Week 12 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Rashad Jennings is listed below as a "start" for Week 12. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 12 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, Jay Ajayi and Jennings and can only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Ajayi -- and in turn, bench Jennings.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

Week 12 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (at CLE)

Jennings has exceeded 100 yards from scrimmage and has now finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in back-to-back games. In addition, Jennings has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his past four games. Coming off his best game of the season, Jennings carried the ball 21 times for 85 yards and a touchdown and added five catches for 44 yards on six targets in Week 11 against the Bears.

Only the 49ers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Browns, who have been especially bad the past five weeks. Granted, they have faced some elite backs like Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, etc., but they have allowed four top-five running backs in the past five weeks and a total of 13 top-24 running backs in their past eight games.

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RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (at TB)

In his return on Sunday, Rawls carried the ball 14 times for 57 yards and added three catches for 31 yards. The numbers by themselves aren't spectacular, but he didn't show any ill effects from the injury or rust, which inspires confidence about his ability to handle an expanded workload going forward.

And that's what he should get in Week 12. With C.J. Prosise suffering what could turn out to be a season-ending injury, Rawls shouldered more of the load than expected last week and is in line for a major workload in his second game back with Seattle favored by nearly a touchdown.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at DEN)

Since returning from a concussion that sidelined him in Week 9, Ware has had a couple of modest performances -- 72 and 85 yards from scrimmage on 16 and 19 touches, respectively, with no touchdowns. Even though the Chiefs are projected to score the second-fewest points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds, the matchup for Ware is much more favorable than those for Kansas City's other skill-position players.

The Broncos have allowed opposing running backs to average 4.30 yards per carry, 11th-most to the position, and they have surrendered the eight-most fantasy points to running backs. Assuming the score stays relatively close, the Chiefs should stay committed to the run and Ware could approach or exceed 20 touches in Week 12.

RB - Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (vs. KC)

After getting 11 touches in Week 9 in the loss to the Raiders, there was some concern that Kapri Bibbs would eat into Booker's role as lead back with C.J. Anderson out for the rest of the year. While Bibbs had seven touches in Week 10 (compared to just three in Week 9), it was Booker that dominated backfield touches (26).

In his past three games, Booker has 53 carries for 152 yards (only 2.87 YPC) and eight catches for 50 yards. Despite the inefficiency, Booker has finished as a top-17 fantasy running back in two of those three starts. Assuming that Booker gets 20-plus touches again, he should finish as a solid RB2 with upside for much better if he can improve upon his efficiency.

Week 12 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

RB - Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (at BUF)

Predicting Ivory's workload has been virtually impossible. Over the past four games, Ivory has gone from five to 19 to 11 to 23 touches. Especially if T.J. Yeldon (ankle) sits, Ivory should get another large workload with should being the operative word.

Then again, the Jaguars are more than a touchdown underdog on the road and projected to be one of this week's lowest-scoring teams. Given the struggles of Blake Bortles, it's hard to trust Ivory or any Jag, especially if they get off to another notoriously slow start.

RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (at PHI)

With a larger workload in his second game (14 touches) back from his knee injury compared to his first (10), Starks totalled 71 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to finish the week as a top-10 fantasy running back. Not only has Starks scored in back-to-back games, but he has a total of 10 targets (eight receptions) in the passing game.

Averaging a mediocre 3.63 YPC in his two games back, however, Starks is a TD-dependent fantasy option this week especially if Christine Michael makes his Packers debut. I would expect Starks to get more touches than Michael, but losing some touches to him and/or Ty Montgomery eats a bit into his upside.

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (at DET)

The good news is that McKinnon had 17 touches in Week 11. Although he was trending up (seven and nine in Weeks 9 and 10, respectively), that was his most, by far, since Week 5. The not-so-good news is that he could only must 41 YFS on those 17 touches.

The Vikings have been a historically bad run offense this year as no team has averaged fewer yards per carry than the Vikings (2.70) since 1970. Only three other teams -- 1994 Patriots (2.79), 1992 Colts (2.91) and 1986 Patriots (2.93) -- have averaged less than 3.0 YPC over the past 45 seasons.

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (vs. CIN)

Despite being a home favorite in a plus matchup against the Bengals, who have allowed running backs to average 4.48 YPC, it's hard to trust West this week. One week after saying that Kenneth Dixon would be more involved, West had just nine touches.

The Ravens did lose by 10 points, but West's volume has been inconsistent on a week-to-week basis: 27, eight, 16, 22 and nine over his past five games. Due to a split in playing time with Dixon, West is more of a flex option than a RB2 in a game with one of the week's lowest over/unders (40.5).

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 12

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