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