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. It doesn’t get any more obvious than Derrick Henry ($9,500 DK, $10,200 FD) this week even if he is the highest priced option on the slate. At this point it’s pretty close to a guarantee that Henry will perform to a level commensurate to his price and expectations. That is especially true when he is in a position to succeed as is the case against the Lions and their weak run defense this week. Last week Henry carried the ball 26 times for 215 yards and two touchdowns which gives him 14 on the season. Henry is averaging 5.2 yards per carry which equates to 1,532 rushing yards and we know that he is the clear focus of the Tennessee offense. At this point the performance speaks for itself and if he fits into your roster without too many other sacrifices he is the perfect building block.
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.
Now we are talking. In reality Jonathan Taylor ($7,200 DK, $7,400 FD) really had one strong game back in Week 2 and then he battled both some health issues and poor performance. Over his last three games though Taylor has turned the corner but last week he was a true difference maker. The rookie rushed for 90 and 91 yards in the two weeks prior to his match-up this past Sunday against the Raiders. Taylor then proceeded to have a career best performance (again he is still a rookie) with 20 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He is now up to seven touchdowns on the season and things should continue to look up for the rookie in a favorable match-up against a Houston team that struggles to defend to run. With 55 carries over the past three weeks, workload isn’t going to be an issue for Taylor and he is generating the performance to match as well.
On the surface David Montgomery ($7,000 DK, $7,300 FD) also benefitted from facing the Texans but it was really his 80-yard touchdown run that made it productive DFS afternoon. I wouldn’t blame it on Montgomery though as it was really a game script issue as Chicago focused on, and had success with, the passing game. Aside from his touchdown, Montgomery had 10 additional carries for 33 yards while catching three passes for 42 yards. It was the second 100-plus yard effort (his first two of the season) from Montgomery in his last three games as he followed up a two-touchdown game with another strong performance. With 42 receptions Montgomery has carved out a steady, albeit complementary, role in the passing game but most importantly he is the main ball carrier in Chicago’s backfield and we are getting the production to match.
While the Baltimore backfield doesn’t entirely belong to J.K. Dobbins ($5,900 DK, $5,900 FD) he is the leader and the running back to target. It appears that Gus Edwards is just someone we will have to deal with as while he did carry the ball seven times for 49 yards and two touchdowns last week, Dobbins lead the team with 13 carries. The rookie turned that into 53 yards while more importantly reaching the end zone for a third straight week. It was also the third straight game in which Dobbins had double digit carries (39 in total) for a combined 194 yards. Things should continue to move in positive direction for him this week in a very favorable match-up against a Jacksonville team that struggles to limit opposing running backs. The fact that Dobbins touchdown last week came via a one-yard run is also positive sign both from the perspective of his short yardage ability and Baltimore’s confidence in him for those situations.
Just as D’Andre Swift ($6,400 DK, $6,700 FD) was rounding into form as a starting running back, he was sent to the sidelines for two games with a concussion. The rookie returned last week and while Detroit exercised some caution from a workload perspective it is clear who the backfield belongs to. Swift carried the ball seven times for 24 yards but he did find the end zone while catching four passes for another 26 yards. The rookie has proven to be a dual threat but it was as ball carrier where we were seeing him make the most strides prior to his injury. In his last two games Swift picked up 145 yards on 29 carries as he looks to finish the season strong. Looking forward we know Swift is talented and if we combine it with the flashes of success we have already seen along with being the leading man in the backfield, there is a recipe for DFS success over the last three weeks of the season.
I really want to target Miles Sanders ($6,900 DK, $6,800 FD) this season but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Yes, Sanders did run for 114 yards last week against a very tough New Orleans defense but it wasn’t the result of consistent success throughout the afternoon. Instead, Sanders had an 82-yard touchdown run which left him with 32 yards and a touchdown on his other 13 carries. Now you still get the DFS points for that 82-yard run but you also don’t want to be in the position where you are relying on that one big play. The Philadelphia offense did look better with Jalen Hurts under center but he will also be featured as a runner so that will ultimately eat into Sanders’ workload.
Perhaps Ezekiel Elliot’s ($6,100 DK, $7,000 FD) calf was more of an issue than we knew last week but it wasn’t a great sign to see him with essentially the same workload (12 carries to 11) as Tony Pollard. The outcome of the game was never really in doubt for Dallas but with 48 rushing yards it’s not like Elliot distinguished himself either. Elliot hasn’t picked up a rushing touchdown since Week 5 and it’s hard to generate much optimism for him moving forward and also against a tough San Francisco rushing defense this week.
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