Week 8 Rankings (2020): Top 40 Running Backs

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Injuries continue to cause issues for the running back position, while workload questions are also something fantasy owners need to deal with. Who are the running backs that are going to get enough work to make an impact? Who should we be avoiding? Let’s take a look at how things current look for the coming week:

  1. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  2. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
  3. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – vs. Las Vegas
  4. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Cincinnati
  5. Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – vs. Atlanta
  6. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – at Detroit
  7. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Philadelphia
  8. Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – at Carolina
  9. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
  10. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – at Cleveland
  11. Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Dallas
  12. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Baltimore
  13. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
  14. Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins – vs. Los Angeles Rams
  15. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. New Orleans
  16. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New York Giants
  17. Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – at Miami
  18. Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  19. Damien Harris – New England Patriots – at Buffalo
  20. Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Tennessee
  21. Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New York Giants
  22. JaMycal Hasty – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
  23. Le’Veon Bell – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
  24. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis
  25. Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver
  26. La’Mical Perine – New York Jets – at Kansas City
  27. Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver
  28. Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
  29. Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
  30. Carlos Hyde – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
  31. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
  32. Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – vs. Tampa Bay
  33. Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  34. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
  35. Frank Gore – New York Jets – at Kansas City
  36. J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  37. Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  38. Adrian Peterson – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis
  39. Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
  40. James White – New England Patriots – at Buffalo

Thoughts:

  • Dalvin Cook is tied for the league lead with 7 rushing TD, and he’s fifth in the league with 489 rushing yards (despite being 14th in carries, with 92). Now he gets to take on a Green Bay defense that’s allowed the most points per week to opposing RB, with 948 total yards and 10 total TD. While he only rushed for 50 yards against the Packers in Week 1, he did score 2 TD and should have an even bigger day this time around.
  • Jonathan Taylor is coming off a big day all around, rushing for 60 yards while catching 4 passes for 55 yards. If he was getting a bigger workload it would be easy to push him into the Top 5, in a matchup against Detroit (who has allowed the fifth most points per week to opposing RB, including 6 total TD over the past four weeks). Still, he’s a Top 10 option and a must play.
  • After scoring 2 TD against the Giants, Ezekiel Elliot has totaled 94 rushing yards without a TD in the past two games. Given the injuries at QB you would expect an even bigger workload to be coming, but opposing defenses will also be able to focus on him instead of worrying about the passing game. The Eagles have been prone to rushing TD, but ultimately they’ve allowed the seventh fewest points per week to opposing RB. He’s a good option regardless, but he’s not as highly ranked as he normally would be.
  • There was a chance that Aaron Jones was ready to play in Week 7, but ultimately the team took a cautious approach (despite him traveling with the team). That means that he should be a good bet to play in Week 8, and against a Minnesota defense that’s allowed 644 yards and 5 TD overall (he had 66 yards and 1 TD in Week 1) he should make an immediate impact.
  • Could the Chiefs get up big and take their foot off the gas against the Jets? Could Le’Veon Bell play a featured role against his former team? We saw both Bell (6 carries for 39 yards) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (8 carries for 46 yards and 1 RD) get limited opportunities in Week 7, and that risk is going to suppress both of their values a little bit in Week 8.
  • Leonard Fournette (11 carries for 50 yards) looked better than Ronald Jones (13 carries for 34 yards and 1 TD) in Week 7, but is that enough? Jones had three straight 100+ yard games prior and should continue to operate as the leader in the backfield. Against the Giants both are good options as RB2/FLEX, though Jones remains our favored play.
  • With Phillip Lindsay currently in the league’s concussion protocol, for now we’ll assume he’s going to miss Week 8. That pushes Melvin Gordon’s name up, at least a little bit, and he’s an obvious RB2 given the likely opportunities headed his way.
  • There’s always risk in how the Patriots will deploy their running backs, but Damien Harris appeared to emerge in Week 7 (10 carries for 58 yards). Taking on a Buffalo defense that’s allowed 719 rushing yards and 7 TD, and with uncertainty for other teams, he’s well worth considering as a RB2 despite the risk.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

7 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like A. Jones may be out this week and I have carlos hyde on the bench in one of my leagues w/ williams available. Think it’s worth dumping hyde for this week?

  2. 1) Pick 2 non-ppr, James Conner, Myles Gaskin, or Tyler Boyd?

    2) Pick 2 1/4-ppr, Myles Gaskin, Jamaal Williams, Boston Scott, or Darrel Henderson?

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