If you are looking to get the most out of your week 12 RB picks on daily fantasy football sites like Draftkings and Fanduel you will need to identify key matchups as well as utilizing players with the most value. Value on DraftKings is similar to finding a sale at the grocery store. You want to try and identify some players who are priced lower than they should be so you get a deal. The players with the highest of these values are ones that should be further considered for your lineup. This doesn't mean you shouldn't put anyone in your lineup who isn't on "sale". The point of saving a couple virtual dollars here and there is so that you can use that money to spend on some top tier guys.
A few words about general strategy when putting together your week 12 running back picks on DraftKings. I generally don't spend over $7,900 on any one player because it puts a bit of a strain on the rest of your salary cap (however, there are always exceptions). With this being said, if you pick a RB in the $6,500-$7,900 range, you should pair him with a value player in the $3,000-$4,900 range. Or you can take two guys with similar prices around the $5,000 range. As a general rule, for every $10,000 you spend, you should be getting 30 or more fantasy points.
In this article, I have grouped together a list of week 12 running backs with value who also happen to be facing a favorable opponent. This article mostly focuses on DraftKings and presents the current player salary for week 12 RBs but the same arguments can be made for choosing any of the following players for Fanduel.
Remember: If you want to get help putting together a complete lineup for all positions, try the Fantasy Knuckleheads Optimal Lineup Tool.
Marshawn Lynch ($6,700) Arizona@Seattle
There are some fantastic RB matchups with the top guys this week. Forte, Foster(questionable to play), Murray and Lacy all face favorable opponents and I expect them to have really good numbers in week 12 but they are priced a bit too high for my liking. Lynch is a top RB that is priced a bit lower than what he should be. This probably is the case because of the matchup against Arizona, who are among the best in the NFL against the run. That doesn't concern me a whole lot because Seattle's run game generally does well regardless of who they play.
Justin Forsett ($6,500) Baltimore@New Orleans
Forsett has the highest yards per carry average for a running back in the entire league and is priced at $6,500. The Saints defense is better than it was early on in the season but it's still about middle of the pack against RBs.
Giovani Bernard ($6,400) Cincinnati@Houston
Bernard had a full practice on Friday and is listed as probable for the game. This likely drops Jeremy Hill's stock and gets Bernard back with the start or possible splitting reps. This week 12 RB pick is a bit risky because Hill had such a good week last week and the team may be inclined give him plenty of more opportunities. The matchup against the Texans gives either running back a good opportunity to get in the endzone. Take your pick with Bernard or Jeremy Hill for $5,700.
LeSean McCoy ($6,200) Tennessee@Philadelphia
McCoy at this price against the Titans is too good to overlook. The return on your investment here could be huge because his ceiling is so high. In week 11, the Titans gave up 33.2 fantasy points to Le'Veon Bell.
Andre Ellington ($5,800) Arizona@Seattle
On DraftKings, Ellington is averaging 17 fantasy points per game in 2014. For some perspective, the 5 players priced higher than him don't average as many points as him nor does any player priced lower than him. Great value pick against a Seattle defense that has been playing poorly against the run lately. Seattle ranks 24rd in terms of fantasy points scored against them in the last 5 weeks. This means that they have been one of the worst 10 teams against the run in the last 5 weeks from a fantasy perspective.
Denard Robinson ($5,600) Jacksonville@Indianapolis
This pick has everything you want; good matchup, good price and good upside. However, it has one thing you don't want and that's some risk. If Andrew Luck and the Colts get to a fast lead, the Jaguars run game won't be as big of a focus as they will be playing a bit of catchup. That being said, the Colts are a really good matchup for running backs, ranking dead last in points awarded to opposing running backs in the last 3 weeks.
Alfred Blue ($5,600) Cincinnati@Houston
This RB pick is only good if Arian Foster doesn't play. Foster is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday so lookout for any updates. Of course if Foster plays, you probably wouldn't want to target Blue. Alfred Blue did have a really good week in Foster's absence against the Browns and week 12 would pit him against a more favorable opponent in Cincinnati.
Rashad Jennings ($5,100) Dallas@NYG
This pick will be under the radar in week 12 I think but provides pretty good value. Jennings averages 14.4 points per game and is priced at $5,100. This gives a decent fantasy points per game/salary price ratio. When we look at the matchup we can see that the Cowboy's defense has been trending poorly against the run lately, allowing the 7th most fantasy points to running backs in the past 3 weeks.
Trent Richardson ($4,900) Jacksonville@Indianapolis
With Ahmad Bradshaw out with an injury, Richardson has the opportunity to have that big statement game that his career has lacked so far. This opportunity comes at a great time for him because Jacksonville presents a favorable matchup.
Darren Sproles ($4,500) Tennessee@Philadelphia
Just because you have a LeSean McCoy on your team doesn't mean you are going to ignore a guy like Sproles. The same reason for picking McCoy are the same reasons you might pick Sproles. The matchup is really great and both guys could find the endzone. Against favorable matchups in week 6 and week 10 (against Carolina and NYG), Sproles got in the endzone both times.
Tre Mason ($4,200) St. Louis@San Diego
I like the price and potential here with Mason. The Rams have been great at playing the spoiler this year and beating playoff caliber teams despite their loosing record. Last week, Mason got the ball 29 times and could see a big workload like that again looking to spoil the Charger's season.
Mason seems to be on the verge of a breakout game considering the amount of carries he has had recently.
Isaiah Crowell ($3,800) Cleveland@Atlanta
With Ben Tate off the team, things really open up for Crowell and Terrance West. If you can recall earlier in the season when Tate was injured, Crowell was very productive with the extra time he was seeing. The matchup against Atlanta is hard to decipher. For the entire 2014 season, the Falcons are ranked dead last in fantasy points given to opposing backs. However, they are ranked 1st in the past 3 weeks and 6th in the past 5 weeks. Their defense, like the Browns, have gotten significantly better recently which introduces a quantum of risk to this pick. You might consider Terrance West as well for $3,400.
Results from week 11 projections:
- Le'Veon Bell 33.2 Fantasy Points
- Mark Ingram 16.7 Fantasy Points
- Ahmad Bradshaw 5.1 Fantasy Points
- Alfred Morris 15.2 Fantasy Points
- Jerick McKinnon 9.8 Fantasy Points
- Matt Asiata 4.4 Fantasy Points
- Frank Gore 12.4 Fantasy Points
- Ryan Matthews 8.5 Fantasy Points
- Steven Jackson 6.7 Fantasy Points
- Terrance West 1.2 Fantasy Points
- Darren McFadden 2.1 Fantasy Points
- Bobby Rainey 0.4 Fantasy Points
- Trent Richardson 3.1 Fantasy Points
- Jonathan Stewart 6.9 Fantasy Points