Fantasy football: Five running backs to avoid in Week 8

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (C) totaled 77 rushing yards in his last game, but 53 of those yards came on one run. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
1 of 7 | Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (C) totaled 77 rushing yards in his last game, but 53 of those yards came on one run. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Dalvin Cook is are among my five running backs to avoid for Week 8 of the fantasy football season. Saquon Barkley leads my Top 30 weekly rankings for the position.

Dameon Pierce, Darrell Henderson, D'Onta Foreman and James Robinson are among the other players I would lower my expectations for or try to keep out of my lineup.


Week 7 performance, opportunity, strength of Week 8 opponents and expected game script are among the factors I considered when determining the players to avoid. My full Top 30 rankings are below.

Austin Ekeler, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco are among the players who should be benched as the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs serve Week 8 byes.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (R) can still be used as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 this week in fantasy football. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI

Dalvin Cook

Cook and the Minnesota Vikings were on bye in Week 7. The veteran running back was the No. 13 fantasy football play in Week 6, but his day was salvaged by a late 53-yard rushing touchdown. Cook managed just 24 yards on 12 carries, outside of that run.

Cook scored just once through his first four games this season. This week, the Vikings will face the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game through the first seven weeks of the season. They also held New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara to just 49 rushing yards in Week 7.

I expect the Vikings to expose the Cardinals' beatable secondary more than its run defense. The Cardinals allowed the fifth-most passing yards through seven weeks. Look for Cook to provide low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 production. He is not an elite option.

Houston Texans running back Dameon Pierce totaled more than 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his last four games, but will get a tough Week 8 matchup. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Dameon Pierce

Pierce is my No. 18 play for Week 8 and can be plugged in as a low-end RB2 or flex play. The Houston Texans rookie is on a roll, with more than 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his last four games. He also scored in three of those appearances.


He deserves to remain in your lineup, but you shouldn't expect that kind of production due to his matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans allow the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. They also just held Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor to just 58 rushing yards in Week 7

The Titans did not allow more than 66 rushing yards or a touchdown to a starting running back in any of their previous five games. I would stay away from Pierce if you have a better option, but he can still be plugged in if you don't roster another player with a good matchup.

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson (27) failed to run for more than 47 yards in any of his six appearances this season. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Darrell Henderson Jr.

Henderson is my No. 28 option and is a subpar RB2 or flex play for Week 8. The Los Angeles Rams running was on bye in Week 7. He failed to eclipse 47 rushing yards in any of his six appearances this season.

This week, the Rams will face the San Francisco 49ers in what should be a tight game. The 49ers allow the second-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. Keep Henderson out of your lineup if possible.


James Robinson

Robinson is another running back who falls outside of my Top 30 for Week 8. The veteran running back joined the New York Jets this week in a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Robinson likely will see a somewhat limited workload this week when the Jets host the New England Patriots, as he learns a new playbook. The Patriots also allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs and just one rushing score to the position.

Robinson is likely a touchdown-or-bust play. He could provide RB2 value down the road, but I would keep him out of lineups until he acclimates to a new offense.

Los Angeles Chargers defender Troy Reeder (42) tackles Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

Week 8 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at SEA

2. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at HOU

3. Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks vs. NYG

4. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. WAS

5. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at NO

6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at CLE

7. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. CHI


8. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. PIT

9. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns vs. CIN

10. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at DET

11. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots at NYJ

12. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. ARI

13. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. LV

14. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers at LAR

15. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at BUF

16. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. MIA

17. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. DEN

18. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans vs. TEN

19. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders at IND

20. D'Onta Foreman, Carolina Panthers at ATL

21. Eno Benjamin, Arizona Cardinals at MIN

22. Michael Carter, New York Jets vs. NE

23. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. GB

24. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers at PHI

25. Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears at DAL

26. Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions vs. MIA

27. Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons vs. CAR

28. Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams vs. SF

29. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at MIN

30. Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos at JAX

This week in the National Football League

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates a fourth quarter touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday. The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 44-23. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

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