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. You don’t have to be good at math to know that five out of seven at anything is pretty good. In the case of Nick Chubb ($7,700 DK, $8,700 FD) we are talking about games in which he has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards. Since his return from a knee injury Chubb has carried the ball 58 times for 384 yards with his worst effort being 114 yards and 5.7 yards per carry. On the season Chubb has rushed for 719 yards and six touchdowns as one of the true bell-cow running backs we can have faith in. This week brings a favorable match-up for Chubb against the Titans as Cleveland will continue to lean on him. The fact that Chubb doesn’t have role in the passing game does limit his value some but he has proven to be one of the better options there is on a per game basis. And with his price substantially cheaper than the top two options at the position I will continue recommending him each week.
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. So, keep on going and take a look at what we have to offer.
James Robinson ($7,300 DK, $7,800 FD) isn’t as prolific a running back as Chubb but with an average of 81 rushing yards per game he at least has been a dependable option. There is no questioning who will get the carries in Jacksonville’s backfield nor what the hierarchy is as that is all Robinson. He is coming off a 128-yard performance against Cleveland last week in which he carried the ball 22 times while also picking up his sixth rushing touchdown (eight in total) of the season. Robinson has added 36 receptions for 280 yards on the season which is a solid addition to his value. Some games have been better than others for Robinson but his workload does give us a solid floor that while it plays more in cash games, also holds some GPP value.
Seattle took it slow in Chris Carson’s ($6,300 DK, $8,000 FD) return after he missed four games with a foot injury. Carlos Hyde may have almost doubled Carson’s workload last week (15 carries to eight) but Carson did out gain him 41 yards to 22. When given the chance Hyde failed to truly capitalize on his opportunity and I would expect Carson to take over control of the backfield this week in a favorable match-up at home against the Giants. Carson did run for a 16-yard touchdown while also catching two passes for 18 yards. With seven touchdowns on the season Carson has shown a nose for the end zone and there is no reason not to expect that to continue.
Over the past four weeks Latavius Murray ($5,900 DK, $5,800 FD) has carried the ball 50 times with 31 of those coming in the last two weeks with Taysom Hill now under center. Last week Murray had his best game of the season with 19 carries for 124 yards and most importantly two touchdowns. That doubled Murray’s touchdown production on the season to go along with his 4.6 rushing yards per carry. Murray doesn’t have much of a role in the passing game but that is baked into his price. At the point we know that the Saints offense is going to be conservative with Hill under center and that seems to take on even more of an emphasis in the red zone. This week Murray has a favorable match-up against a Falcons team that struggled to do much of anything against New Orleans two weeks ago.
Last week the game flow didn’t exactly work in David Montgomery’s ($5,500 DK, $6,200 FD) but his value was salvaged by a 57-yard carry on the first drive of the game. Aside from that Montgomery carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards while also catching five passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. It was just the third touchdown of the season for Montgomery who looks to take advantage of the league’s worst defense against opposing running backs in Detroit this week.
Another option in the same price range that continues to stand out to me is Wayne Gallman ($5,600 DK, $6,100 FD). The Giants have committed to Gallman as their main running back while also tailoring their running game to fit his strengths. Last week he carried the ball 24 times for 94 yards and his sixth touchdown of the season. While he is only averaging four yards per carry, the workload has been there and is only increasing over the past four weeks. With Daniel Jones sidelined this week with a hamstring injury I would expect that trend to continue.
Yes, Jamaal Williams ($6,100 DK, $5,200 FD) did carry the ball 17 times for 73 yards and a touchdown last week but I wouldn’t have expected to see his price on Draft Kings increase by $1,600 in just one week. Williams’ workload was in direct correlation to Green Bay’s huge lead but on the season he has yet to make too much of an impact with 409 rushing yards and 212 receiving yards along with three combined touchdowns. With multiple starting running backs available at a cheaper price I’m not sure why Williams would be targeted.
I’m not sure what it is but the Eagles just seem to have something against Miles Sanders ($6,700 DK, $7,200 FD). Last week Sanders carried the ball just six times for 15 yards while catching two passes for seven yards and that is not going to cut it. Through eight games so far this season Sanders has 723 combined yards (600 rushing and 123 receiving) and to call it underwhelming would be an understatement. That is especially true in the passing game and with just three touchdowns on the season it’s hard to find consistent value from Sanders.
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