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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Running backs for Week 12

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Byes: Giovani Bernard, Fred Jackson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, C.J. Spiller

Start of the week


Zac Stacy vs. Chicago Bears: Stacy has been burning up the stat sheets, scoring over 70 combined fantasy points in his last four games. His success should continue against the Bears, who have been awful against the run. In fact, their defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points (26.2 PPG) to running backs in the last four weeks. (Maximum value: High RB1)

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Start 'em


Andre Brown vs. Dallas Cowboys: The last time the Cowboys played a game, their defense allowed a ridiculous 63.9 fantasy points to the New Orleans running backs. So, it's no surprise to see Brown on the start 'em list. While he could lose some goal-line work to Brandon Jacobs, he's still a lock to lead the G-Men in backfield touches. (Maximum value: High RB1)

Rashad Jennings vs. Tennessee Titans: Jennings has become a tremendous pick-up off the waiver wire for owners, scoring a combined 55.1 fantasy points in his last three games. He should remain active against the Titans, who have surrendered the third-most fantasy points (24.9 PPG) to opposing runners over the last four weeks of NFL action. (Maximum value: Low RB1)

Frank Gore at Washington Redskins (Mon.): Gore has hit a bit of a bump in the road, as he's rushed for a combined 130 yards with just 15.9 fantasy points in his last two games. Still, he needs to be in your fantasy lineup against the Redskins -- their defense has given up the third-most fantasy points (22.3 PPG) to runners on the road. (Maximum value: Mid RB1)

Sleeper alert - Ben Tate vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tate hasn't posted spectacular numbers, but he is seeing most of the backfield touches in the absence of Arian Foster. He'll be in a good position to find success against the Jaguars, as their defense has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points (24.3 PPG) to running backs since Week 8. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Sit of the week


Trent Richardson at Arizona Cardinals: Richardson has been a disaster in the stat sheets, ranking 59th in fantasy points among running backs over the last four weeks. He's almost impossible to trust as a result, especially against a Cardinals defense that has surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points (11.2 PPG) to runners at home. (Maximum value: Low RB3)

Sit 'em


Chris Ivory at Baltimore Ravens: Ivory is tough to bench now, as he's recorded 15-plus fantasy points in each of his last two games. Just keep in mind that this week's matchup in Baltimore is a very difficult one -- their defense has given up an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points per game to running backs on their home field. (Maximum value: High RB2)

Ryan Mathews at Kansas City Chiefs: Mathews is on a nice hot streak of his own, posting 12-plus fantasy points in two straight games and three of his last four. That streak is in some real danger this week, though, as no team in the NFL has allowed fewer fantasy points (9.74 PPG) to opposing running backs on their home field. (Maximum value: Mid RB2)

Lamar Miller vs. Carolina Panthers: Over the last two weeks, Miller has scored a combined 4.8 fantasy points. That's not exactly what you're looking for in your fantasy running back. He'll be hard pressed to improve against the Panthers, who have surrendered the fourth-fewest fantasy points (11.7 PPG) to runners in the last four weeks. (Maximum value: Mid RB3)

Owners beware - Ray Rice vs. New York Jets: Fantasy owners are absolutely giddy after Rice's huge statistical performance against the Bears last weekend. Still, he's no lock to post another good stat line against the Jets. The Men in Green have surrendered the fewest fantasy points (10.4 PPG) to running backs on the road this season. (Maximum value: Low RB1)


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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