The Jet Press

Fantasy Football Week 12: Leonard Fournette, Saquon Barkley and other must starts

By William Schneiderhan
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates a second half touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates a second half touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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JACKSONVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates a second half touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates a second half touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Here’s this week’s edition of top five running backs to lock into your fantasy football lineup.

Running back time. Need some advice on who to slot into your backfield? You have come to the right place.

Well, sort of. Last week’s edition had only two running backs finish as top 10 scorers in ESPN PPR standard scoring leagues. Those players? Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott.

Barkley led all backs with his 35.2 fantasy points, and Elliott finished second with his 33.1. Alvin Kamara racked up 17.8, Christian McCaffrey had 17, and Todd Gurley had his worst game of the season with only 12.4.

Week 11’s list was more quality over quantity. Time to jump into this week’s fantasy football list.

JACKSONVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs with the ball during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs with the ball during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

5. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars may be a sinking ship, but their running back isn’t. Leonard Fournette hasn’t skipped a beat since returning to the lineup.

The former LSU Tiger hadn’t played since Week 4. Now, he has put together back-to-back 20+ point outings.

Fournette has been handed the rock at least 20 times in his first two games back as well. More importantly, he’s found the end zone too.

This week Fournette and the Jags look to salvage what’s left of their season against the Buffalo Bills. While the Bills defense has been able to sustain themselves, they have surrendered the fourth most rushing TDs in the NFL.

Next: 4. Ezekiel Elliott

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 18: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball during the third quarter against DeVondre Campbell #59 of the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 18: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball during the third quarter against DeVondre Campbell #59 of the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Another big day from Ezekiel Elliott, another even larger win for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a story as old as time, but one that Elliott fantasy owners hope continues.

Elliott went for his second straight 30+ performance when the Cowboys escaped Atlanta with a massive win. He ran for 122 yards and a score, as well as seven catches for 79 yards.

The best part when it comes to Elliott is the fact the Cowboys need him to win. Therefore, he won’t be losing reps as the games get bigger and bigger.

Week 12 marks the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas, where the Cowboys and Washington Redskins play a pivotal divisional game. Lock Elliott in and expect a vintage return.

Next: 3. Christian McCaffrey

3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffrey is an “all-purpose beast”. Like, you know, Barkley and Le’Veon Bell.

Yes, McCaffrey should be said in the same sentence as those types of backs. Why? Because he darn well deserves it.

McCaffrey has slid into the Carolina Panthers offensive system with minimal hiccups. Prior to last week’s lesser fantasy day, he had ripped off 20+ points in three straight games. Two of which were 30+.

This week the Panthers play the Seattle Seahawks. Per usual, they have been a strong defensive team. However, McCaffrey will be too much to handle for the team’s linebackers and safeties.

Next: 2. Melvin Gordon

CARSON, CA – NOVEMBER 18: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers makes a catch in front of inside linebacker Joey Jewell #47 of the Denver Broncos for a first down in the third quarter at StubHub Center on November 18, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – NOVEMBER 18: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers makes a catch in front of inside linebacker Joey Jewell #47 of the Denver Broncos for a first down in the third quarter at StubHub Center on November 18, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

2. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

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Yes, the Los Angeles Chargers may have dropped a heart breaker at home in Week 11. But Melvin Gordon continued his strong play with his 21.6 points.

Gordon ran for 69 yards, but he caught six catches for 87 yards. Although he didn’t score, he still provided a solid day for owners.

Week 12’s date with the Arizona Cardinals should make Gordon and his fantasy owners grin from cheek to cheek. The Cards have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.

Arizona has surrendered the second-most rushing yards to opposing backs, as well as the third most rushing scores. Isn’t that enough? Start Gordon.

Next: 1. Saquon Barkley

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 18: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants carries the ball as he jumps over cornerback Javien Elliott #35 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 4-yard gain during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 18, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 18: Running back Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants carries the ball as he jumps over cornerback Javien Elliott #35 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 4-yard gain during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 18, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

As mentioned before, the New York Giants star rookie led all running backs with his 35.2 points. He has continued to carry the Big Blue offense on his back.

Barkley had perhaps the best day of his brief NFL career during the Giants shootout win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He carried the rock 27 times for 142 yards and two scores.

The rookie also reeled in one receiving TD as well. Yes, he has been as good as advertised.

Top 3 things Jets fans should be thankful for in 2018. Must Read

This week the Giants travel to the city of brotherly love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams are at the bottom looking up, but Barkley has proven to be one of the league’s best.

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