Depending on how you chose to complete your lineup, either two or three running backs are needed each week. The days of just one running back controlling the backfield are waning but not lost. Securing these running backs will generally prove to be more costly but it is necessary. When working with a salary cap, this can be a real problem. It is also why when a low-priced running back appears to have the role in hand, they generally end up being a highly popular selection. But are they worth it?
That is a question to be answered on a case by case basis in the analysis that follows. The goal here is to look at game flow to ensure that touches will be at a maximum, it is a favorable situation against the opposing defense, and most of all that there is talent and expected fantasy success.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. For the majority of the season the workload in Buffalo’s backfield was split between Devin Singletary ($4,500 DK, $5,700 FD) and Zach Moss. With the rookie now sidelined for the season Singletary will see his role increase although Josh Allen will certainly have a role in the running game. Last week Singletary only had six touches (three carries for 21 yards and three receptions for 13 yards) but that total should increase against Baltimore. We did see a spike in Singletary’s production in the regular season when Moss was sidelined and that trend should continue this week. I’m not looking for Singletary to eclipse the century mark on the ground but a combined 100-yard effort with a few catches is very possible.
Subscribers can now expect to get six more picks as we take a closer look at some more running backs at varying price points who deserve our attention this week along with a few from whom we should keep our distance. And not all will break the back either which will leave plenty of room for help at other positions. This includes a rookie who seems to be finding his groove and recreating some early season buzz. This is just the beginning though. For a one-time fee of $99 per year we have all sports covered here including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, and League of Legends. We know how profitable these picks can be so you can even try it out for one month for free.
It is clear that the Rams are going to be relying on the running game from this point forward and it is refreshing to see that there is no question as to who we should target. Cam Akers ($5,700 DK, $7,000 FD) certainly was used as workhorse last week carrying the ball 28 times. The rookie showed he was up to the task as he gained 131 yards while reaching the end zone and adding two catches for another 45 yards. Green Bay struggled to defend in the regular season and there is no reason for that trend not to continue into the playoffs, and at the very least, we know that Akers can be counted on for 20 to 25 touches at a minimum.
After Nick Chubb ($6,600 DK, $8,200 FD) scored 13 touchdowns in the regular season I wouldn’t hold it against him that he was scoreless on the ground Sunday in Cleveland’s upset victory. Chubb did rush for 76 yards on 18 carries but he also made his presence felt in the passing game with four receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown. It is clear that the Browns are going to rely on Chubb even if they go into catch-up mode while trying to keep up with Kansas City’s explosive offense.
This is something I generally would be completely against but with the short slate of just four games, and the value it presents, Kareem Hunt ($4,800 DK, $6,200 FD) is a viable option right alongside Chubb. All season the two running backs have proven that they can co-exist in the same backfield. Hunt was efficient with eight carries last week gaining 48 yards but more importantly scoring two touchdowns.
Another bargain to consider is Leonard Fournette ($4,900 DK, $6,300 FD) who took advantage of Ronald Jones’ injury to carry the ball 19 times for 93 yards and a touchdown while also catching four passes for 39 yards. It appears that Jones will be sidelined this week but before we get too excited the Saints were the toughest defense against opposing running backs in the regular season.
The main question then is what are we going to do with the cost savings? With just 11 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown in his last game it’s hard to get too excited about Aaron Jones ($6,900 DK, $7,800 FD) as it is clear the Green Bay offense runs through Aaron Rodgers. Jones barely got over 1,000 rushing yards this season (1,104) and I’m going to take my attention elsewhere.
That brings us to Alvin Kamara ($7,900 DK, $9,000 FD) who began the playoffs with 99 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Despite his proficiency as a receiver this season Kamara caught just two passes last week but anytime my running back touches the ball 25 times, it’s hard to complain. Most importantly Kamara has reached the end zone 22 times this year and that makes him our number one option.
With 160 rushing yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns J.K. Dobbins ($6,000 DK, $6,500 FD) couldn’t have finished the regular season off any better but Week 17 is often a strange thing in the NFL. Last week the rookie only got nine carries but he did score 43 yards while reaching the end zone for the sixth straight week. That production is hard to ignore but at the price I would prefer to avoid a touchdown dependent option.
From a ranking perspective my top-five for this week would be Kamara, Akers, Chubb, Singletary, and Fournette.
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