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Committee Meetings: Welcome back, Blount

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Packers' running back Eddie Lacy runs like a monster, so just get out of his way. Lacy topped Week 12's list of fantasy running backs with 138 yards from scrimmage and two total touchdowns against the Vikings.

Other top running backs from Week 12 include C.J. Anderson who had a huge day against the Dolphins posting 25.50 fantasy points, Matt Forte who scored twice and had over 100 yards from scrimmage and we can't forget about Latavius Murray's big Thursday night performance where he had 112 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries.

Toss in the fact that DeMarco Murray quietly put up over 100 rushing yards for the tenth time in 11 games and LeSean McCoy posted his biggest fantasy day of the season with 130 rushing yards and a touchdown, and it was a great week all around for fantasy running backs.

And now for the all of the frustrating goodness of this week's Committee Meetings.


Patriots:

Warning! Now entering an area plagued by #Belitricks. Please stand clear to avoid fantasy headaches.

Players involved:
Shane Vereen: (OK, yeah, this makes sense)
LeGarrette Blount: (Surprise!)
Jonas Gray: (Not really at all though)

This is going to be a big Shane Vereen game they said. The Pats wouldn't be able to run against the Lions defense they said. Lots of short passing plays to New England's clear passing-down back they said.

Here's what actually happened.

Vereen was on the field for 77 percent of the Patriots offensive plays. Sounds good so far. LeGarrette Blount was on the field for 21 percent of the Patriots offensive plays. We're still on the right track until ... Vereen finished the game with 6.00 fantasy points, while Blount totaled 19.80. That's right, Blount, whom New England picked up just a few days ago after the Steelers released him, ran for 78 yards and two touchdowns on a mere 12 carries. #KABOOM. It's safe to say nobody saw that coming.

Vereen totaled just 12 rushing yards on eight carries and while he did get a good amount of work in the passing game with eight catches for 48 yards, it was Blount who stole the show. Go figure.

Oh and the dude who ran for over 200 yards and four touchdowns last week for New England and was the hottest waiver wire add of Week 12? What was his name? That's right, Jonas Gray. Yeah well that guy overslept on Friday and missed practice, so Bill Belichick decided to not to play him. At all. So any fantasy owners who started Gray ended up with a big zero on the board.

Tune in next week for another episode of #Belitricks when the Patriots take on Green Bay.


Bengals:

Week 12 saw the return of Giovani Bernard. He hadn't played since Week 8 due to a hip and clavicle injury which took longer to heal than many initially thought. In Bernard's absence, rookie Jeremy Hill filled in more than sufficiently for both the Bengals and any fantasy owners who were savvy enough to scoop him up.

Nobody really knew how the workload would be split up on Sunday, but there were some warnings that the Bengals might take it easy with Bernard in his first game back. When all was said and done, it was a 60-40 split in Bernard's favor in terms of offensive snaps.

But Hill was the more productive fantasy play with 19 touches for 96 total yards and a touchdown which was good for 15.60 fantasy points. Bernard received just one less carry than Hill but was a lot less effective on the ground running for 45 yards on 17 attempts, adding two catches for 22 yards.

Hill is probably the better bet to get goal-line work as his touchdown run came from two yards out, but Bernard did receive three rushing attempts in the red zone to Hill's four.

Going forward, this might be more of the norm for the Bengals backfield. Both backs will have fantasy value but they'll limit each other in terms of their respective ceilings.


Browns:

For the first time in weeks, predictions of what the pecking order would be in the Browns' backfield actually came to fruition.

Well, sort of.

I say sort of because Terrance West actually received more carries than Isaiah Crowell did against the Falcons. But Crowell came out on top in terms of fantasy production.

Heading into the game, Crowell was the clear favorite for fantasy purposes and got the start. He played on 60 percent of his team's offensive snaps and averaged an impressive 7.3 yards per carry taking his 12 attempts for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Crowell's longest run of the day was a powerful 26-yard touchdown burst. He finished Week 12 as the fifth-highest scoring fantasy running back with 20.80 points.

West managed 62 yards on 14 carries and caught one pass for a 9-yard gain. He averaged 4.4 yards per rush and his longest run of the day was a 20-yarder.

Many expected success from Cleveland's backfield against one of the worst run defenses in the league in Atlanta, and fantasy owners who started Crowell have to be happy with the results. For the time being, if there's one Browns' running back to start in fantasy in Week 13 it's Crowell, but West should still be stashed in all leagues.

The Browns face a tough run defense in the Bills next week but then have three favorable running back matchups against the Colts, Bengals and Panthers to finish the season.


Colts:

With Ahmad Bradshaw done for the season there was some speculation about the Colts' backfield heading into Week 12. Would Trent Richardson have a chance to be Indy's featured back, or would Dan Herron take over? Either way, it seemed like a backfield situation to avoid for fantasy purposes until we saw how this played out.

Before the game, "Boom" Herron was announced as the Colts' "starting" running back which came as somewhat of a surprise. But when the dust settled, Richardson still out-snapped, out-carried and out-produced Herron in terms of fantasy points. Still, T-Rich averaged just 3.2 yards per carry with 42 yards on 13 attempts, and if not for his goal-ine score, it would have been an abysmal outing for him. Thanks to the score he broke the double-digit point mark, justifying a start in fantasy leagues.

In terms of real-life production, Herron outplayed Richardson with an average of 5.4 yards per rush taking his 12 carries for 65 yards on the ground and added five receptions for 31 yards. Not too shabby, although he did lose a fumble in the red zone.

For now it seems like Richardson will remain the Colts' lead back but if Herron continues to outplay him, we could see a shift in Boom's favor. Herron will also continue to have value in PPR leagues as he played the role of the passing-down back which is always a good thing for fantasy when Andrew Luck is running the show.


Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @m_franciscovich.

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