We are now 11 weeks into the 2022 fantasy football season and have a full picture of who these teams are. Yet, fantasy decisions remain as difficult as ever. Let’s take a look at our RB start/sit Week 12 plays. Before setting your lineups, check out our complete Week 12 fantasy football PPR rankings.
Week 12 Fantasy Football RB Start ’ems
Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins (vs. HOU)
This is the second consecutive week my first RB start ’em recommendation is attacking the Texans. Well, there’s good reason for it.
The Texans remain the worst run defense in the NFL. They allow a league-high 153.6 rushing yards per game. Their 5.3 yards per carry allowed is tied for third-worst.
Jeff Wilson has also not so quietly taken over as the Dolphins’ RB1. He played 49% of the snaps in his first game with the team. Then, he immediately vaulted up to 61% in his second game. More specifically, Wilson had 22 opportunities in that game.
Wilson is averaging 5.4 ypc on the season. In his two games with the Dolphins, he’s averaging 6.5 ypc.
The Dolphins are heavy home favorites coming off a bye. They should be able to do whatever they want offensively. I’m expecting at least four touchdowns. Wilson should be able to score at least one of them.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CLE)
When we last saw the Bucs in Week 10, Rachaad White was on the verge of overtaking Leonard Fournette for the RB1 role. In Week 12, I’m expecting that to come to fruition fully.
I mentioned in the previous section that the Texans’ 5.3 ypc allowed was tied for third-worst. The team they’re tied with? The Browns. Both the Texans and Browns are allowing 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game to running backs (most in the league). The Browns allow 29.9 PPR fantasy points per game to the position, trailing only the aforementioned Texans.
This is an ideal matchup for an ascending player. White is coming off a season-high 22 carries for 107 yards. While he didn’t see a target, that is likely to change against a Browns defense that sees a 22.5% target share against running backs.
There’s also the added possibility that Fournette doesn’t play this week. We got the report a week ago that Fournette’s hip injury was considered minor, and he’s not expected to miss any time. But that doesn’t mean he actually won’t miss a game or two. If he does, White would immediately be a legitimate top-12 option. He might be already. Start him.
Week 12 Fantasy Football RB Sit ’ems
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (at SF)
Sometimes, it’s difficult to find running backs to sit because bye weeks and injuries often force fantasy managers’ hands. As a result, sit ’em recommendations end up being more “temper expectations recommendations.” That is not the case here. I am legitimately going to bench Alvin Kamara in the league where I have him, and it’s not even a particularly difficult decision.
The only reason Kamara is still viewed as a starter is because of his name. Kamara is averaging just 4.1 yards per carry. His target share remains an elite 20.5%. So, what’s the problem? Touchdowns.
The Saints don’t have the offense they used to. Accordingly, Kamara has only scored four times this season…and all four of those were in the same game.
Kamara has four RB1-caliber performances on the season, including a matchup-winning overall RB1 42.8-point performance. In his other five games, last week was the only time he reached double-digits.
We’ve gotten through all the issues with Kamara without even discussing their opponent. The 49ers sport the best run defense in the NFL (and it isn’t particularly close). Opponents rush for just 3.2 ypc against them, an incredible 0.5 ypc fewer than the second-best team. They allow the second-fewest fantasy points to the position.
Two weeks ago, the 49ers held Austin Ekeler to 24 yards on eight carries. This week, I can already tell that I will be all over Kamara’s lowers on Underdog Fantasy. Sit him if you can.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals (at TEN)
I am writing this on the assumption Joe Mixon does not play this week due to his concussion. Obviously, if Mixon plays, no one is starting Samaje Perine anyway. However, if Mixon misses, Perine becomes the Bengals’ clear RB1 and someone fantasy managers should legitimately consider starting. Unfortunately, the matchup is horrible.
I don’t feel like the Titans are viewed as having a great defense. Probably because they don’t. But what they can do exceptionally well is stop the run.
The Titans allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position. Only the 49ers allow fewer rushing yards per game than the 65.2 allowed by the Titans. They’ve also allowed just two rushing touchdowns on the season.
Perine is unlikely to be a total bust. The Titans do see a 24.5% target share against them to running backs. That is, after all, Perine’s primary role — the passing-down back. He’s coming off a game where he set season highs in receptions (4), yards (52), and touchdowns (3). Perine’s receiving work should give him a solid floor.
There are no teams on bye in Week 12. Yet, fantasy managers (myself included) sometimes are compelled to force certain players into lineups. Specifically, if you go and spend up for Perine on waivers, you may feel compelled to start him as this may be the only week you can do so. Resist that temptation — the matchup is awful against a pass-funnel defense.