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Winning DFS Football Strategy For Picking a Running Back

Picking a Winning DFS Running Back
NFL FILE: Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears.

It doesn’t matter where the points come from, you just need more than everyone else. Winning a GPP is really that simple. Or is it? If it were though then everyone would be doing it. 

To be honest it is far from easy and after all that is why you are here. There are plenty of factors to consider when selecting your two or three running backs each week (depending on how you utilize your FLEX spot) and even the best laid plans can sometimes go awry rather quickly. The key is though is to maintain consistency with your process while also learning and refining your methods each week. 

Skill is always going to be the most important factor to consider when picking a running back. Yes I do hear myself and it sounds flat out crazy to say as it’s just as obvious as saying the football is brown and white. But for as much consideration and thought as you give to picking your roster you don’t want to over think things either. At the end of the day isn’t it all about picking the best players? And you can’t do that without following skill and recent success. After getting that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the other factors I consider. 

In some situations it doesn’t matter how good the running back is if the match-up isn’t in their favor. It’s almost like running into a brick wall, in the literal sense for the running back and in the figurative sense for your team, if the opposing defense has a track record of success in shutting down the running game. When your player pool is the entire league there is some value in avoiding a tough match-up or at least avoiding a potentially risky situation. 

When studying how running backs perform against opposing defenses we can’t take things at face value. Depending on how strong their offense is, teams are sometimes in the situation where they eliminate the running game from their opponent’s game plan. But evaluating the game flow of the upcoming match-up has its value. You need to understand how we can expect the game is going to go and whether or not your running backs are going to be in the position to carry the ball 20 to 25 times as that is necessary for success. 

Associated with game flow, we need to ensure that the running back is in position to receive the majority of the carries for their team. It’s very possible your running back will be going against a weak defense and it will be in a game that calls for 25 carries, but is that enough? When I need all the production I can get my hands on (again we need to be greedy when it comes to scoring points) I am going to avoid any backfield situations where one running back will infringe another’s workload. 

While the role is important not all roles are created equal. Just because you have a starting running back in a situation where he is the clear holder of the job, it certainly doesn’t mean he deserves a spot in your lineup on that alone. Skill and successful performance are important and you want to avoid falling into the trap of running out to grab the latest and newest running back who suddenly has a starting job. Possession is only part of the equation as 20 carries won’t do you much good if they only result in 50 yards. 

Granted this is going to be included in and a factor of the running back’s success, but we can’t ignore the role an offensive line plays in this department. It doesn’t matter how talented or skilled a running back may be if the holes are non-existent and there is no room to run. 

After covering what we are looking for in a running back we also must remember that we are looking for complete players here. No longer are running backs (at least most of them) simply one-dimensional players. Diversification is key and those who add a few receptions each week quickly become for valuable as there are additional avenues for compiling points. 

I hope you enjoyed this free look into some of the methods used to pick running backs for our DFS squads. Come back and see our free picks not only for each position across entire football season but other DFS sports as well. And if you’d like even more of the best of what we do there are full access subscriptions that start at $5 per week. 

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