Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 8: Running Backs with Best Fantasy Matchups

Sanjay Kirpalani@@SanjayKirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystOctober 24, 2012

Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 8: Running Backs with Best Fantasy Matchups

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    With the playoffs right around the corner, making the wrong decision on starting running backs could spell doom for fantasy football owners across the nation. 

    That means lineup decisions in Week 8 are filled with more angst. They require digging a little deeper to see which players have the most favorable matchups—especially in the backfield.    

    After all, do you think it’s a coincidence that Titans' workhorse Chris Johnson finally had his breakout game against the league’s worst rush defense in Buffalo? 

    Which backs are candidates to bust loose this weekend?

    Here are five ball carriers with the best fantasy matchups in Week 8. 

Darren McFadden: At Kansas City

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    McFadden only has one 100-yard plus effort this season, which may cause fantasy owners to consider benching the Raiders' star. 

    But despite Oakland's offensive woes this season, McFadden still represents the team's most viable weapon. 

    With the Chiefs ranking 22nd in the league in rush defense while giving up an average of nearly five yards per carry, facing a hated division rival could be the cure to McFadden’s slow start. 

Willis McGahee: Vs. New Orleans

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    With the Bills having a bye, the Saints represent the league’s worst rush defense in action this weekend.

    The Saints have given up eight scores on the ground this season, which bodes well for McGahee’s chance to put up strong numbers. 

    Considering that the Broncos are well-rested coming off their bye week, expect a heavy workload and solid production from McGahee. 

Chris Johnson: Vs. Indianapolis

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    Johnson’s explosion last week is not the only reason to have renewed faith in CJ2K. 

    His performance in two of the previous three weeks signaled that a breakthrough performance was imminent. 

    The Colts—who rank 26th in rush defense—were victims of Shonn Greene’s monster effort with the Jets two weeks ago. With that in mind, expect Johnson’s turnaround to gain more momentum this weekend. 

Matt Forte: Vs. Carolina

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    The biggest frustration for Forte owners is his inability to get into the end zone. 

    With the struggling Panthers visiting Soldier Field on Sunday, the Bears' star is a good bet to add to the one rushing touchdown he has this season. 

    Even if he doesn't hit paydirt, owners should find comfort in the fact that he’s torched Carolina for a combined 371 yards rushing in his last two games against them, according to ESPN.    

Ryan Mathews: At Cleveland

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    After missing the first two weeks of the season due to injury, Mathews has steadily improved in each of the last four weeks. 

    The Chargers could lean on Mathews after watching quarterback Philip Rivers throw four interceptions in the team's shocking loss to the Broncos in Week 6. 

    With a clean bill of health coming off a bye week, Mathews is primed to notch his first 100-yard effort of the season against a Browns defense that ranks 24th in the league in rush defense.