Running Back Rundown: Who To Buy, Who To Sell & More After Week 8 (Melvin Gordon, Darrell Henderson, Miles Sanders & More)


With many teams heading towards a running back by committee, fantasy owners constantly need to be analyzing the situations and determining who has value and is worth utilizing.  Let’s take a look at some of the key situations from yesterday and try to determine who should be used and who should be ignored:

Arizona Cardinals
Chase Edmonds Struggles Even Before His Injury…

It would be easy to blame the poor final numbers on his hamstring injury, which cut his day short, but he was miserable when on the field (7 carries for 8 yards; 2 receptions for 5 yards). Maybe it speaks to the strong defense of the Saints, who have allowed the fourth fewest points per week to opposing running backs, though maybe it means more than that?

When healthy Edmonds seemingly has earned a bigger role in the offense, though time will tell how much time he’s now going to miss. It’s possible by the time he returns David Johnson has re-entrenched himself as “the man”, but after breaking out in Week 7 Edmonds needs to be stashed to see how things play out (especially since he could be used as a way to keep Johnson healthy).

Action – Continue to stash Edmonds

Buffalo Bills
Let The Devin Singletary Speculation Begin Again…

While Frank Gore led the way in terms of carries, but it was obvious who the more explosive back was:

  • Frank Gore – 9 carries for 34 yards (3.8 YPC)
  • Devin Singletary – 3 carries for 19 yards (6.3 YPC); 4 receptions for 30 yards & 1 TD

This is the first time since Week 2 Gore has averaged less than 4.3 yards/carry. That makes it easy to chalk this one up to a difficult matchup, though Singletary should start becoming a bigger part of the game plan with each passing week (at least you’d hope). Keep the rookie stashed, while Gore remains on RB2 radars.

Action – Singletary’s role should grow (making him a must stash), but Gore remains the preferred fantasy choice

Detroit Lions
So Much For Ty Johnson Carrying The Load…

Everyone assumed that Johnson would takeover as the Lion’s lead back, but that wasn’t the case against the Giants:

  • Tra Carson – 12 carries for 34 yards
  • Ty Johnson – 7 carries for 25 yards
  • Paul Perkins – 3 carries for 4 yards
  • J.D. McKissic – 1 carry for -1 yards

Of course none of the backs were particularly impressive, but the fact that the Lions handed Carson both the start and more opportunities speaks volumes for the current pecking order. It’s also possible that Detroit adds a running back ahead of the Trade Deadline (Kenyon Drake, perhaps), further clouding the outlook. For now none of the options are more than bench stashes.

Action – Stash Carson & Johnson, but don’t trust them

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Los Angeles Chargers
Has The Time Come To Write Off Melvin Gordon…

While he did find the end zone (which saved his day), it was another poor performance from Gordon:

  • Rushing – 8 carries for 31 yards & 1 TD
  • Receiving – 2 receptions for 3 yards

His 19 yard run was his longest of the season, and he’s been miserable with 112 yards on 44 carries (2.5 YPC). Of course the fact that Austin Ekeler has struggled running the football (16 carries for 31 yards over the past four weeks) helps Gordon keep his stake on the carries.

We all know that Gordon has more upside than this, and maybe he’s still shaking off the rust after his holdout. That said Gordon currently is nothing more than a FLEX option at best, though he’s more of a desperation play until the talent starts translating to results.

Action – Keep Gordon stashed on the bench until he proves otherwise

Los Angeles Rams
Do We Have A Full Fledged Committee…

Maybe the fact that they had a big lead played a role (or the travel associated with the game being in London), but it’s a little bit of a surprise that Darrell Henderson actually led the team in carries against the Bengals:

  • Darrell Henderson – 11 carries for 49 yards
  • Todd Gurley – 10 carries for 44 yards & 1 TD

Henderson added 2 receptions for 20 yards while Gurley didn’t have a catch. Henderson has now registered 25 touches over the past two games, compared to 29 for Gurley. It appears that the team is committed to a true committee, as a way to keep Gurley fresh for a late season run. Don’t be surprised if they continue to move forward with this type of split, limiting the upside of both.

Action – Gurley is the preferred option, but both are more RB2/FLEX options for now

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New Orleans Saints
Are We Looking Towards A Committee…

Alvin Kamara missed a second consecutive game, and in his absence Latavius Murray has erupted. He took 30 touches for 157 yards and 2 TD this week and has been an unstoppable force over the past two weeks:

  • Rushing – 48 carries for 221 yards & 3 TD
  • Receiving – 14 catches for 86 yards & 1 TD

Obviously a healthy Kamara is going to have a significant role, but let’s not forget that Mark Ingram had been a significant role in this offense the previous two seasons (including 1,124 yards & 12 TD in ’17). There should be enough touches to go around for both to make an impact, meaning don’t be so quick to cut bait and move on from Murray

Action – Murray has proven he will have value, even once Kamara returns, and belongs on RB2/FLEX radars

Philadelphia Eagles
Is It Miles Sanders Time…

When you see Sanders having racked up 118 yards (74 rushing, 44 receiving), it’s easy to think that he played a significant role in the offense. However he did it with two big plays (a 65 yard run and a 25 yard receptions), as he actually had 6 touches on the day. Sanders continues to play second fiddle to Jordan Howard (23 carries, 96 yards, 1 TD), and breaking one big run isn’t about to change the roles.

Action – Continue to view Sanders more as a handcuff than a trustworthy option

San Francisco 49ers
Talk About A Muddled Situation…

Even with Emmanuel Sanders in place it was easy to expect San Francisco to continue as a run heavy offense. While there was one impressive performance, the fact that there was a three man committee is going to pose problems moving forward:

  • Tevin Coleman – 11 carries for 105 yards & 3 TD
  • Matt Breida – 11 carries for 35 yards
  • Raheem Mostert – 9 carries for 60 yards & 1 TD

Coleman added a receiving TD, finishing off a monster performance. Mostert’s usage was in part due to a big lead, with the 49ers piling up 51 points against the Panthers. This is going to remain a committee, though featuring the combination of Coleman & Breida (and not all three). Coleman remains the lead option, with Breida more of a FLEX. Mostert could play a role if there’s an injury, but he should remain an afterthought for now.

Action – Don’t alter the outlook, Mostert shouldn’t be seen as having value

Sources – ESPN,

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