leagues. With Mack out, I’m expecting Hines to be getting even more chances at the ball even though he’ll be splitting with Williams. The Colts are playing the Texans who have been a little above average against the run as compared to the Jaguars who allow some of the most rushing yards per game on average, so it’ll be a good game to gauge the fantasy potential for Hines.
Jonathan Williams, a name that I’m sure most people didn’t know before Sunday, had a fantastic game against the Jaguars. He rushed 13 times for 116 yards and caught the ball once for 31 yards. He seems to be the leading back for the Colts while Mack is out, and he has a lot of potential based on the numbers he put up against the Jaguars. Again, the Colts are up against the Texans this week. The Texans allow a lot fewer yards per average to the ground game than the Jaguars do, so it’ll be a good test for Williams.
Bo Scarbrough was another name I hadn’t heard of before his performance in week 11. Despite Ty Johnson being cleared to play, Bo Scarbrough got the majority of the carries for the Lions. He had 14 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, an 11.5 point performance in PPR leagues. The Lions are going up against the Redskins on Sunday, which is a good ground matchup for them. The Redskins allow an average 133.9 rushing yards per game, the 5th most in the league. If Scarbrough is going to carry his momentum into week 12 this is definitely a good game for him to do it in.
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