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Week 8 Running Back Rankings - PPR Leagues

Examining the best matchups for week eight running backs from a point per reception-league standpoint.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I'd like to use this introductory paragraph as an obituary for Jamaal Charles' days as an RB1 in fantasy football. He's not healthy and Spencer Ware is on fire. Good night to the dream that I and many had before the season about seeing one of the greatest running backs of all time come back from injury and light the league on fire. Sometimes in fantasy football, we must let go of the past and not be blinded by name-power. This is one of those situations that many of us can learn from.

Rank Player Team Opponent Analysis
1 Spencer Ware KC @IND As a Jamaal Charles apologist, seeing him not healthy hurts, but Ware has taken hold of the No. 1 job anyway. He's gone over 20 points in his last two games and now takes on a Colts defense that has given up three straight 20+ point rushers.
2 Christine Michael SEA @NO Christine Michael is good. The Saints have allowed five 20+ point games from rushers over the past four weeks and given up the most fantasy points to RBs the entire year. Rocket science.
3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL PHI Fresh off a bye week and flung into a primetime matchup against an Eagles D that has leaked run game production over the past few weeks.
4 David Johnson ARI @CAR Matchup proof and a top 5 weekly play. No other words needed.
5 DeMarco Murray TEN JAX A top 5 weekly play who gets a middle-of-the-road defense on a short week.
6 Jacquizz Rodgers TB OAK This is really the world we live in. Quizz Rodgers is a top 10 RB play with Doug Martin out and a soft Raiders run defense on the schedule.
7 Lamar Miller HOU DET Detroit has been stout against the run, but they've allowed double digit fantasy points to seven RBs and Miller looks as good as ever.
8 Matt Forte NYJ @CLE After seemingly going away from him the last few weeks, the Jets fed Forte 34 touches last week and he had a monster game. Now he gets a putrid Browns defense.
9 Devonta Freeman ATL GB While the matchup is tough, Freeman is in line for a massive workload with Tevin Coleman bound to miss this game.
10 LeGarrette Blount NE @BUF Blount is blazing hot and the Bills just got trucked for over 200 yards by Jay Ajayi.
11 Melvin Gordon SD @DEN Maddeningly inefficient, but if he keeps getting two yard touchdown runs he'll keep being an RB1.
12 Frank Gore IND KC One of the most consistent RBs so far this year and the Chiefs defense is no longer an imposing matchup.
13 Jeremy Hill CIN WAS Hard to guess when Hill's blow up games will come, but this looks like one of them, especially considering Hill just went off for 168 yards in a great matchup last week.
14 C.J. Anderson DEN SD Timeshare with Booker is a real thing, but this run game is good enough to support both RBs and Anderson has looked really good the last few weeks.
15 Latavius Murray OAK @TB Continues to scored TDs and none of his backups have shown anything to siphon too many opportunities from him.
16 Giovani Bernard CIN WAS Enough opportunity to eat for both Hill and Gio in a prime matchup.
17 James White NE @BUF Has gone into double digits in each of the last three games. Has been one of Tom Brady's favorite weapons since coming back.
18 Chris Thompson WAS @CIN With Matt Jones unable to hold on to the ball, Thompson made the most of his touches and looked explosive. He was already a solid PPR flex because of his pass game work, but now is in line for an expanded role.
19 Mark Ingram NO SEA Beginning to get more involved in the pass game, which helps, but this is a brutal matchup for him to get going.
20 Matt Asiata MIN @CHI McKinnon is a bit banged up and Asiata was already getting all the goal line work. I think Asiata could score twice in this one.
21 Isaiah Crowell CLE NYJ They got him going last week against a poor Bengals run defense, but gets a much stiffer test this week. Still think they'll feed him plenty with, possibly, Kevin Hogan behind center for them.
22 Devontae Booker DEN SD Gary Kubiak made good on his promise to get Booker more involved, and Booker responded with 83 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He's forced a timeshare and could solidify himself as a low end RB2 for the stretch run.
23 Ryan Mathews PHI @DAL Touch count is unpredictable, but he is clearly their most talented back and should get around 12 carries against a decent but not great Cowboys run defense.
24 Mike Gillislee BUF NE I'm expecting LeSean McCoy to sit this one out, setting up Gillislee for a good amount of work against a Pats defense that gives up a lot of receiving production to RBs.
25 Jordan Howard CHI MIN Honestly, this might be an optimistic ranking considering John Fox is in love with Carey and the Vikes D is impenetrable.
26 Justin Forsett DET @HOU With Dwayne Washington back this week, that hurts Zach Zenner more than Forsett. Forsett's role is secure and effective in PPR for as long as Theo Riddick is out.
27 Jonathan Stewart CAR ARI Fresh off a bye week, he gets a red-hot Cards defense that has stifled Matt Forte and Christine Michael over the past two weeks.
28 Matt Jones WAS @CIN Despite his fumbleitis, will still be involved and is in a great spot for production, but how many touches will Jay Gruden give him?
29 Jerick McKinnon MIN @CHI He's had one big game all year and is now dealing with an ankle injury. The matchup is right, though.
30 T.J. Yeldon JAX TEN Tennessee has been susceptible to receiving backs over the past few weeks, so Yeldon is in a nice spot to do some damage.
31 Duke Johnson Jr. CLE NYJ His week-to-week usage has become a legit concern. They haven't really used him in catchup mode like one would expect.
32 Peyton Barber TB OAK Flashed at Auburn and flashed last week in his first extended NFL look. A solid backup for Quizz who can have standalone value in a great matchup.
33 Jamaal Charles KC @IND Sad face emoji.
34 Bilal Powell NYJ @CLE After looking like he was forcing an even split in the backfield, the Jets go ahead and give Forte nearly the entire game to himself. The matchup is so good, though, that Powell might return flex value this week.
35 Chris Ivory JAX TEN Pretty much just a touchdown dependent, risky flex play at this point.
36 Darren Sproles PHI @DAL Owns the most consistent snap counts in the Eagles backfield, but really hasn't done much of anything outside of the Steelers game. Always an intriguing PPR play, though.
37 Zach Zenner DET @HOU His usage will take a huge hit if either one of Riddick or Washington returns this week, which seems likely.
38 Ka'Deem Carey CHI MIN Coaching staff loves him and he's looked spry, but the Vikes D is not the matchup you ever want to see on paper.
39 Alfred Blue HOU DET Could get more looks than usual with Miller possibly dinged up.
40 Deandre Washington OAK @TB A preseason hype train developed for Washington, but that has fizzled out quickly as he hasn't shown much to warrant more than about 7 touches per game.
41 Rob Kelley WAS @CIN The coaching staff has been getting him more involved and that can continue this week with Jones fumbling like never before.
42 C.J. Prosise SEA @NO Pushed C.J. Spiller to the bench and was in on plenty of third downs last Sunday night. Could do some pass game damage against a horrible Saints defense.
43 Knile Davis GB @ATL If Yahoo and would get their act together and list Ty Montgomery as an RB, I could rank him, but, alas, Davis is the only Packers RB I can rank. He might mix in for a few touches, but don't expect more than about 5-7.
44 Fozzy Whittaker CAR ARI Might be needed in this one to get something going through the air out of the backfield.
45 Wendell Smallwood PHI @DAL Might begin to get more carries with Mathews' fumbling issues, but I won't pretend to have any idea what Doug Pederson is doing with his RBs.
46 Reggie Bush BUF NE Played a bit more with McCoy out last week and actually scored on a one yard touchdown. Don't expect a touchdown, but he'll be used in a change of pace role.
47 Travaris Cadet NO SEA Gets a few catches per game, but doesn't really bring anything to the table other than that.
48 Robert Turbin IND KC He's been getting more run than Josh Ferguson behind Frank Gore, and could always get a stray goal line carry.
49 Derrick Henry TEN JAX Not sure why the Titans don't give Murray some breaks and give Henry full drives, but I'm not an NFL coach for a reason.
50 Charcandrick West KC @IND If Charles plays, West is third fiddle. If he doesn't, West is second fiddle. Not much to like with him.