Welcome to the NFL DFS RB Coach, where we identify the best running backs for our lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft!
This is an early look at the best RB’s available on Sunday’s main slate, provided every Wednesday during the season. It’s important to note this NFL DFS article is posted mid-week, so injuries and other news can change the outlook as we get closer to Sunday.
Add Miles Sanders, Gio Bernard, Kerryon Johnson (GPP and maybe cash if he is named starter)
Downgrade Kamara, Ahmed
Alvin Kamara – Saints vs. Falcons (SD 1x, DK $9,200, FD $9,700)
The loss of Drew Brees is going to be interesting for the Saints offense. The fascination with Taysom Hill is probably not a good thing for Kamara since Hill could steal green-zone carries. Jameis Winston is likely to play the QB spot with Hill sprinkled in here and there. We know Kamara’s value is based on his pass-catching performances and carries inside the 10. The Falcons struggle to cover RB’s out of the backfield. The price tag is too expensive to use in Cash, making Kamara only a GPP option.
Aaron Jones – Packers vs. Colts (SD 1.1x, DK $7,200, FD $8,200)
This seems like a stud NFL DFS player in a tough match-up at less than 5% owned type of play. The Colts have been particularly good against the run, but we know Jones can do damage in the passing game. The timeshare is still a problem, but he can produce massive games at any time. Jones is a GPP only option that is a bit discounted based on the match-up.
Dalvin Cook – Vikings vs. Cowboys (SD 1.05x, DK $9,000, FD $10,500)
It was a rough Monday Night game vs. the Bears, who sold out to stop the run. The Vikings are third in run offense DVOA, and Cook has been getting a very heavy volume the last three weeks. The match-up vs. the Cowboys appears to be a good one against a team allowing 5.0 yards per carry, 28th in run defense DVOA, 29th in run defense per PFF and 31st in rushing yards per game allowed. I do think Dallas is a better defense with the return of their linebackers. Cook is expensive, so assuming lower ownership, he is best left as a GPP option.
D’Andre Swift – Lions vs. Panthers (SD 1.4x, DK $6,400, FD $6,900)
The training wheels have been taken off of Swift. It would have been nice for a beat writer to report that more than 10 minutes before the game started last week. Swift had 21 touches for 149 total yards along with a TD last week. The great thing about Swift, he is the passing-down back, so game flow will not matter. The Panthers are allowing 4.8 yards per carry, 31st in run defense per PFF and 29th in run defense DVOA. We saw Ronald Jones torch them last week, and that should happen again this week. Swift is a plug and play in all formats.
Mike Davis – Panthers vs. Lions (SD 1.35x, DK $6,800, FD $7,400)
A nagging thumb injury could be a problem for Davis, so keep an eye on that. It was a rough one vs. Tampa last week, but that was sort of expected. The match-up is much easier this week. The Lions are allowing 4.7 yards per carry, 23rd in run defense per PFF, 27th in run defense DVOA and 30th in rushing yards per game allowed. The price tag is not as cheap as I would like. Davis is a borderline Cash play and GPP playable if NFL DFS ownership projections are low.
Nick Chubb – Browns vs. Eagles (SD 1.2x, DK $7,000, FD $8,100)
The return of Chubb awakened the Browns running game. The carries were close to even for Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but think we will see more Chubb going forward. He has three straight games over 100 rushing yards if you take out the game he left early with an injury. The Browns are second in run blocking per PFF and seventh in run offense DVOA. The Eagles are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, 27th in rushing yards per game allowed, and that is against plenty of the games against the NFC East. Chubb is a strong GPP play and possible Cash play.
James Conner – Steelers vs. Jaguars (SD 1.25x, DK $6,600, FD $7,000)
It has been a disappointing last two weeks for Conner in what should have been easier matchups. The Steelers have gone pass-heavy in the last two weeks with plenty of success, so I do not expect that to change. The Jaguars are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, 20th in run defense DVOA and 26th in rushing yards per carry allowed. You do expect Pittsburgh to have control of his game, which should lead to more carries for Conner. With the recent down performances, Conner is best left as a GPP only play.
Damien Harris – Patriots vs. Texans (SD 1.6x, DK $5,700, FD $5,800)
The lead ball carrier for the Patriots has become Harris, who has averaged 98 rushing yards per game over his last three games. He is averaging over five yards per carry in four of his last five career games. New England is first in run blocking per PFF and second in run offense DVOA. The only negative is, he only has two catches this season. The Texans are allowing 5.2 yards per carry, allowing the most rushing yards per game, 28th in run defense per PFF and 32nd in run defense DVOA. Harris does not have the value on DraftKings, but he is Cash and GPP playable on SuperDraft & FanDuel.
Duke Johnson – Texans vs. Patriots (SD 1.4x, DK $5,400, FD $6,000)
It was surprising to see Johnson go catchless last week. We know he is not a good running back, but Johnson will get all the snaps he can handle. The Patriots are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, 25th in rushing yards allowed per game, 30th in run defense per PFF and 31st in run defense DVOA. There are other options this week, so Johnson is best left as a GPP value guy.
Salvon Ahmed – Dolphins vs. Broncos (SD 2.0x, DK $4,800, FD $5,600)
With how the Dolphins defense has been playing, you can expect Ahmed to get plenty of touches with all of the injuries. The Denver offense has been a mess, and their defense is allowing 4.4 yards per carry. They are also 24th in rushing yards per game allowed, 24th in run defense per PFF and 29th in run defense DVOA. The Raiders ran for 4 TD’s last week. Ahmed is under Cash consideration and a cheap GPP option. Matt Brieda is expected back so at best Ahmed is a GPP only option.
Reminder: Ted will be hosting his RB Coaching Session in the NFL DFS chat room at 8pm ET!