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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Running backs for Week 8

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Breece Hall
New York Jets NYJ

The Jets took Hall off a snap count heading into Week 5 and all he’s done since is average 24.4 fantasy points per game. Going off against the Broncos is one thing -- everyone does that -- but Hall also did so against the terrifying Eagles front. He logged more than 20 points against Philadelphia -- no other back has topped 15 against the Eagles, who just shut down the Dolphins' rushing attack. Hall now gets the Giants, who have allowed the second-most rushing yards and third-most rushing touchdowns to backs. They have allowed the eighth-most fantasy PPG to the position overall. Hall is a must-start RB, even with no teams on bye. 

Isiah Pacheco
Kansas City Chiefs KC

Pacheco has now scored more than 13 fantasy points in five straight, with a touchdown in four of them. In that span, he is averaging 17.2 fantasy PPG. He has shown to have a very safe floor and can flash an impressive ceiling in the right matchups. He just got Denver for nearly 16 fantasy points in Week 6, but there is even more upside potential here. The Broncos have allowed the most rushing yards -- by far -- to backs. They have yielded the third-most rushing TDs and most fantasy PPG to backs. Oh, and they are also in the top two in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns allowed to the position. Several backs have already set career highs against Denver. Start Pacheco in the rematch this week. 

Dameon Pierce
Houston Texans HOU

It’s been a rough go for Pierce so far this season, topping double digits just twice. Last we saw him before the bye, he was losing playing time to Devin Singletary. But I’m willing to give him one more shot -- largely because of the matchup in Week 8. The Panthers have allowed the third-most rushing yards and most total rushing touchdowns, despite having already had their bye. They allow 5.3 yards per carry, the second-most in the NFL. They have specifically struggled against outside runs, allowing the most yards per carry in the league. Pierce has double the outside carries of anyone else in Houston. The matchup keeps him in play as an RB2 or flex option. It’s also worth mentioning that Singletary played more in Week 6 and saw more outside carries. He’s also in play as a sleeper or streamer. 

Rachaad White
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB

Rachaad White escapes the Sit ‘Ems?!? Not only that, he’s a start in a week with no byes! What’s happening?! Well, White now has two games this year with 15-plus fantasy points after hitting that mark last week. He can look to build on that success now that his schedule starts to open up. This week, White will face the Bills, who have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to backs in 2023. They give up 4.9 yards per carry, the fourth-highest mark in the NFL. Buffalo was struggling against the run even before injuries piled up on the defense. White is in play on a short week in a favorable matchup.  


Jaylen Warren
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT

Last week, Warren scored a touchdown and reached double-digit fantasy points for a third straight game and the fourth time in his last five outings. It was, however, the first time all year that Najee Harris outscored him in fantasy. But Warren’s a sneaky-good play in this one as the Steelers’ preferred pass-catching back. On the year, he has 27 targets, 22 catches and 165 receiving yards -- compared to Harris’ 12 targets, eight catches and 52 yards. He more than doubles Harris’ production in each of those categories when the team is trailing. The Steelers could be in catch-up mode against the Jags, who have allowed the most completions and fourth-most receiving yards to backs this season. Warren is a safe-floor streaming option who brings more upside due to the matchup this week.

Sit 'Em

Najee Harris
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT

Harris is coming off his best fantasy game of the season, posting 15.8 points. He needed his first touchdown of the year to get there, and it marked just the second time this season he has reached double digits. (Four times, he has scored fewer than seven fantasy points.) It was also the first time Harris outscored Jaylen Warren in 2023. Now Harris is set to face the Jags, who have allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards to backs and just two rushing touchdowns all season. They struggle more against pass-catching backs (SEE: Warren blurb above), but that role has largely gone to Warren so far this season. If the Steelers are in catch-up mode, it could be another Warren week. Harris is not a must-sit, but I would try to get away if you have other options. 

Brian Robinson
Washington Commanders WAS

Robinson had a great matchup on paper last week, but was limited to just eight carries for 23 yards against the Giants. He did score a touchdown to salvage his day and get him to 8.3 fantasy points. This is twice in the last three weeks that Robinson has effectively been game-scripted out as the Commanders try to make a comeback. He has received 12 touches or fewer in each of his last three games. Now he gets the Eagles, who limited him to 51 total yards in Week 4 (a touchdown saved his day then, as well). Outside of the Broncos game (go figure), around 13 fantasy points seems to be the ceiling for Robinson, with a floor in the single digits. Philly has allowed the second-fewest yards and the fewest fantasy PPG to backs.

Miles Sanders
Carolina Panthers CAR

With Sanders out in Week 6, his backup, Chuba Hubbard, scored 16 fantasy points -- more than Sanders has had in all but one game this season. He was struggling to stay efficient while playing through injury and has now had the bye to heal up, but it sounds like a committee is coming in Carolina. Frank Reich said early this week that the Panthers will take a committee approach and that it could change week to week. That is the absolute worst-case scenario for fantasy purposes. The Texans are not a matchup to avoid on the ground, but given the iffy production as of late, the potentially lingering shoulder injury and now the uncertain usage, I would get away from Sanders, especially with no byes this week. 

Emari Demercado
Arizona Cardinals ARI

The Cardinals' backfield has been insanely frustrating over the last few weeks. First, James Conner gets hurt, and Demercado steps up and sees all the work. Then, after everyone pays up for Demercado on the waiver wire, he takes a backseat to Keaontay Ingram in Week 6 ... who then didn’t play a single snap in Week 7. Instead, Demercado played 78 percent of the snaps, with 13 carries and five targets, good for 75 yards and 11.5 fantasy points. He’s a back I want on my roster, but until we have reason to trust this backfield, I would leave him on the bench. Perhaps we get clarity later in the week, but the Cards could also be playing catch-up against the Ravens very quickly, and the fantasy upside has not been high enough to warrant rolling the dice on Demercado. 

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