NFL DFS: Week 17 RB Report

FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)

Jamaal Williams (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,800): After failing to live up to his expected value early in the year, Williams worked his way into a bench role with Aaron Jones shinning midseason. Jamaal gained starting snaps over the last two games due to an injury. He played well in Week 15 (97 combined yards with one TD and four catches) before breaking through with an impact game (156 combined yards with one TD and six catches) last week. The Packers had him on the field for 95 percent of their RB snaps, which is a high-level opportunity. The Lions climbed to 18th in RB defense after allowing fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points to RBs in their last three games. Five teams scored over 30.0 Fantasy points at the RB position vs. Detroit with most of the damage coming over the first half of the year. Priced in a range to be an attractive option again this week.

C.J. Anderson (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,200): In a surprise move, the Rams signed and started Anderson last week. He responded with an excellent game on the ground (20/167/1) while receiving 75 percent of the RB snaps for LA. The Rams have one of the best RB opportunities in the game in 2018 with upside in TDs. The 49ers are 24th defending RBs with three poor showings (44.50, 38.70, and 43.40 Fantasy points). C.J. salary commands only 20+ Fantasy points, which seems more than viable after his success and opportunity last week.

Adrian Peterson (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,300): Peterson went over 1,000 yards rushing last week for the eighth time in his career. He enters this week with 1,250 combined yards with eight TDs and 20 catches. With one more full season, Adrian would have a chance to rank 5th all-time in rushing yards (needs 784 rushing yards to pass Curtis Martin). He rushed for over 100 yards in three games while averaging 17.8 touches per game. The Eagles slipped to 19th in RB defense after allowing over 30.0 Fantasy points to RBs in five of their last seven games (39.90, 40.10, 39.40, 37.50, and 34.80). A Washington back has a very good chance of coming in this week. Worth a flier at this level.

Kenyan Drake (DK – $3,700/FD – $5,800): Drake only had ten touches last week with Frank Gore no longer in the mix for touches, but he gained only 54 yards with four catches. As bad as it looks, he did receive 85 percent of the RB snaps for the Dolphins. Kenyan is the 14th ranked RB in PPR leagues despite averaging only 10.5 touches per game. He’s scored over 23.0 Fantasy points in three games, but under 10.0 Fantasy points in seven games. His salary, season-long ranking, and improved opportunity in playing time suggest a buying opportunity in the daily games even with a recent blurred resume. The Bills will give up Fantasy points to RBs (26th – five teams scored over 32.0 Fantasy points), which invites upside here.

Royce Freeman (DK – $3,500/FD – $4,700): With Phillip Lindsay out for the season, Freeman should have a clean ride as the lead back for Denver in Week 17. Since returning from his ankle issue, Royce has been unimpressive in six games (160 combined yards with one TD and two catches on 44 touches). This season the Broncos’ RBs gained 2,278 combined yards with 17 TDs and 80 catches. Even with a bump in chances, Denver may turn to Devonate Booker on more plays if game score points to more passing. Viable low level swing as Freeman does have the talent to shine and score goal line TDs.

 

MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)

Joe Mixon (DK – $6,700/FD – $7,500): Mixon struggled to find running room last week (17/68) with minimal chances in the passing game (2/10). Over his last three games, Joe has 79 touches for 346 combined yards with three TDs and nine catches. He’s the 10th ranked RB in PPR leagues (15.45 Fantasy points per game) despite missing two games. In Week 6, Mixon gained 84 yards with one TD and four catches against the Steelers. Pittsburgh ranks 7th defending RBs with three of their last seven opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points at the RB position. With Cinci playing with a backup QB and injuries at WR, the Bengals will create minimal scoring chances on offense while the Steelers move the ball at will and control the time of possession. Avoid for me.

Nick Chubb (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,400): Chubb ran the ball well last week (19/112), but the Browns sniped him a couple of times at the goal line with play action passes. Over his nine starts for the Browns, Nick gained 952 combined yards with eight TDs and 18 catches. He only needs 28 rushing yards to reach 1,000 on the year while surprisingly ranking 9th in the league. Baltimore has the third best RB defense with only one team gaining over 30.0 Fantasy points. Not a great matchup with questionable upside in scoring.

Dalvin Cook (DK – $6,100/FD – $6,700): Over his last four games, Cook gained 460 combined yards with three TDs and 17 catches while averaging 18.5 touches per game. He’s been on the field for over 75 percent of the time for the Vikings in three of his last four games. In Week 11, Dalvin gained only ten yards with three catches on 12 touches vs. the Bears. Chicago has the second best RB defense in the NFL, but they did allow over 30.) Fantasy points to the RB position in three of their last nine games. Against the grain player that has the explosiveness to surprise at home.

Tarik Cohen (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,600): Cohen crushed Fantasy owners in the season-long games in Week 16 when he gained only 19 combined yards with one catch on seven touches. Cohen is the 12th highest scoring RB in PPR leagues with two impact games (30.40 and 34.65 Fantasy points). Tarik gained 386 combined yards over his previous four games with two TDs and 28 catches highlighted by his special game (186 combined yards with 14 catches) against the Giants. He averages only 10.9 touches per game with his best value coming in the passing game (69/718/5). RBs have 78 catches for 720 yards and three TDs on 105 targets vs. the Vikings. This game sets up for him to be more active, but his path and salary does invite failure at this level.

Adrian Peterson (DK – $4,500/FD – $6,300): Peterson went over 1,000 yards rushing last week for the eighth time in his career. He enters this week with 1,250 combined yards with eight TDs and 20 catches. With one more full season, Adrian would have a chance to rank 5th all-time in rushing yards (needs 784 rushing yards to pass Curtis Martin). He rushed for over 100 yards in three games while averaging 17.8 touches per game. The Eagles slipped to 19th in RB defense after allowing over 30.0 Fantasy points to RBs in five of their last seven games (39.90, 40.10, 39.40, 37.50, and 34.80). A Washington back has a very good chance of coming in this week. Worth a flier at this level.

Jordan Howard (DK – $4,000/FD – $6,000): It appears that Howard will go through the 2018 season with no impact games. His best success in rushing yards (101) came in Week 14. Over his last four games, Jordan gained 328 combined yards with two TDs and five catches while averaging 18 touches per game. The Vikings held him to 65 yards on 19 touches in Week 17. Tough to believe in his upside even with a low salary.

 

 

BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)

Lamar Miller (DK – $4,600/FD – $6,400): Miller missed last week’s game with an ankle issue. He turned in a full practice on Wednesday, which points to him regaining his starting role in Week 17. Before his short outing (three carries for eight yards) in Week 15, Lamar gained 722 combined yards with four TDs and 13 catches on 121 touches over his previous seven games. He rushed for 100 yards with a TD in Week 7 against the Jaguars. Jacksonville ranks 5th defending RBs with only one poor showing (58.0 Fantasy points in Week 14). Below par matchup with question upside in TDs, catches, and possibly touches with D’Onta Foreman working his way back into the RB rotation.

 

PLAYING TIME / INJURY RISK

Christian McCaffrey (DK – $9,100/FD – $9,400): After a tremendous second-half push, McCaffrey finally ran down Todd Gurley as the top RB. Over his last eight games, Christian gained 1,202 combined yards with ten TDs and 62 catches while posting over 25.0 Fantasy points in PPR leagues in seven games (32.70, 36.80, 17.00, 46.70, 31.10, 28.10, 26.50, and 29.80). The Panthers mentioned that McCaffrey might be shut down this week. In Week 15, he had 120 combined yards with eight catches against the Saints while also tossing a 50-yard TD. New Orleans ranks fourth vs. RBs, but they don’t need this game to help their playoff rankings. The Saints should rest some of their starters while Carolina will start a third string QB. Need more info, but Christian looks like a fade in Week 17 due to questions with his playing time.

Ezekiel Elliott (DK – $9,000/FD – $8,800): Elliott will finish 2018 with most combined yards (2,001) of his career while making a huge step forward in catches (77). His only shortfall came in TDs (nine) after scoring 24 TDs in his first 25 NFL games. Dallas doesn’t need to win this game to help their playoff seeding, which points to an early day for Ezekiel. Too much downside here to play in the daily games.

Alvin Kamara (DK – $7,900/FD – $8,400): Kamara played better in his last two games (208 combined yards with three TDs and 11 catches), but he still slipped to 4th in RB scoring in PPR leagues. On the year, he gained 1,592 combined yards with 18 TDs and 81 catches. The Saints don’t need to win this game, which makes Alvin another player with playing time risk in Week 17.

Jaylen Samuel (DK – $6,800/FD – $6,700): Over three games with starting snaps, Samuels gained 328 combined yards with one TD and 12 catches while receiving about 70 percent of the RB snaps in Pittsburgh. With James Conner expected to play this week, Jaylen is overpriced for his downgrade in opportunity.

Spencer Ware (DK – $6,200/FD – $6,600): The Chiefs expect to have Ware back this week, but I can’t see him jumping to the WR1 position in KC with Damien Williams playing so well. He priced like a full-time starter, which makes Spencer an easy avoid this week.

James White (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,500): White stubbled home over the last six games with 341 combined yards with one TD and 22 catches while averaging only 8.7 touches. He still ranks 8th in RB scoring in PPR leagues. Earlier in the year, James had 88 combined yards and one catch against the Jets. Pass catching back with a fading role due to Sony Michel earning the bulk of the action on early downs. Game score is key here, but I don’t expect it to favor White in this matchup.

 

 

NEUTRAL

Melvin Gordon (DK – $8,400/FD – $8,100): Gordon returned to action last week, but the Chargers only gave him only two-thirds of their RB playing time. He did sit on third downs, which was a huge hit to his upside in PPR leagues. He finished Week 16 with 15 touches for 54 yards and one TD and three catches. Over his previous eight full games, Melvin gained 1,023 combined yards with ten TDs and 29 catches. The Broncos are 14th against RBs with five teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. The Chargers still have a shot at the number one seed in the AFC. Possible full workload, but LA will mix in at least one other RB. I don’t expect a 30+ Fantasy game, which makes him a tough start in the daily games.

Saquon Barkley (DK – $8,200/FD – $8,500): After a great four-game run (637 combined yards with six TDs and 16 catches), Barkley lost his way in his last two games (133 combined yards with one TD and nine catches). He’s the 3rd highest scoring RB in PPR leagues. He trails Ezekiel Elliott by 236 rushing yards to win the rushing title. Dallas has a top ten defense vs. RBs, but they will hook their starters at some point in the game. Based on expected playing time, Saquon would be one of the more attractive options at RB at the top end. In Week 2, Barkley gained 108 yards and 14 catches vs. the Cowboys.

Chris Carson (DK – $6,500/FD – $6,400): Carson was a key player for Fantasy owners over the last three weeks in the season-long games when he gained 354 combined yards with four TDs and six catches while averaging 25.7 touches per game. Over his last six games, Chris has six TDs while averaging about 52 percent of the RB playing time in Seattle. Arizona allows the fourth-most Fantasy points to RBs with five teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points from the RB position (none over the last four games). The Seahawks will rotate in two other backs while possibly trying to keep Carson healthy for the playoffs. He needs 27.0 Fantasy points to fill his Fantasy bucket in Week 17, which would be a tall task with any step back in chances.

Damien Williams (DK – $6,100/FD – $6,900): Over the last two games with starting snaps, Williams gained 263 combined yards with three TDs and 13 catches while receiving about two-thirds of the RB touches in Kansas City. The previous game with Spencer Ware on the field, Damien scored two TDs while gaining only 30 yards on 12 touches with four catches. The Raiders are 20th defending RBs while showing disaster downside in four games (50.30, 34.90, 40.80, and 32.20 Fantasy points allowed). There’s an opportunity for upside here, but the passing game for the Chiefs may steal the RB opportunity in Week 17.

David Johnson (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,100): 2018 will go down as a wasted year for David Johnson. He’s the 9th ranked RB with only one game with over 22.0 Fantasy points (37.30). David has ten TDs while gaining 1,318 combined yards with 47 catches. He averages only 3.6 yards per rush and 19.2 touches per game. In Week 4, Johnson gained 112 combined yards with one TD and three catches. The Cardinals have been more willing to use secondary RBs in the last two games, which hurts David’s already low ceiling. Seattle ranks 22nd defending RBs with three of their last five opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. Talent to surprise, but he needs a change at QB to be viable.

Mark Ingram (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,600): Over the last five games, Ingram gained only 264 combined yards with two TDs and eight catches on 62 touches. The Saints won’t play their top players this week for the whole game, but Mark may be rewarded with RB1 snaps. The Panthers don’t have much to play from while wheeling out a third string QB. They do rank 6th defending RBs with two teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. Need more info before taking the Ingram plunge.

Elijah McGuire (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,300): After a couple of injuries to the Jets’ RBs, McGuire emerged as a winning play over the last three weeks in the season-long games. Over this span, he gained 239 combined yards with four TDs and nine catches while receiving 58 touches. Even with his success, Elijah hasn’t gained over 60 yards rushing or over 85 combined yards in any game. The Patriots are league average defending the RB position with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (34.00, 36.80, and 46.50). I like his opportunity, but a trip on the ride points to a step back in overall offensive production by New York. Possible value, but I sense more of a trap.

Sony Michel (DK – $5,200/FD – $7,200): Last week Michel rushed for over 100 yards for the fourth time in his 12 career NFL games with three of those games coming at home. Over five starts in New England, Sony gained 514 combined yards with five TDs and two catches while averaging about 21 touches. In Week 12, he beat the Jets for 145 combined yards with one TD and two catches. New York is 10th in the league against RBs, but five teams scored over 30.0 Fantasy points. Possible 100+ yards with at least one TD.

Jeff Wilson (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,800): Matt Breida got in the way of Wilson in the last two games leading to only 84 combined yards with two catches on 20 touches. His game did flash in Week 13 and Week 14 when he gained 240 combined yards with ten catches. Jeff did fumble in three of his last four games (two lost fumbles), which is an easy way to get an early hook if it happens again. The Rams are just above league average defending RBs with three of their last seven opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. Possible high volume opportunity with Breida out this week while offering pass catching and big play ability. His matchup isn’t ideal, but game score should help his floor with a bump in targets.

Doug Martin (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,800): Martin turned in his best game of the season last week (116 combined yards with one TD and one catch on 22 touches). Over his last five games, Martin gained 326 combined yards with four TDs and six catches on 81 touches. Oakland tends to have him on the field for about 50 percent of their plays with minimal upside in the passing game. The Chiefs allow the most Fantasy points to RBs with seven teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (none over the last six games). Possible TD with a mid-teen opportunity.

Gus Edwards (DK – $4,400/FD – $6,500): Edwards continues to give the Ravens a power runner to complement Lamar Jackson. Over his last six games, Gus gained 591 combined yards with two TDs and one catch while averaging 18.5 touches per game. The Browns ranks 21st vs. RBs with much of their failure (four games with over 35.0 Fantasy points allowed) coming over the first nine weeks. The Browns held RBs to fewer than 20.0 Fantasy points in four of their last six games. Baltimore will feature the run game, but Jackson will steal some of his upside in yards and TDs. Only a neutral play at RB for me.

Darren Sproles (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,500): Sproles hit on a couple of plays in the passing game (3/76/1) last week helping him post his best game of the season (108 combined yards with one TD and three catches) while receiving a season-high 12 touches. The Eagles had him on the field for 46 percent of their snaps while also mixing in two other RBs. Pass catching back with a questionable opportunity from week-to-week.

Peyton Barber (DK – $3,600/FD – $5,500): Week 17 will be interesting to see of the Bucs will give Ronald Jones one game to showcase his talent. Barber has been active in Tampa’s run game over the last six weeks (407 combined yards with four TDs and ten catches) while averaging 18.7 touches per game. He played well in Week 6 against the Falcons (106 combined yards with one TD and four catches). Atlanta allows the third most Fantasy points to RBs with nine teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. The starting RB for the Bucs should score a rushing TD with a floor of 15.0 Fantasy points with a chance at 20+ touches. Might need more info before taking Barber to the daily dance.

 

 

Shawn Childs
About Shawn Childs 446 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros.As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.