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Fantasy Football: Week 12 Running Back Rankings

By Alex Butler
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Fantasy Football: Week 12 Running Back Rankings
Los Angeles Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) tackles Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) at the LA Coliseum in Los Angeles, November 20, 2016. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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.

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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.

TOP SHELF

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.

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SNEAKY PLAYS

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.

RELATED Fantasy Football: Week 12 Add/Drops for Waiver Wire Wednesday

LONGSHOTS

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.

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RANK NAME TEAM OPPONENT
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
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