The NFL is back this coming weekend and we are ready to win you some money in DFS this week and every week this season! So, let’s get started with the running backs. We have some high-end picks, best values, and some buyer beware picks.
Dalvin Cook – ($9,100 DK, $9,400 FD) – Christian McCaffrey is the consensus top pick in season-long fantasy leagues. However, in DFS this week, it’s going to be Dalvin Cook playing on the road at the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were bad last season as one of the bottom 10 defenses against the run. They really didn’t improve on that aspect of their game that much this offseason. Cook has been outstanding on the road against bad defenses over the past few seasons. He’s averaged 26.7 fantasy points per game and has an 86 percent consistency rating. He’s a must-start if you want to go big for your RB1.
Austin Ekeler – BEWARE – ($7,000 DK, $6,900 FD) – First off, Ekeler is one of my favorite fantasy players in season-long leagues. His consistency is very good in PPR formats. While many weeks, Ekeler will be one of my solid mid-range picks, this week is not one of them. Ekeler is traveling across the country from LA to Washington, DC for a battle against one of the top three run defenses in the NFL. History has not been kind to Ekeler in these game scenarios as he’s only averaging 10.07 fantasy points per game and has an underwhelming 33 percent consistency rate. I would pass on Ekeler for this week.
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Best Value – RB – Raheem Mostert ($5,800 DK, $6,100 FD) We all know Mostert will be hurt by Week 4. So, why not start him this week against the worst run defense in the league (Detroit Lions). Mostert can be a beast when he is healthy and focused and you can’t get much better than Week 1, right?
Best Value – RB – Mike Davis ($5,400 DK, $6,200 FD) – I normally won’t have two best value running backs, but I just couldn’t pass up listing Mike Davis, playing at home versus the pathetic Eagles defense! Last season, at home versus a Bottom 10 defense, Davis averaged 19.10 fantasy points per game and was 100% consistent. Start these two and load up on top receivers!
Derrick Henry – BEWARE – ($8,800 DK, $8,900 FD) – Henry is one of the highest priced running backs of the week in both platforms. However, Henry doesn’t always perform well at home versus an average defense. In fact, Henry has much higher consistency rating on the road then at home (88 percent vs 67 percent). He’s only averaging 12.80 fantasy points per game in this game scenario and only 67 percent consistent as well. That’s not terrible, but it’s not going to win you much money either. I’ll pass on Henry for this week.
Overall, this week we are seeing some potentially huge values but a few people to stay away from that we normally give a full endorsement. Week One is going to be a little more tricky but with some careful consideration to these great values above, you are going to be in great shape.
Bob Lung is a professional fantasy football writer who runs the fantasy football expo in Canton, Ohio every summer. He writes his Consistency Articles and also contributes to Dr. Roto’s new DFS site.
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