DFS Running Back Analysis: Week 7
Here is my breakdown on a handful of running backs, including their upside, downside, and where we can find an edge for the Week 7 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.
With a handful of the chalk missing last week, I think we might see a little bit more spread out ownership at the running back position this week. However, we should still see the usual faces such as LeVeon Bell and Leonard Fournette in this tier. Some new faces such as Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram should carry high ownership as well.
- Adrian Peterson (5800/6300) is not a guy I thought would be chalk in 2017. However, when he sees 26 rush attempts and finds the end zone two times after being traded to a new team, I think people will be on him at his price tag. He is a 3.5-point road underdog this week, but has a matchup with a Rams defense that is ranked 32nd in RB aFPA.
- Jerick McKinnon (6300/7000) will be a running back you want to continue to work in as long as his price stays appropriate. I am sure you have heard people talk about his 100th percentile SPARQ score, and it looks like that athletic ability is finally starting to show through. He has 12 targets and 6 red zone touches over his past two games, so he carries value in both DraftKings and FanDuel scoring systems.
- LeVeon Bell (9100/9700) is not cheap, but I think still projects to carry decent ownership because of two things: (1) FOMO—yes, fear of missing out is a real thing in DFS. People will see his game logs and with the way roster construction is currently looking, you can get Bell into your lineup, and (2) usage—his usage is through the roof right now, as he has seen 104 touches in the past three games. Bell’s matchup is a little tough this week as the Bengals rank 12th in RB aFPA, but the Steelers are -5 point home favorites and carry a 23 point implied team total.
- Melvin Gordon (7000/7700) has a tough matchup this week versus the Broncos who rank 2nd in RB aFPA, so that might drive his ownership down just a tad. However, much like LeVeon Bell, Gordon's usage, as well as recency bias, should drive his ownership up. Melvin is also much cheaper than Bell but is still averaging just shy of 30 touches a game over his last 3 games and 21 touches per game on the season.
- Mark Ingram’s (6700/7100) Saints carry one of the highest implied team totals this week, as it's sitting at 26.5 as the Saints travel to Lambeau. Ingram saw as much work as he could handle last week after Peterson’s departure and operated as the goal-line back for the Saints. If the Saints jump out to a lead and stay ahead like the Vegas lines suggest they will, Ingram could see 20+ rushing attempts again in this game.
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