Fantasy Football 2013 Running Back Rankings: Week 12

Chris Johnson has amassed 336 total yards and four touchdowns in his last three games combined

Two elite options are on bye this week, so Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 12 running back rankings may look a little different. LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch both get a breather, but there are still plenty of appealing, as well as some intriguing, options out there.

Jamaal Charles, who leads all running backs in fantasy scoring and is second only to McCoy in yards from scrimmage gets the slight edge over Adrian Peterson for the top spot. Peterson is dealing with a slight groin injury and also faces a tougher matchup, at least on paper, this week in Green Bay while Charles and the Chiefs host San Diego.

Rankings aside, the running back that many will be watching could be the same one who came out of nowhere to lead the position in scoring last week. Tampa Bay's Bobby Rainey went for 163 yards rushing and scored three total touchdowns against Atlanta, placing him second only to Ben Roethlisberger in fantasy points in Week 11.

Rainey, a second-year pro from Western Kentucky who went undrafted in 2012, didn't even start this season with the Buccaneers. After spending 2012 and most of '13 training camp with Baltimore, Rainey was released prior to the start of the season and picked up by Cleveland. Rainey played six games for the Browns, rushing 13 times for 34 yards before getting released after Week 7. Following season-ending injuries to Doug Martin and Mike James, Tampa Bay signed Rainey and he made his Buccaneers debut two weeks ago on "Monday Night Football" against Miami, rushing for 45 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. That was just a warm up to his ground assault on the Falcons at home last week and now everyone wants to see what he has in store for an encore Sunday on the road against Detroit's fifth-ranked rushing defense. As impressive as Rainey was last week, keep one thing in mind: he got 30 carries against the Falcons, a number that he likely won't repeat any week, let alone this Sunday against the Lions' tough run defense.

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2013 NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Back
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle

1Jamaal CharlesKCvs. SDCharles has highest ypc average (5.5) in NFL history.
2Adrian PetersonMINat GBPackers giving up 141 rushing ypg over last 4.
3Matt ForteCHIat STLRams allowing fourth-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
4Eddie LacyGBvs. MINHas 4 TDs in last 5 games, but just 27 yards last week.
5Frank GoreSFat WAS (Mon.)Redskins giving up second-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
6Zac StacySTLvs. CHIBears are second to last in rushing D (133.9 ypg).
7Reggie BushDETvs. TBBenched part of 2nd half vs. PIT, just 54 total yards.
8Knowshon MorenoDENat NELed in carries, yards vs. Chiefs, but Ball had 2 TDs.
9Alfred MorrisWASvs. SF (Mon.)Has 22 or more carries in each of last 3 games.
10Andre BrownNYGvs. DALCowboys giving up most fantasy points to RBs.
11Chris JohnsonTENat OAKAll four of his rushing TDs have come in past 3 G.
12Rashad JenningsOAKvs. TENAveraging 113.3 rushing ypg over last 3 games.
13Ben TateHOUvs. JACJaguars last in rush defense, have allowed 15 TDs.
14Le'Veon BellPITat CLEEffective (4.9 ypc, 19 att.) vs. Ravens last week.
15DeMarco MurrayDALat NYGHad 86 yards on 20 carries vs. Giants in Week 1.
16Stevan RidleyNEvs. DENFumble cost him carries vs. CAR, but he did score.
17Pierre ThomasNOat ATL (Thurs.)Has 11 or more carries in five of last six games.
18Chris IvoryNYJat BALRavens have given up just 1 rushing TD.
19Maurice Jones-DrewJACat HOUHas scored a TD in back-to-back games.
20Ryan MathewsSDat KCChiefs' rush D bends (117.1 ypg), but doesn't break (4 TDs).
21Bobby RaineyTBat DETGashed Falcons for 163 yards rushing, 3 total TDs.
22Ray RiceBALvs. NYJPosted first 100-yard game (131, TD) last week.
23Shane VereenNEvs. DENOne carry, but seven receptions in first game back.
24Darren SprolesNOat ATL (Thurs.)Tweaked his ankle vs. SF, should play on Thurs.
25Danny WoodheadSDat KCLeads all RBs with 55 receptions.
26Andre EllingtonARIvs. INDJust 3 yards rushing and lost some hair last week.
27Donald BrownINDat ARIMay have replaced T-Rich as Colts' lead back.
28Steven JacksonATLvs. NO (Thurs.)Season high of 77 yards came vs. Saints in Week 1.
29DeAngelo WilliamsCARat MIADolphins giving up 122.6 yards rushing per game.
30Chris OgbonnayaCLEvs. PITLed team in carries (8) and yards (69) last week.
31Rashard MendenhallARIvs. INDHolding onto starting job, 2 TDs in last 3 games.
32Lamar MillerMIAvs. CARPanthers third in the NFL against the run (84.5 ypg).
33Jonathan StewartCARat MIANot very involved (4 att., 10 yds.) on MNF vs. Pats.
34Joique BellDETvs. TBTook over for Bush after fumble, but left w/ injury.
35Trent RichardsonINDat ARICarries continuing to decline, Cards tough vs. run.
36Montee BallDENat NERookie had 2 TDs vs. Chiefs, 3 in last 3 games.
37Daniel ThomasMIAvs. CARPosted a 5.7 ypc average and a TD last week.
38Mike TolbertCARat MIATied with DeAngelo for most RB carries (6) on MNF.
39Mark IngramNOat ATL (Thurs.)Just 25 yards vs. 49ers after 145 against Cowboys.
40Jacquizz RodgersATLvs. NO (Thurs.)Saints yielding 4.9 yards per carry.
41Bilal PowellNYJat BALIvory getting the lion's share of carries.
42Shonn GreeneTENat OAKRaiders have allowed just 7 rushing touchdowns.
43Brian LeonardTBat DETTwo carries last week compared to Rainey's 30.
44Willis McGaheeCLEvs. PITMay be running out of opportunities w/ Browns.
45Bernard PierceBALvs. NYJJets No. 1 in NFL In rushing yards allowed (73.2 ypg).
46Roy HeluWASvs. SF (Mon.)Six or fewer touches in each of last four games.
47Toby GerhartMINat GBPeterson's groin was an issue last week.
48Antone SmithATLvs. NO (Thurs.)Gained 88 yards on just two carries last week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 12 Positional Rankings

Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams


Week 12 Waiver Wire

More Stories: