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College Fantasy Football: RBs to watch for Week 8

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Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders (AP Images)

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Week 8 of the college football season is upon us. Here are five running backs who could score big in your fantasy football leagues.

Ohio State and Iowa blew out Indiana in the Hoosiers’ last two games, largely because both of those teams threw for big yards and scored lots of touchdowns through the air. That could very well happen again with Penn State this weekend, but the Nittany Lions will go to the ground as well and Sanders is emerging as a star. Against an incredibly stingy Michigan State defense last week, Sanders rushed 17 times for 162 yards and a touchdown. Indiana is trying to figure out ways to stop the pass - well, Sanders is no slouch and could put up huge numbers again.

My theme this week is that Missouri and Memphis will be involved in a high-scoring shootout with the SEC team moving the ball at will for long stretches of the game. Memphis played absolutely nobody before the UCF showdown last weekend, where the Tigers were hugely excited to play well and possibly pull the upset. That almost happened, but it was a crushing loss and now they visit Missouri, which is coming off three tough SEC losses. Rountree leads the Missouri rushing attack and Memphis is allowing four yards per carry and has given up 15 rushing touchdowns and that’s against some weak competition.

I don’t have much faith in Florida State’s ability to run the ball. The Seminoles average just 2.7 yards per carry. They’ve scored four rushing touchdowns all season. Akers is a former five-star who has one rushing score. Another former five-star, Jacques Patrick, has none. So why should you put Akers in your starting lineup this weekend? Because I have even less faith in Wake Forest’s ability to stop any semblance of offense. The Demon Deacons allow 5.9 yards per carry. They’ve given up 14 rushing touchdowns. If Florida State - and especially Akers - can’t move the ball against this defense, it’s time to cut and run.

Devwah Whaley is out after getting ankle surgery in the last few days and Boyd is expected back after leaving the Ole Miss game early, so he should get the bulk, if not all, of the carries this weekend against a Tulsa defense that allows 5.1 yards per carry and has given up 13 rushing scores so far. Quarterback Ty Storey is also banged up, so having him hang in the pocket might not be the best strategy, so Boyd should see the ball often. Keep an eye on his injury progress through the week, but he should be fine.

Henry is not putting up huge numbers on the ground with only 274 rushing yards in six games, but he’s scored seven touchdowns in that stretch and more could come this weekend against Kansas. The Red Raiders’ QB situation is unsettled with Alan Bowman still dealing with an injury, so in the red zone and especially near the goal line, Henry could be a bigger asset. It’s actually a positive in my mind that Kansas is not completely horrible this season either so Texas Tech cannot sleepwalk to a win and its starters might be in longer than usual against the Jayhawks.