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Riddick, Taliaferro unexpected committee leaders

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All this running back committee stuff going on in New Orleans pre-Week 8 needs to be tossed out the window. With Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson inactive on Sunday night against the Packers, Mark Ingram toted the ball 24 times for a ridiculous 172 yards and a touchdown. Hey Sean Peyton, help all of us out and make Ingram the featured back for the Saints. It'd make all of our lives so much easier, thanks.

Elsewhere, Denard Robinson and Ronnie Hillman remain valuable waiver-wire pickups on the rise, as both rushed for over 100 yards this week. And with all the hype around Boobie Dixon (22 rushes, 44 yards) and Bryce Brown (7 rushes, 15 yards) in Buffalo, it was fullback Frank Summers who ended up scoring the Bills' only rushing touchdown of the day. Go figure.

One more tidbit for you, keep an eye on Patriots running back Jonas Gray. He made the deep dive waiver wire column last week, and might be a hot pickup heading into Week 9 with six teams on their bye, especially after he carried the ball 17 times for 86 yards against the Bears, eight of which were red-zone carries.

Now, let's get into the nitty gritty of this week's Committee Meetings.

Lions:

In London, the Lions barely eked out a win over the Falcons in a game we thought Joique Bell would produce big fantasy numbers. But with Reggie Bush inactive, Theo Riddick was actually the most productive fantasy running back for Detroit, filling Bush's role nicely with eight receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. In both games this season that Bush has been inactive, Riddick has scored a touchdown. Actually, Riddick's stat lines are scary similar with Bush out:

Riddick in 2014 with Bush inactive:
Week 6 (vs MIN): 5 rec, 75 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 3 carries, 6 rush yards
Week 8 (vs ATL:): 8 rec, 74 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 3 carries, 5 rush yards

Bell had 14 carries and two receptions but in a game that the Lions were down in from the start, he managed just 61 total yards. It was definitely a letdown seeing that the Falcons are one of the worst run defenses in the league. Detroit is on a bye in Week 9, so Bell/Bush/Riddick owners will have to find running back production elsewhere.

Texans:

Arian Foster led all running backs in Week 8 fantasy scoring through Sunday with three total touchdowns and 173 yards from scrimmage. He averaged an insane 7.6 yards per carry against Tennessee and now has 100 rushing yards in six of seven games this season. For those of you wondering why Foster's featured back workload is getting a mention in Committee Meetings this week, it's because Alfred Blue's involvement behind Foster is more than worth noting.

Blue received 14 carries against the Titans and finished with 64 total yards. His longest play was a 22-yard reception in the first quarter and he was being worked in the entire game to keep Foster's legs fresh, which clearly worked. Either way, if you own Foster you should own Blue. Foster has racked up 146 rushing attempts on the season, has over 1,200 carries in his career and at age 28 remains one of the more injury-prone feature backs in the NFL.

Watch: Week 8 fantasy report -- Arian Foster

Chiefs:

Jamaal Charles rang up 117 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns in Week 8 against the Rams and finished Sunday as the third-highest scoring fantasy running back. Not like you expected anything different.

Now for the interesting part.

Knile Davis actually received more rush attempts than Charles did, out-carrying him 16 to 13. Davis collected 49 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, and also took a 99-yard kickoff return into the end zone, boosting his totals in leagues that award points to individual players for special teams scoring. Still, Charles was more productive from a fantasy perspective but Davis' workload is worth noting. If the Chiefs are up in the second half, they're totally cool resting their beast and letting Davis burn the clock for garbage time fantasy points.

Watch: Week 8 fantasy report -- Jamaal Charles

Ravens:

Surprisingly, on Sunday morning it was announced that Bernard Pierce was a healthy scratch for the Ravens' divisional matchup against the Bengals, which left the window of opportunity wide open for Lorenzo Taliaferro. The rookie back ran right through that window converting touchdowns on two of his three red-zone carries, galloping into the end zone virtually uncontested on each.

While Justin Forsett led Baltimore against Cincinnati with 17 carries for 68 yards and remains the Ravens' lead back, he hasn't scored since Week 5, proving that the Ravens tend to look elsewhere when they get close (Pierce scored on goal-line carries in Weeks 6 and 7). Taliaferro's production is promising for fantasy purposes going forward in deeper formats and right now the Coastal Carolina product is owned in just two percent of NFL.com leagues.

Watch: Week 8 fantasy report -- Lorenzo Taliaferro


Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @m_franciscovich.

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