Week 8 Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Surprise Running Back Start 'Ems

Ryan BothmannSenior Analyst IIOctober 25, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 07:  Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers dives over Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the New Orleans Saints to score a touchdown and lead 24-14 lead during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL season has nearly reached its halfway point, and for fantasy football fans that means that the playoffs will be here in just over a month. Whether you are looking for some help to save your struggling team, or looking to continue your annihilation of your league, you have come to the right place.

Here are three under-the-radar running backs who you should definitely start this week on your fantasy football team. 


Ahmad Bradshaw

Many people may look at Ahmad Bradshaw as a risky pick this week because he is dealing with a foot injury, but I think you should definitely have him in your lineup.

Bradshaw had a massive 200-yard rushing performance against Cleveland three weeks ago and followed that up with a 116-yard performance against San Francisco two weeks ago. He did die off a little last week against the Redskins, as he only rushed for 43 yards, but the most important thing is touchdowns.

In his last three games Bradshaw has managed to put a touchdown on the board in each game. With Dallas having the 15th-ranked rush defense in the league, I expect another touchdown from Ahmad Bradshaw this weekend. 


Willis McGahee

Willis McGahee has not had a ton of success this season for the Denver Broncos, but with Denver taking on New Orleans this week, you need McGahee in your lineup.

The Saints have the 31st-ranked rush defense in the NFL, and if Denver can take control of the game against the Saints, McGahee could get a lot of touches against New Orleans. McGahee has also become a threat out of the backfield for Peyton Manning as well, catching a combined 15 passes for 116 yards over the last three games.


Ryan Mathews

Things certainly have been a circus in San Diego with Ryan Mathews, but if there was ever a week to start Mathews, then this is it.

The Cleveland Browns rush defense is ranked near the bottom of the league at 24th and has been gashed in recent weeks, including giving up over 200 yards to the New York Giants. Mathews is going to get his touches this week against Cleveland and will likely rack up 100 yards on the ground, but the biggest problem with Mathews so far this season has been scoring.

Mathews only has one touchdown this season, but I expect him to pick up at least one if not a couple this weekend against the Browns.