With four touchdowns in his last three games, Ken Walker will be at it again as the RB Start ‘Em of the Week.
Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Josh Allen, Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp. Instead, I’ll look at the players you have questions about who could exceed or fail to meet expectations at each position. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the NFL season.
Fabs Top 10 Running Backs
1. Derrick Henry at Texans
2. Saquon Barkley at Seahawks
3. Nick Chubb vs. Bengals (MNF)
4. Josh Jacobs at Saints
5. Ken Walker vs. Giants
6. Joe Mixon at Browns (MNF)
7. Christian McCaffrey at Rams
8. Jonathan Taylor vs. Commanders
9. Alvin Kamara vs. Raiders
10. Rhamondre Stevenson at Jets
Byes: Chargers, Chiefs
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: QUARTERBACKS | RUNNING BACKS | WIDE RECEIVERS | TIGHT ENDS | KICKERS & TEAM DEFENSES
Week 8 Start ‘Em: Running Backs
Start of the Week
Ken Walker vs. Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Walker’s numbers have been scary good, as he’s scored a combined 47.8 fantasy points in his last two games. He’ll be a top-10 option this week, too, as the rookie faces a Giants defense that’s given up 14-plus fantasy points to five different running backs, including three who have had 18-plus points. That includes lesser backs like Dontrell Hilliard and Kenyan Drake.
Travis Etienne vs. Broncos (London, 9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+): A fantasy darling, Etienne has started to meet expectations with a combined 46.1 fantasy points in his last three games. He’s also taken over the backfield from James Robinson, who has now been traded to the New York Jets. The Broncos have a tough defense, but it has surrendered over 20 fantasy points to two runners since Week 4.
Miles Sanders vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Sanders hasn’t been the most reliable back in fantasy land, but he has scored 14-plus fantasy points three times and is averaging 14.6 points per game this season. He’s in the RB2 conversation this week, as the Eagles host a Steelers defense that has allowed six different backs to score 15-plus fantasy points. That includes three backs who’ve had over 20 points.
Ezekiel Elliott vs. Bears (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Elliott has been hot in recent weeks, scoring a combined three touchdowns in his last two games. I’d keep him active this week, too, as he’ll face a Bears defense that’s allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs. That includes surrendering at least 18 points to five backs. Elliott is dealing with a knee issue, so if he can’t play Tony Pollard gets the call.
Raheem Mostert at Lions (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Mostert has taken over the Dolphins backfield, seeing more than 41% of the backfield touches in two of the last three games. He should find continued success this week, as the veteran has a great matchup in Detroit. The Lions’ defense has been shredded by runners, allowing 10 total touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to the position this season.
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• Rhamondre Stevenson at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
• Jamaal Williams vs. Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
• Devin Singletary vs. Packers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
• Ken Walker vs. Giants ($6,500)
• Ezekiel Elliott vs. Bears ($6,200)
• Raheem Mostert at Lions ($5,900)
Week 8 Sit ‘Em: Running Backs
Sit of the Week
Najee Harris at Eagles (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Harris has been far from worth the first-round pick he cost in drafts, averaging a mere 10.8 fantasy points in his first seven games. While he’s tough to sit in most cases, I’d be wary of this week’s matchup in Philadelphia. Their defense has been tough on running backs at home, allowing one touchdown and the third-fewest fantasy points at Lincoln Financial Field.
David Montgomery at Cowboys (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Montgomery has had up and down weeks in the stat sheets, and I’d be concerned about a difficult upcoming matchup in Dallas. The Cowboys’ defense hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown to a back at the Jerry Dome this season, and enemy runners have averaged 17.3 fantasy points per game when facing this defense on its home field.
Darrell Henderson vs. 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Henderson’s value seems to be on the rise with Cam Akers in the doghouse, but he’ll be a gamble this week in a tough matchup against the 49ers. Their defense has been stout against opposing backs, allowing just one to score more than 16.5 points against them. What’s more, the Niners held Henderson and Akers to a combined 8.2 points back in Week 4.
Kareem Hunt vs. Bengals (Mon. 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN): Hunt has been a disaster in the stat sheets, scoring single-digit fantasy points in all but one of his last six games. That includes last week when he was held to 7.8 points despite scoring a touchdown! The Bengals have also been tough on running backs, allowing just two touchdowns and the third-fewest fantasy points to the position in 2022.
A.J. Dillon at Bills (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Remember when Dillon went for 20.1 points back in Week 1? Since then, he’s failed to score double-digit points in his last six contests. That includes a 1.5-point stink bomb against Washington. Dillon’s touch share has dropped below 15% in two of his last three games, and the Bills’ defense has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to backs this season.
• James Robinson vs. Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
• Brian Robinson at Colts (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)
• Tyler Allgeier vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
• David Montgomery at Cowboys ($6,300)
• Najee Harris at Eagles ($5,700)
• Darrell Henderson vs. 49ers ($5,500)
More fantasy & NFL coverage:
- Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 8
- Week 8 Dynasty Stock Watch
- Good News, Bad News: Ekeler, Valdes-Scantling, Campbell
- Fantasy Fallout: Josh Jacobs and Melvin Gordon
- Week 7 Fantasy Takeaways
- Early Week 8 Waiver Wire
- IDP Waiver Wire Report Week 8
- NFL Power Rankings: AFC and NFC Teams Split Top Spots
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!