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NFL Fantasy 2022 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

Christian McCaffrey
San Francisco 49ers · RB
Los Angeles Rams
2022 · 3-3-0

Typically, McCaffrey is far too obvious to include in this article. But after playing just 29% of the snaps with eight carries and two targets in his 49ers debut, some people are wondering if they should be patient, especially against the Rams, who have been the toughest team on running backs this season. Nope. McCaffrey was able to contribute after being traded late Thursday night and watching half of the Niners' practice sessions. After a full week with the team, learning the offense and getting to practice, we should see much more McCaffrey on Sunday. And in what was a very limited sample size, we saw him break out with multiple touches for over 10 yards. The upside in this offense is sky high for McCaffrey, even in a tough matchup against the Rams. Fire up McCaffrey each week.  

Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys · RB
Chicago Bears
2022 · 3-4-0

Last week, the touchdowns went to Ezekiel Elliott, but the yardage went to Pollard. Pollard finished with 109 yards on 12 carries and two targets. What I like even more is that he played 63% of the snaps, which was more than Elliott (53%). Pollard is simply the more explosive back and the more touches he gets, the more chances for him to hit the home run, especially this week against the Bears. Chicago has allowed 25.01 fantasy PPG to RBs, the ninth-most in the NFL. But the Bears especially struggle on outside runs, which happen to be Pollard’s strength. This season, Pollard has 39 outside runs for 224 yards and a touchdown -- that is good for 5.7 yards per carry. This is a week with added potential for Pollard to hit a home run.  

Raheem Mostert
Miami Dolphins · RB
Detroit Lions
2022 · 1-5-0

Mostert has fully taken over the Dolphins' backfield. He is just a great fit in that Mike McDaniel system, as the two developed together in San Francisco. Mostert also happens to be one of the fastest ball-carriers in the NFL, so he always has the potential to hit a home run. In Week 7, he played 71% of the snaps with 16 carries and five targets. He went for over 100 yards and a touchdown. That is both a great opportunity and production. He has a chance to have another big day this week against a Lions defense that has been run on all season long. On the year, the Lions have allowed 29.17 fantasy PPG to RBs, the third-most in the NFL. They were just run all over by both of the Cowboys’ running backs. This is a week to start Mostert.  

D'Onta Foreman
Carolina Panthers · RB
Atlanta Falcons
2022 · 3-4-0

I will admit: You can sign me up as a doubter that the Panthers' running attack will be better without Christian McCaffrey. I was a doubter going into Week 7, and I am a doubter for the rest of the season. But in Week 8, you can go ahead and plug Foreman into your lineup. Last week, he played 54% of the snaps, finishing with 15 carries and two targets and going for 145 yards. Chuba Hubbard also had a good game, but he is dealing with an ankle injury. Whether it will require him to sit is still up in the air, but it could only lead to more work for Foreman. In the past month, the Falcons have allowed 31.1 fantasy PPG to RBs, the third-most in that span. This is a game where the Panthers could once again be playing with a lead, especially after how well P.J. Walker played last week. This game also has the potential to just be a total run-fest on both sides. This is a week where you can elevate Foreman into your starting lineup. If he has another good game, you can try to sell high.  

Sit 'Em

David Montgomery
Chicago Bears · RB
Dallas Cowboys
2022 · 5-2-0

Montgomery has to share the backfield with Khalil Herbert. In Week 7, Montgomery played 56% of the snaps and saw 15 carries but no targets. Herbert saw 13 touches, including two targets, and scored a receiving touchdown. Oh, and Justin Fields scored the red-zone rushing TD. The Bears say that they are playing the hot hand approach, and it led to touches for both backs in Week 7. While Montgomery had a slight edge, it is certainly worrisome. Another issue is Herbert is stealing away the valuable touches in the passing game. And now Fields stealing rushing attempts and touchdowns is another concern. The TD salvaged Montgomery's day in Monday's game, but the floor is now in the single-digits if it's just reliant on rushing yards. He also has a tough matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed just 17.26 fantasy PPG to RBs, the second-fewest in the NFL, and just two touchdowns all season. Montgomery is not a must-sit by any means, but if you have similarly ranked options, you can go in the other direction.  

AJ Dillon
Green Bay Packers · RB
Buffalo Bills
2022 · 5-1-0

It's been a frustrating season for Dillon. In Week 5, he played just 32% of the snaps with six carries and no targets. The following week, he played half the snaps and finished with 10 carries, including six targets. Then in Week 7, he was back down to 30% of the snaps with four carries and no targets. There is simply no guarantee in touches right now and Dillon has not shown enough juice, as only 8% of his carries have gone for over 10 yards. With no breakaway speed, on top of volume concerns, there is no way you can start Dillon right now, especially not in a tough matchup, like this week against the Bills, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (18.1).  

Melvin Gordon
Denver Broncos · RB

Gordon was the lead back for the Broncos, but still had to share work with the other backs. Even with Mike Boone expected to miss some time, Latavius Murray has played a large role. Gordon has now scored seven fantasy points or fewer in three of his last four games, including two games with less than a point (one was in negatives). The Jaguars have struggled against the run this year, but you have to imagine they will load the box against the Broncos. Despite the matchup, Gordon is only for those in deep formats.  

Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams · RB
San Francisco 49ers
2022 · 3-4-0

Cam Akers is on the outs in Los Angeles it seems, leaving Henderson as its top running back. However, that still doesn’t mean you have to start him. Even with a bit of a larger workload in Week 6, Henderson was limited to 52 yards. There is also chatter about getting some of the backup running backs more involved. Additionally, the 49ers defense is getting healthier and is a scary matchup. San Francisco has limited running backs to 17.6 fantasy PPG, the fourth-fewest in the NFL this season. Earlier this season against the Niners, Henderson was limited to 39 yards and 6.9 fantasy points. You likely have better options this week.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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