This week, I am giving thanks for fantasy football managers who have given up on their leagues. These turkeys have made it easier for the rest of us to mash fantasy football players off the waiver wire, stuffing them into our lineup. Over the last few weeks, matchups have solidified and roster moves have rolled off of a cliff. This makes it easy as pie to jam some sleepers into our rosters. To make this list of fantasy football sleeper running backs, the player must be unrostered in at least 50% of Yahoo! leagues. For you deep leaguers, we feature one running back available in at least 90% of leagues. Without any further ado, let’s go ham on some week 12 fantasy football sleeper running backs.
David Johnson versus New York Jets (35% rostered)
David Johnson has been a complete enigma this season, and most fantasy football managers just gave up and cut him. But, the Texans cut Philip Lindsay this week, leading me to believe that it will be a two-headed monster of David Johnson and Rex Burkhead going forward. And we all know what happens when a team leans on Rex Burkhead. Johnson has played over 40% of the Texans’ snaps in six of the last seven weeks and had a 55% snap share last week en route to sixteen touches. Granted, those went for just 34 yards, but those were touches against the Titans. This week, he gets the Jets.
The Jets can’t stop a running back to save their lives. They allow the most fantasy points per game to running backs by a wide margin, yielding 32.4 half-PPR points per game to the position this year. The #2 team, Seattle, allows 26.8 per game. Only an injured Joe Mixon (who still scored a TD!) failed to get over 5 touches against them without scoring double-digit fantasy points. They’re a complete mess on defense.
Ty Johnson at Houston (34% rostered)
Ty Johnson is going to be a crime of opportunity. The Jets will be without their rookie running back Michael Carter in this one, and their other option is Tevin Coleman. Now, Coleman will inexplicably get 12 carries for 30 yards in this one, but Ty Johnson is the better player at this point. Johnson is the more dynamic back, as he is capable of running and catching the football. He has one game over five carries this year, and he went 12/50 against the Patriots in week two. But, again, his appeal is in the targets. He has more than five targets in three of his last five games, and he’s turned in 6, 5, and 5 catches in those games for an average of 59 receiving yards per game.
The Jets and Texans game is going to be a battle of ineptitude, so I am going to lean on every piece of talent in this game to hope that they breakthrough. That includes Ty Johnson in the passing game. The Texans allow the ninth-most fantasy points per game this season to running backs, and while they are no Jets, they do not do a great job of stopping running backs.
Rex Burkhead versus New York Jets (4% rostered)
That’s right, it’s a one-game special! Rex Burkhead had 18 carries last week and the Jets cut Philip Lindsay. It paves the way for a Burkhead/David Johnson one-two punch this week. I don’t have a lot to say because this has everything to do with the Jets so *gestures up at David Johnson*.
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Image Source: David Johnson on Twitter