Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings: RB

Patrick Daugherty
·7 min read

Amongst the players looking to sort out committees are Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Le’Veon Bell, Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson.

Other positions: Quarterback | Receiver | Tight End/Kickers/Defense

Updated 11/1 at 11:30 AM ET. Essentially impossible to know what to do with Chris Carson. I added him as a low-end FLEX.

Updated 11/1 at 1:05 PM ET. Removed Chris Carson.

Week 8 Running Backs

RB Notes: The Big Dog won’t have to wait long for his meal against the Bengals. Derrick Henry is a doomsday matchup for a run defense coughing up 4.9 yards per carry and 134 yards per game. … Dalvin Cook (groin) is good to go after missing only one game. After doing an amazing Cook impression against the Seahawks, Alexander Mattison did an amazing practice squad impression vs. the Falcons. The Packers are permitting the second most RB fantasy points. … Alvin Kamara has caught at least eight passes in 4-of-6 appearances. The Saints are 4.5-point road favorites vs. the Bears’ stout defense. … Aaron Jones (calf) has surprisingly failed to resume practicing after it seemed he nearly suited up for Week 7. If the Packers’ notoriously conservative medical staff once again fails to give the all-clear, Jamaal Williams will immediately slot back into the top 10 after last week’s RB4 performance in half PPR. … Things haven’t gone as planned for Kareem Hunt during Nick Chubb’s three-game absence, with not even the lowly Bengals being able to fully spring him after back-to-back tough dates with the Colts and Steelers. The touches remain, and only the Packers gift more RB fantasy points than Las Vegas.

Christian McCaffrey (ankle) had appeared on track to play. Now it seems he will sit. Whoever starts Thursday will be facing a Falcons Defense once again allowing a biblical amount of running back receptions, this time the league’s second most with 51 through seven games. Mike Davis has performed admirably in CMC’s absence but has predictably proven to be nowhere near McCaffrey’s level on either a per-catch or per-run basis. If — when — CMC sits, Davis will nevertheless slot into the top six. … Ripped from the Rotoworld blurb headlines: Jonathan Taylor is averaging 4.5 yards per carry over his past four games compared to 2.7 for Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. Coming off their bye week, it would stand to reason the Colts will finally be ready to go all in on their rookie back. RBs coach Tom Rathman and head coach Frank Reich have both obliquely hinted as much. Although stiffening as a defensive whole, the Lions remain a matchup to attack. … Ezekiel Elliott is the RB7 by average half PPR points, but he has only two touchdowns across his past four games. He is averaging 13 carries for 60 yards during that timespan, saving face with a pair of eight-reception performances. With “Ben DiNucci” under center against the Eagles’ typically tough run defense, checkdowns will be Zeke’s avenue to the RB1 promised land.

Todd Gurley’s second touchdown against the Lions was an anguishing personal moment that won weeks for fantasy managers. Gurley has been bad, but he continues to receive the work that matters. Only the Packers and Raiders hand out more RB fantasy points than Carolina. … Week 8 ceiling probably won’t be there for James Conner. He should be able to attain his floor in a divisional slugfest where neither team will pull away. ... “Wasn’t good, finished as half PPR RB7” was the story of Giovani Bernard’s Week 7. With Joe Mixon (foot) still on the shelf, Bernard should be able to repeat the formula vs. the Titans’ bottom-10 run defense. … Josh Jacobs found himself canceled against the Bucs’ impenetrable front. The work should at least return in a 51 totaled affair with the Browns where the Raiders are modest 2.5-point ‘dogs. … Miles Sanders (knee) has yet to resume practicing. Boston Scott turned last week’s spot start into a top 10 half PPR finish. This is probably a conservative ranking against a Cowboys Defense that can’t keep the Tabasco out of its eyes. … The Rams have a tough run D, but Myles Gaskin has emerged as the Dolphins’ man for all backfield seasons. … With Phillip Lindsay (concussion) on the shelf, an increasingly unimpressive Melvin Gordon once again lucks into surefire RB2 status.

We didn’t get any Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Le’Veon Bell answers in Week 7. The duo combined for only 15 touches as the Chiefs smashed the Broncos with defense and special teams. That’s a “risk” for Week 8 against the Jets, while Bell’s “revenge” factor clouds what otherwise be a more straightforward outlook. CEH has done nothing to lose his backfield lead, but you better believe Bell will be given some goal-line carries vs. Gang Green. … Forget what Malcolm Brown did against the Bears. Darrell Henderson has reached 14 carries in four of his past five games. Shockingly, Henderson is actually one of the “surest things” in this week’s bleak RB2 picture. … Now getting goal-line looks to complement his three weekly receptions, D’Andre Swift is emerging as an every-week RB2 at a ludicrously shallow position. … David Montgomery just flat stinks. It is embarrassing that the Bears don’t have a better option. But they don’t, so Montgomery remains a workload-based low-end RB2 as someone who gets 16-20 weekly touches. … Chris Carson (foot) is on the wrong side of questionable. Carlos Hyde, meanwhile, has a hamstring injury. If he can get cleared, Hyde will be a low-end RB2 with Travis Homer — who is also banged up with a knee issue — and perhaps DeeJay Dallas mixing in. … We’ve entered the land of hopeless committees. If you have a way of separating Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, I am all ears.

Leonard Fournette has been declared the Bucs’ “nickel” running back, getting LeSean McCoy off the field. That will narrow his competition with Ronald Jones, though RoJo will seemingly maintain scoring-area supremacy. There will be drives to cash in vs. the Giants. … Mark Ingram (ankle) isn’t practicing coming off the Ravens’ bye week. That leaves Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins to form a 1-2 punch, with Justice Hill probably mixing in for some passing downs. As much as we would like to say this will be Dobbins’ moment to shine, Edwards was pretty clearly ahead of him on the depth chart before the break, out-carrying his rookie teammate 30-15 over the Ravens’ past three games. With the Steelers handing out the league’s fewest RB fantasy points, only Edwards can flirt with top 24 rankings status. We would like to believe a bye week correction will be getting Dobbins more involved, but predicting so would be pure conjecture. … Jeff Wilson’s ankle has landed him on I.R. right as Tevin Coleman (ankle) resumes practicing. Even if Coleman gets the go-ahead vs. Seattle, JaMycal Hasty is the clear Niners back to start this week. … Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson are mired in stalemate. Kelley’s 17-10 Week 7 touch advantage was compelling enough to break the rankings tie. … Wayne Gallman has a thankless job as the Giants’ Week 8 lead back against the Bucs’ elite defense, but at least it’s a job.