Welcome to the NFL DFS RB Coach, where we identify the best running backs for our lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel!
It’s important to note this article is posted mid-week, so injuries and other news can change our reads as we get closer to Sunday.
I wanted to provide a review from last week for transparency. It was a solid Week 1, with some decent hits and a few misses. Tony Pollard was a no-contest, as the return of Ezekiel Elliott eliminated him from consideration. The one tie would be Saquon Barkley, who was able to get over 100 rushing yards but at his price tag you would like to get a little more. The misses were Leonard Fournette who was hurt by the game flow, but not a total bust; Kerryon Johnson, who the Lions seemed to ignore despite having a comfortable lead most of the game; and Nick Chubb, who again wasn’t bad, but didn’t do enough. A couple of players that could be added to the miss pile would be Christian McCaffrey, who had a great last 1 ½ quarters, and Marlon Mack who ran all over the Chargers. McCaffery would be the bigger miss based on his ownership, since Mack wasn’t owned.
Not every player written-up is a recommendation for this week, as there are a few situations I want to discuss.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints ($8,200 DK & $8,700 FD) – A new year with the same results for Kamara who had 169 total yards in Week 1. Latavius Murray is taking over the Mark Ingram role but won’t get the same usage. We saw Christian McCaffrey have a big game last week vs. LA and Kamara has way more talent. The Rams allowed 209 total yards last week. The great thing about Kamara is that he is always game flow resistant and will likely get most of the goal line looks. He is my favorite pay up option.
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants ($9,200 DK & $9,200 FD) – The per touch numbers were great last week as Barkley had 120 rushing yards on 11 carries. The game flow should be better this week against a decent Buffalo defense but weak offense. The way to attack the Bills is via the ground so Barkley should get going this week. The price tag is expensive which makes the decision to use him a little tougher with loose pricing for guys who could get to similar production at a couple thousand-dollar discount.
Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens ($6,000 DK & $7,500 FD) – He will look to build on his 107 rushing yards and 2 TD’s last week on just 14 carries. The big plays by Marquise Brown will only make things easier for the running game with opposing safety’s having to respect the deep ball. The Cardinals allowed just 90 yards last week on 28 carries as the Lions had some unusual play-calling despite having the lead most of the game. Week 2 set-ups nicely for Ingram with the expected game flow as long as the Ravens don’t blow them out to bad. It would be surprising if Ingram didn’t score a TD this week. The negative on Ingram is that we would like to see him a little more involved in the passing but not sure we can get more than a few catches each game.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings ($7,200 DK & $7,900 FD) – There was a lot of people expecting big things from Cook and he delivered in Week 1. The Vikings want to run the football and had a 38 to 10 run to pass ratio last week. We even saw Cook’s back-up average over 5 yards per carry. The Packers played a lot of Dime defense last week (6 defensive backs) against the Bears as they have struggled vs. the pass the last few seasons. The Bears were just too stupid to take advantage. The new offensive regime wants to run the ball so they will look to do the same thing we saw in Week 1. Cook if he stays healthy will be around a 9k player within a few weeks so take advantage of it now.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans ($6,000 DK & $7,500 FD) – It was a great Week 1 for Henry with the help of a 75-yard TD catch. The loss of Taylor Lewan will be felt the first 4 weeks but this is still a decent offensive line without him. Henry will be a 20 touch per week guy each week and will produce consistent results. The Titans defense looked good so if that continues the game flow will be in his favor in most games. It would be nice to see a little more involvement in the passing game but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lead the league in the rushing yards. The Colts gave up 215 total yards to the Chargers running backs last week.
Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders ($4,700 DK & $6,500 FD) – The workhorse in Week 1 for the Raiders who had 113 total yards for 2 TD’s on 24 touches. John Gruden isn’t trying to be cute inside the 10 as he wants to run the football so goal line touches are going to happen. The Chiefs come to Oakland this week with their weak defense. The only issue is that the Chiefs can score points quickly so game flow can get away from the Raiders if that happens. Jacobs could see his touches limited in that circumstance. The good news the price is still low because the Monday night results were not factored into the price tag.
Gio Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals ($5,300 DK & $5,700 FD) – It appears the Joe Mixon is questionable with an ankle injury. The 49ers defense was a bit better last week but mainly because Jameis Winston was awful. The Buccaneers will struggle to run the ball this season but averaged 5.1 YPC. Bernard is more of pass catching back but even he should find some running lanes. Mixon is slightly more expensive and if he does play I would be interested but that is assuming he isn’t limited. The Bengals offensive line was respectable last week but still need a lot of work but you can feel better knowing Tampa isn’t much different and ran the ball well.
Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers ($5,200 DK & $5,400 FD) – With the injury to Tevin Coleman, Breida will actually be the starter this week in reality instead of just listed on a depth chart like Week 1. He won’t be playing every drive as Raheem Mostert will be involved but Breida should see more touches. Breida was the least successful of the 3 last week but the 49er rush offense is a machine under Shanahan. The Bengals allowed 81 total yards and 2 TD’s to Carson last week so would except San Francisco should do even more damage. With the timeshare, it might be best to leave him to GPP’s.
Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions ($5,700 DK & $6,600 FD) – It did not work out great in Week 1 with Johnson as the Lions became obsessed with throwing the downfield last week with a comfortable lead which ended costing them a win. The Chargers got run over last week by Marlon Mack which is the way to attack the Chargers too slow down their great pass rush. I did see a little more CJ Anderson than would have liked but Johnson still had 18 touches. If the Lions are smart, they will run the ball more this week which could lead to a big day for Johnson but I do have doubts that will happen. He is best left for GPP’s with the uncertainties.
Sony Michel – New England Patriots ($6,200 DK & $6,800 FD) – Not sure how his ownership will work out. Michel wasn’t able to find any running room last week. The Dolphins suck and will give up a bunch of points which makes them attractive opponent. This is New England however so never know how they will use the RB’s. The Patriots used 3 last week and if the game gets out of hand early they may not use Michael much. You can maybe consider him on FanDuel but I am leaning towards passing on this situation much like I did in my season long drafts.
Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills ($4,200 DK & $5,700 FD) – It was clear that Singletary was a far more explosive running back than Frank Gore. Maybe Gore is a nice guy or has naked pictures of several NFL execs but can’t understand why he still gets consistent playing time from multiple teams the last few seasons. Singletary showed some of his potential last week but not convinced he will get the touches he deserves. He had all of his 98 total yards after halftime last week. With the unclear role, Singletary is cheap but probably best left for GPP’s.