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Fantasy Week 12 leaders: Arian Foster is good, Marshawn Lynch is bad, Matt Forte is hurt

Jonathan Daniel

The good, bad, and the injured in running back news had plenty of action on Sunday. Including another opportunity for David Wilson to step up.

This is a difficult game and it's hard to stay healthy. Just ask Matt Forte. Or any Bears for that matter.

In addition to Forte, the Giants caught a bad break and the Law Firm shows up. Here's the news you can use for running backs in Week 12:

The Good

Arian Foster against the Lions (FOSTERIZED)

It's hard to say who the next "Arian Foster" or "Adrian Peterson" could be, but for the next three years it should still be Foster and Peterson. AP had a good day, but on Thursday Foster ran for 102 yards and two scores. Foster leads the NFL in attempts and touchdowns and has a schedule down the stretch that could make him the top fantasy player in the fantasy playoffs.

He'll be pretty good in the real playoffs too.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis against the Raiders (SUCH IS LIFE AGAINST THE RAIDERS)

Green-Ellis ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, his second-straight 100-yard game. There might be hope for Law Firm after all, or it might just be Raiders.


Stevan Ridley still looks like the future featured back in New England, but it's funny that Shane Vereen was the high pick for the Patriots last year. Vereen only has 304 total yards this year, but 91 of his receiving yards were attained on Thursday against the Jets.

Maybe there's hope but the Pats play some tough defenses over the next few weeks.

Doug Martin against the Falcons (MARTIN VAN YOU-RUN)

That one was a stretch. Giving Martin high grades for his 2-TD performance against Atlanta is not a stretch, even if Doug only had 50 yards on the ground. He's looking like a great play for Weeks 15 and 16 though, so hope you make it that far.

Michael Bush against the Vikings (AND ALSO MATT FORTE GOT HURT)

Is it Bush time in Chicago?

Michael Bush scored twice on Sunday, upping his season total to five. If Matt Forte misses any time, it's going to be Bush trying to keep the Bears from another late-season collapse. I don't really buy Bush as a starter, even if he's been a huge upgrade to Marion Barber, but he's a must-own for Forte owners.

Honorable Mentions: Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, Beanie Wells, Ray Rice

The Bad

Marshawn Lynch against the Dolphins (AS IF THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ANY WORSE)

The Seahawks probably had one of their worst days, if not their worst, in the Pete Carroll era on Sunday when they lost to the Dolphins and possibly lost their starting corners to a 4-game suspension. Fantasy owners were also upset that Marshawn Lynch managed only 46 yards.

That ended a string of four straight 100-yard games for Lynch and he draws the Bears next week. Hopefully it can't get any worse than what Seattle faced during Week 12.

Jalen Parmele against the Titans (IN CASE YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD A SLEEPER)

You didn't.

Well, not during Week 12 when Jalen Parmele had just 45 yards. Parmele left the game with a leg injury but returned and had a nice yards per carry average, but fantasy owners were left in want. He could still have value but it disappears when MJD comes back.

Rashard Mendenhall against the Browns (THAT'S BAD)

Losing to the Browns? That's bad.

Rushing for 49 yards on 20 carries? That's bad.

All four running backs losing a fumble? That's bad. EIGHT fumbles total? That's terrible.

Without their starting quarterback, the Steelers decided to abandon the idea of a competent running game too. Rashard Mendenhall is just the guy that was supposed to be better than the rest and still had a bad game. So bad.

Darren Sproles against the 49ers (WELCOME BACK?)

Darren Sproles made his return on Sunday, it just wasn't all that triumphant. Sproles had no carries, 65 yards receiving, and one punt return for three yards. It's not that big of a concern going forward, we should probably just realize that 2011 was likely a career year. Something that won't be matched, though it doesn't mean that Sproles is without fantasy value.

There's plenty of balls to go around in New Orleans.

Honorable Mentions: Ronnie Hillman, Vick Ballard, Fred Jackson

The Injured

Matt Forte is the big one, leaving with an ankle injury. It was not a good day for the Bears at all. In addition to Forte, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, both starting guards, and Devin Hester suffered injuries. Forte's health will have to be monitored by owners this week.

Kendell Hunter suffered an ankle injury of his own for the 49ers. LaMichael James might make his NFL debut in Week 13.

Andre Brown vultured a touchdown in the Giants win on Sunday and then broke his fibula. That's a sad "fib u later" for Brown and a chance for David Wilson to step up.

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