NFL DFS Week 12: Running Backs Report - Wayne Gallman a Value vs. Banged-Up Bengals

An in-depth NFL DFS guide to the Week 12 running backs to target and fade when setting your daily lineups.
Publish date:

Week 12 NFL DFS Reports

Dalvin Cook, MIN (DK – $9,500/FD – $11,000)

The Vikings have leaned on Cook over their previous four games (30.5 touches per game), leading to 750 combined yards with seven touchdowns and 13 catches. His two impact games (48.60 and 39.20 fantasy points) came in Week 8 and 9. He’s scored a touchdown in all but one game (14 total in nine games). Cook only needs 67 yards rushing to top 2019 (1,135), which came over 14 games. Carolina allows the fifth-most fantasy points per game (27.08) to running backs after starting the season near the basement over the first three games (46.60, 45.90, and 37.50 fantasy points). Running backs gain 4.6 yards per rush with 13 touchdowns against the Panthers. Cook should be active again with a matchup that offers multi-touchdown upside and possibly a season-high output as a receiver. Even with a high salary, I expect him to fill his salary bucket at both sites in Week 12.

Alvin Kamara, NO (DK – $8,200/FD – $8,600)

We learned three things from the Saints' offense in Week 11 with Taysom Hill starting at quarterback. First, he knows where to find Michael Thomas. Second, Hill is going to snip Kamara in the red zone for rushing touchdowns. Lastly, New Orleans may not feature the running back as much in the passing game to keep linebackers away from the line of scrimmage to help Hill find running lanes. Kamara didn’t have a catch last week on one target ending his catch streak at 59 games (including the playoffs). His three best games came in Week 2 (38.40), Week 3 (44.70), and Week 10 (34.80). Over the previous three games, Latavius Murray was on the field for 40, 41, and 50 percent of the Saints’ running back snaps, which hurt Kamara's upside in the run game. Denver is about league vs. running backs (22.93 FPPG) with one disaster game (LV – 219 combined yards with four touchdowns and five catches). Running backs have 50 catches for 344 yards and one touchdown. More steady than explosive for me in this matchup after the change at quarterback.

Derrick Henry, TEN (DK – $7,900/FD – $8,300)

Heading into Week 12, Henry sits third in running back scoring (182.90 fantasy points) while trailing Alvin Kamara by 74.00 fantasy points. The Titans don’t feature him in the passing game (12/86), which forces him to earn his keep with a volume of touches and touchdowns. His only impact game (40.40 fantasy points) came in Week 6 at home. Henry rushes for over 100 yards in six of his 10 starts while scoring nine touchdowns and averaging 24.1 touches per game. The Colts held him to 109 combined yards with a catch in Week 10. Indy ranks fourth in running back defense (20.29 FPPG). They allow 3.5 yards per rush, with backs scoring five times on the ground. Against the grain, but a second matchup over a three-week period may help Henry's value.

Josh Jacobs, LV (DK – $7,200/FD – $8,000)

josh jacobs

Jacobs scored in each of his last three games (four total TDs) while adding momentum to his value over the past month (397 combined yards with four touchdowns and six catches or 18.93 FPPG at DraftKings). Jacobs climbed to sixth in running back scoring (16.83 FPPG) while posting success in two games (35.90 and 29.60 fantasy points). The Raiders had him on the field for 75 percent of their plays last week, his high total since Week 1 (78 percent). Atlanta improved to ninth in running back defense (20.96 FPPG) after holding back to 21.00 fantasy points or fewer in their previous five contests. The Falcons allow 4.4 yards per rush, with running backs scoring eight touchdowns. Las Vegas should have success on the ground, and they do struggle to score in the passing game in close. Jacobs needs over 100 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns to be in play in Week 12. Viable if the shoe fits.

Nick Chubb, CLE (DK – $7,100/FD – $8,400)

Chubb's impressive ride at home added another week to his resume against the Eagles (20/114). Over four games in Cleveland, he has 483 combined yards with five scores and two catches, with each outcome resulting in over 100 yards rushing. Chubb gained over 20 yards in one out of every 12 runs in 2020. The Jaguars are 27th in the league defending the running back position (26.84 FPPG). Their failure came in three contests (50.80, 44.00, and 43.10 fantasy points). Jacksonville played better vs. the run over their last three games (28/107/1, 25/80/1, and 27/106/1). Tempting, but a game flow may change on the road for the Browns if they chase on the scoreboard.

Mike Davis, CAR (DK – $6,900/FD – $7,200)

The Panthers will give Davis another start this week, with Christian McCaffrey on the shelf until after their bye week. He finished with 79 combined yards with a touchdown and two catches against the Lions, but Davis fell short of expectations based on his salary at DraftKings. Over his previous four games, he gained only 237 combined yards with one touchdown and 12 catches. The Panthers had him on the field for 73 percent of their plays in Week 11. Minnesota is just below league average defending running backs (23.71 FPPG), with most of the damage coming two games (GB – 192 combined yards with one touchdown and nine catches and DAL – 186 combined yards with a touchdown and two catches). The zest is gone in his game, but Davis can have a rebound in value with an uptick in chances in the passing game.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (DK – $6,400/FD – $6,700)

The Chiefs had Edwards-Helaire on the field for 51 percent of their plays in Week 11, which is well below his opportunity over the first six weeks (66.3) of the season. He scored a pair of touchdowns in Week 11 against the Raiders with 77 yards and one catch. Over the last four weeks, Edwards-Helaire picked up four scores despite fade in his opportunity (205 combined yards and eight catches). His best play in rushing yards came in Week 1 (25/138/1) and Week 6 (26/161). Tampa continues to play well vs. running backs (20.95 FPPG – 8th). They allow only 3.2 yards per rush, with backs scoring 10 touchdowns. An outside chance at being more active in the passing game (70/442/3 allowed by Kansas City to running backs). Overpriced for me based on his split role and his tough sledding on early downs.

James Robinson, JAC (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,400)

Quarterback play has been a problem for the Jaguars over the last two games, which led to Robinson coming up short in scoring. Over his previous four contests, he gained 442 combined yards with three touchdowns and eight catches, highlighted by play in Week 7 (31.70 fantasy points). His other impact game (30.90 fantasy points) came in Week 2. Robinson slipped to fourth in running back scoring (17.51 FPPG). The Browns rank 11th in running back defense (21.12 FPPG). Their only poor showing came in Week 4 (DAL – 170 combined yards with a touchdown and nine catches). Jacksonville made a switch at quarterback, which may lead to a bounce in Robinson’s step.

Ronald Jones, TB (DK – $6,100/FD – $6,500)

Tampa's run game has been relatively weak in four (25/85, 24/81, 5/8, and 18/42) of their past five games. Jones popped a long run (98-yard touchdown) in Week 10, setting up his best day in rushing production (23/192/1). He ran the ball well in three games (20/111, 17/106, and 23/113/2) from Week 2 to Week 4 before the arrival of Leonard Fournette. Tampa tends to have him on the field for the most plays when playing from the lead. The Chiefs will give up plenty of yards to running backs (1,510) with seven touchdowns and 55 catches—a possible rushing touchdown with game flow determining his overall touches.

Jonathan Taylor, IND (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,400)

After a three-week vacation in production (5.10, 10.40, and 5.70 fantasy points), Taylor emerged as the top running for the Colts in Week 11 (114 combined yards with four catches on 26 touches). He struggled in his first game against the Titans (37 combined yards with two catches). Taylor doesn’t have a week with over 20.00 fantasy points while offering the best play in Week 2 (110 combined yards with a touchdown and two catches). Tennessee ranks 22nd against the running back position (25.45 FPPG), with backs scoring 14 touchdowns. Nyheim Hines stole the show at running back for the Colts in Week 10, but I don’t see a repeat performance. Taylor is overpriced, but I expect him to play much better this week.

Damien Harris, NE (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,000)

Harris hit on an early touchdown in Week 11 that should have led to a playable day, but game score led to the Patriots chasing on the scoreboard. He finished with 54 combined yards with a touchdown and a catch, which works for the season-long games. New England had him on the field for 38 percent of their plays. With Rex Burkhead injured, Harris loses a thorn in his chances, but James White slips back into the top pass-catching role. Arizona ranks 14th vs. running backs (22.36 FPPG), with the Panthers having the most success in the run game (156/1). Flashing explosiveness, but touchdowns remain minimal with no real upside in the passing game.

Kalen Ballage, LAC (DK – $5,800/FD – $5,500)

The window for Ballage as the Chargers' starter will close quickly, with Austin Ekeler returning to practice this week. Ballage fell short of expectations in Week 11 (14.10 fantasy points), but Los Angeles finished with 23 touches for 71 yards with seven catches. Over the previous three games, he gained 257 combined yards with one touchdown and 14 catches. The Bills are 18th against the running back position (23.54 FPPG), with only one team (NO – 178 combined yards with one touchdown and 10 catches) scoring over 30.0 fantasy points. Ballage landed on the injury report this week with an ankle issue. Fade as I expect Ekeler to crawl onto the field this week.

Kareem Hunt, CLE (DK – $5,600/FD – $8,400)

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

Hunt was on the wrong side of a couple of bad runs, which led to his worst day of the season (21 combined yards with one catch on 14 touches). He saved his day by scoring his eighth touchdown. Hunt finished with the lead again in running back snaps (54 percent) for Cleveland. The Browns threw to him more in 2019 over eight games (37/385/1), which is a missing link in his floor and upside. On the year, Hunt averages 16.9 touches per game while ranking eighth in running back scoring (14.95 FPPG). A goal-line runner with pass-catching upside works well if the Browns played from behind in this game.

Raheem Mostert, SF (DK – $5,600/FD – $7,000)

The 49ers hope to have Mostert back in the starting lineup this week after missing four games with an ankle injury. His season started with two productive games (25.10 and 18.70 fantasy points) with plenty of chances in his next two starts (195 combined yards with five catches on 33 touches). The Rams held him to 76 yards and two catches on 19 touches in Week 6. Los Angeles moved to third in running back defense (20.24 FPPG), with their most significant failure coming over the first two weeks (32.90 and 28.40 fantasy points). Below-par matchup with uncertain playing time if he starts.

Todd Gurley, ATL (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,900)

For the first time in 2020, Gurley landed on the injury report this week with a knee issue. Last week he had a season-low nine touches for 29 yards with one catch while being on the field for only 37 percent of the running back snaps. Over his previous five games, Gurley gained only 2.7 yards per rush and 5.5 yards per catch. His only game of value (150 combined yards with one touchdown and four catches) came in Week 5 at home. The Raiders have risk vs. running backs (27.90 FPPG – 29th). They allow 4.4 yards per rush, with backs scoring 15 touchdowns. Moving in the wrong direction, but Gurley has a chance to score if his injury is minor.

Kenyan Drake, ARI (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,200)

Drake finished with his best opportunity in the passing game (4/31) in Week 11. Over his last five games, his value rose to 436 combined yards with four touchdowns and seven catches or 15.92 FPPG. Drake posted his only impact game (28.40 fantasy points) in Week 6. Over the past two weeks, he was out-snapped by Chase Edmonds 72 to 71. The Patriots sit 12th against running backs (21.98 FPPG) with one disaster game (SF – 235 combined yards with four touchdowns and four catches). Drake will get his touches, but he won’t be active in the passing game, and Kyler Murray will steal his scoring upside.

Melvin Gordon, DEN (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,800)

Gordon was on the verge of a monster game in Week 11 when he fumbled his third touchdown at the one-yard line. He finished 15 rushes for 84 yards and two scores. His playing time regressed in back-to-back starts (60, 56, and 52 percent of the RB snaps). The Broncos phased him out of the passing game over the previous three weeks (only one catch for nine yards). His only impact game (118 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches) came in Week 4. The Saints climbed to second defending running backs (17.43 FPPG) after holding the position to fewer than 15.0 fantasy points over the past five weeks. Gordon is in the avoid column in Week 12.

Salvon Ahmed, MIA (DK – $5,100/FD – $5,800)

Miami gave Ahmed 39 touches over the last two weeks, which led to 164 combined yards with one touchdown and six catches. The Dolphins had him on the field for 76, and 66 percent of the running back snaps in his two starts. Ahmed missed practice this week with a shoulder issue that may lead to a drop off in chances on Sunday. The Jets rank 26th vs. running backs (26.21 FPPG). Five opponents scored over 28.00 fantasy points, which works well for Ahmed’s salary at DraftKings. His playability falls on his health on Sunday.

Darrell Henderson, LAR (DK – $5,100/FD – $5,900)

The running back situation for the Rams has become extremely cloudy over the last two weeks. Henderson only has 27 touches over the previous three weeks, leading to 100 combined yards with one touchdown and four catches. Los Angeles had him on the field for only 39 percent of their snaps in Week 10 and 11. He gained 92 yards on 14 carries against the 49ers. San Francisco has the 10th best defense vs. running backs (20.98 FPPG), with their worst showing coming in Week 10 (40.50 fantasy points). Nothing more than a gamble with explosiveness to shine if he hits on a long touchdown.

Wayne Gallman, NYG (DK – $5,000/FD – $5,700)

Gallman extended his scoring streak to four games with five touchdowns over this span. Over the past four weeks, he gained 253 combined yards with eight catches while averaging 15.66 FPPG. In his last start, New York gave him a season-high 59 percent of their snaps. The Bengals are about league average against the running back position (23.07 FPPG). Cincinnati allows 5.0 yards per rush, with backs scoring five rushing touchdowns. Probably underrated this week, especially if he scores.

Zack Moss, BUF (DK – $4,800/FD – $5,600)

After his best game (14/81/2), Moss came up short over his last two contests (65 combined yards with one touchdown and three catches) while gaining only 2.4 yards per carry. Moss won the snap battle in Buffalo over his previous three weeks. The Chargers slid to 24th in running back defense (25.70 FPPG). They gave up over 30.00 fantasy points to backs in four of their previous seven contests. Moss is the goal line option for the Bills if Josh Allen doesn’t snipe his chances.

Nyheim Hines, IND (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,700)

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

Hines sits one notch below Jonathan Taylor in running back scoring (12.15 FPPG – 17th) while continuing to be up and down from week to week. He dominated the Titans in Week 10 (115 combined yards with two touchdowns and five catches). He played well in two other games (27.30 and 21.20 fantasy points) but scored fewer than 10.50 fantasy points in his other seven starts. Running backs have 42 catches for 326 yards and five touchdowns against Tennessee. He was priced fairly when adding in his edge in his previous matchup against the Titans.

James White, NE (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,400)

The forgotten man in the Patriots’ passing game reemerged in Week 11 (83 combined yards with six catches) after New England lost Rex Burkhead. His best value comes in chaser games. Running backs have 50 catches for 423 yards and four touchdowns against the Cardinals. White is a better player than his 2020 stats (337 combined yards with 33 catches), but he doesn’t have a touchdown this season. 

MORE FROM SI FANTASY: Week 12 Rankings, Articles, Reports & Tools Hub