Updated 10/30 at 9:30 AM ET. Moved Tony Pollard up.
Week 8 Running Backs
RB Notes: No. 3 by average PPR points, Saquon Barkley is facing a Seahawks defense surrendering the most running back fantasy points. … With Ryan Tannehill playing through an ankle injury, 25 will be Derrick Henry's absolute carries floor as a road favorite facing a Texans defense surrendering the most rushing yards in the league. … The PPR RB2, RB3 and RB2 over the past three weeks, Josh Jacobs has become the clear engine of the Raiders' offense. Due in part to their offense continually putting them in awful game script, the Saints' defense is no longer a formidable running back matchup. … With DK Metcalf (knee) likely sidelined for the Seahawks, Ken Walker isn't about to get less important for a home date with a Giants defense coughing up a league-worst 5.7 yards per carry. Walker should cruise past 20 totes for the third consecutive week. … Jonathan Taylor handled just 17 touches in his Week 7 return, though seven of them were receptions. Moving on from Matt Ryan, the Colts will also be moving on from their recent high-volume passing approach, recommitting to the run with dual-threat Sam Ehlinger under center. They are certainly hoping their offensive line is not as bad as Ryan made it appear.
Kyle Shanahan evidently thinks his ground scheme is so special and complicated that a player he identified as the best running back in football could only handle 10 touches with three days to digest the playbook. Expect something much closer to CMC's normal usage vs. the Rams, though it is unclear how Shanahan plans to divvy up his bevy of high-value touches. Unlike in Carolina, McCaffrey isn't the only 49er who knows what to do with the ball in his hands. … Seemingly always banged up, Dalvin Cook should be as healthy as he will be all season coming off the Vikings' bye. With the total creeping toward 50 in Cardinals/Vikings, there should be no shortage of money-making touches. …. Yet to average fewer than 4.7 yards per carry in any one game, Nick Chubb has been held below 87 yards rushing once. … With the Saints sticking with Andy Dalton under center, Alvin Kamara's receptions business will remain booming. Even with their bye already in the books, the Raiders are one of just seven teams to already allow more than 100 catches to enemy running backs.
Inefficient all year, Joe Mixon has seen his volume decline since the Bengals finally picked up the pace and spread out their offense. “Decline” being relative in this instance. The Browns are a plus Week 8 matchup. … Travis Etienne's 15-0 Week 7 touch advantage over James Robinson could have been an illusion as the Jags prepped for a J-Rob trade. Coach Doug Pederson has already pledged to get JaMycal Hasty more involved. For a variety of reasons, the Jags might like to limit Etienne's workloads, though we would imagine he should begin finding himself more in the 16-20 touch range than 12-16, and it's not like 20-plus is impossible. Catching passes, ripping long runs and featuring near the goal line, Etienne and his ridiculous efficiency — Next Gen Stats charts only Ken Walker as averaging more rush yards over expectation — are making a move on RB1 status. … Speaking of RB1 status, it's what Raheem Mostert has earned as a touch monopolizer in the Dolphins' high upside-if-inconsistent offense. The Week 8 setup is glorious as the Dolphins head to Detroit with the week's highest over/under to face a bottom-three run defense.
Leonard Fournette's production cratered along with the rest of the Bucs in Week 8. Rachaad White's usage creeped up on his veteran teammate's as Tampa searched for answers. The Ravens do represent a short-week, home rebound spot for Tom Brady and company. … Damien Harris (hamstring) returned for Week 7, but Rhamondre Stevenson continued to dominate snaps, carries and targets. The Patriots' offensive results, of course, were utterly abysmal, so it would not be surprising to see a far different approach against the Jets. There is enough uncertainty to keep Stevenson outside the top 12. … Ezekiel Elliott (knee) seems on the wrong side of questionable. Tony Pollard has never handled more than 14 carries or 18 touches in a game, but he will be a no-brainer top-18 option if Zeke sits against the Bears. The Cowboys are close to 10-point home favorites. Dallas lacks a clear-cut No. 3 runner. … James Conner (ribs) is set to return for what could be a high-scoring affair with the Vikings. Albeit at the back end, he can be immediately reinserted in the RB2 ranks. … It also appears D'Andre Swift will finally return from his marathon absence. Having proven yet another coaching staff's durability concerns right, Swift is probably best treated as a FLEX as we wait to see what kind of workload he will handle.
It never seemed likely the run-obsessed Jets would commit true bell-cow workloads to Michael Carter. That was confirmed just one day after Breece Hall's season-ending injury by Gang Green's James Robinson acquisition. The touch delineation could prove unpredictable, but Carter will be the clear Week 8 favorite against the Patriots' struggling run defense. … The Bears vowed to start featuring the hot hand in their backfield. Khalil Herbert maintained it for Week 7. Now coach Matt Eberflus has said Herbert will “continue” to get more work. A seemingly immovable object, David Montgomery might have one more trick up his sleeve, but the uber-talented Herbert is reeling him in. … Has Darrell Henderson already had his last game as feature back? Fifth-round rookie Kyren Williams could make his debut as early as Sunday. So far it is just dot connecting, but there is ample reason to believe Williams will get an immediate opportunity. … Week 7 could go down as Gus Edwards' high-water mark, but it certainly appears his return has ushered in a more run-heavy approach. … Chuba Hubbard (ankle) is truly questionable to face the Falcons. D'Onta Foreman could crack the top 24 if Hubbard sits, and probably deserves the rankings advantage, anyways, as the only Panthers back not battling injury.