Cincy Jungle gives you our weekly edition of fantasy football advice, as we take a look at which running backs to pick up, and which to drop, as Week 12 NFL action approaches.
Another week of action in the books has brought about several intriguing opportunities for less-heralded running backs who can make a big impact on your fantasy team as the playoffs near.
However, there are also several known commodities that continue to put up duds, and could be costing you a spot in your league's playoffs, which usually start around Week 14. That means you need to shed any dead weight off your roster now to pick up guys who will actually make a positive impact for you either during your playoff push, or when the actual playoffs begin.
With that said, here's a look at who you need to add and drop this week.
Tre Mason is only owned by 41.3 percent of Fantasy leagues and is started in just 27.0 percent of those. Still, his owners who took the risk of starting him against the Denver Broncos were well paid in Fantasy dividends. Though he didn't make it into the end zone Sunday, Mason ended the game with 113 yards rushing on 29 attempts, carrying the Rams offense over the Broncos in their eye-widening win.
Yes, you read that correctly. Be sure to pick up Mason if the opportunity arises. He shouldn't disappoint.
The Browns running back has been avoided because of the three RB-by-committee system being run in Cleveland, but it may be time for Fantasy footballers to look past that. Note that I would only recommend this pickup for owners needing a solid backup to fill a needed roster spot.
In reality, Crowell is a No. 3 RB in fantasy football, much like he is at times on the field. Nevertheless, 61 yards on 14 carries is a solid average, and the only reason it wasn't higher is because Hoyer was forced to throw for most of the second half.
Crowell actually accumulated 50 of those 61 yards before heading to the halftime locker room.
For the second week in a row, Anderson's owners have benefited from the dual-threat running back's stat line. Although the Broncos RB finished with a mere 29 yards on the ground game (though still as the Broncos leading rusher), it was mostly because Manning was forced to throw with his team behind.
However, Anderson became one of Peyton's favorite targets through the air, as he caught eight balls for 86 yards, giving Fantasy owners a very nice addition if they followed our advice from last week. Still, only 31.2 percent of players own him. This might be your last chance to pick him up, so make the move while you still can.
Holy, Alfred Blue! 156 yards on 36 carries as he practically carried the Houston Texans on his back in replacing Arian Foster. He made Ryan Mallet a very comfortable man in the pocket. When Foster comes back from injury (and it's iffy when he'll be back to full health), Blue should continue to get part of the workload and should, therefore, continue to put up solid numbers.
He's an absolute target for Fantasy owners, as he's currently owned in less than 10 percent of leagues. That number is about to skyrocket. If he can do what he did against a stout Cleveland run defense, he'll be successful against most teams.
Oliver is owned in 53.3 percent of Fantasy leagues, and therefore, people in 53.3 percent of Fantasy leagues may be doing something wrong. Oliver has dropped off in a big way since the beginning of the season, as Ryan Mathews has effectively take over the running attack for the Chargers.
Following his poor performance against the Raiders, it might be best to drop the San Diego running back in favor of one of the suggested adds above. If you can't run on the Raiders, who are you going to run against?
The Raiders run game
Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew are both having problems, though the latter more so than the former. McFadden has been inconsistent this season for Fantasy owners, and the once sought-after MJD hasn't done much of anything noteworthy.
Both have struggled mightily in their last two games, failing to put up the numbers that fantasy owners need as they're getting ready to head into the 2014 playoffs. My suggestion to the many owners that are still holding onto one or (God forbid) both of these players would be to drop them and move on, fast.
The Carolina Panthers have struggled to get the offense going in the last few weeks, and part of the reason has been the lack of any legitimate running game. Things were supposed to get better with the return of Williams, but it hasn't. Williams has made marginal differences in the last three games, ending with 41 yards on ten carries in the Panthers' loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
I don't foresee Williams lighting the fantasy world on fire anytime soon – the Panthers are just too easy to defend against with their lack of weapons. So, the lack of production isn't necessarily all DeAngelo's fault, but don't let that stop you from dropping him and looking elsewhere to fill your RB slots on the roster.