The New Orleans running game continues to not only be the most surprising fantasy football story of the year, but the best bet among running backs. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara once again finished in the top-five in fantasy points among running backs in week 11.

They should have another decent matchup in week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams, which just allowed Latavius Murray to finish second among running backs in week 11 in fantasy points. Both New Orleans running backs are no-brainers to start in fantasy football. For other running backs on the cusp of starting or sitting, here's the week 12 running backs start 'em, sit 'em guide in fantasy football.


Kareem Hunt vs. Buffalo Bills

If you own Hunt, you realize why he's on this list. Where has he been in recent weeks?

The scary part is that his struggles have come in plus-matchups. Last week was his best effort since week 7, but he failed to reach the endzone once again. In fact, he hasn't scored since week 3, and his carries were fading up until the second half of week 11.

That's why you shouldn't worry too much. Hunt received more attention in the second half of the week 11 loss to the New York Giants, and he shouldn't have to worry about losing time to Charcandrick West. The Bills allow the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs, so the Chiefs would be wise to get Hunt some touches early and often in this one.

His production has been limited severely in recent weeks, but he should get back on track. He should be considered an RB1 in week 12.

Latavius Murray vs. Detroit Lions

Murray looks faster, which likely means he doesn't have any lingering effects from an injury that hampered him in the early going in 2017.

Murray is getting all the goal-line work in an offense that is scoring more than people expected. He's still in a timeshare with Jerrick McKinnon, but that's becoming more manageable for Murray, with him cutting into McKinnon's work.

And those touches should continue to increase against a Detroit team that has been one of the worst in recent weeks against the run. The Lions are giving up 167 yards on the ground per game in the last three contests. And they're giving up almost 25 fantasy points per game against running backs.

McKinnon will get work, but Murray is the answer in Minnesota's offense.

Samaje Perine vs. New York Giants

Hunt was supposed to contribute in a major way in week 11 against New York. Despite his challenges, it wasn't all because of the Giants. Kansas City ignored him for most of the first half, and didn't start feeding him the ball consistently until the second half, where he produced at a solid level.

Perine should also have success against a Giants defense that is allowing 160 yards per game in the last three games. Perine became the No. 1 option in week 11 for Washington with injuries to Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson. That means he'll be the main weapon for a Redskins offense that is having plenty of success on the offensive side of the ball.

Despite getting the No. 1 role, don't expect Perine to be a top-five fantasy weapon each week. This offense doesn't always utilize its running backs in the best way, so don't expect too much out of the rookie. Either way, he should be considered a safe start, though.


Ameer Abdullah vs. Minnesota Vikings

You can't trust Abdullah's recent scoring spree. He's doing it as a touchdown-dependent running back who doesn't get enough volume to justify a start.

He's scored in three straight games, but he hasn't contributed more than 60 total yards since week 4. That's because he's not being asked to do much for a Lions offense focusing more on the pass, rather than the run. That works more into Theo Riddick's game, who is the primary receiving running back.

And if you're expecting production against the Vikings, then you'll be disappointed on Thanksgiving. The Vikings allow the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs, so the Lions would be wise to continue passing the football. Don't be fooled by Abdullah's recent ability to score fantasy points. It's not sustainable.

Adrian Peterson vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Remember when the Jaguars' weakness rested with its rushing defense? That doesn't seem to be an issue anymore.

The Jaguars have allowed less than 60 yards per game on the ground in the last three games, and now they square off against Peterson, who has been a boom or bust during his time with the Cardinals.

Since his huge carry-load against San Francisco in week 9, he has a combined 55 yards rushing on 35 carries. He's going to get plenty of volume, but that is taking its toll on the aging running back. I anticipated his production to take a sharp dive after that ridiculous 37-carry effort against San Francisco, but I wasn't expecting this.

He doesn't do much in the passing game either, so I would skip Peterson in week 12 with a tough matchup.

Frank Gore vs. Tennessee Titans

Here's another aging running back who I anticipate to start reducing his production. He has 50 carries in the last three games, so I'm expecting that to take its toll. Despite the volume, he still doesn't a touchdown since week 3, and he's averaging less than four yards per carry in three of the past four games.

Marlon Mack has seen a reduction in workload in recent weeks, but that shouldn't be the case going forward. Look for Mack to start getting more touches, limiting Gore's workload.

That will be an issue against Tennessee, which has consistently stopped the opposing team's rushing ability.

The Titans give up less than 90 yards per game on the ground, so that should happen again in this week's matchup.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games.

Scott Levine can be reached at or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH

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