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 want to provide a review from last week for transparency. McCaffrey did his thing as the Jaguars were clueless in keeping an eye on him. Cook was great but not able to score a TD which would have helped. Elliott fell victim to game flow and bad coaching. Ingram was able to score but the rushing yards were hard to come by. Johnson racked up plenty of yards while dealing with a back injury but wasn’t able to score. Fournette scored his first TD and ended with a solid day. Henry was solid, Mixon had 109 total yards and Montgomery salvaged his day with a TD. Gallman left the game early with a concussion and Gordon saw about a 50/50 timeshare for an offense that was awful. Jones was the one to deliver a monster performance as he tore up the Cowboys and won a lot of people money.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,900 FD & $8,000 DK)
The Jaguars were absolutely shredded last week by the Panthers and are now last in yards per carry allowed and 26th in yards per game allowed. Jacksonville is last in run defense DVOA and 27th in run defense per PFF. The offense has not been as good for the Saints but Kamara does have 68 touches for 336 total yards over his last 3 games. He is game flow proof and you could argue has more value when trailing with additional receptions that could come his way. If the Jaguars couldn’t contain Christian McCaffrey last week, a discounted Kamara will be hard to shut down. He is Cash and GPP playable.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($8,200 DK & $8,400 FD)
The match-up isn’t easy for Cook against an Eagles defense that has been stout against the run. The thing to keep in mind is that Eagles are so bad in the secondary that teams haven’t tested them on the ground. The Vikings are 3rd in yards per carry, 3rd in rushing yards per game and 1st in rushing TD’s. Cook is a 9k player you are getting at a discount. It may be best to leave as a GPP option but Cook has put up some monster games this season.
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys vs. the New York Jets ($8,500 DK & $8,500 FD)
The Jets defense isn’t as bad as it may appear but their offense is pathetic. New York should get better offensively if Sam Darnold returns. The Cowboys could be without their tackles which is even more reason to rely on Elliott. Dallas is 3rd in run offense DVOA and 4th in run blocking per PFF. Dak Prescott has been awful the last two weeks so the best thing is to feed Elliot. Tony Pollard is banged up which should mean more Elliot as well. Zeke is Cash and GPP playable.
Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle Seahawks ($7,300 DK & $7,800 FD)
The Browns need to feed this guy the ball if they want to win football games. They can’t pass block and running the ball will make life a lot easier for Baker Mayfield. Chubb had 87 rushing yards on 17 carries in that Monday Night disaster. The Browns are 8th in run blocking per PFF and 8th in yards per carry but just 23rd in rushing attempts per game. The Seahawks defense is decent vs. the run but Chubb will get his if the team runs the ball. With the inconsistency of the Browns, Chubb maybe left best as a very good GPP play.
Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($6,600 DK & $7,500 FD)
A great match-up again for Ingram this week. The Bengals are 26th in run defense DVOA, 25th in run defense per PFF, 28th in yards per carry allowed, 31st in yards per game allowed and have given up the most rushing TD’s (tied with the Saints). The Ravens are 2nd in run offense DVOA, 2nd rushing attempts per game, 6th in yards per carry, 1st in yards per game. The only issues with Ingram is continued lack of involvement in the passing game and giving up 10 carries or so to other RB’s. The price isn’t cheap enough for me to be all-in at using him in cash games.
David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons ($7,600 DK & $6,900 FD)
A good day would have been a great day if Johnson’s back wasn’t acting up in Week 5. The Falcons are an incomplete defense in every facet of the game. They haven’t been great stopping the run and we know they have a history of not covering backs out of the backfield. Johnson has 6 catches or more in 3 of his 5 games. The price on DraftKings still feels a little higher but solid on FanDuel again. If the back is an issue, Chase Edmonds would get the start and be an auto play.
Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks vs. Cleveland Browns ($6,000 DK & $7,200 FD)
The Browns were shredded by the 49ers on Monday night on the ground. Cleveland is 31st in run defense per PFF and 23rd in run defense DVOA. Carson has regained the trust of the coaches with 49 carries for 222 rushing yards over the last two weeks even with Rashaad Penny healthy. He also has some involvement in the passing game but not big PPR upside. The fumbling risk is still there so that could really cut into his playing time if that happens. Carson is probably best left as a GPP option as I would expect the Browns to play better this week.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos ($6,100 DK & $6,700 FD)
The Broncos run defense showed up last week but it has struggled vs. good running teams. Henry is getting 20 carries per game and the running game should improve with Taylor Lewan back into the mix for a second week. The lack of involvement in the passing game leads me to leave Henry as a GPP only play for the TD upside and big yardage potential if he can break out.
Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints ($6,700 DK & $7,300 FD)
The Jaguars have gotten wiser in the last two games giving him 58 touches for a total of 382 yards. Fournette is a 3 down back even if he isn’t the most skilled at catching passes. The Saints have allowed the most rushing TD’s in the league (tied with the Bengals). Fournette was able to get his first TD last week and that total could be added too this week even though run offense doesn’t have good rankings. This a volume play. The price tag is Cash and GPP playable.
Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals ($5,800 DK & $6,600 FD)
This is not a play that I completely trust but the Cardinals defense is a mess. They can’t stop the run or the pass. Freeman does share some carries with Ito Smith which isn’t ideal. The only reason the rushing defense numbers aren’t worse for Arizona is they are terrible vs. the pass. The Cardinals play at a very high pace which only helps opposing offenses and are ranked 22nd in run defense DVOA & 24th in run defense per PFF. The time share and erratic play-calling have me leaving Freeman as a GPP play.
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers ($6,200 DK & $7,100 FD)
The Rams have struggled to run the ball but Gurley has managed to score 5 TD’s this season. There are widely different grades on their run offense as they 31st in DVOA but 7th in run blocking per PFF It started as a 50/50 time share for Gurley but as the season has gone on, it has become more of the Gurley show. The offensive isn’t the same as last season but the offense is still moving the ball. The 49ers run defense ranks high but I really don’t think that continues as they haven’t faced top tier run offenses. If you go back 12 months, no one would have imagined Gurley at this price. It may be best to play Gurley in GPP’s but there is some consideration for Cash as well.
Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs ($4,400 DK & $6,000 FD)
Not sure I would ever consider Hyde this season but the match-up is great. The Chiefs are 31st in rushing yards per carry allowed, 30th in rushing yards per game allowed, 32nd in run defense DVOA, 30th in run defense per PFF. Hyde is averaging about 15 touches per game so if he gets a few additional we could see him get over 100 yards and in a high-scoring game he has a good chance of scoring a TD. The price is low enough to consider in Cash.