Welcome to Week 8 #NerdHerd!! Dennis Bennett here. I’m covering for Jake this week. I hope your fantasy season has been filled with victories.
It is time for the playoff push. We have lost some good running backs to the injury list. In their absence we have some players stepping up. We even saw Lombardi Lenny get signed. Let’s go make them playoffs.
Be sure to follow our other start/sit articles and authors; they contain great advice to help you each week.
There is one thing I want to note. For this article and every running back start/sit article I write, I won’t include players like Christian McCaffrey or Austin Ekeler. These are apparent starts so long as they aren’t on bye or injured. If you don’t start them, well, you’re a Taco. I’ll be focusing on players who are a bit harder to decide whether to start or what to expect from them. All scoring in this article series will be PPR. All stats/RB# number finishes come from FantasyPros. So, let’s make this a great season as we watch over 200+ games of NFL football. It’s back! Good luck with this dynasty fantasy football season.
Let’s take a look at how I did in Week 8.
Gus Edwards RB27 finished RB3 hit
I may have only hit 1/4, the one hit BIG! Propelled by 3 touchdowns and 80 yards on the ground, the Gus Bus outperformed his ranking by 24 spots to finish as RB3 on the week.
D’Andre Swift RB10 finished RB14 push
I could claim Swift as a hit on a technicality since I said he would finish as an RB2. But I really expected him to be a few spots lower in the RB2 range. He finished four spots behind his Week 8 ranking so I’m calling it a puch.
D’Onta Foreman RB26 finish finished RB51 miss
I bet on D’Onta Foreman to hold a larger share of the running back opportunity after his massive Week 7 performance. Between rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent not being effective and the Bears trailing from the 7-minute mark if the first quarter, Foreman received just 11 opportunities. That was not enough to outplay his RB26 ranking.
Kareem Hunt RB20 finished RB16 miss
So, Kareem Hunt was a miss in Week 8. I bet on the offense not putting up many points with PJ Walker at quarterback and that Hunt would finish lower than RB20. The difference between hitting and missing was the touchdown Hunt scored. He put up 55 yards on the ground and caught a single pass for 12 yards. The rushing touchdown moved Hunt from 7.7 pts, RB36 to 13.7 points and RB16.
Start: Gus Edwards, Ravens, RB21
I am going to hop back on the Gus Bus again in Week 9. In Week 8 if we take away Edwards’ three touchdowns, he still checked in at RB12. This week the ravens go against a Seattle defense that has given up the sixth most touchdowns to running backs. I am not so bold as to call for another top three finish, I do expect a high-end RB2 week for Edwards in Week 9.
Start: Jerome Ford, Browns, RB24
Jerome Ford was a surprise active in Week 8 and averaged 4.1 yards on his nine carries. Week 8 was a three headed monster for Cleveland. Now that Ford has showed he’s ‘healthy’ I expect him to lead the backfield with Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong returning to their regular roles. Ford goes up against a Cardinals team that gives up the second most fantasy points to running backs. Look for Jerome Ford to be a top 18 back in Week 9.
Sit: Tony Pollard, Cowboys, RB13
The only real competition for running back touches Pollard has is Mike McCarthy. This week, Pollard goes up against an Eagles team that gives up the fewest fantasy points to running backs. While Pollard is good in the passing game, which the Eagles are susceptible to, I don’t think it will propel him to an RB13 finish.
Pollard has finished with single-digit points in three of the last four weeks. To make matters worse for Pollard, the Eagles give up the second most fantasy points to wide receivers. Look for a big game from Ceedee Lamb and the Cowboys receivers.
Sit: Aaron Jones, Packers, RB17
2023 has been a tough year for Aaron Jones. Between breaking in a rookie quarterback and dealing with injuries, Jones has not been able to get it going. Jones was outperformed by AJ Dillon on equal snaps vs. the Vikings in Week 8. In Week 9, the Packers face a Rams defense that gives up the eighth fewest fantasy points to running backs. Look for Jones to finish outside the top 24 running backs.
Good luck this week with your running back start/sit dilemmas!
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As always, May the Force be with You…