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

Rk Player Team OPP Notes
1 Jamaal Charles KC vs. SD Charles has highest ypc average (5.5) in NFL history.
2 Adrian Peterson MIN at GB Packers giving up 141 rushing ypg over last 4.
3 Matt Forte CHI at STL Rams allowing fourth-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
4 Eddie Lacy GB vs. MIN Has 4 TDs in last 5 games, but just 27 yards last week.
5 Frank Gore SF at WAS (Mon.) Redskins giving up second-most fantasy pts. to RBs.
6 Zac Stacy STL vs. CHI Bears are second to last in rushing D (133.9 ypg).
7 Reggie Bush DET vs. TB Benched part of 2nd half vs. PIT, just 54 total yards.
8 Knowshon Moreno DEN at NE Led in carries, yards vs. Chiefs, but Ball had 2 TDs.
9 Alfred Morris WAS vs. SF (Mon.) Has 22 or more carries in each of last 3 games.
10 Andre Brown NYG vs. DAL Cowboys giving up most fantasy points to RBs.
11 Chris Johnson TEN at OAK All four of his rushing TDs have come in past 3 G.
12 Rashad Jennings OAK vs. TEN Averaging 113.3 rushing ypg over last 3 games.
13 Ben Tate HOU vs. JAC Jaguars last in rush defense, have allowed 15 TDs.
14 Le'Veon Bell PIT at CLE Effective (4.9 ypc, 19 att.) vs. Ravens last week.
15 DeMarco Murray DAL at NYG Had 86 yards on 20 carries vs. Giants in Week 1.
16 Stevan Ridley NE vs. DEN Fumble cost him carries vs. CAR, but he did score.
17 Pierre Thomas NO at ATL (Thurs.) Has 11 or more carries in five of last six games.
18 Chris Ivory NYJ at BAL Ravens have given up just 1 rushing TD.
19 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC at HOU Has scored a TD in back-to-back games.
20 Ryan Mathews SD at KC Chiefs' rush D bends (117.1 ypg), but doesn't break (4 TDs).
21 Bobby Rainey TB at DET Gashed Falcons for 163 yards rushing, 3 total TDs.
22 Ray Rice BAL vs. NYJ Posted first 100-yard game (131, TD) last week.
23 Shane Vereen NE vs. DEN One carry, but seven receptions in first game back.
24 Darren Sproles NO at ATL (Thurs.) Tweaked his ankle vs. SF, should play on Thurs.
25 Danny Woodhead SD at KC Leads all RBs with 55 receptions.
26 Andre Ellington ARI vs. IND Just 3 yards rushing and lost some hair last week.
27 Donald Brown IND at ARI May have replaced T-Rich as Colts' lead back.
28 Steven Jackson ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Season high of 77 yards came vs. Saints in Week 1.
29 DeAngelo Williams CAR at MIA Dolphins giving up 122.6 yards rushing per game.
30 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE vs. PIT Led team in carries (8) and yards (69) last week.
31 Rashard Mendenhall ARI vs. IND Holding onto starting job, 2 TDs in last 3 games.
32 Lamar Miller MIA vs. CAR Panthers third in the NFL against the run (84.5 ypg).
33 Jonathan Stewart CAR at MIA Not very involved (4 att., 10 yds.) on MNF vs. Pats.
34 Joique Bell DET vs. TB Took over for Bush after fumble, but left w/ injury.
35 Trent Richardson IND at ARI Carries continuing to decline, Cards tough vs. run.
36 Montee Ball DEN at NE Rookie had 2 TDs vs. Chiefs, 3 in last 3 games.
37 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. CAR Posted a 5.7 ypc average and a TD last week.
38 Mike Tolbert CAR at MIA Tied with DeAngelo for most RB carries (6) on MNF.
39 Mark Ingram NO at ATL (Thurs.) Just 25 yards vs. 49ers after 145 against Cowboys.
40 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. NO (Thurs.) Saints yielding 4.9 yards per carry.
41 Bilal Powell NYJ at BAL Ivory getting the lion's share of carries.
42 Shonn Greene TEN at OAK Raiders have allowed just 7 rushing touchdowns.
43 Brian Leonard TB at DET Two carries last week compared to Rainey's 30.
44 Willis McGahee CLE vs. PIT May be running out of opportunities w/ Browns.
45 Bernard Pierce BAL vs. NYJ Jets No. 1 in NFL In rushing yards allowed (73.2 ypg).
46 Roy Helu WAS vs. SF (Mon.) Six or fewer touches in each of last four games.
47 Toby Gerhart MIN at GB Peterson's groin was an issue last week.
48 Antone Smith ATL vs. 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

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