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. Alvin Kamara was a bust as the loss of Drew Brees clearly changes the Saints offense. The price is cheaper this week but not sure how much I want to invest in Kamara going forward. Saquon Barkley was solid once again and will get his touches just about every game with one of the highest floors in the league. Mark Ingram was disappointing as the Ravens threw the ball non-stop. Dalvin Cook had another big game but won’t be ignored the rest of the season like he was in Week 2. Derrick Henry, Sony Michel and Josh Jacobs did enough to get by but nothing special. Matt Breida and Devin Singletary produced enough but didn’t get the workload they deserved. Kerryon Johnson got 16 touches and thanks to a screen pass TD delivered solid results.
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins ($8,900 DK & $8,800 FD)
It is amazing how bad the Dolphins are. The only concern about this match-up is that he could get rested early because of the blow-up potential. The goods news that we saw get Elliot 25 touches for 120 total yards last week. He still doesn’t look 100% in game shape but the usage was great last week. The only thing that might bring down his ownership is the presence of other great running backs.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals ($8,700 DK & $8,900)
It was a rough week for McCaffery last Thursday but he should get back on track this week. The Cardinals are without Patrick Peterson so teams have been attacking them via the air. The one thing that opposing teams haven’t taken advantage is that they will struggle in run defense as well. With Cardinals first two opponents throwing so much the run defense numbers actually appear respectable. With Cam Newton likely out and a bad Week 2 outing from McCaffery, the Panthers will look to get him going early and often.
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($9,100 DK & $9,100 FD)
This is where things are difficult this week. We have three stud RB’s that we want to play but it could be tough to afford more than 1. The Buccaneers have improved their run defense as evidenced by the 49ers finding running room hard to come by and the Panthers were not able to get McCaffrey going. Barkley has gone over 100+ rushing yards each of the last two weeks despite not getting more than 18 carries in each game. Barkley will find ways to do some things but is probably best left to GPP’s when comparing him to the other two on the slate. It will be interesting to see how the QB change effects Barkley
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders ($7,800 DK & $8,300 FD
I mentioned that Cook will be a major factor in every game this season and he was vs. Green Bay. Even down 21-0, the Vikings committed to Cook who delivered 191 total yards on 23 touches. The Raiders have been respectable vs. the run so far this season but have also struggled badly vs. the pass with injuries in their secondary. Cook’s price is still not where it will be and he will continue to prove to be matchup proof.
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons ($5.800 DK & $7,000 FD)
With the retirement of Andrew Luck, the Colts have shown to be a run first team behind a great offensive line. Mack has 47 total touches with 235 yards in the first two weeks. The Falcons were gashed in Week 1 by the Vikings but were ok last week against a weak Eagles run offense. This should be a big game for Mack as he can pick up some rushing yards and we know the Falcons struggle to cover RB’s out of the backfield . He has not been involved in the passing game so maybe he picks up a few catches this week.
Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans ($7,200 DK & $7,600 FD)
It has been much less of a timeshare for Ekeler with Justin Jackson than expected. Ekeler is averaging over 20 touches per game including 6 receptions in each game. He has 287 total yards and 4 TD’s in two weeks even with losing a fumble at the goal line. At some point soon, the usage will wear on Ekeler but it seems he to be good for 5+ catches per game and is getting the routine work at the goal line which makes him very valuable.
Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints ($5,900 DK & $7,000 FD)
The Seahawks return home where Carson has routinely produced. This match-up sets up differently with no Drew Brees for the Saints. I would expect the New Orleans offense to look better this week with more preparation but still not the same high-powered unit. The running game for Seattle was better last week after some struggles in Week 1. The offensive line isn’t the best but we know the volume is going to be there. It will also be interesting to see how much Rashaad Penny is used since he was on the field more in Week 2. Carson is still more valuable in the passing game so even with Penny sprinkled in, he should have solid numbers.
Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Royals ($5,700 DK & $7,100 FD)
It was disappointing Week 2 for Ingram but I do except he will be heavily involved this week. Lamar Jackson has shown improvement throwing the ball but the Ravens will want to take the air out of the ball in this game. Baltimore ran the ball 40 times in last year’s meeting so I would expect them to do the same this week. Jackson has improved but getting in a track meet in Kansas City would be a bad idea. The game could go sideways with the game script if they fall behind early which could limit his touches so he is best left to GPP’s.
Frank Gore – Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals ($4,400 DK & $5,700 FD)
This is a stunning development to have him listed. Devin Singletary has a hamstring issue so could be out Week 3. This will be a heavy workload for the old man. The Bengals were shredded for 259 rushing yards by the 49ers and have allowed 4.9 YPC. Gore had 21 touches last week with 83 total yards. Gore is cheap on both sites on this slate where pricing has gotten tighter so will be very interested if Singletary is out.
Kansas City Chiefs RB vs. Baltimore Ravens
This situation will depend on the health of the running backs. Damien Williams suffered a knee injury and LeSean McCoy has a toe injury. The severity of the injuries is not known but if both are injured then Darwin Thompson could be the starter at minimum price. If just one of them is out then you will likely see Williams or McCoy get the majority of the work with Thompson sprinkled in. The match-up isn’t easy but we know Andy Reid’s offense can lead to RB production.