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:
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
- Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – vs. Las Vegas
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Cincinnati
- Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – vs. Atlanta
- Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – at Detroit
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Philadelphia
- Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – at Carolina
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – at Cleveland
- Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Dallas
- James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Baltimore
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
- Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. New Orleans
- Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New York Giants
- Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – at Miami
- Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Damien Harris – New England Patriots – at Buffalo
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Tennessee
- Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New York Giants
- JaMycal Hasty – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
- Le’Veon Bell – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New York Jets
- D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis
- Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver
- La’Mical Perine – New York Jets – at Kansas City
- Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers – at Denver
- Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
- Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
- Carlos Hyde – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
- Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – vs. Tampa Bay
- Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
- Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Frank Gore – New York Jets – at Kansas City
- J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
- Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
- Adrian Peterson – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis
- Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
- James White – New England Patriots – at Buffalo
- 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: