MIAMI, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Young studs have asserted themselves as the best running backs in the NFL this season.
Aside from the elite stable of David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon, and Jay Ajayi, veteran backs still hold value. If you put in enough work, you can discover a diamond-in-the-rough when it comes to the running back slot in your lineup.
To help you figure out who to sit or start at the position, take a look at my top 30 running backs for Week 12. You can also view my add/drops for the week and more positional rankings in the links below.
Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi might have a banged up offensive line once again, but don't sell him short quite yet. Ajayi is gifted with a matchup against the league's worst defense against fantasy football running backs in Week 12. The San Francisco 49ers have also allowed a league-high 13 scores to the position. Since erupting for more than 500 yards in three games from Weeks 6 through 9, Ajayi has failed to get at least 20 carries. I expect that to change Sunday in Miami. Indianapolis Colts veteran Frank Gore is somehow breaking out this season. Gore gets a Week 12 matchup against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs. Gore has 100 total yards and/or a score in eight of 10 games this season, including a streak of five consecutive games with that scenario. Both runners are RB1's this week.
Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller might not be lighting it up this season, but he keeps on getting a hefty workload as his team's lead back. Miller should be a low-end RB1 against a San Diego Chargers unit that has allowed a dozen scores to the position. He has scored in three of his last five starts. The Chargers are tied as the fifth-worst defense against running backs, in terms of fantasy points allowed. Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls should be an RB2 this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are the ninth-worst defense against running backs and Rawls will get plenty of work after the injury to C.J. Prosise and release of Christine Michael.
Carolina Panthers veteran runner Jonathan Stewart battles the Oakland Raiders, a unit ranked as the tenth-worst against running backs. The Raiders have allowed seven scores to the position this season. Stewart has five touchdowns in his last five games. New York Giants' Rashad Jennings might not be flashy, but his is getting the job done lately. In Week 12, Jennings gets a matchup against the Cleveland Browns, a unit ranked as the second-worst against running backs. He has at least 100 yards from scrimmage and/or a touchdown in three of his last four games. The Browns are tied with the 49ers for allowing 13 scores to the position.
|1||David Johnson||Arizona Cardinals||at Atlanta|
|2||Ezekiel Elliott||Dallas Cowboys||vs. Washington|
|3||Le'Veon Bell||Pittsburgh Steelers||at Indianapolis|
|4||DeMarco Murray||Tennessee Titans||at Chicago|
|5||Melvin Gordon||San Diego Chargers||at Houston|
|6||Devonta Freeman||Atlanta Falcons||vs. Arizona|
|7||Jay Ajayi||Miami Dolphins||vs. San Francisco|
|8||Robert Kelley||Washington Redskins||at Dallas|
|9||LeGarrette Blount||New England Patriots||at New York Jets|
|10||Spencer Ware||Kansas City Chiefs||at Denver|
|11||Frank Gore||Indianapolis Colts||vs. Pittsburgh|
|12||Lamar Miller||Houston Texans||vs. San Diego|
|13||Todd Gurley||Los Angeles Rams||at New Orleans|
|14||Thomas Rawls||Seattle Seahawks||at Tampa Bay|
|15||Doug Martin||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||vs. Seattle|
|16||Jordan Howard||Chicago Bears||vs. Tennessee|
|17||LeSean McCoy||Buffalo Bills||vs. Jacksonville|
|18||Matt Forte||New York Jets||vs. New England|
|19||Carlos Hyde||San Francisco 49ers||at Miami|
|20||Rashad Jennings||New York Giants||at Cleveland|
|21||Wendell Smallwood||Philadelphia Eagles||vs. Green Bay|
|22||Devontae Booker||Denver Broncos||vs. Kansas City|
|23||Jonathan Stewart||Carolina Panthers||at Oakland|
|24||Jeremy Hill||Cincinnati Bengals||at Baltimore|
|25||Latavius Murray||Oakland Raiders||vs. Carolina|
|26||Dion Lewis||New England Patriots||at New York Jets|
|27||Chris Ivory||Jacksonville Jaguars||at Buffalo|
|28||Kenneth Dixon||Baltimore Ravens||vs. Cincinnati|
|29||Theo Riddick||Detroit Lions||vs. Minnesota|
|30||Mark Ingram||New Orleans Saints||vs. Los Angeles|