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:
Start – Boston Scott (PHI) – vs. Dallas
Obviously if Miles Sanders somehow manages to get healthy, Scott becomes unusable. That said it appears that Sanders is set to miss his second consecutive game, leaving Scott to carry the load against the Cowboys. We all know Dallas’ defense is abysmal, including allowing the second most rushing yards (1,015), behind only Houston.
Scott is coming off a day where he posted 92 total yards (46 rushing, 46 receiving) while scoring a TD. While the Giants aren’t a tremendous defense, they’ve been better then the Cowboys. This is a matchup to exploit.
Sit – D’Andre Swift (DET) – vs. Indianapolis
Swift isn’t completely unusable, but in an ideal world he’d be left on your bench this week. A few weeks ago there wouldn’t have even been a consideration of utilizing him, but he’s now scored in back-to-back games with a monster performance mixed in:
- at Jacksonville – 14 carries for 116 yards and 2 TD
- at Atlanta – 9 carries for 27 yards and 1 TD
Sure he’s been getting more carries of late, but Adrian Peterson is still on the roster and will continue to be a part of the game plan (he had 11 carries in Week 7). Then you have the matchup with Indianapolis, as they’ve allowed the fifth fewest points per week to opposing running backs (435 yards and 3 TD).
Tough Matchup + Limited Touches = Last Resort Gamble
Start – Melvin Gordon (DEN) – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Gordon gets a chance to square off against his former team, and there are a lot of things that appear to be working in his favor:
- Phillip Lindsay is currently in the league’s concussion protocol, and could be forced to miss Week 8
- The Chargers are coming off a day where they were burned by James Robinson (137 total yards, 2 TD)
- Over his past two games Gordon has 40 carries for 175 yards and 3 TD (he has at least 15 carries in four of five games)
- The whole idea of revenge against his former squad
Sit – Justin Jackson (LAC) – at Denver
This applies to both Jackson and Joshua Kelley, as the Broncos have allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing running backs. That alone is going to make it extremely difficult, and then you have the fact that the two are likely going to share the carries/touches once again. That’s how they were deployed in Week 7, and against a much easier Jacksonville defense neither presented themselves well:
- Joshua Kelley – 17 touches for 53 yards
- Justin Jackson – 10 carries for 36 yards
Neither one should be considered for this week.
Start – Darrell Henderson (LAR) – at Miami
We all know it’s hard to predict exactly what the Rams will do with their backfield, but Henderson has at lest 14 carries in each of the past three games (and four of the past five). It certainly appears that he’s emerged as the leader of this backfield, and against a Miami defense that’s allowed the eighth most points per week that’s an enviable spot to be in.
Sit – La’Mical Perine (NYJ) – at KC
It appears that the Jets are starting to turn things over to Perine, though that doesn’t mean he’s an obvious play this week. Frank Gore is going to remain a factor in the backfield, plus what’s the likelihood that the Jets fall behind big early and are forced to take a pass heavy approach? It extremely likely that Perine only gets a handful of touches, as game script could work significantly against him.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: