We are nearing the halfway point of the NFL regular season, which means we are nearing halfway for the end of the fantasy football season. Next week, we will be seeing some key running backs returning from injury like Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, and possibly Christian McCaffrey. But, we have seen some promising results from their backups like Jamaal Williams, Mike Davis, and Alexander Mattison. Below, I will be throwing out some key names for who to start and sit for running backs next week in fantasy football.
Le’Veon Bell, in his first game with his new team the Kansas City Chiefs, recorded six carries for 39 yards in absolute destruction over the Denver Broncos. However, the second-leading rusher in the NFL, Cylde-Edwards Helaire, had only two more carries than him. The Chiefs signed Le’Veon Bell for a reason after being released by the Jets, and I believe they intend to use him. He has averaged 6.1 fantasy points in three games this season, but that number should change on the Chiefs’ offense. The Chiefs face his old team, the New York Jets, next week and I think Le’Veon will be asking for extra work in payback to his last team. Even though the Jets’ defensive line and rushing defense are quite efficient, look for Le’Veon to be a solid flex option for next week.
Darrell Henderson Jr. has averaged 12.2 fantasy points this season in the Rams’ committee of running backs with Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers. The Rams rushing offense is one of the most prominent in the league behind their league-leading offensive line that allows their running backs nearly five yards per carry. As a team, they are second in rushing attempts and average nearly 140 rushing yards per game. Over the past two weeks, Henderson hasn’t gotten above ten points, but that should change next week against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this year and Henderson should take advantage of that. With the Dolphins defense and the Rams’ run-heavy offense, Henderson has projected 12.85 fantasy points and is a solid RB2 for week eight.
Leonard Fournette has been dealing with the injury for some time, and Ronald Jones Jr. has been taking most of the carries. Last week though, he got 15.7 fantasy points off of 50 rushing yards and six receptions for 47 yards. Next week, the Buccaneers play the New York Giants on Monday night football, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs. Assuming that the Buccaneers will go up quickly on the Giants, they will most likely run the ball a lot in this game, giving Fournette a solid opportunity for fantasy points. He has projected 7.7 points due to his average of 10.1, but I can see him popping off for a great week if he gets the touches.
Boston Scott put up 18.2 fantasy points last week with Miles Sanders absent due to injury. Sanders is in danger of missing this week after already not practicing on Wednesday, and missing last week’s game. Boston Scott’s value went up after he also received attention in the passing game, scoring a touchdown for the Eagles last week. If Sanders doesn’t play next week, Scott will be in line for a great fantasy week against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have held running backs to the fifth least amount of fantasy points this season, so he has better value as a fantasy streamer for week eight as an RB2.
Giovani Bernard racked up 20.6 fantasy points last week with the absence of Joe Mixon to a foot injury. Mixon hurt his foot in the Bengals’ game against the Browns, and there are rumors he may not return until after the team’s bye next week. Mixon already hasn’t practiced on Wednesday and is listed as questionable for Sunday. Bernard had 13 carries for 37 yards and five receptions for 59 yards and one receiving touchdowns. Even if Mixon plays, he will be most likely limited and Bernard will still see action in the passing game. Bernard is a great fantasy streamer for week 8 with RB2 probable numbers against the Titans.
Justin Jackson has been filling in for the injured Austin Ekeler at the moment along with handcuff Joshua Kelley. Over the past two weeks, Jackson has averaged around 12.5 fantasy points. Next week, we have him projected 8.75 fantasy points against the Denver Broncos, which is very accurate. The Broncos have not let up an incredible amount of points to running backs in fantasy, and their defensive line is above average in the league. Plus, after Herbert balled out last week, I’m sure the Chargers will want to stick with running the offense through their star rookie quarterback over the run game. Jackson probably should stay on the bench next week.
Latavius Murray has seen a lot of promising action in the backfield for the Saints this season. Specifically, 10.5 carries per game with Alvin Kamara taking time in the backfield. However, next week is not the week to start him against the Chicago Bears defense. Plus, he has been pretty cold this season outside of one 21.3 fantasy point game, which is his only game in double-digit figures. Latavius Murray could be a flex option because he is a goal-line option, but I would stay cautious by leaving him on the bench next week. He has projected 7.5 fantasy points next week.
Adrian Peterson has been averaging 9.1 fantasy points per game and sees a solid amount of action in the Lions’ backfield. Along with Deandre Swift, he takes the majority of the rushing carries with 13.3 carries per game. Next week, the Lions face off against the Indianapolis Colts, who have allowed the sixth least amount of fantasy points to running backs this season. This game is most likely going to be close, so they should be passing most of the game. I like Deandre Swift in fantasy over Adrian Peterson next week due to his larger share in the passing game. Adrian Peterson should be left on the bench next week as he has projected 8 fantasy points.
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