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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 8: Running backs

Which running backs should fantasy owners consider with so many players on bye in Week 8?

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

With six teams on bye in Week 8, fantasy owners have some difficult decisions to make with their lineups. They'll be missing top-level stars at running back like Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Carlos Hyde, Jay Ajayi, and Terrance West. That's a lot of productive names that will be hard to replace this week.

So which running backs should fantasy owners consider in their lineups? We take a look at three top recommended options, along with three players you should probably stay away from.


Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (@ Indianapolis Colts)

Jamaal Charles just can't get on the field and he's probably closer to injured reserve than he is to taking back the starting job. The backfield belongs to Ware now, and he'll be an every-week RB1 in all fantasy leagues. Keep firing him up against the Colts' weak defense.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Oakland Raiders)

Rodgers has been one of the more pleasant surprises in fantasy football this season. A journeyman afterthought with forgettable runs in Atlanta and Chicago, Rodgers got an opportunity in Tampa with Doug Martin and Charles Sims injured and took advantage. He has 324 yards on 69 carries, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Rodgers may yet slow down, but we don't expect it to happen against the Raiders' soft defense.

Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (vs. San Diego Chargers)

C.J. Anderson went down with a meniscus injury and is probably done for the season, so the starting job is Booker's now. We're about to see what he can do with full workloads, but he's certainly impressed in limited action this year and will be on the RB2/flex radar against San Diego.


Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (vs. New England Patriots)

Gillislee will get the start if LeSean McCoy can't go. He may have volume opportunities, but talent-wise he's a massive downgrade from McCoy, and the Bills may just lean on Tyrod Taylor to carry the offense. It also isn't a good spot this week, going against a good Patriots defense and Buffalo will likely be playing from behind.

Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Dallas Cowboys)

Mired in a three-man committee, Mathews has two fumbles in his past three games and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 5. His RB2 moment has probably come and gone, and he won't be worth using against the Cowboys' 10th-ranked run defense.

Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs. Minnesota Vikings)

Howard has fallen into a committee with Ka'Deem Carey, while Jordan Langford is coming back from his ankle injury. The Bears' backfield is a complete mess and now they have to play the Vikings' defense. Hard pass.