Fantasy Football Week 12 Running Back Preview: Jordan Wilkins returns, makes Colts backs tough to trust

I hope you didn't spend too much on Jonathan Williams. Well, I think I hope that.  Confused yet? So are we. Jordan Wilkins was removed from the Colts injury report on Wednesday which means the Colts backfield will be a three-headed monster, and we really don't know how it will work out. 

I tried to crowdsource a guess on the Colts' backfield touches on Twitter. You guys were no help at all. In a way it was a comforting reminder that none of us have any idea how the Colts are going to use their running backs. And that makes it tough to trust any of them. 

This is a bad matchup against a defense that is much better against the run than the pass. It could easily turn into a pass-heavy game script and I don't expect any of the backs to be hyper-efficient.

Nyheim Hines is my favorite Colts back in PPR just because we know what his role is going to be. He's still just a mid-range flex but he seems like a safe bet for eight PPR points and has upside beyond that. If I had to choose between Wilkins and Williams, it would be the former, but not with any confidence. 

In non-PPR there are still two backs widely available on the waiver wire I'd rather start over all of the Colts. 

Week 12 RB Preview
RB Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 12 at this time. Here's what it means:

IND Indianapolis • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The Colts have three running backs who could be flexes.
PIT Pittsburgh • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Jaylen Samuels is a top-25 running back against the Bengals, while Benny Snell has flex appeal.
RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 3.5 - Duke Johnson's yards after contact per attempt. That's tied with Chris Carson for the best in the league. He's an interesting flex against the Colts.
  • 0 - Touches for David Johnson in Week 11. I don't want to cut him, but I can't make an argument for holding him through his bye.
  • 9 - Austin Ekeler's PPR rank since Melvin Gordon returned in Week 5. 
  • 6.1 - Devin Singletary's yards per carry this season. He received volume in Week 11, but just didn't reach the end zone. I'm still starting him. 
  • 2 - Targets in two games for Royce Freeman since Brandon Allen took over at quarterback. Freeman is being squeezed out, and Allen doesn't target running backs enough. 
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
SF San Francisco • #26
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs GB SF -3 O/U 46
OPP VS RB
29th
PROJ PTS
10.3
RB RNK
16th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
409
REC
17
REYDS
154
TD
6
FPTS/G
13
PIT Pittsburgh • #38
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CIN PIT -6.5 O/U 39
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
10.3
RB RNK
36th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
115
REC
34
REYDS
186
TD
2
FPTS/G
8.4
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 12 Adds
DET Detroit • #43
Age: 23 • Experience: 1 year
Ownership
39%
Scarbrough ran for more than 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns at Alabama, so while he came out of nowhere, he does have pedigree. He also has a a fantastic matchup in Week 12 and very little competition for early down and short-yardage work. Scarbrough could be a low-end No. 2 running back in non-PPR or a flex in PPR.
PIT Pittsburgh • #24
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
6%
Snell could get double-digit carries if the Steelers blow out the Bengals, and this is a defense that's giving up more than 21 Fantasy points per game to running backs.
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
19%
In PPR, Hines is the safest Colts running back. He's caught at least three passes in three of his past four games. If he scores like he did last week, he'll be a top-20 back.
DET Detroit • #41
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Ownership
50%
Like Hines, I wouldn't want to sleep on McKissic in PPR. He's scored at least eight PPR points in all three games since Johnson went down and has been very efficient on a per-touch basis.
IND Indianapolis • #20
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
3%
Wilkins is a low-end flex but could have appeal if he gets the majority of the touches this week.
IND Indianapolis • #33
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Ownership
0%
Williams is a low-end flex but could have appeal if he gets the majority of the touches this week.
Stashes
MIN Minnesota • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Ownwership
53%
You know the drill. Mattison is one Dalvin Cook injury away from being a top 10 running back.
DAL Dallas • #20
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
32%
Much like Mattison, Pollard is just one injury away from a featured role in a very good situation. I prefer Mattison because of Cook's injury history, but both Pollard and Mattison need to be rostered virtually everywhere.
BAL Baltimore • #35
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
15%
Edwards is looking at 15-20 touches per game with goal-line opportunities if Ingram goes down.
RB Preview
DFS Plays
Top Plays
JAC Jacksonville • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Week 12 Prices
FanDuel
$7,000
DraftKings
$7,300
I expect the Jaguars to overcorrect from their lack of running in Week 11, and Fournette should be benefit. He's been the most unlucky running back in football when it comes to touchdowns, and that's holding is price down lower than it should be based on his production.
Contrarian Plays
BUF Buffalo • #26
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Week 12 Prices
FanDuel
$6,300
DraftKings
$5,400
Singletary has been a disappointment the past two weeks, but this is a good spot to get an efficient back who should see good volume at extremely low ownership.
RB Preview
Heath's Projections

Non-PPR Rank

PPR Rank

RB

FPTs

PPR FPTs

1

1

Christian McCaffrey

22.46

27.72

2

2

Alvin Kamara

17.42

24.70

5

3

Leonard Fournette

16.72

21.11

4

4

Josh Jacobs

17.11

19.32

3

5

Nick Chubb

17.32

19.22

12

6

Saquon Barkley

13.24

18.34

6

7

Derrick Henry

16.41

18.12

7

8

Tevin Coleman

15.30

17.59

9

9

Chris Carson

14.48

17.54

8

10

Ezekiel Elliott

14.78

16.98

17

11

Le'Veon Bell

12.28

16.12

10

12

Todd Gurley

13.68

16.09

11

13

Aaron Jones

13.25

16.00

14

14

Devin Singletary

12.99

15.91

20

15

Jaylen Samuels

10.94

15.83

15

16

Mark Ingram

12.91

15.14

13

17

David Montgomery

13.00

15.08

24

18

James White

9.74

15.05

16

19

Miles Sanders

12.32

15.03

18

20

Phillip Lindsay

11.58

14.24

19

21

Ronald Jones

10.99

13.82

28

22

Jamaal Williams

8.95

13.01

21

23

Joe Mixon

10.21

12.40

26

24

Brian Hill

9.52

12.31

25

25

Latavius Murray

9.74

11.57

31

26

Kareem Hunt

7.72

11.48

30

27

Duke Johnson

8.37

11.18

32

28

Tarik Cohen

7.40

11.14

23

29

Sony Michel

9.76

10.98

22

30

Carlos Hyde

10.15

10.51

27

31

Raheem Mostert

9.20

10.49

37

32

Nyheim Hines

6.62

10.33

36

33

JD McKissic

6.74

10.10

33

34

Kalen Ballage

7.17

9.52

35

35

Derrius Guice

6.75

8.52

29

36

Bo Scarbrough

8.51

9

34

37

Adrian Peterson

6.82

8.20

40

38

Rex Burkhead

6.02

7.84

39

39

Royce Freeman

6

7.67

38

40

Boston Scott

6.58

7.37

42

41

Jordan Wilkins

5.81

6.60

47

42

Jalen Richard

3.89

6.53

43

43

Frank Gore

5

6.19

41

44

Benny Snell

5.83

5.83

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 12 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

Fantasy Football Today Podcast

Join our Free $1,000,000 Parlay Challenge

Our Latest Stories