Dillon among fantasy football running backs to avoid in Week 12

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (L) runs against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI
1 of 6 | Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (L) runs against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A.J. Dillon is among my fantasy football running backs to avoid in lineups in Week 12.

If you need more options for your roster, check out my top add/drops article. My Week 12 rankings for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will also be available and updates throughout the week.


Christian McCaffrey, Jahmyr Gibbs, Saquon Barkley, Raheem Mostert and D'Andre Swift lead my Top 30 rankings, which are listed below. Breece Hall, Austin Ekeler, Travis Etienne, Rachaad White and Joe Mixon round out my Top 10 plays.

All of my running backs to avoid rank outside the Top 12 of my rankings. You should only bench my players to avoid if you don't roster a higher-ranked option.

No teams are on bye this week, resulting in a full pool of running backs available for fantasy football use, aside from injury.

Running back James Conner (6) and the Arizona Cardinals will host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

James Conner

Conner should only be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play this week, when his Arizona Cardinals face the Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals veteran hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3.

He also failed to eclipse 73 yards from scrimmage in his last four matchups. He now heads into a game against a Rams defense that allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs so far this season.

They also surrendered a league-low 19.1 receiving yards per game to the position, which could mean a potential hit to Conner's upside as a pass catcher.

Conner likely needs a touchdown to provide RB1 value. I expect between 70 and 80 total yards from the Cardinals running back. He is my No. 23 option.

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon catches a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI

A.J. Dillon

Dillon is set to be the Green Bay Packers top ball carrier in Week 12 after starter Aaron Jones sustained a knee injury in Week 11.

But Dillon hasn't shown much upside, even with increased use.


The Packers running back scored just once through his first 10 games this season. He also rushed from more than 61 yards just twice in those games.

This week, the Packers will face the Detroit Lions. The Lions surrendered the fourth-fewest rushing yards and fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs so far this season. They also have yet to allow more than 67 rushing yards to a running back in 2023.

Dillon should get 15 to 20 touches in this matchup, but I don't expect a very explosive effort against this tough defense. He is my No. 24 option.

Running back Javonte Williams (33) and the Denver Broncos will host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Denver. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Javonte Williams

Williams is my No. 28 play for Week 12. The Denver Broncos running back totaled more than 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time this season and scored in Week 10. He followed that effort with just 53 yards from scrimmage on 13 touches in Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings.

This week, Williams and the Broncos will take on a tough Cleveland Browns defense. The Browns allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points and eighth-fewest receiving yards to running backs through 11 weeks.


I expect the Browns' top-ranked defense to shut down the Broncos in this matchup, limiting Williams' upside. Look elsewhere for running back production in Week 12.

Running back Khalil Herbert (R) and the Chicago Bears will battle the Minnesota Vikings on Monday in Minneapolis. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

Khalil Herbert

Herbert isn't included in my Top 30 rankings because of the Chicago Bears' usage of multiple running backs and their tough matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

Herbert returned from an injury hiatus and logged 35 rushing yards on 16 carries in a loss to the Lions. He failed to eclipse 35 rushing yards in four of six games this season. He scored just once.

Look for Herbert to split rushing attempts again this week and also have his running chances limited by mobile quarterback Justin Herbert. He also will face a Vikings defense that allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards and eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position through 11 weeks.

Stay away from Herbert if you own stock in a player listed in my rankings.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) is grabbed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) on Sunday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. Calif. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Week 12 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers at SEA

2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions vs. GB

3. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. NE

4. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at NYJ

5. D'Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles vs. BUF

6. Breece Hall, New York Jets vs. MIA

7. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. BAL

8. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars at HOU

9. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at IND

10. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT

11. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs at LV

12. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS

13. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at ATL

14. Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams at ARI

15. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots at NYG

16. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. TB

17. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders at DAL

18. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. KC

19. David Montgomery, Detroit Lions vs. GB

20. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons vs. NO

21. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. CAR

22. Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns at DEN

23. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs. LAR

24. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers at DET

25. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens at LAC


26. Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN

27. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings vs. CHI

28. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos vs. CLE

29. Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks vs. SF

30. James Cook, Buffalo Bills at PHI

NFL: San Francisco 49ers defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy calls an audible against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on November 17, 2023. The 49ers defeated the Buccaneers 27-14. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines