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.
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (1x SD, $7,800 DK & $9,000 FD)
The beat-up offensive line and a terrible defense have made running the ball a problem for Elliott. He does have 20 receptions in the last three games, which has made his production respectable. The good news is the pathetic Giants offense comes to town, so the Dallas defense won’t give up 35+ points. The Giants are giving up 4.9 yards per carry, so they can be run on. Elliott is a Cash and GPP play.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills (1.05x SD, $7,000 DK & $8,600 FD)
The 29 touches per game are great, but the 3.9 yards per carry and five catches in three games are not ideal. Henry did get a week off due to the COVID issues for the Titans, so he will be fresh. Tennessee should try to control the clock against a Bills team that has been scoring a ton of points. Buffalo is allowing 4.4 yards per carry, 22nd in run defense DVOA and 27th in run defense per PFF. The price tag is not cheap, and Tennessee could be trailing, so best left as a GPP only play.
Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (1.45x SD, $6,400 DK & $6,800 FD)
He continues to produce numbers just as good as Christian McCaffrey, but you are not paying the same price in DFS. Davis did get banged up a bit last week but still managed 21 touches for 111 total yards and a TD. He is averaging 103 total yards and a TD in his two starts. The Falcons are allowing 4.5 yards per carry, 15th in run defense per PFF and an overall terrible defense. Davis is a great Cash and GPP option.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders (1.35x SD, $6,800 DK & $7,900 FD)
The lack of touchdowns for Edwards-Helaire is a problem. After Week 1, there has been a lack of touches inside the 10. The positive we have seen since Week 1 is 14 catches in the last three games. The Raiders are giving up 5.0 yards per carry, so plenty of running room to be had. Oakland is also 28th in run defense per PFF and 30th in run defense DVOA. The Chiefs have not shown a willingness to run inside the 10, so Edwards-Helaire is best left to GPP’s with his increased price.
Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1.35x SD, $6,300 DK & $8,200 FD)
The only chance for the Raiders is a big game from Jacobs. He is averaging 24 touches per game with at least three catches in each game. The Patriots just torched the Chiefs for 185 rushing yards, and KC is allowing 5.3 yards per carry. Kansas City is 25th in run defense per PFF and 27th in run defense DVOA. The Las Vegas defense has been awful, so they need to control the clock. Jacobs is a GPP only option.
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (1.55x SD, $6,700 DK & $6,600 FD)
It is weird to see Robinson be a regular in this article. It did not go great last week but would have been better if not for a 40-yard run getting called back. He faces the Texans, who are allowing 4.9 yards per carry, 27th in run defense per PFF, 26th in run defense DVOA, and are allowing the most rushing yards per game. Robinson does have 10 catches in the last two games, which helps his value. Robinson on most weeks would just be a GPP option, but the RB pool is very small this week on the main slate, so he is playable in Cash.
Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts (1.3x SD, $6,500 DK & $7,000 FD)
The injury to Nick Chubb brings Hunt in as the main ball carrier. The big question that hasn’t been talked about…is he healthy? Hunt had two TD’s last week but was out-touched by D’Ernest Johnson. I do think Hunt is the lead ball carrier if healthy, but the team was careful about his usage last week. He did miss multiple practices last week with a groin injury, so my usage of him will be dependent on his practice participation. Assuming he starts practicing by Thursday, he is a Cash and GPP option. The match-up is not easy against a tough Colts defense, but the Browns offensive line might be the best in the league.
Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins (1.45x SD, $5,800 DK & $6,400 FD)
The big thing for McKinnon will be the status of Raheem Mostert. If Mostert is out, McKinnon is a great play. We saw little of Jeff Wilson last week, so McKinnon had 21 touches (including seven receptions) for 98 total yards and a TD. It appears the involvement of Wilson two weeks ago was because of the minor injury McKinnon had suffered during the game. It is a Shanahan, so we will never truly know. The 49ers face the Dolphins, who are allowing 4.6 yards per carry and 31st in run defense DVOA. Assuming Mostert is out, McKinnon is Cash and GPP playable.
Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers (1.4x SD, $5,700 DK & $6,700 FD)
All he does is just score TD’s. The usage of Brian Hill and others is concerning, but Gurley continues to produce when he gets inside the five. Gurley is up to 4 TD’s this season but only has four receptions. The Panthers come to town allowing 5.1 yards per carry, and we know their defense is bad, so we should see some points scored in this game. Carolina is 32nd in run defense per PFF and 25th in run defense DVOA. The TD reliance and questionable usage make Gurley a GPP only play.
Antonio Gibson – Washington Potatoes vs. Los Angeles Rams (1.6x SD, $5,000 DK & $5,800 FD)
Appears the Potatoes are committing to using Gibson more, including a goal-line TD last week. He had 17 touches with 128 total yards last week. The Rams are giving up 5.0 yards per carry, 30th in run defense per PFF and 28th in run defense DVOA. Gibson is also getting more involved in the passing game, as well. Washington announced today the benching of Dwayne Haskins in favor of Kyle Allen. I actually like Gibson more now with Checkdown Allen at the helm. The change in direction makes Gibson Cash and GPP playable.
Reminder: Ted will be hosting his RB Coaching Session in the NFL DFS chat room at 4pm ET!