Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 8 of the NFL season. In this week’s column, we take a look at an aging veteran prepping for an added workload amidst a major quarterback injury. Plus, a waiver-wire darling who will likely draw the start this week due to an injury to the team’s starter.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of their caliber check out our weekly fantasy football running back rankings.
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RB: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: James Conner vs. MIA
Conner was a major disappointment for the majority of the opening month of the 2019 season, averaging just 10.6 fantasy points per game. He’s bounced back in a major way over his past three games, averaging nearly 23 points per game. Miami allows an average of 29+ fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, the second-most in football. Conner has struggled to muster up yardage on the ground, averaging a putrid 3.2 yards per carry on the season. However, that number should rise this week, as Miami allows an average of 4.7 yards per carry on the ground.
Todd Gurley vs. CIN
Gurley is not producing the yardage you’d like to see from an RB1, however, he is receiving the touches you’d expect from an RB1. Gurley has averaged nearly 19 touches over his past two games. Cincinnati allows the most fantasy points to the running back position in 2019. They are coming off a game where they saw Leonard Fournette tout the rock 29 times for 130+ rushing yards.
LeSean McCoy vs. GB
McCoy has all but put to rest the idea of a running back committee approach in Kansas City, unseating Damien Williams as the lead-back for the Chiefs. Williams has totaled just 13 yards rushing since Week 5. McCoy has averaged 5.4 yards per carry over the same time span. Green Bay allows the fourth-most yards per carry average in the NFL with 4.90. The Packers are also fourth in fantasy points allowed to the running back position. The Chiefs offense should run through McCoy with Matt Moore now at the helm of the Kansas City offense.
Sleeper: Ty Johnson vs. NYG
Kerryon Johnson suffered a knee injury one week ago. It is now being reported that the running back will be placed on IR. Ty Johnson was pressed into lead back duties for the injured Johnson vs. the Vikings, and while the yards weren’t there, the touches were. Ty Johnson touched the ball 14 times a week ago. This week he faces off against a Giants team who allowed another backup running back, Cardinals’ Chase Edmonds, to touch the ball 30 total times for a whopping 150 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.
RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Phillip Lindsay at IND
Lindsay has a bunch going against him. For starters, his quarterback strikes no fear in the opposition’s defense, meaning the safeties are almost always bunched in the box, leading to very little running room for the former Pro Bowler. Secondly, Royce Freeman has out-snapped Lindsay in every game dating back to Week 4. To make matters worse, the Colts defense has held starting running backs to just 4.4 fantasy points over their past two games.
Derrick Henry vs. TB
The volume will always be there for Henry, making it extremely difficult to leave the former Heisman Trophy winner on your bench. However, be prepared for a decline in production this week. Tampa Bay allows just 68.0 rushing yards per game this season, the fewest in the entire NFL. Only one running back (Alvin Kamara – 62 yards) all year has rushed for more than 40 yards against the Bucs defense.
Buyers Beware: Chase Edmonds at NO
The majority of fantasy owners had to likely dole out the majority of their FAAB money in order to acquire the rights to Edmonds. The former Fordham standout trails Ezekiel Elliott in running back fantasy points over the past two weeks. However, this week Edmonds faces off with a stingy Saints defense. New Orleans allows the fourth-fewest points to the running back position this season and has held starters under double-digit scoring in four of their seven games.
READ NEXT: Fantasy: Running Back Rankings Week 8