Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Running Back Edition: Week 8: Jalen Richard, Aaron Jones & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:


Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins
at New York Giants

While Peterson has been banged up a little bit, it hasn’t stopped him from producing when game flow has justified it.  Just look at his production over the past four games:

  • vs. Green Bay – 19 carries for 120 yards and 2 TD
  • at New Orleans – 4 carries for 6 yards
  • vs. Carolina – 17 carries for 97 yards
  • vs. Dallas – 24 carries for 99 yards

The Redskins went down big against the Saints, losing 43-19, so it makes sense that he didn’t see much action.  That’s not a threat this week against the Giants, so it’s fair to assume that he’s going to get in the 18-20 carry range.

The Giants have been tough against the run, allowing 3.9 yards/carry to opposing running backs (though without Damon Harrison it’s easy to imagine them struggling).  While usage is going to keep him on radars, if he doesn’t find the end zone (and he’s only rushed for 3 TD this season) his value is going to be minimal.  That means he’s nothing more than a low-end RB2/FLEX play, but hardly a must use option.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (but not a must start, depending on alternatives)


Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders
vs. Indianapolis

Most are going to turn their attention to Doug Martin with Marshawn Lynch hitting IR, but it’s Richard who likely will see the biggest boost in value (especially this week).  Keep in mind the Colts have been fairly good against the run this season, allowing the 17th most points to opposing running backs, though they have been susceptible to both the run (669 yards) and the catch (384 yards).  It’s been their ability to keep the ball out of the end zone that’s helped, allowing just 4 TD, but for someone like Richard that’s not going to keep him from viability.

Richard has quietly amassed 31 receptions for 253 yards, with at least 6 receptions in three of his past four games.  With Amari Cooper also out of the mix there’s a good chance Richard’s workload only increases, meaning he could get 12-15 touches this week.  Over his career he owns a 5.3 yards/carry and with the pass catching ability the value is obvious.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (must start in PPR formats)


Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers
at Los Angeles Rams

Since returning from an early season suspension Jones has been the leader in the Packers’ backfield, though he’s yet to exceed 65 yards on the ground and has been under 50 yards in three out of four games.  That alone is going to make him a TD dependent option, something that we aren’t willing to bank on considering a matchup against one of the best rushing defenses in the league.  On the season the Rams’ have allowed the eighth fewest points to opposing running backs, including just 3 TD allowed (and only 1 TD has come in the past four weeks).  If you are desperate maybe Jones has enough upside to consider as a FLEX play, but for most he’s not worth considering.

Verdict – Sit ‘Em (desperation FLEX play)


T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars
vs. Philadelphia

Yeldon has had a strong season, filling in for the injury Leonard Fournette, but things are highly complicated this week.  Carlos Hyde, who was acquired late last week, should be active and ready to assume some of Yeldon’s touches.  Then you have the matchup, taking on a Philadelphia defense that’s allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing running backs.  There is a little bit of hope, as the Eagles have had issues against running backs who can catch the football:

  • Rushing – 387 yards
  • Receiving – 371 yards

That said, is it enough to consider Yeldon a “strong” play?  Absolutely not, as there are obvious limitations and questions about his usage.

Verdict – Start ‘Em (only as a FLEX)

Sources – ESPN,

Pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $6.75!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2018): Wide Receiver Edition: Week 8: Allen Robinson, Geronimo Allison & More
Thursday Night Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 8 (2018): Deshaun Watson, Kenyan Drake, Lamar Miller & More


  1. Meta says:

    I was offered his Fournette for my Lamar Miller on Wednesday and after some deliberation accepted.

    Even after Lamar’s big night last night, I’m still starting J Howard & J Conner, with Ekeler, T Coleman, and L Bell on the bench.

    Had to make the bold move in the hopes of it paying off big time come playoff time, right?

  2. George says:

    Hi Professor! Hope all is well, got a few questions for you please:

    PPR, pick 3RBs: AP, mack, chubb, yeldon, A. Jones or mostert??

    Also PPR, pick 1WR, 1RB, 1WR/TE and 1Flex: C. Thompson, Hyde, R. Jones, Graham, Kittle, Godwin, Goodwin, C. Rodgers and Kearse??

    Rodgers or Luck??

    In PPR, Howard or Olsen??

    Appreciate all the help Professor, best of luck in week 8!!

  3. trevor says:

    std flex. doug baldwin v. lyons def or alec collins v. panthers def

  4. trevor says:

    std flex josh gordon or doug baldwin

  5. trevor says:

    colts def v. oakland or bears def v. jets

  6. Baller says:

    standard league

    1)TE: Ebron or Graham

    2)WR: 2 of the 3 ; Tyreek Hill, T.Y. Hilton, Brandon Cooks


  7. Curious says:

    Hey Prof,

    So my TE is Hooper who is out this week. Between Doyle, Watson, and McDonald who would you roll with in a 12 player .5 PPR league (until I trade for Gronk 🙂


  8. Tony says:

    Hello Professor,

    If you have time, but thanks either way.

    I’m starting Mixon, but then comes the problem of selecting between Collins, A Jones and R Jones, and P Barber is expected to play.

    You’re probably as thrilled as I am about my options, so which one has the most potential? Maybe R Jones gets goal line carries? A Jones started last week, but then disappeared and expect the same this week;
    maybe it’s a low scoring game with the Ravens and Panthers running a lot? Ugh

    Thanks again.


    • I guess of those I’d go Collins, since he should get a good amount of carries. Like you said, though, I don’t like it….lol

      • Tony says:

        Hi Professor,

        Thank you very much – I appreciate it and will start Collins unless there is some revelation with regards to my other ‘great options’. At least I started Watson, so that helps a bit.

        I hope you have a much better line-up for your game(s) this week and best of luck this weekend, and thanks again!


  9. Max says:

    I need to replace Bilal Powell with somebody off the wire. I need to play them this week because of byes and injuries. Devontae Booker, Ty Montgomery, Trenton Cannon, Mike Davis, Marcus Murphy, Chris Ivory, and Kenjon Barner are available. Where should my dart land?

  10. Sheldon says:

    Hi, Prof. Flex start (0.5 PPR): RB Jordan Howard @NYJ or TE Greg Olsen vs. BAL? Thanks.

    • Howard, but begrudgingly (though it’s not impossible that the Bears get out to a lead and therefore use Howard more than Cohen)

      • Sheldon says:

        Thanks, Prof. That’s what I was thinking this week as well. Hopefully, this game will help Nagy realize that running the ball and controlling the clock will get the Bears their wins. Howard has to be used regularly and Cohen obviously has the home run hitting ability. They have to use that tandem smartly.

  11. Kristian says:

    Hello Professor,

    Im in a non-PPR league with Kamara, Ingram, Jones, Mack, and Tevin Coleman for RBs.
    I’m having trouble deciding who to play for flex. My WRs are OBJ, Tyreek Hill, Demaryius Thomas, and Sammy Watkins.

    Starting Kamara and Mack at RB, OBJ and Hill at WR. Who would be the best FLEX?

  12. Al says:

    Hey Prof I’m 6-1 and have some bench depth to start C Godwin for injured C Krupp as WR 2, T Hill as my WR 2,, at RB1 T Gurley RB2 J Conner and TE E Engram. Would you start J Reed as a flex, or perhaps J Reed TE, or TreQuan Smith WR as a Flex, THX!!!!

  13. MikeinMacon says:

    Good Saturday morning to you…I have Ito Smith on my bench but Raheem Mostert, Derrick Henry or Kapri Bibbs are on my waiver wire. Of these four, who is a good insurance policy going forward?

  14. Eric says:

    Hey prof— PPR- Barkley, Chris Thompson, Carson, Jalen Richard, and Brieda. Which three would u roll with?

    • Barkley shouldn’t be part of the conversation, because he’s a must start every single week. Carson is locked in as the #2.

      That leaves a third, and I’d lean Thompson though Richard may be considered “safer”

  15. Erin says:

    For my flex, deciding between M. Davis (sea), C Thompson, or Crabtree. Any advice?

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