FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Melvin Gordon (DK – $8,900/FD – $8,700): Gordon continued his way to the best season of his career with a nice game in Week 10 (165 combined yards with one TD and five catches). The Chargers had Melvin on the field for over 80 percent of their plays over the last two games. He averages 20.1 touches per game while being on pace for 2,033 combined yards with 22 TDs and 72 catches if he played 16 games. Denver is league average defending RBs with success in five of their nine games. Three teams scored over 33.0 Fantasy points from the RB position (KC – 189 combined yards with two TDs and three catches, NYJ – 38/323/1, and LAR – 39/270/2). I expect the Chargers to have a high level of success running the ball setting up a special day for Gordon. Possible 150+ yards with two TDs and value in catches.
Saquon Barkley (DK – $8,700/FD – $8,800): Last week Barkley scored fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points for the first time in 2018 last week (100 combined yards with four catches on 24 touches). Saquon only has two games with over 100 yards rushing while averaging 21.4 touches per game. He’s scored seven of the Giants 17 TDs with high value in the passing game (62/530/2). Tampa ranks 24th against vs. the RB position with five teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. Tampa allows 4.4 yards per rush with RBs scoring 15 TDs while also showing failure in two matchups defending RBs in the passing game (NO – 9/112/1 and CHI – 7/121/1). Barkley looks poised to post an impact game with multi TDs and plenty of yards and catches. New York may finally play from the lead helping his overall success and touches.
Ezekiel Elliott (DK – $8,500/FD – $8,400): Last week Elliott dominated the Eagles when he gained 187 combined yards with two TDs and six catches. Ezekiel now has four games with over 100 yards rushing while scoring six TDs with improving value in the passing game (35/262/2). He averages 22.6 touches per game. Atlanta ranks 31st in the NFL defending RBs with six teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. The Falcons allows 5.2 yards per rush with RBs scoring 13 TDs while showing high risk defending RBs in the passing game (75/579/4 on 90 targets). His floor looks to be 30.0 Fantasy points with a couple of TDs while hitting on a long play in the passing game.
Dion Lewis (DK – $4,800/FD – $5,900): Lewis ended up being a trap in Week 10. The Patriots focused on shutting him down, which led to a short game (68 combined yards with two catches). Dion did finish with 22 touches. Over the last three games, he averaged 21.3 touches per game with one TD and 12 catches. Lewis has been on the field for over 70 percent of the time over the last four games. The Colts allowed over 30.0 Fantasy points to RBs in four games (30.40, 31.60, 41.70, and 41.20). Indy has disaster downside defending RBs in the passing game (72/581/2 on 93 targets) with four teams having double-digit catches (WAS – 16/122, NE – 11/89/1, OAK – 11/75, and JAC – 11/112/1). The Colts allow 3.9 yards per rush with RBs scoring eight TDs. His touches and matchup suggest the green tag for the second straight week. Those Fantasy owners who lost their bankroll on Dion last week will have a chance to regain some cash in the daily games.
Alex Collins (DK – $4,400/FD – $6,000): Collins has four TDs over his last four games, but his touches remain well below his expected opportunity heading into 2018. Over his last seven games, Alex averaged 14.6 touches per game while failing to gain over 70 yards rushing in any game. Cinci slipped to 30th in RB defense after getting lit up by RBs in two of their last three games (49.00 and 57.40 Fantasy points). The Bengals allow 5.0 yards per rush with RBs scoring eight rushing TDs. Collins has a very good matchup, but a Fantasy owner could get beat by the decision making at head coach in his playing time and/or play calling. Worth a dart for sure as double-digit TDs could be in the cards with a season-high in rushing yards.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Alvin Kamara (DK – $8,200/FD – $8,900): Kamara remains the second highest scoring RB in PPR leagues with elite value in TDs (14) and catches (55). As great as he’s been, Alvin only has two impact games in yards (Week 3 – 190 and Week 4 – 181) which came before Mark Ingram returned to the field. Over his last four starts, Kamara averaged 19.5 touches per game compared to 22.5 touches over his first four games. Philly fell to 8th in RB defense after struggling vs. RBs in two of their last four games (NYG – 271 combined yards with one TD and 11 catches and DAL – 192 combined yards and two TDs and seven catches). Over the first five games of the season, Philly held rushers to fewer than 80 yards in each game. Seems to be slightly against the grain compared to the top three RBs, but New Orleans has a better overall offense.
James Conner (DK – $7,200/FD – $8,200): Conner left last week’s game with a concussion, but he’s expected to play this week. His salary remains below his overall ranking (3rd) at RB in PPR leagues. James has five games with over 100 yards rushing while scoring eight TDs over their last five games. He averages 23.9 touches per game. The Jaguars are 4th in the league vs. the RB position with no team scoring over 25.0 Fantasy points. Jacksonville allows 4.2 yards per rush with RBs scoring six TDs and minimal upside in the passing game (36/296/1). More of a dark horse option than value play despite a mispriced salary compared his 2018 success.
Leonard Fournette (DK – $6,900/FD – $7,600): Fournette struggled to find running room in his first full game, which led to 53 yards on 24 rushes with one TD. Leonard did hit on a couple of plays in the passing game (5/53/1) setting up a nice game. Game score led to him seeing only 52 percent of the RB snaps. The Steelers have the third best RB defense in the league with the biggest failure coming in Week 10 (CAR – 146 combined yards with three TDs and five catches). Over the first eight games, no team scored over 20.0 Fantasy points from the RB position. Overall, Pittsburgh allows 4.1 yards per rush with RBs scoring nine TDs. Volume will be his friend, and the Jaguars need a win in the worst way. Against the grain based on matchup, but Fournette may surprise.
Marlon Mack (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,000): Mack was a bad play last week (38 combined yards with two TDs on 14 touches) after showing impressive upside in his two previous games (31.90 and 28.90 Fantasy points). Over the last three games, Marlon had about 60 percent of the RB snaps for the Colts. The Titans moved to second in RB Fantasy defense after holding RBs to fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points for the eighth time in nine games last week. Tennessee allows 3.9 yards per rush with RBs scoring four TDs. Mack will have tough sledding again this week.
Adrian Peterson (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,300): Peterson struggled in both of his last two starts (9/17 and 19/68) after an impact game in Week 8 (26/149/2). Over the last five games with Chris Thompson injured, Adrian averaged 20.4 touches per game with only two TDs. Houston ranks 11th in the league vs. RBs with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. If a team is going to beat the Texans at RB, it most likely comes in the passing game (51/356/5). Houston allows only 3.6 yards per rush with rushers scoring three TDs. I don’t like Peterson’s matchup or upside in Week 11.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Joe Mixon (DK – $7,100/FD – $7,300): With the Bengals getting run over last week, Mixon finished with only 85 combined yards with two catches on 13 touches. Joe’s best success came in Week 1 (149 combined yards with one TD and five catches) and Week 8 (138 combined yards with two TDs and three catches). Mixon averages 20.9 touches per game, but now he has to contend with Giovani Bernard for some playing time. In Week 2, Joe gained 87 yards on 22 touches vs. the Ravens. Baltimore leads the NFL in RB Fantasy defense with no team scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. They allow 4.0 yards per rush with RBs scoring seven TDs with minimal damage in the passing game (36/200/2 on 57 targets). Cinci is a mess internally, which makes Mixon tough to trust in a low upside matchup.
PLAYING TIME / INJURY RISK
Derrick Henry (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,900): Over the last three games, Henry has four TDs with minimal value in yards (155) and touches (33). Derrick has been out snapped (66-to-175) to Dion Lewis over the last four games. Only a gamble if you’re searching for a TD or Henry hitting on a long run.
Christian McCaffrey (DK – $8,000/FD – $8,600): McCaffrey has back-to-back elite games (32.70 and 36.80 Fantasy points). After scoring only one TD over the first six games, Christian has seven TDs in his last three starts while gaining over 100 yards in his last two contests (157 and 138). He averages 19.7 touches per game with a high floor in the passing game (54/439/4). The Lions played better defending RBs over the last five games (21.90, 23.0, 25.00, 26.6, and 22.10). Detroit allows 4.9 yards per rush with RBs scoring nine TDs. McCaffrey may hit on a long rushing TD, but he’ll need success in the passing game to match the top dogs at RB in Week 10. The Lions have done a good job so far defending RBs in the passing game (46/381/2 on 63 targets). I expect a step back in TDs, which lower his explosiveness. If you want a lower percentage own at RB, Christian may be your man.
David Johnson (DK – $7,500/FD – $7,900): Johnson moved to 10th in RB scoring after delivering his first impact game of the year in Week 10 (183 combined yards with two TDs and seven catches). David is still looking for his first game with over 100 yards rushing. On the year, he gains only 3.4 yards per rush while averaging 19.3 touches per game. Oakland sits 26th vs. the RB position with two disaster games (CLE – 243 combined yards with three TDs and four catches and IND – 248 combined yards with two TDs and four catches). The Raiders allow 4.8 yards per rush with RBs scoring 11 TDs. Workhorse back, but the Cardinals only scored 16 TDs on 105 possessions in 2018. The Cardinals have scored fewer than 20 points in eight of their nine games. Moving in the right direction and Oakland has risk on defense. Tempting, but he’ll need 30+ Fantasy points to fill his salary bucket.
Kerryon Johnson (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,200): A chaser game played into Johnson’s role last week. He finished with 20 touches leading to 89 combined yards with two TDs and six catches. Over the last three games, Kerryon had over two-thirds of the RB playing time for Detroit. The Panthers are 7th in the NFL vs. RBs with their worst game coming vs. the Steelers (32.50 Fantasy points) in Week 10. Over the first eight games, RBs scored fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points in five games against Carolina. The Panthers will give up rushing yards at times (4.4 yards per rush) and TDs (seven) to RBs. Over the last five games, Johnson averaged almost 17 touches per game with two TDs. Playing well, but Detroit isn’t offensively. I expect him to fall short of a daily game play.
Tevin Coleman (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,800): Coleman couldn’t follow up his special game in Week 9 (156 combined yards with two TDs and five catches) last week vs. the Browns (63 combined yards with three catches on 14 touches). Over nine games, Tevin averages 14.3 touches per game with six TDs. Last week the Falcons had him on the field for 65 percent of their plays, which was his highest rate since Week 3. Dallas is 10th in the NFL defending the RB position with some struggled in two of their last three games (27.50 and 33.40 Fantasy points). The Cowboys will rush the QB, which leads to RBs catching 56 of 69 targets for 434 yards and two TDs. Dallas allows 3.8 yards per rush with RB scoring five TDs. Possible TD with some action gives Coleman an outside chance of reaching his winning number in the daily games.
Phillip Lindsay (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,400): Over the last three games with Royce Freeman injured, Lindsay gained 97 yards per game with two TDs and six catches while averaging 18.3 touches per game. This week the Broncos will rotate in their three RBs again, which points to a step back in chances for Phillip in Week 11. The Chargers are about league average vs. the RB position with one team scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. LA will give up plenty of catches to RBs (58/609/1 on 73 targets) with failure as well in yards per rush (4.5), but they’ve allowed only four TDs to the RB position. Over the last eight games, the Chargers faced seven weaker offenses (BUF, SF, OAK X 2, CLE, TEN, and SEA). Lindsay has a better matchup than the stats project, but his underlying question with his playing time makes him only a gamble in the daily games.
Mark Ingram (DK – $4,700/FD – $7,100): Game flow was a big factor in Ingram delivering a big game in Week 10. He finished with 16 touches, which matched his opportunity over his previous four games. Mark finished with 162 combined yards with a TD and three catches. Last week the Saints had him in the field for 41 percent of their plays, but they did pull the RB goalie in the fourth quarter giving 3rd string RB Dwayne Washington 21 percent of the RB playing time. Philly can have success vs. the run, but their defense will give up catches. More of a steady play.
Lamar Miller ($4,600/FD – $6,400): After two nice games (22/100/1 and 18/133/1), Miller returned to his questionable form in Week 9 vs. the Broncos (48 combined yards on 14 touches). Lamar has three TDs on the year while averaging 18.1 touches per game. Washington fell to 14th in RB defense after fading vs. RBs in the last two games (46.00 and 26.50 Fantasy points). The Redskins allowed fewer than 100 yards rushing to RBs over the first seven games with RBs scoring six TDs on the year. Miller may have a chance to gain upside in the passing game (61/464/2 on 81 targets). Fairly price, but tougher to trust.
Doug Martin (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,200): Over the last three games, Martin gained 250 yards with six catches while averaging 15 touches per game. Doug’s gaining 4.3 yard per rush, which is well above his failed success on four of his last five seasons (3.6, 3.7, 2.9, and 2.9). The Cardinals allows 4.3 yards per rush with RBs scoring 14 TDs. After allowing 30+ rushes over the first eight games, Arizona held the Chiefs to 23 rushes in Week 10. Almost a suckers play as the Cardinals do allow the fourth-most Fantasy points to RBs.
Jalen Richard (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,300): Over the last five games, Richard has 39 catches for 248 yards with no TDs while offering minimal value on early downs (10/32). RBs have 39 catches for 381 yards and two TDs on 50 catches vs. the Cardinals with two teams having success in the passing game from the RB position (WAS – 8/133/1 and SF – 11/108/1). A floor of five catches with minimal upside in TDs. Big gamble unless a Fantasy owner decides to hook him up with Derek Carr.
Peyton Barber (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,400): Over nine games, Barber only has two TDs while failing to gain over 100 yards rushing in any game. Peyton gains 3.7 yards per carry while averaging 14.8 touches per game. The Giants allowed over 30.0 Fantasy points to RBs in three of their last six games. New York ranks 21st vs. RBs (4.4 yards per rush with RBs scoring 13 TDs). A low-level player who remains on the injury report with a shoulder and an ankle injury.
Ty Montgomery (DK – $3,100/FD – $4,600): Montgomery isn’t a lock to get a huge workload in Week 11, but the Ravens do need a spark and a change at RB. This season Javorius Allen averages 8.2 touches per game while gaining only 3.7 yards per touch. His lack of upside points to Montgomery gaining the pass-catching role for Baltimore with some value in early down and possibly goal-line carries. Over seven games for the Packers, Ty gained 6.7 yards per touch. A Fantasy owner needs to keep their ear to the Fantasy news this week as the Ravens’ coaching staff should give a hint of Montgomery being relevant vs. the Bengals. This season RBs have 58 catches for 523 yards and five TDs on 74 targets. Possible best low value out of the week.