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USATSI

Bye weeks are back and that means we'll be without some impactful running backs in Week 9. Christian McCaffrey, Jahmyr Gibbs, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams -- two of whom have come on so strong over the last couple of weeks are all off the slate this week as the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos are all on their bye weeks.

Jamey Eisenberg has his Start 'Em & Sit 'Em calls for Week 9 at running back here. His Waiver Wire column can also direct you to the best options that may be available in your leagues. And don't forget to check out Heath Cummings' quarterback preview for more help with matchup notes, Week 8 numbers to know and more. Plus check out Heath's Week 9 projections over at Sportsline..

START 'EM & SIT 'EM
Running Backs
RBs to Start
Projections powered by Sportsline
TB Tampa Bay • #1
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ HOU HOU -2.5 O/U 40
OPP VS RB
18th
PROJ PTS
10.9
RB RNK
15th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
305
REC
29
REYDS
233
TD
1
FPTS/G
12.4
White's involvement in the passing game has been exceptional over the past two weeks, particularly against Atlanta and Buffalo. During this period, he's secured 13 catches for 135 yards on 13 targets. Conversely, his performance in the run game has left much to be desired as he rushed for a meager 73 yards on 22 carries over the same time span. Despite his struggles in the run game, White has become a must-start running back in PPR leagues. I hope the game plan doesn't change for White in Week 9 at Houston. This is especially promising given that the Texans have allowed four running backs to catch four or more passes this season. In fact, a total of eight running backs have scored at least 11.3 PPR points against Houston, and that should be White's floor in Week 9.
CIN Cincinnati • #21
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR IND -2.5 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
29th
PROJ PTS
9.9
RB RNK
17th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
589
REC
16
REYDS
123
TD
6
FPTS/G
17.9
Even with Jonathan Taylor back and now playing at a high level, Moss has still found a way to be productive. Moss has scored at least 14.4 PPR points in three of four games with Taylor, and he has four touchdowns over that span. He also has at least 12 total touches in each of those outings, which should continue in Week 9 at Carolina. The Panthers are No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and eight running backs have scored at least 11.2 PPR points against Carolina this season. There have also been three running back duos to reach that mark (Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier in Week 1, David Montgomery and Craig Reynolds in Week 5, and Raheem Mostert and Salvon Ahmed in Week 6). There's room for Taylor and Moss to both be productive this week, and Moss is worth starting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues.
NE New England • #38
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs WAS NE -3.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS RB
16th
PROJ PTS
10.9
RB RNK
16th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
307
REC
25
REYDS
173
TD
2
FPTS/G
10.6
Stevenson had a down game in Week 8 at Miami, recording 10 carries for 39 yards and just two catches for 11 yards on four targets. The involvement in the passing game seemingly disappeared from the previous two weeks, which was disappointing, and hopefully that changes in Week 9 against Washington. In two weeks prior to Week 8, Stevenson had 11 catches for 75 yards on 12 targets against Las Vegas and Buffalo. Mac Jones might lean on Stevenson more this week with Kendrick Bourne (ACL) and DeVante Parker (concussion) banged up. Washington just lost pass rushers Chase Young and Montez Sweat via trade, so this defense isn't as formidable. This season, six running backs have scored at least 12 PPR points against the Commanders.
CLE Cleveland • #34
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ARI CLE -8 O/U 37.5
OPP VS RB
31st
PROJ PTS
13.1
RB RNK
23rd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
381
REC
15
REYDS
106
TD
4
FPTS/G
12.5
CLE Cleveland • #27
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ARI CLE -8 O/U 37.5
OPP VS RB
31st
PROJ PTS
10.9
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
158
REC
6
REYDS
58
TD
4
FPTS/G
10.3
I like the setup for both Browns' running backs this week against the Cardinals. Ford and Hunt are worth using as No. 2 Fantasy options in all leagues. I'll give a slight lean toward Ford as his ankle sprain from Week 7 wasn't as serious as initially feared. Ford played in Week 8 at Seattle but was limited to just nine carries for 37 yards and one catch for 2 yards on two targets. Prior to that, Ford scored at least 11.1 PPR points in three out of four games since Nick Chubb (knee) was injured, and I expect him to get back on track against Arizona. Hunt has scored at least 13.7 PPR points in three games in a row, and he's been hot after Cleveland's bye in Week 5. Nine running backs have scored at least 13.1 PPR points against the Cardinals this season, and the Browns will continue to ride Ford and Hunt in Week 9.
LAR L.A. Rams • #27
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ GB GB -3 O/U 38.5
OPP VS RB
23rd
PROJ PTS
12
RB RNK
21st
YTD Stats
RUYDS
92
REC
4
REYDS
59
TD
1
FPTS/G
12.6
We'll see what happens with the Rams if Matthew Stafford (thumb) can't play in Week 9 at Green Bay, but I expect Henderson and Royce Freeman to be a focal point of the offense no matter what. It's a good matchup since the Packers are No. 7 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and five running backs have scored at least 12.6 PPR points against Green Bay this year. Henderson has scored at least 11.5 PPR points in two games since joining the Rams in place of the injured Kyren Williams (ankle), and Henderson should be a factor in the passing game. He had three catches for 54 yards on three targets in Week 8 against Dallas, and he continues to get the lion's share of touches compared to Freeman. That being said, I also like Freeman as a sleeper in this matchup.
Sleepers (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
CAR Carolina • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs IND IND -2.5 O/U 44
OPP VS RB
28th
PROJ PTS
10
RB RNK
28th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
270
REC
15
REYDS
85
TD
1
FPTS/G
8.1
It remains to be seen if Hubbard will remain the lead running back for the Panthers in Week 9 against the Colts, but he dominated playing time in Week 8 against the Texans. Hubbard played 67 percent of the snaps last week, even with a healthy Miles Sanders in the running back stable. While Hubbard managed just 15 carries for 28 yards and two catches for 26 yards on two targets against the Texans, he could be a flex if he remains in this role for Week 9. The Colts have allowed seven running backs to score at least 15.1 PPR points this season, including six in the past five games.
BAL Baltimore • #43
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SEA BAL -5.5 O/U 43
OPP VS RB
12th
PROJ PTS
7.7
RB RNK
35th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
211
REC
15
REYDS
67
TD
3
FPTS/G
8.4
Gus Edwards is worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in Week 9 against Seattle, but this won't be an easy matchup. It's tough to run on the Seahawks, so we could see Hill more involved in the passing game. He just had four catches for 40 yards on four targets in Week 8 against Arizona. Four running backs have at least four receptions against Seattle this season. I like Hill as a flex option in PPR.
SEA Seattle • #26
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ BAL BAL -5.5 O/U 43
OPP VS RB
19th
PROJ PTS
4.5
RB RNK
42nd
YTD Stats
RUYDS
162
REC
8
REYDS
47
TD
0
FPTS/G
4.8
I don't expect Charbonnet to play more than Kenneth Walker III in Week 9 at Baltimore, but I also didn't expect that to happen in Week 8 against Cleveland. However, Charbonnet ended up playing more snaps than Walker (34-24) for the first time all season, and maybe that's because Walker came into the week dealing with a calf injury. For Week 9, you can consider Charbonnet a flex option. He did well against the Browns with five carries for 53 yards and two catches for 11 yards on two targets. Meanwhile, Walker had eight carries for 66 yards, and one catch for 4 yards on two targets. Walker remains a No. 2 running back in all leagues, but Charbonnet could be building momentum. Charbonnet may very well be worth starting as a flex in deeper leagues.
RBs to Sit
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #30
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs TEN PIT -2.5 O/U 36.5
OPP VS RB
3rd
PROJ PTS
10.7
RB RNK
31st
YTD Stats
RUYDS
175
REC
26
REYDS
184
TD
1
FPTS/G
9.7
Warren has been held to under 40 total yards in each of the past two games against the Rams and Jaguars, and it's not like he's excelling in the passing game compared to Najee Harris. Over the past two games, Warren has five catches for 18 yards on seven targets, and Harris has eight catches for 57 yards on eight targets. We'll see if that continues moving forward, but this isn't an easy matchup against the Titans. I'd only use Harris and Warren as flex options, but Harris is the safer play this week when it comes to the Steelers backfield.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #26
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs TB HOU -2.5 O/U 40
OPP VS RB
6th
PROJ PTS
6.3
RB RNK
36th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
183
REC
7
REYDS
42
TD
1
FPTS/G
5.1
Dameon Pierce is not expected to play in Week 9 against Tampa Bay because of an ankle injury, so Singletary will start in his place. I would try to avoid Singletary if possible, and he's a flex option at best in the majority of leagues. Houston will likely use Mike Boone and Dare Ogunbowale to help Singletary, but this backfield has been a mess all season. The Texans only have two games this season where a running back has scored double digits in PPR, which was Pierce in Week 3 at Jacksonville (14.9 points) and Week 4 against Pittsburgh (11.8 points). They have scored the fewest Fantasy points of any backfield in the NFL. This also isn't an easy matchup against the Buccaneers, who are No. 7 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. I hope Singletary does well with Pierce out, but I'm not overly optimistic.
CLE Cleveland • #21
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NO NO -8.5 O/U 41
OPP VS RB
8th
PROJ PTS
8.9
RB RNK
27th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
204
REC
7
REYDS
43
TD
3
FPTS/G
12.4
Foreman was great in Week 7 against Las Vegas with 33 PPR points, but he cratered in Week 8 at the Chargers with 4.6 PPR points. That's now two games with 7.7 PPR points or less in three appearances since Khalil Herbert (ankle) went down in Week 5. Foreman will likely have another down game in Week 9 at New Orleans, as the Saints are No. 4 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Roschon Johnson and Darrynton Evans will continue to share touches with Foreman, who is a flex option at best in most leagues.
Bust Alert (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
LV Las Vegas • #2
Age: 25 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ATL ATL -5 O/U 37
OPP VS RB
5th
PROJ PTS
9.1
RB RNK
26th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
390
REC
21
REYDS
109
TD
2
FPTS/G
10.1
Mattison has failed to score more than 6.2 PPR points in each of his past two games against San Francisco and Green Bay. His workload will probably continue to lessen with the emergence of Cam Akers, who scored a touchdown against the Packers. With Kirk Cousins (Achilles) out, beginning this week at Atlanta, the Vikings are turning to rookie quarterback Jaren Hall to make his first NFL start, which could be messy. Things could eventually improve once newly-acquired Joshua Dobbs takes over, but I would only use Mattison as a flex option in Week 9. It doesn't help that the Falcons are No. 3 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.