Week 9 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. Chase Edmonds should be a smash play, while Damien Harris should stay on your bench.
Chase Edmonds, Damien Harris Highlight Fantasy Football Week 9 Running Back Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Start: Chase Edmonds
This is the moment Chase Edmonds truthers have been waiting for. The third-year runner has looked like the best back in Arizona and will finally have a chance to prove it with Kenyan Drake sidelined. In small bursts, Edmonds has shown the ability to make a real difference as both a receiving back and an early-down runner. All reports indicate that he will receive a full three-down workload and is a must-start in all formats.
Somehow, Edmonds has managed to string together several fantasy-relevant performances this season despite a limited workload. The talent is clearly there, Arizona’s offense is one of the best – and fastest – in all of football, and the Cardinals face a favorable matchup against the Miami Dolphins. He should be a reliable RB1 this week.
Sit: Damien Harris
New England Patriots running back Damien Harris had a great game last week, recording 102 rushing yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. The former third-round pick has played well over the past four games, but his workload could receive a massive blow in the coming weeks.
The Patriots activated Sony Michel from the short-term injured reserve, and he could make his return in Week 9. If he does, this is probably bad news for Harris. Harris will most likely remain the starting running back, but Michel will get his touches. Considering Harris doesn’t receive any work in the passing game, it’s hard to trust him as a part-time early-down runner. The volume isn’t going to be there, and he doesn’t receive enough valuable touches to offset the lack of work.
Start: Gus Edwards
As of this posting, Mark Ingram will probably miss his second consecutive game. This makes J.K. Dobbins an auto-start, but there will be plenty of work left over for Gus Edwards. Dobbins stole the show last week, but the former undrafted free agent had a solid game of his own in Week 8. Overall, Edwards recorded 16 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown against a stout Pittsburgh Steelers defense.
Assuming Ingram misses yet another week, Edwards should be in line for a similar workload. While he might not average 5.44 yards per carry, 16 carries is more than enough for someone playing in a good offense like Baltimore’s. If you need a flex play, you could do a lot worse than Gus Edwards.
Sit: Miami Dolphins Running Backs
Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin was one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 NFL season. The former seventh-round pick usurped Jordan Howard and Matt Breida on the depth chart and was starting to develop a full three-down workload. Unfortunately, Gaskin suffered an injury and landed on the injured reserve.
Under normal conditions, Matt Breida would probably step in and fill Gaskins’ role. However, Breida suffered an injury of his own. This leaves a massive question mark atop Miami’s depth chart, and fantasy football owners should stay away from the entire situation – especially with Tua Tagovailoa struggling in his NFL debut.
Start: Zack Moss
Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss is in a roughly even timeshare with Devin Singletary, but not all touches are created equal. Targets and goal line carries carry more fantasy value than early-down work outside the 20’s, and Moss is receiving those valuable touches. Last week, Moss recorded 14 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns, while Singletary received 14 carries for 86 yards. Both player should have decent outings in a high-scoring matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, but Moss will receive the red zone work. Chances are, Moss will find his way into the endzone on at least one occasion.
Sit: DeeJay Dallas
Seattle Seahawks rookie running back DeeJay Dallas had a breakout game last week. With the rest of the depth chart battling injury, Dallas played in 79% of the snaps while recording 22.8 PPR fantasy points. That result is obviously fantastic, but the results probably won’t repeat in Week 9.
Dallas owes all of his success to volume. On a per-touch basis, he was pretty horrible. Dallas averaged just 2.28 yards per carry and 3.4 yards per reception, and ultimately didn’t do much to justify a workload moving forward. If Chris Carson plays, Dallas probably won’t see the field. However, even if he doesn’t, Travis Homer will probably take the lead role. Homer played in Week 9, but he was clearly battling injury and wasn’t 100%. Given a full week to heal, Homer should be ready to handle a larger workload and keep Dallas on the sideline.
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