DFS Running Back Analysis: Week 15
Here is my breakdown on all of the DFS-relevant running backs for Week 15, including their upside, downside, and where we can find an edge for 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.
There are a few different ways fantasy owners can construct rosters this week, but I would be surprised to see any other running backs have a higher ownership than the following four. Kenyan Drake’s ownership and relative fantasy value hinges on Damien Williams' status, and while LeVeon Bell and Alvin Kamara are slightly cost-prohibitive, there is enough value on the slate as a whole to justify their salaries.
- Kenyan Drake (5800/6500) being a chalk play this week all depends on the status of Damien Williams (shoulder), so be sure to monitor that. However, if Williams is sidelined again this week, Drake becomes viable in all formats versus the Bills, who rank 32nd in running back aFPA. In the two games that Williams has missed, Drake amassed a total of 58 touches and played no less than 79% of his team's offensive snaps. The Bills just gave up 136 yards on the ground to 34-year-old Frank Gore, and are giving up an average of 1.15 touchdowns per game to running backs.
- LeVeon Bell (9300/9400) is not only our top projected running back in terms of raw points, but also our top value on both sites this weekend. His matchup versus the Patriots is subpar—they rank 11th in running back aFPA—but this game does have a the week's highest over/under (53 as of this writing) and the Steelers have a strong implied team total (25). Bell has been involved a lot more in the passing game recently, averaging 9.4 targets per game over his last five games. He has no fewer than 16.2 PPR points in any game during that span.
- Alex Collins (5000/6600) has not played more than 64% of the offensive snaps since the Week 10 bye, averaging 52% over that four-game span. He has been extremely efficient with those snaps, however, averaging 0.60 PPR points per snap, which ranks above the likes of LeVeon Bell (0.41), LeSean McCoy (0.39), and Todd Gurley (0.37).
- Alvin Kamara (8600/9100) expects to be "good to go" for Week 15 even though he has not cleared the concussion protocol as of Wednesday morning. The Jets rank first in running back aFPA, but Saints have a massive implied team total of 31 points and are huge 16-point home favorites versus the Bryce-Petty-led Jets. Kamara sets a great floor with his receiving ability (he has no fewer than 5 catches in his past five games finished), and with 10 touches within the 10-yard line this season, he also carries excellent touchdown equity.
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