The NFL is preparing for its Week 9 slate as the 2020 regular season continues to roll right along. With some key matchups currently on the docket for Week 9, teams will certainly need some big time performances from their superstar-caliber players. As running backs continue to serve as one of the more pivotal positions to conquer for fantasy football owners in 2020, this week will be no different.
Whether it is injuries, COVID-19 or terrible team play, there are more than a few options to both start and sit at the running back position ahead of Week 9.
RBs To Start In Week 9
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is coming off the game of his life against the rival Green Bay Packers. Cook tallied four total touchdowns against the Packers with three of those scores coming by way of the ground game.
There is absolutely no reason to think that the Vikings won’t turn to Cook in a big way once again in Week 9 against the hobbled Detroit Lions. With Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Kenny Golladay potentially slated to miss the NFC North clash on Sunday, it appears as though the Detroit defense will spend a ton of time on the field this time around—which will only bode well for Cook and his fantasy football owners.
If the Vikings are going to win this game, which is more than likely considering Detroit’s current injury situation, Minnesota will need to rely heavily on Cook, who is certainly capable of yet another stellar performance.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
After jumping out to a perfect 5-0 start to the 2020 regular season, the Tennessee Titans have since dropped two consecutive games to fall to 5-2. While Tennessee remains in first place in the AFC South division, the Titans will need to rebound in a big way after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.
With the Chicago Bears up next in Nashville, expect the Titans to do what they do best—give the ball to Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry. Henry will enter Week 9 against the Bears as the league leader in rushing yards this season while also nearing the top of the list in terms of rushing touchdowns. Although quarterback Ryan Tannehill will continue to be a factor for the Titans, Henry remains the focus of this offense under the direction of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.
The Titans are expecting to beat the Bears at home while doing so will require yet another big game from Henry, who has somewhat been held in check by his standards over the course of the last few weeks.
David Johnson, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are not a particularly good football team. However, the rival Jacksonville Jaguars may very well be even worse than the Texans.
With Jacksonville expected to make a quarterback change against the Texans, Houston can use this opportunity to prove all of the doubters wrong by destroying the struggling Jaguars in Week 9. With former Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson being one of the Texans players that should want to quiet the doubters the most, it is entirely possible that the Houston newcomer finally has his breakout performance of the season against an inferior opponent. Because Johnson can also serve as a major factor in the passing attack for the Texans, the former Cardinals standout could rack up some serious fantasy football points against the lowly Jaguars this time around.
RBs To Sit In Week 9
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
Even coming off of a loss to the arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers from a week ago, the Baltimore Ravens remain a very dangerous team in the AFC. With this week’s clash against the Indianapolis Colts slated to serve as an important one for the AFC playoff picture, one could guess that head coach John Harbaugh will have his Ravens more than ready to play in Week 9.
With the Ravens always known for their defense, even with a superstar and league MVP like quarterback Lamar Jackson under center, the Colts will surely have a tough time on offense against Baltimore. Not only that, but the Colts will likely fall behind in this game as Indianapolis running back Jonathan Taylor won’t be much of a factor after the initial portion of the game. Lessening Taylor’s value even further, fellow Colts running back Nyheim Hines may see some additional playing time against the Ravens as he is crucial to the team’s passing game in addition to the fact that he has a massive performance last week against the Detroit Lions.
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have been leaning more on rookie running back Zack Moss than fellow rusher Devin Singletary, a notion that was in full effect in Week 9 against the pesky New England Patriots.
Because Moss was injured earlier in the year, he was seemingly forgotten about until making quite the impact in Week 8 against the aforementioned Patriots. With Moss proving to be back to full health coupled with his top-notch performance against New England, fantasy football owners can expect more impressive play from the rookier rusher in Week 9 against the Seattle Seahawks.
As for Singletary, he will likely play second fiddle to Moss, unless the Seahawks open up a massive lead and both running backs are needed to keep up with such a pace on offense. Even so, it is the much safer play to stay away from Singletary altogether in Week 9.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys may be down to the team’s fourth-string quarterback in Week 9 against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. With the Cowboys offense unable to get anything going since the departure of starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who will miss the rest of the 2020 campaign due to injury, running back Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been himself either as his production has dropped in a big way.
With the Steelers sporting one of the best defenses in the entire NFL, there is absolutely no chance that Elliott gets things going against Pittsburgh—especially with the team’s situation under center so far up in the air these days. Elliott is a non-factor in fantasy football as the Cowboys are simply a terrible and underperforming football team at the moment, though it doesn’t appear such a notion will being changing any time soon.