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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 8: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Todd Gurley
Atlanta Falcons ATL · RB
Carolina Panthers
2020 · 3-4-0

Fun fact about me, accidental touchdown was the name of my punk band in college. We used to rock Harbor Blvd. in Fullerton! All right, maybe not. But it’s funny because so many of us get worked up when these players unselfishly give themselves up to win a game. Brian Westbrook did it. MJD. But Gurley actually did fantasy enthusiasts a favor with this one. And it’s not like the Falcons are going to make the playoffs or anything, so knock off that trying to win stuff and get us those fantasy points. And speaking of points, Gurley has scored seven rushing touchdowns this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL. The Panthers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Kansas City Chiefs KC · RB
New York Jets
2020 · 0-7-0

We will continue to ride with Clyde for the foreseeable future. Obviously Le'Veon Bell is going to be a problem, but we have no reason to worry about it right now. CEH has been the model of consistency this year, hitting more than 11 fantasy points in every game this year and he did it again against the Broncos when it seemed like the offense wasn’t doing much. Clyde has more scrimmage yards this season than Derrick Henry and every other running back, save for Alvin Kamara. Let’s ride. And there is a chance this also becomes a blowout and he’s not going to get as many opportunities, but he’s going to get double-digit points again. The Jets have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs this season (27.63). And speaking of Bell, yes, I love him as a flex option this week, too. And, you know, REVENGE GAME. You’ll really get a sense of what Andy Reid thinks of Adam Gase and Gregg Williams this week. Because if you see Bell out there running the Wildcat while they are up 40, we will know.

Kareem Hunt
Cleveland Browns CLE · RB
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 3-3-0

I’ve kind of gotten used to Hunt being on this solo project without Nick Chubb. Like a guy from your favorite band who branches out into some solo work. I’m not sure Tom Delonge would be the best example here, but it’s close enough. Hunt has been great lately. He’s had at least 18 fantasy points in three of his last four games. And the matchup is great. The Raiders have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season and the second-most rushing touchdowns this season as well (nine). The band is going to get back together at some point in the near future, so enjoy this while you can. BTW, I just realized I made rock reference for the Cleveland team and that was so not intended. But I’m kind of proud of it now.

Melvin Gordon
Denver Broncos DEN · RB
Los Angeles Chargers
2020 · 2-4-0

It’s a Melvin Gordon REVENGE GAME. I mean, if you drafted Gordon this season, these are the games you added him for. Though Chargers fans will point out that Gordon has no reason to be mad at the Chargers, they made an offer. Which is a great point. And also not my narrative. Gordon has been good for the Broncos this year, averaging more than 15 points per game. He’s had at least 12 fantasy points in four of five games. The Chargers also give up a lot of receptions (7.2) to running backs. And there could be an expanded role with Phillip Lindsay currently in concussion protocol this week.

Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts IND · RB
Detroit Lions
2020 · 3-3-0

Taylor was on the cusp of having a great game against the Bengals in Week 6, but inexplicably the Colts fell behind by a ton and changed the game script. Taylor still led the backfield with 59% of the snaps, but I'm guessing that figure would have looked closer to his Week 2 totals (67%) if the Colts had control from the start of that game. The Lions have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. So let’s hope he starts to hit that potential we all saw in him when we over-drafted him in August.

Boston Scott
Philadelphia Eagles PHI · RB
Dallas Cowboys
2020 · 2-5-0

I should phrase this more like the old Super Tecmo Bowl game and just have this listed as RB Eagles. Because you’re going to want to start the Eagles starter in this game. Scott (and I know I’ve probably said this before, but this sounds like a character Michael Scott would concoct in the Dunder Mifflin conference room) had close to 20 fantasy points last week. The Cowboys have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. They have also allowed the second-most rushing yards per game. 

Sit 'em

Justin Jackson
Los Angeles Chargers LAC · RB
Denver Broncos
2020 · 2-4-0

Jackson ended up being out-snapped by Joshua Kelley last week, with his injury likely playing a factor in this decision. But at best we would figure a 50-50 split between these two backs in a matchup against the Broncos, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. They have also allowed the eighth-fewest scrimmage yards per game to the position this year.

Mark Ingram
Baltimore Ravens BAL · RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 · 6-0-0

Going back to the Boston Scott example, consider this a sit for RB Ravens. Ingram himself has been dealing with a mid-to-high ankle sprain. He received just 12% of the snaps last week, and Gus Edwards led the way with 44% of the snaps (followed by 41% for J.K. Dobbins). The Steelers were great last week against Derrick Henry, turning him into a mere mortal like Clark Kent in Superman 2. The Men of Steel have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season. And I almost hate myself for that last pun. Almost. Because I could have just deleted it and you would have never known.

Adrian Peterson
Detroit Lions DET · RB
Los Angeles Chargers
2020 · 2-4-0

Loved Adrian Peterson in his cameo this season. Maybe the best cameo since Timothy Olyphant played Danny Cordray in The Office. He hit his peak in Week 3 when he had 60% of the carries. His share of the backfield has dwindled in every week. It’s time for D'Andre Swift to take over this backfield. The Lions started to win once they started giving the ball to Swift. And I don’t want to make a direct correlation here, but I also don’t want to shy away from it, either. Swift can be a force in the passing game and that’s never been part of Peterson’s act. You can move Peterson out of your lineup now. I wouldn’t drop him yet. But that’s where we are heading.

Wayne Gallman
New York Giants NYG · RB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 · 5-2-0

Gallman got extended action after Devonta Freeman was having trouble with pass protection and eventually left with an injury. I really believe Gallman is a sneaky-good talent. The coaches and management like him, which is why I was surprised they brought in Freeman in the first place. I would like Gallman in the right spot. This isn’t it. The Buccaneers get a lot of attention for building their Madden Ultimate Team (circa 2016) on offense. The defense has been legit, having allowed the second-fewest scrimmage yards this season.

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