Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season is right around the corner. All games are on schedule as it appears as though COVID-19 will not cause any delays *knocks on wood*. Bye weeks are officially up and running, which means that fantasy football owners are once again looking to their benches for the best running back start/sit options. Ronald Jones should have a good day, while Jamycal Hasty is too risky to start.
Ronald Jones, Jamycal Hasty Highlight Fantasy Football Week 8 Running Back Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Start: Ronald Jones
For a little while there, Ronald Jones was a must-start running back and didn’t qualify for this list. However, with Leonard Fournette back in town, it’s safe to wonder whether you can trust the former second-round pick with a starting spot in your fantasy football lineup. While Fournette’s presence certainly puts a cap on his ceiling, Jones should still be a solid RB2 in Week 8.
Bruce Arians seems to want to use Jones as the early-down back with Fournette handling the receiving duties. This means that Jones should be a decent play in games where Tampa Bay is projected to win by a wide margin. The Buccaneers face off against an absolutely atrocious New York Giants team in Week 8, which is great news for Jones. Tampa Bay should win this comfortably, which means that Jones should have plenty of scoring opportunities and late-game carries.
Sit: Jamycal Hasty
San Francisco 49ers running back Jamycal Hasty was one of the top fantasy football waiver wire adds for the week. If you’re in an extreme pinch, you can start him. However, you’re probably better off looking somewhere else. Last week, the running back played over Jerick McKinnon and recorded nine carries for 57 yards and one reception for 16 yards. With Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert injured, there is an opportunity available here.
However, predicting who will receive that opportunity is anyone’s guess. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that McKinnon’s low usage was planned and his role will expand moving forward. Additionally, there is a chance that the team re-activates running back Tevin Coleman prior to Week 8’s action. Like always, San Francisco’s starting running back will carry a lot of fantasy value. However, that probably won’t be Hasty, at least not this week.
Start: Boston Scott (Without Miles Sanders)
Boston Scott becomes a must-sit if Miles Sanders plays. However, Sanders is day-to-day as of this posting and might not suit up in Week 8. If that happens, then Boston Scott should have yet another fantasy-relevant week. The former undrafted free agent had a solid game last week, recording 12 carries for 46 yards while adding an additional three receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. These numbers are fine on their own, but should be even better next week.
Scott has the luxury of going up against the Dallas Cowboys and their absolutely atrocious defense. Scott should be incredibly efficient on the ground, and the Cowboys will be starting undrafted free agent Ben DiNucci. This means that Eagles should have a huge lead throughout the game, which means more carries and scoring opportunities for Scott.
Sit: Devonta Freeman
More than any other position, running backs are a product of their environment. Unfortunately for Devonta Freeman, his environment is one of the worst in the NFL. The New York Giants have an anemic offense, a nonexistent offensive line, while Freeman himself has a questionable snap count. Last week, Freeman played in just 20% of the snaps while recording just three carries. Even if he gets a full workload in Week 8, he’ll do so against a truly elite Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. It’s hard to imagine him being anything more than a truly desperate flex play.
Start: Darrell Henderson
Darrell Henderson is on the start list, which probably means that this will finally be the long-awaited Cam Akers breakout game. Sean McVay has been absolutely infuriating with his running back usage, but Henderson finally seems to have earned the starting job in this offense. Since Week 2, Henderson has hit the 14-touch threshold in five of a possible six games. He’s kept the starting job even with Akers and Malcolm Brown healthy, and there’s no reason to think he’ll lose it now.
Sit: Le’Veon Bell
Just two weeks after signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, Le’Veon Bell is set to face off against his former team in the New York Jets. While the revenge game narratives are fun, the fact remains that this is Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s backfield. Last week, Edwards-Helaire played in 53% of the snaps to Bell’s 33% in an absolute blowout. This should be another blowout, and Edwards-Helaire is the safer bet to see most of the garbage time touches.