All 32 teams will be in action on Thanksgiving week, giving fantasy football managers plenty of fantasy options that warrant starting consideration heading into the holiday week. Let’s take a closer look at some of my start/sit candidates at the RB position for Week 12 of NFL action.
Which RBs Should You Start in Fantasy This Week?
Jaylen Warren, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Warren has been on an absolute tear over the last three games, with a minimum of 88 yards rushing — which includes two straight 100-yard rushing performances — and has two rushing scores in consecutive games.
The Cincinnati Bengals offense may struggle to sustain drives with the loss of QB Joe Burrow under center, which could open the door for a favorable game script for the red-hot Warren in Week 12.
Jerome Ford, RB, Cleveland Browns
It wasn’t pretty for Jerome Ford or the Cleveland Browns offense on Sunday against the Steelers, but he did manage to find pay dirt for the first time since Week 7 to save his fantasy day in a winning effort.
Ford has seen 10+ carries in all but two games this entire season and continues to be a focal point of the Browns’ offensive game plan on a weekly basis. While the Broncos’ defense has certainly been much better over the last three weeks, they’ve still given up over 170 rushing yards in two consecutive games, which means Ford is still a quality RB2 option for Week 12.
Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens RB Gus Edwards is quickly becoming the RB version of Hall of Fame WR Cris Carter, which means I’m referencing the fact that all he does is score touchdowns.
Edwards’ nine rushing scores in the last five games have made him one of the best bets at the RB position to find pay dirt on a weekly basis. Sure, his yardage totals haven’t exactly been outstanding, but his consistent production has made him a reliable RB2 option.
Edwards has certainly entered top-15 consideration on a weekly basis in this potent rushing attack.
Which RBs Should You Sit in Fantasy This Week?
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Losing Burrow is likely to have a massive ripple effect throughout the rest of Cincinnati’s offensive unit.
Sure, Joe Mixon did manage to find the end zone while registering a season-high five receptions against the Ravens, but I’m not willing to bet on backup QB Jake Browning generating a ton of scoring opportunities against an aggressive Steelers defense that loves to heat up opposing quarterbacks with one of the highest blitz rates in the league.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears
To say fantasy managers are disappointed with Khalil Herbert’s fantasy outing in Week 11 against the Lions would likely be an understatement. D’Onta Foreman scored a rushing touchdown on the goal line, rookie Roschon Johnson finished with just five fewer rushing yards than Herbert (despite seeing 10 fewer carries), and Justin Fields rushed 18 times for 104 yards.
It’s worth noting that this was Herbert’s first game back from injury, and Detroit’s defense has been stingy against running backs this season. Still, this performance should give you some hesitation in putting him in your starting lineup in Week 12.
Trending Searches for RB Start/Sit
Did you know that we have a Start/Sit Optimizer here at Pro Football Network?! It’s completely free to use, and it allows you to enter in up to six players to find the best option to plug into your starting lineup!
It also allows us to see the most popular trending searches, which we’ve jotted some of them down here to help provide some clarity on.
Should You Start Joe Mixon or Derrick Henry?
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry has been fantasy royalty at the RB position for the better part of the last five seasons. Unfortunately, his streak of five straight seasons with 10+ rushing TDs is in serious jeopardy if the offense continues to struggle over the final seven games of the 2023 campaign.
Henry has failed to top 40 yards rushing in two consecutive games, which has only happened on one other occasion since the 2019 season. Mixon’s ceiling may be capped with Browning under center, but his floor feels much safer than Henry’s when you realize Mixon has averaged more total touches per game than Henry this season.
The reason I’m going with Henry this week is based solely on his matchup against the woeful Carolina Panthers, who give up an average of 26 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Should You Start Gus Edwards or James Cook?
After looking like he was going to ride the bench for the entirety of the game against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football in Week 10, Buffalo Bills RB James Cook has managed to produce 182 rushing yards combined over his last two games while adding a receiving touchdown against the New York Jets on Sunday.
Unfortunately, Cook will square off against a formidable Philadelphia Eagles rush defense in Week 12, which makes me want to roll with the red-hot Edwards in my starting lineup.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!