Week 12 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Nov 23, 2022
Week 12 Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Wondering whom to start and sit at running back this week? Below are three top-notch starts and one sit option at the running back position for Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sits: QB | WR | TE

Week 11 Review – half-PPR scoring



Running Back – Starts

Jeff Wilson Jr. (Miami Dolphins) vs. Houston Texans

In his two games as a Miami Dolphin, Jeff Wilson Jr. has finished as the RB10 (14.7 half-PPR points) and the RB6 (21.3 half-PPR points). The table below compares his usage to backfield-mate Raheem Mostert during that span.

Miami Dolphins RBs Rush - Yards - TD - Fum. Rec./Tgt. - Yards - TD Per Routes Run %: Tgt. - Yards Snap %: 3rd Down - Red Zone
Jeff Wilson Jr. 26 - 170 - 1 - 0 5/8 - 45 - 1 33.0% - 1.88 47.4% - 62.5%
Raheem Mostert 17 - 91 - 2 - 0 4/6 - 22 - 0 4/6 - 22 - 0 36.8% - 33.3%

Wilson Jr. is the clear-cut lead back in Miami’s offense.

Miami’s Week 12 foe, the Houston Texans, are allowing 180.2 rushing yards per game and an 8.5% explosive rushing plays rate, per 4for’s NFL Team Stats Explorer. Both numbers top the charts in their respective categories.

Houston’s 28.9 half-PPR points allowed per game to opposing running backs is the league’s second-highest average, per 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed.

Wilson Jr. will have ample rushing opportunities as his team boasts a -13.0-point home-favorite spread on BetMGM.

Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Green Bay Packers

Running back Miles Sanders and the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive machine can be expected to march all over the Green Bay Packers run defense.

Philadelphia sits as a -7.0-point home favorite against Green Bay, which should facilitate a high-volume outing for the efficient Sanders, whose 4.8 yards per carry is ninth-best among NFL running backs with at least 100 carries, per 4for4’s NFL Player Stats Explorer.

Philadelphia’s 6.3% explosive rushing rate is the sixth highest.

Green Bay is allowing 21.2 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs, the 11th most in the NFL. Both their 135.0 rushing yards allowed per game and 5.8% explosive rushing plays allowed rate are two of the league’s 10-softest rates.

Green Bay’s starting inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (knee) missed Week 11 after failing to practice all week. He is unlikely to suit up in Week 12.

Samaje Perine (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Tennessee Titans

Cincinnati Bengals No. 2 running back Samaje Perine came off the bench last week, totaling 82 scrimmage yards, four receptions, and three touchdowns, in relief of No. 1 running back Joe Mixon (concussion). Per Adam Hutchison’s Injury Index, running backs average 1.8 games missed due to concussions. Mixon suffered his head injury in Week 11. No. 3 running back Chris Evans is week-to-week (PCL sprain).

Cincinnati’s Week 12 opponent, the Tennessee Titans have limited opposing run games to just 82.9 rushing yards per game, the second-fewest, and a 4.2% explosive rushing plays allowed rate, the eighth fewest. Tennessee has been had through the air though, allowing 9.4 running back targets and 7.2 running back receptions per game, the two highest averages in the league. Their 41.8 running back receiving yards allowed per game are the eighth most.

The table below shows the 240-pound Perine’s 2022 advanced receiving data ranked in parentheses among NFL running backs with at least 25 targets this year.

Samaje Perine Per Routes Run %: Tgt. - Yards Yards After Catch per Rec.
Receiving 2022 22.0% (No. 19) - 1.55 (No. 10) 8.5 (No. 8)

Cincinnati’s 6.6% pass rate over expectation is the third highest in the league, which should keep Perine active as a pass catcher.

*Check out the full RB Rankings here.

Running Back – Sits

Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams) @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Los Angeles Rams cut running back Darrell Henderson on Tuesday, reducing Los Angeles to a fantasy-relevant two-man backfield between Cam Akers and Kyren Williams.

The table below shows Akers and Williams’ backfield usage over the last two weeks since the rookie Williams returned from an eight-week stint on Injured Reserve.

Los Angeles Rams RBs Rush - Yards - TD - Fum. Rec./Tgt. - Yards - TD Per Routes Run %: Tgt. - Yards Snap %: 3rd Down - Red Zone
Cam Akers 20 - 83 - 0 - 0 0/1 - 0 - 0 50.0%* - 0.0 50.0% - 66.7%
Kyren Williams 8 - 45 - 0 - 4/5 - 38 - 0 16.0% - 1.19 3.6% - 8.3%

*Note: Akers’ targets per route run rate is unreliably inflated as he has run just two routes over the past two weeks.

Williams has operated as the primary running back on third down and in the red zone.

Kansas City is allowing a moderate 19.5 half-PPR points per game to opposing running backs. The issue for Akers is that much of the running back production allowed is coming through the passing game. Kansas City is allowing just 101.9 rushing yards per game, the fifth fewest, coupled with a 3.5% explosive rushing rate allowed, tied for the sixth fewest.

Kansas City is favored by a humongous 14.5 points, which is not conducive to an Akers-centric game plan.

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