DFS Running Back Analysis: Week 3
Here is my breakdown on all of the running backs relevant in DFS in Week 3, including their upside, downside, and how we can find an edge in this week's slate.
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 both sites doing a better job at tightening up their salaries, we might see ownership spread out a little more this week. However, some familiar faces such as Kareem Hunt, Christian McCaffrey, Ty Montgomery, and Jay Ajayi all still project to be the chalk.
- Ty Montgomery (6900/7200) got a price increase—and rightfully so—but is still underpriced to me. The Packers are a very large home favorite (-9) with a team total pushing 27 points. Montgomery is averaging 5.5 targets per game and is playing 88% of his team's snaps (second-most of any running back through two weeks). The Bengals are rated fourth in WR aFPA but 19th in RB aFPA, so we could see what is referred to as a funnel defense forming here. It's also important to monitor the news of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, as the Pack might lean a little more on #TyMoney if they are out despite speculation that they may lighten his workload at some point.
- LeVeon Bell (8800/8700) is the cheapest he has been since November of 2016 and it has everything to due with his two lackluster performances to start the season. Last week he saw his “normal” workhorse workload of 31 touches and played 92% of his team's snaps. While I think Bell is the lesser owned of all the chalk, I still see him being used in a lot of cash game lineups.
- Yet again, Kareem Hunt (8000/8300) dazzled us with a two-TD performance, catching 3-of-3 targets as well. He is playing a decent amount of his teams snaps (65%), but there is definitely some concern about having 0.91 points per snap—that is extremely efficient and will be very hard to maintain. It is a positive that backup Charcandrick West saw a dip in snaps down to 21% from 35% in Week 1. If that trend continues, Hunt’s snaps should start to push closer to the 70-75% threshold.
- Christian McCaffrey (6100/6800) gets the Saints at home this week. Honestly, I could probably stop with that. The Saints are #bad. We have them rated 31st in RB aFPA, they have allowed an average of 38 PPR points per game to opposing RBs, and the Panthers are a -5.5 home favorite. I prefer CMC on DraftKings where his pass-catching ability is a tad more rewarding, but slate-breaking ability is 100% within the cards for McCaffrey.
- I'm not going to lie: I was a little down on Jay Ajayi (7700/8200) coming into the year, but man did he look good in his first game. According to PlayerProfiler.com, Ajayi is top 10 in evading tackers and in breakaway runs. He is probably not getting a lot of buzz because he didn't find the end zone last week despite 30 touches, but I think that might change this week due to what will likely be an extremely positive game script against the Jets.