11 weeks of NFL play are officially in the books, which means bye weeks are in full swing. Gone are the days where you could just coast by on a strong draft. Now more than ever, you’ll need to search the waiver wire for all the best available running backs. Heading into Week 12, you should set your eyes on Jonathan Williams, Bo Scarbrough, Duke Johnson, Tony Pollard, and more.
Note that in order to make this list, the player had to be available in over 50% of fantasy leagues. If you’re in smaller leagues, there may be better players available. Make sure to check your waivers to see if there are any diamonds in the rough before submitting your claims.
Jonathan Williams, Bo Scarbrough Highlight Fantasy Football Week 12 Running Back Waiver Wire Claims
Marlon Mack suffered a hand injury in Week 11, opening the door for Jonathan Williams to be relevant for fantasy football. Despite not having the largest track record of success, the journeyman running back recorded 116 yards on just 13 carries. The Colts have one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in the league, and Williams is competent enough to find the open lanes and pick up what the defense gives.
According to ESPN’s Mike Wells, Mack will not be ready for Thursday’s matchup against the Houston Texans. While the exact length of Mack’s absence is still unknown, Williams is going to be the guy for the foreseeable future. He’s a must-add in all formats and should be able to replicate 80-90% of Mack’s success with a similar workload. Until Marlon Mack returns to the lineup, Williams is a low-end RB2.
The Detroit Lions backfield is one of the biggest nightmares in the fantasy football community, but they appear to have a new lead running back in Bo Scarbrough. Even with Ty Johnson active, the Lions chose to give Scarbrough the vast majority of the work. The Alabama product recorded a team-high 14 carries for 55 yards and one touchdown. While the efficiency wasn’t there, the workload was. In deeper fantasy leagues, volume matters more than efficiency when filling out your final flex spots.
Trying to predict what the Lions do on a weekly basis can drive you insane, but Scarborough has the best odds to lead the team in carries during Week 12. Ty Johnson simply wasn’t getting the job done, and J.D. McKissic is more of a pass-catching threat than a running threat. The Lions face off against the Redskins in Week 12, so Detroit should have the lead for the majority of the game. Look for Scarborough to hit 15 touches and give decent enough production.
Miraculously, Duke Johnson is owned in just 47.2% of NFL.com fantasy football leagues. We won’t spend too much time talking about him, as just about everyone knows what Johnson brings to the table. Over the past few weeks, the former Cleveland Brown has steadily increased his role in the Houston Texans offense. Even in a strange game where Houston’s powerful offense just couldn’t get it together, Johnson still managed to record 40 rushing yards to go along with one catch for four yards. Two weeks earlier, Johnson recorded 13 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, and five receptions for 68 yards. If he’s still available in your league, make sure to pick him up.
Tony Pollard needs to be owned in literally every fantasy football league. Pollard’s biggest value comes as a handcuff to Ezekiel Elliott, but he’s starting to get some standalone value. Objectively speaking, Tony Pollard is better in the passing game than Elliott, and the Cowboys found him for four receptions, 44 yards, and a touchdown. If you’re in a deep league and need a desperation play, Pollard can be your guy. However, if Elliott goes down, Pollard is an RB1 for the rest of the season. Make sure to pick him up for the upside alone.
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