Before you can figure out which running backs to put in your lineup for Week 8, you need to know which running backs won't be available due to bye weeks and injuries. And it's quite a list. The bye weeks are where you've gotta start, and we're missing some big names, with Chase Edmonds (and Kenyan Drake, though he's hurt), Antonio Gibson, James Robinson, and David Johnson all out in Week 8. That's bad enough, but, of course, injuries remain an even bigger factor.
Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler, Raheem Mostert are all still out with their injuries, while Chris Carson, Devonta Freeman, Phillip Lindsay, and Jeff Wilson all suffered injuries in Week 7 as well, putting their status for Week 8 in doubt. And then you've got guys like Christian McCaffrey, Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon, Miles Sanders, Dalvin Cook, and Mark Ingram, all of whom could potentially return in Week 8, but are very much questionable as of Wednesday.
That's 15 running backs who were drafted with the hopes of contributing to your Fantasy team, plus a few more who emerged as worthwhile options. So, yeah, it's a bit of a mess. Filling out your lineup at running back isn't going to be easy. Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em calls can help.
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Myles Gaskin RB
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Gaskin will hopefully pick up where he left off prior to the bye in Week 7 with this matchup against the Rams. He's scored at least 16 PPR points in consecutive games against San Francisco and the Jets, and we'll see how he does with Tua Tagovailoa now the starting quarterback. The Rams run defense has certainly improved since the start of the season, and they haven't allowed a running back to score in five games in a row. But the reason I like Gaskin this week is the Rams have struggled against pass-catching running backs. Five running backs in the past five games have at least four catches against the Rams, and Gaskin is averaging 4.5 catches per game. He should be excellent in PPR.
TB Tampa Bay • #25
Age: 31 • Experience: 11 year
This posting could change if Joe Mixon (foot) is able to play, but Mixon could be out in Week 8 against the Titans since Cincinnati has a bye in Week 9. Bernard started for Mixon in Week 7 against Cleveland and had 19 PPR points on 13 carries for 37 yards, as well as five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Bernard has now scored at least 12 PPR points in the past seven games he's had double digits in touches going back to 2017, and the Bengals have given their lead running back at least 18 total touches in every game this year. It also helps that the Titans have allowed a running back to score in every game this season.
Boston Scott RB
PHI Philadelphia • #35
Age: 28 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Like Bernard, this posting could change also if Miles Sanders (knee) is able to play, but Sanders could be out against the Cowboys since Philadelphia has a bye in Week 9. In Week 7 against the Giants, Scott finished with 17 PPR points on 12 carries for 46 yards, as well as three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Scott has three games with at least 10 carries in the past two years, and he's scored at least 17 PPR points in all of them. The Dallas run defense has been a disaster all season, and in the past three games Devonta Freeman (16 PPR points), Kenyan Drake (28 PPR points) and Antonio Gibson (18 PPR points) have been exceptional. If Scott is the lead running back for the Eagles again, he's a must-start running back in all leagues.
BAL Baltimore • #33
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
It's revenge game time for Gordon, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Chargers. And it could come at the right time if Phillip Lindsay (concussion) is out. Gordon has four games this season with at least 18 total touches, and he's scored a touchdown in all of them, with at least 11 PPR points. The Chargers also have allowed a running back to score at least 18 PPR points in four games in a row. Gordon has the chance to be a top 10 running back in all leagues in Week 8.
TB Tampa Bay • #7
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Fournette has two games with Tampa Bay where he has double digits in touches, and he's scored at least 15 PPR points in both, including last week at Las Vegas following a three-game layoff due to an ankle injury. He's going to share touches with Ronald Jones, who is still worth using as a low-end No. 2 running back, but Fournette seems to have an edge on Jones in the passing game. Against the Raiders, Fournette had six catches for 47 yards on seven targets, and he could be needed as a weapon for Tom Brady with Chris Godwin (finger) out. Fournette should be considered at least a flex option against the Giants, who have allowed a running back to score at least 14 PPR points in three games in a row.
JAC Jacksonville • #22
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
At the time of publication, we don't know if Tevin Coleman (ankle) will return from injured reserve, or if Kyle Shanahan will again keep Jerick McKinnon in bubble wrap to rest him like he did in Week 7 against the Patriots. The latter likely won't happen given the lack of bodies for the 49ers with Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson (ankle) out, and McKinnon can likely be used as a flex option in all leagues. But Hasty should lead the 49ers in carries if Coleman is out, and that makes Hasty at least a flex this week.
Le'Veon Bell RB
TB Tampa Bay • #6
Age: 31 • Experience: 8 yrs.
I'm sure Andy Reid will give Bell the chance for some revenge against the Jets, but this is also a good game to give Bell some extended work if the Chiefs are playing with a big lead. In his first game with Kansas City in Week 7 at Denver, Bell had six carries for 39 yards. You should still start Clyde Edwards-Helaire with confidence, but Bell can be at least a flex option against his former team.
J.K. Dobbins RB
BAL Baltimore • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I'm hopeful that if Mark Ingram (ankle) is out in Week 8 against the Steelers that we see more of Dobbins instead of Gus Edwards. Both are good flex options if Ingram doesn't play, even against the Steelers, but I'd love to see Dobbins get an increased workload similar to what the Lions did with D'Andre Swift following their bye week. The Ravens have a chance to do that with Dobbins if Ingram is out, and hopefully he's successful if the opportunity arises.
KC Kansas City • #29
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Perine will hopefully continue to take on more work for the Jets, and he just had a season high in carries (11), rushing yards (39) and receiving yards (16), along with his first NFL touchdown. Frank Gore will continue to get touches, but Perine has flex appeal against the Chiefs, who have allowed six running backs to score or gain at least 100 total yards this year.
Zack Moss RB
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
It's time for the Bills to commit to Moss and see what he can do after Devin Singletary has struggled to be the lead rusher this season. In Week 7 at the Jets, Moss had seven carries for 47 yards, along with three catches for 25 yards. The Patriots have allowed a 100-yard rusher in consecutive games with Lindsay and Wilson, and I have more faith in Moss doing damage on the ground against New England than Singletary. Use him as a flex option this week, especially in non-PPR.
Carlos Hyde RB
JAC Jacksonville • #24
Age: 33 • Experience: 9 yrs.
This spot could be a filler for whoever the lead running back is for Seattle this week unless Chris Carson (foot) somehow plays, which seems doubtful. Hyde could be the starter, but he's dealing with a hamstring injury. And Travis Homer (knee) is also banged up. DeeJay Dallas could be the lone healthy running back in Seattle, but many Fantasy managers are hopeful that Hyde steps in for Carson. And Hyde did well in Week 7 at Arizona when Carson was hurt with 15 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, as well as three catches for 8 yards on four targets. But this is a tough matchup against the 49ers, who have allowed just two running backs to score double digits in PPR this season (Drake in Week 1 and Gaskin in Week 5), including games with Sanders and Darrell Henderson. At best, consider the starting running back in Seattle this week a flex.
HOU Houston • #26
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
For the past three games against Tennessee, Kansas City and the Jets, Singletary has been a huge letdown. He has less than 50 total yards in three games in a row, four combined catches over that span and no touchdowns. He only has one touchdown on the season. With Moss now healthy, the Bills should give him more work and use Singletary as a change-of-pace option and on passing downs. And you know Josh Allen's rushing prowess will be a problem for all the Bills running backs, which is why neither of them is more than a flex option. For this week, use Moss ahead of Singletary given his recent lowly body of work.
DET Detroit • #38
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Jackson is still worth using as a flex option this week in PPR against the Broncos, but his performance in Week 7 against Jacksonville was a huge disappointment. He had 5 carries for 12 yards, along with five catches for 43 yards on six targets. Joshua Kelley played more than Jackson, and Justin Herbert's rushing ability continues to be a problem for both Chargers' running backs. Denver's run defense will also be a problem since the Broncos haven't allowed more than 53 rushing yards to a running back since Week 2, and Edwards-Helaire's touchdown last week was the first one Denver allowed in four games.
BUF Buffalo • #22
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I'm still hopeful for better games ahead for Harris, but I can't start him this week against the Bills. He ran well in Week 7 against San Francisco considering it was a 33-6 loss with 10 carries for 58 yards, but he still hasn't scored or done much in the passing game (two catches for 26 yards on two targets). The Bills have allowed a running back to score in three games in a row, but it could be Cam Newton finding the end zone instead of Harris. And with James White working in the passing game, Harris' ceiling is capped. Maybe the Patriots turn Harris loose this week to help their struggling offense, but I would only consider him a flex in this matchup.
SEA Seattle • #29
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
This is also a placeholder spot in case Devonta Freeman (ankle) is able to play against Tampa Bay. Then you can sit him as well. This is a brutal matchup against the Buccaneers, who have not allowed a running back to gain more than 59 yards on the ground this season, including matchups with Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, Melvin Gordon, David Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs. Now, they have allowed six total touchdowns to running backs, but the Giants only have three running back scores for the season. Gallman had one last week at Philadelphia when Freeman got hurt, and Gallman finished with 10 carries for 34 yards, along with five catches for 20 yards on five targets. But I have little faith in him or Freeman if he plays against the Buccaneers.
DET Detroit • #5
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
It's hard to sit Montgomery in most leagues, especially given how much work he's getting lately, including the passing game. He has at least 17 total touches in three games in a row, and he has 16 catches over that span on 18 targets. But he only has two total touchdowns on the season, and he's been held to under 60 rushing yards in five games in a row. His center, Cody Whitehair (calf) is hurt, which could be a problem for this offensive line. And this week, Montgomery is facing a Saints defense that is No. 7 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Montgomery can still be used as a low-end No. 2 running back/flex, with his value higher in PPR, but it's hard to expect a big game from him this week.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 8 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.