Running back is always a tricky spot to fill and with the Bills, Bengals, Eagles, and Seahawks on a bye the pool gets even shallower. If you’re searching for a start either as your RB2 or a flex play, check out these five players who aren’t usually starters who could step up today.
They are in the general that I would play them this week although it definitely depends on who is available in your league. If you have roster specific questions for this week, find me on twitter @ZT_Sports
Here are five sleeper start at running back for week 12
Shane Vereen-New England Patriots
While he’s still part of the New England backfield by committee, Vereen is back and ready to assume a much larger role in the offense. He’s already locked up 3rd-down duties making him a solid flex play in some leagues. He only had one rush last week, but was targeted 11 times and led the team with eight catches.
Donald Brown-Indianapolis Colts
Another back in a time share who is proving very valuable is Donald Brown who has been a big-time contributor for the Colts the last two weeks. He’s playing better than Trent Richardson, but Indy says they’ll keep it a split backfield. Brown is definitely worth owning in most formats, and is in a series of nice matchups down the streatch. It is starting with Arizona this week followed by the Texans and Jaguars (mixed with the Chiefs and Bengals). Brown is a solid flex option as well, but I’d start Vereen over him due to upside and reliability, but Brown is a great pick-up-and-play as well if you can get him.
Chris Ogbonnaya-Cleveland Browns
Although Brown and Vereen may be stuck in those sharing situations, Ogbonnaya is starting to distance himself for Willis McGahee as the Browns best option. A little like Brown, Ogbonnaya is very involved as a receiver and is a strong flex play this week with lots of upside if he gets enough touches like he did last week when he caught six passes for 30 yards and rushing for another 69 on eight carries. Ogbonnaya’s versatility is one huge benefit since he has many different ways to pile up points.
Brian Leonard-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leonard is another receiving back who I think will get more work this week. Last week, Bobby Rainey (who is sharing time in Tampa’s backfield with Leonard) went off and Leonard only had eight touches. I expect that number to go up this week and the Bucs are forced to pass more against Detroit who is very beatable through the air but can put up points to put the Bucs in pass-heavy mode. Leonard is high-risk, but he has huge potential based on his previou performane and how many touches he can get from Rainey this week against Detroit.
Toby Gerhart-Minnesota Vikings
If you are forced to take an even bigger risk, check out Gerhart who had a season-high in rushing attempts last week going for 67 yards on seven carries. He saw extra time last week due to an Adrian Peterson injury, but Peterson is expected to play this week. If he does Gerhart may not see much work, but if Gerhart takes over due to injury or the scoreboard, he’ll easily be a RB2. Gerhart is a long-shot, but one that could pay off if you get him on the right week.
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