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Running Back Roundup: Week 12 (2019 Fantasy Football)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Nov 20, 2019

Rookie RB Josh Jacobs has continued his surge as one of the leading rushers in the NFL last week.

We’ve left Week 11 in the rear-view, and there were some surprising names atop the leader boards. The top two rushers this week were backups Jonathan Williams and Gus Edwards. Josh Jacobs continued his rookie surge, the Ravens and Colts ran over opponents, Todd Gurley had a solid game, and it was Bo time in the Motor City, as Bo Scarbrough scored his first NFL TD. Injuries played a part in the backfield picture as well, when James Conner re-aggravated his shoulder injury, Marlon Mack fractured his hand, and Damien Williams was knocked out early with a ribs injury. I’m done writing about the Chargers’ backfield — at this point, you know to start both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler with confidence.

Each week, we’ll offer a look at the biggest performances, busts, timeshare situations, and storylines you need to be aware of to make the best fantasy lineup decisions possible. Let’s jump into our Running Back Roundup for Week 11!

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Week 11 Rushing Leaders

1. Jonathan Williams (IND): 116
2. Gus Edwards (BAL): 112
3. Josh Jacobs (OAK): 112
4. Marlon Mack (IND): 109
5. Todd Gurley (LAR): 97

Week 11 Scrimmage Yards Leaders

1. Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 191
2. Jonathan Williams (IND): 147
3. Todd Gurley (LAR): 133
4. Austin Ekeler (LAC): 132
5. Josh Jacobs (OAK): 124

Week 11 Fantasy Leaders (PPR)

1. Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 33.1
2. Alvin Kamara (NO): 23.8
3. Mark Ingram (BAL): 23.5
4. Todd Gurley (LAR): 21.3
5. Gus Edwards (BAL): 21.2

Week 11 Biggest Busts

1. James Conner (PIT): 2.6
2. Ronald Jones (TB): 3.4
3. Brian Hill (ATL): 4.8
4. David Montgomery (CHI): 6.0
5. Sony Michel (NE): 6.4

Arizona Cardinals

Kenyan Drake: 16 carries, 67 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 13 receiving yards
David Johnson: 0 carries, 0 receptions

David Johnson didn’t record a single touch in Sunday’s loss, despite being left off the final injury report. Instead, Kenyan Drake handled all 22 running back touches in the contest and appears to be Arizona’s lead back. DJ will get a Week 12 bye to rest up and get healthy, but his rest-of-season outlook is dimming quickly.

Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb: 27 carries, 92 rushing yards
Kareem Hunt: 6 carries, 12 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 46 receiving yards 

Chubb operated as the clear lead back once again, with Hunt mixing in on passing downs. Chubb’s workload as a ball-carrier isn’t in question, though he seems to have been overtaken in the passing game. Despite a 27-12 touch advantage in favor of Chubb, Hunt actually finished the game with more PPR points thanks to his heavy involvement as a receiver out of the backfield. Count on Chubb as an RB1/2 and Hunt as a PPR flex moving forward.

Indianapolis Colts 

Jonathan Williams: 13 carries, 116 rushing yards, 31-yard reception
Marlon Mack: 14 carries, 109 rushing yards, rushing TD
Nyheim Hines: 3 carries, 11 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 24 receiving yards, rushing TD

The Colts’ rushing attack steamrolled Jacksonville with big games from multiple backs. Marlon Mack, unfortunately, left the game with a fractured hand and is expected to miss multiple games. Jonathan Williams is a priority waiver add this week as Indy’s presumed lead back. He and Nyheim Hines are both in store for an increased workload, especially on a short week in a Thursday matchup with Houston.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara: 13 carries, 75 rushing yards, 10 receptions, 47 receiving yards 
Latavius Murray: 10 carries, 27 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 5 receiving yards 

Kamara and Murray shared carries fairly evenly, though Kamara unsurprisingly handled most of the receiving work. The former continues to provide solid production, particularly in PPR formats, and his role as a preferred pass-catcher is unlikely to change. Murray isn’t seeing enough work to warrant flex consideration at this time, but he’s one of the best handcuffs in fantasy football and should be rostered with just two weeks left in the fantasy regular season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ronald Jones: 4 carries, 13 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 1 receiving yard
Peyton Barber: 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, receiving TD 

It’s become completely impossible to predict what this backfield will do, as the tandem of Jones and Barber combined for four carries, four receptions, and 24 meager yards. Despite some explosive showings this season, Jones hasn’t been given the keys to the backfield and is yet to see a sizeable chunk of carries. RoJo is a hold, but he’s far from a must-play.

Buffalo Bills

Devin Singletary: 15 carries, 75 rushing yards, four-yard reception
Frank Gore: 11 carries, 27 rushing yards, 18-yard reception

Singletary led the backfield in touches again, finishing with a healthy 5.0 yards-per-carry average. Over the last four weeks, the rookie has out-touched Frank Gore 57-38, while going for at least 75 yards or a touchdown in three of those contests. Singletary has a lot of upside as a low-end RB2 the rest of the season, but unfortunately, his upside is capped because of the specter of Frank Gore that just won’t disappear.

Detroit Lions

Bo Scarbrough: 14 carries, 55 rushing yards, rushing TD
J.D. McKissic: 3 carries, 13 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 40 receiving yards
Ty Johnson: 2 carries, 6 rushing yards, reception for no gain

Promoted from the practice squad Saturday, Scarborough got the start Sunday and scored the league’s first touchdown of the day. He easily out-carried Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic and led the backfield in touches and yards. Johnson is an easy drop if you haven’t cut him yet, while McKissic seems to be locked in as the pass-catching back, making him a deeper-league PPR play.

Washington Redskins

Adrian Peterson: 9 carries, 26 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 5 receiving yards 
Derrius Guice: 7 carries, 24 rushing yards, 45-yard reception, receiving TD

As expected, Guice and Peterson split carries Sunday. Though the workload was fairly even, expect Guice to take the reins sooner than later due to his explosive abilities out of the backfield. In his first game back after being activated from IR, the second-year back took a short pass 45 yards to the house for his first NFL touchdown on a nice catch-and-run. It’s unclear how much work he’ll get given his injury history, but Guice is certainly the better play than Peterson moving forward.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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