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The Cutback: Running Back Start/Sit Week 12

Week 12 is here already! Time to make that playoff push. @Culture_Coach gives you some running back start/sit this week in order to win your matchup.

Welcome to Week 12 #NerdHerd!! Dennis Bennett here. Week 11 was a better week on the start/sit calls. I’m counting it as 2 ‘hits,’ 1 ‘miss,’ and 1 ‘push.’ That drops me to 7 hits, 7 misses, and 2 pushes. If you were betting this week, though, I went 3-1.

There are a few weeks left in the fantasy regular season. Are you jockeying for playoff seeding? Maybe you are trying to get into that last playoff spot. Or you are trying to avoid a last-place punishment. Whatever your current situation, I am here to help with the running back start/sit questions.

Be sure to follow our other start/sit articles and authors; they contain great advice to help you each week.

Changing the Call (QB): Mike Hicks
The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver
Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook
12 Formation (TE): Steven Pintado
Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown
IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser

There is one thing I want to note. For this article and every running back start/sit article I write, I won’t include players like Christian McCaffrey or Austin Ekeler. These are apparent starts so long as they aren’t on bye or injured. If you don’t start them, well, you’re a Taco. I’ll be focusing on players who are a bit harder to decide whether to start or what to expect from them. All scoring in this article series will be PPR. All stats/RB# number finishes come from FantasyPros. So, let’s make this a great season as we watch over 200+ games of NFL football. It’s back! Good luck with this dynasty fantasy football season.

The Recap

Let’s recap Week 11.


Saquon Barkley RB14, sit, finished RB1 hit

Barkley finished as THE RB1 in Week 11. He dominated on the ground and through the air for a Giants team that is woefully lacking in resources.

Darrell Henderson RB27, start, finished RB18 hit

Henderson had been leading the backfield with Kyren Williams on IR. Henderson was out-touched and out-snapped by Royce Freeman but put up the fantasy points on the receiving and red zone work. He was rewarded for his efforts by being cut as Kyren Williams returns in Week 12.


Raheem Mostert RB16, start, finished RB22 miss

Mostert dominated snaps and touches, with De’Von Achane aggravating his knee injury. But, in an uncharacteristically low-scoring game for the Dolphins, Mostert did not find the end zone.


Kenneth Walker RB11, sit, finished RB53 push

So, this is technically a win, but since it is a result of an injury, I am going to count it as a push. I stand by my reasoning that Charbonnet is taking market share.

On to the ‘all-start’ edition of the Week 12 calls.

Start: Derrick Henry, Titans, RB11

NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 11: Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball during a game between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, December 11, 2022, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire)

It has been a roller coaster season for King Henry, with four games as an RB1 and three games outside the RB3 range. In Week 12, we have Henry checking in as RB11. The rankings have The King back as an RB1 in Week 12.

The Titans go against a Carolina defense that has given up the fourth most rush yards on the ground and the most touchdowns to running backs. That has translated into the second most fantasy points given up to running backs. Pair that weak run defense with the Titans starting a rookie quarterback for the fifth straight game, and it feels like a classic Derrick Henry game script. I’m looking for Henry to finish in the top five running backs this week.

Start: Raheem Mostert, Dolphins, RB17

The Miami Dolphins running back room is playing a game of Last Man Standing. Sizzling rookie De’Von Achane got in three limited practices after his short return from IR in Week 11. His status is up in the air in Week 12. Salvon Ahmed was placed on IR, leaving Week 11 inactive. Jeff Wilson was the backup to Raheem Mostert in Week 12.

The Jets defense is one of the best vs. the pass, but they are susceptible to the run game. They give up the eighth most rushing yards and the sixth most receiving yards to running backs. Mostert is RB5 in points-per-game through 11 weeks. Look for him to reach the low-end RB1 range in Week 12.

Start: Kyren Williams, Rams, RB18

CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 25: Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams (23) carries the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 25, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

Kyren Williams started the season hot, checking in as RB4 after six weeks. Week 12 marks Williams’s return to the field after missing time with injury. In Williams’s absence, Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman combined to put up four double-digit fantasy weeks.

Week 12 finds the Rams matching up with the Arizona Cardinals this week. The Cardinals give up production on the ground and through the air to running backs. On the ground, the Cardinals give up the third most rushing yards and second most rushing touchdowns. Through the air, Arizona gives up 4.7 receptions and the second most passing touchdowns to running backs. This is good for the league’s third-most fantasy points to running backs. I expect Williams to finish inside the top 14 running backs in Week 12.

Start: Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots, RB20

After finishing as RB7 in 2022, fantasy managers had high hopes for Rhamondre Stevenson in 2023. It was a slow start to 2023 as the Patriot back was RB27 through five games. Things have started to heat up for Stevenson, as he has been RB14 since Week 6. In Week 12, we have the Patriots coming off of a bye.

The Patriots get the disappointing New York Giants this week. The Giants are giving up the second most rushing yards, second most rushing touchdowns, and fifth most fantasy points to running backs. Look for Stevenson to lead the way on the ground for the Patriots and finish as a top-16 running back this week.

You can find me here on the X machine and hear me talking fantasy football on the Fantasy Football Roundtable podcast.

Do you want to become the best dynasty player you can be? Be sure to use my promo code “Roundtable” for 15% OFF your subscription to Dynasty Nerds! It makes it only three dollars or so!

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