Running Backs With Favorable Week 15-17 Matchups to Target on Underdog

Jun 09, 2022
Running Backs With Favorable Week 15-17 Matchups to Target on Underdog

We all know how important the playoffs are when it comes to winning the overall Best Ball Mania 3 tournament. Hitting on Weeks 15 through 17 is weighted way more heavily than how your team does the first 14 weeks in the Underdog tournament where a grand prize of $2 million is on the line.

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When I started doing research, my process was to look at team spreads on the DraftKings sportsbook because spreads give us a good indication if a team is favored or not, which can help us parse out which running backs will get the most touches according to the team spreads. If a team is favored, your fantasy players are usually scoring more points and that’s what we want, to score more points than the field, and since 2014, players on favored teams have scored more fantasy points per game than players on underdog squads at every single position including RB, per NFL Trends tool. TJ Hernandez already did a great job of looking at which teams we should target for Week 17, along with their respective games. Today I want to look at the RB position and which teams we should be targeting for those final weeks.

Teams to Target in Weeks 15-17 on Underdog

There are 11 total teams that are favored by four or more points for the playoff weeks. Those teams are the Bills, Saints, Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers, Titans, Vikings, Ravens, 49ers, Buccaneers, and Packers. In NFL history when a team is favored by four or more points, they usually hit about 52.7% of the time and are 126-113-4 when it’s against the spread. Of those 11, only three teams show up more than once being favored by four or more points during Weeks 15-17, and those three are the Bills, Chiefs, and Ravens. So during your Underdog Best Ball Drafts, we should be targeting these backfields with an eye for the playoff weeks if we want our best shot at winning $2 million.

Teams to Target, Spreads & Opponents, Weeks 15-17
Team Spread Opponent
Week 15 Bills -6 Dolphins
Chiefs -10 Texans
Ravens +2 (in flux due to QB situation) Browns
Week 16 Bills -7 Bears
Chiefs -10.5 Seahawks
Ravens -7.5 Falcons
Week 17 Bills PK Bengals
Chiefs -4.5 Broncos
Ravens -5.5 Steelers

Value Targets:

*Courtesy of 4for4's Underdog ADP Tool

Bills: Devin Singletary (UD ADP 106.2), James Cook (UD ADP 107.8), and Zack Moss (UD ADP 215.9)

Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (UD ADP 76.9), Ronald Jones (UD ADP 128.6), and Isiah Pacheco (UD ADP 215.4)

Ravens: J.K. Dobbins (UD ADP 56.2), Gus Edwards (UD ADP 172.7), and Tyler Badie (UD ADP 215.9)

Should we Stack Opposing WRs if We’re Targeting RBs?

If we’re targeting the running backs for teams that are presumed to be ahead and milking the clock, the inverse thought process is we should probably also be correlating the opposing wide receivers because if the running backs are gaining points by being ahead, then the wide receivers should be accumulating points by playing catch-up ball.

One thing I do want to mention is the running backs mentioned above all have relatively low ADPs for Underdog drafts. The highest ADP is J.K. Dobbins at 56 overall, so if we’re looking to stack the opposing wide receiver, most of these wide receivers that we want to stack have a relatively higher ADP.

One way we could combat this though is if we stack our QB1 with our WR4, as TJ Hernadez showed us in his stacking column. QB1+WR4 stacks have shown profitable results with greater than +3.0% Advance Rate Over Expectation in both 2020 and 2021. So if we look at the table below, most of our WR4 have attainable ADPs which should make our run-back options viable when drafting this summer.

Bottom Line:

  • Target teams that will be favored during your playoff weeks to help with the probability of having spike weeks and advancing to the next round while also looking to run back a team's WR4.

  • Teams that are favored by four or more points have won about 52.7% of the time or are 126-113-4 against the spread.

  • Running backs that are on teams that are favored will usually score more points than their underdog counterpart.

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