Would You Rather: Play Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Williams or Nyheim Hines in Week 12 Fantasy Football

Jason Schandl
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One of the biggest fantasy football storylines for Week 12 is how the Indianapolis Colts backfield will shape up with Marlon Mack sidelined by a broken hand.

Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Williams stepped up when Mack went down last week, but the picture was clouded by Jordan Wilkins being sidelined in that game after serving as Mack's backup early in the year. Wilkins was listed as a limited participant for Tuesday's walkthrough, and the Colts' backfield could now be a true three-man committee heading into a Week 12 "Thursday Night Football" matchup with the Houston Texans.

Mack vacates a serious workload on the ground. He averaged 19.8 rush attempts per game before his shortened Week 11 outing, which would be good for fourth in the NFL. He had also played 60 percent of the Colts' offensive snaps, which ranks 15th among RBs if we just look at active games.

Hines serves primarily as a receiving back, averaging more targets (4.0) than rush attempts (2.5) per game on the year, and with Mack averaging only 1.4 targets per game, Hines' change in workload will likely be the least significant in the group.

Williams stepped up as a direct replacement for Mack with Wilkins on the shelf last week, toting the ball 13 times for 116 yards, jumping onto everyone's radar for the upcoming week.

That impressive performance could improve his standing on the depth chart, but heavily favoring Williams could also be a bit of recency bias. Williams didn't see a single carry this season until Wilkins went down in Week 10 (Wilkins has 27 on the year), and Wilkins has a stellar 6.1 yard-per-carry average of his own.

Since Tuesday's practice was just a walkthrough, it's still too early to assume that Wilkins will suit up on a short week, and even if he does he may be limited.

The best scenario for fantasy football owners would be if Wilkins sits out, clarifying Williams as the lead back and solidifying both he and Hines as startable options. Accounting for Wilkins missing this game we have Williams at RB23 and Hines at RB36 in our Week 12 PPR fantasy football rankings.

If Wilkins practices on Wednesday and is active, he will carry more value than Williams, though his value will depend on whether he's limited at practice and how optimistic reports on his health are. Unless he appears fully healthy and set to be the lead back, Wilkins and Williams will both be shaky plays while splitting carries, and Hines would be the best starting option in the backfield.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.