DFS Running Back Analysis: Week 14

Dec 07, 2017
DFS Running Back Analysis: Week 14

Here is my breakdown on the DFS-relevant running backs in Week 14, including their upside, downside, and where we can find an edge in this week's slate of games.

I will be breaking down the running back position each week based on the following set of criteria:

  • Chalk: The players who should end up being very highly owned for the slate.
  • Studs: Expensive players with high floor and ceilings that should come with a lower ownership percentages than the chalk.
  • Mid-Range: Players who come in cheaper than studs but aren't value or "punt" plays.
  • Value: The cheapest options at the position.


The chalk seems intuitive this week with LeSean McCoy priced down on DraftKings versus a weak Colts rush defense and Giovani Bernard set to see the lion's share of Bengals running back touches. Todd Gurley has a shot to be highly owned on FanDuel, as LeSean McCoy and Melvin Gordon are priced above him, but he is the most expensive running back on DraftKings.

  • Giovani Bernard (3100/5100) looks like to be in line for a full complement of running back touches with Jeremy Hill on IR and Joe Mixon (concussion) not suiting up for Sunday's game. Bernard played 68% of the snaps on Monday night and averaged 5.92 yard per carry on 13 rush attempts. Gio will have a tough matchup versus the Bears, who rank sixth in running back aFPA, but he is our top DraftKings value and projects for just shy of 15 FanDuel points at near minimum price.
  • LeSean McCoy (7200/9000) has an extremely friendly price tag on DraftKings but is the second-highest-priced running back on FanDuel, so he might carry a lower ownership over on FanDuel just because of his salary. His matchup is excellent versus the Colts, who rank 28th in running back aFPA and are allowing an average of 0.83 touchdowns per game to the position. Couple that with the Bills playing at home (there is no line as of this writing due to the uncertainty of Tyrod Taylor's status), and McCoy has excellent touchdown equity and upside.
  • Lamar Miller (5800/6600), much like McCoy, has an excellent matchup versus San Francisco, who ranks 31st in running back aFPA. Opponents are running the ball a league-high 26.6 times per game versus the 49ers. Houston, meanwhile, ranks 12th in red zone opportunities per game and is a 2.5-point home favorite this week. Combine that with the fact that Miller is seeing 40% of the team's rush ing attempts from within the 5-yard line and he has good touchdown equity this week. [One mild concern for Miller is that despite playing 80% of the snaps, he saw only 1-of-6 Houston red zone carries last week, ceding three to Alfred Blue and two to Andre Ellington, and also did not see any of the team's three carries inside the 10-yard line. Blue (concussion) is out this week, however. - Ed.]


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