Week 8 RB Start’em, Sit’em: Running Back Fantasy Football Strategy


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If you are in doubt about some players in a tough spot this week, or players that haven’t produced yet this season, you have come to the perfect spot. We dive into a few names to start in borderline matchups, and also talk about players to fade. You can also check out our rankings area to see where players on your team rank and their projections heading into Week 8. Be sure to check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football content.

Start Em

Ty Johnson Vs. New York Giants

Taking backup running backs can be hit and miss, but Ty Johnson is an easy start this week with Kerryon Johnson set to miss the next few weeks and possibly more. The Giants are allowing 22.6 PPR points per game to opposing running backs this season, and running backs have rushed for 180 times against New York due to positive game scripts and a bad defense. Johnson is going to see 15+ touches, and JD McKissic isn’t much worry, as he will see some snaps but more for receiving work at times.

Tevin Coleman Vs. Carolina

Carolina has a stout pass defense, but are middle of the road against the run. I expect San Francisco to pound more on the ground against this defense, who rank 16th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this season. Matt Breida should be out there despite some troubles with injuries in his last game, but Coleman is still a safe start against the 29th ranked rush defense and the 3rd best pass defense.

Jordan Howard @ Buffalo

The matchup looks daunting on paper, but Buffalo has the 24th ranked rush defense, and I could see this game turning into a big grind for both sides. Generally I am not a fan of teams traveling into Buffalo for fantasy, but Jordan Howard is worth a go this week. Howard is averaging 4.5 yards per attempt, and is averaging .92 PPR points per touch this season.

LeSean McCoy Vs. Green Bay

The Chiefs offense is going to be interesting without Patrick Mahomes, and I believe they can still move the ball and put up points with Matt Moore. While the workload is split still with LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams, McCoy looks more explosive. He is averaging 5.3 yards per attempt, and is averaging 61 total yards per game. Green Bay ranks 26th against the run, and is allowing the 4th most fantasy points per game.

James White Vs. Cleveland

It was a disappointing week for James White who had touchdown chances, and overall he has just one on the season. He is averaging 7.8 targets per game, averaging 47 receiving yards per game. His PPR numbers are solid, averaging 1.33 points per touch and he is averaging 11.3 total touches a game. This is a decent matchup for him against Cleveland.

Sit Em

Melvin Gordon @ Chicago

Unless you are dry at running back, Melvin Gordon is a tough start right now. He is averaging 2.2 yards per attempt this season, and while he is averaging 4.3 targets per game, the forcing of rushing attempts hasn’t been good for the team or fantasy owners at the moment. Despite last week, Chicago is still a tough matchup for opposing backs, and Gordon just flat out does not look ready.

Joe Mixon @ Los Angeles Rams

Yeah if you are prying onto Joe Mixon at this point, it has been a rough go. This week will be no different. He faces a likely negative game script going up against the Rams, and he hasn’t been used enough in the passing game to have weekly value there. The Rams rank 5th against the run, and outside of Christian McCaffrey and Chris Carson, they have limited running backs.

David Montgomery Vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Rushing for single digit attempts in a game is never going to be a plus, and the passing game work isn’t there for David Montgomery either. Despite what Nagy has said, this offense is a mess, and outside of Allen Robinson they do not have anyone worth starting. This is more of a questionable workload issue, because the matchup isn’t bad. The Chargers rank 22nd against the run.

Frank Gore Vs. Philadelphia

With Devin Singletary back in the mix, this is a downgrade for Frank Gore’s usage. He had just 11 carries on Sunday against Miami, while Devin Singletary had seven. In addition to the pedestrian workload, Gore will have a touch matchup against the Eagles, who have allowed the 5th fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

Jason Guilbault is the Brand Content Manager for Lineups.com, powered by Catena Media. He has worked 10+ in the sports betting & iGaming space as a writer and content manager. Jason has also written for DailyFantasyCafe, NBAMockDraft, & FantasyPros. He aims to bring the best sports data & insight to the industry for both novice & advanced users.

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