Matchup Risk/Against the Grain
Tough Matchup with Limited Upside
Playing Time Concern
Le’Veon Bell (DK – $9,800/FD – $9,000): After taking the summer off to battle his next contract, Bell came out flat in Week 1. He was on the field for 43 of 60 offensive plays (71.6 percent), which was below his opportunity in his 12 games played in 2016 (781 of 810 snaps – 96.4 percent). Le’Veon only had 13 touches for 47 yards and three catches. In 2016, Bell never had fewer than 13.00 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. He scored over 20 Fantasy points in nine of his 12 starts, which included three impact games (34.40, 34.1, and 51.80). The Vikings held the Saints’ back to 55 yards on 20 carries plus nine catches for 74 yards on 12 targets. Minnesota has a top ten defense vs. the RB position over the 17 games in the regular season. Stud of studs with a correction game waiting in the wings. Just based on volume of touches, Le’Veon is the top ranked RB in Week 2 (163 combined yards with five catches and 1.4 TDs). His high salary does command over 30 Fantasy points.
LeSean McCoy (DK – $8,600/FD – $8,600): The Bills just can’t give McCoy the whole show especially at the goal line. Last week LeSean was on the field for 54 of 77 plays run by Buffalo. He finished 159 combined yards on 27 touches, which included five catches. Unfortunately, the Bills felt the need to give Mike Tolbert 13 touches for 54 combined yards while letting him snipe the only rushing TD. LeSean tends to be a much better player at home. In 2016, he scored only three of his 14 TDs on the road. McCoy rushed for over 100 yards seven times over 15 games last year (twice on the road). The Panthers held 49ers to 51 yards rushing on 15 carries in Week 1. San Fran’s backs caught eight of ten targets for 49 yards. High volume back, but I don’t like his success on the road plus Tolbert will be returning to Carolina. I’ll put LeSean in the fade column due to his high salary and matchup.
Ezekiel Elliott (DK – $7,800/FD – $8,700): If Week 1 is any indication, Elliott is going to be a lot more active in the passing game. He caught five of his six targets for 36 yards while rushing for 104 yards on 24 carries. He stayed on the field for 60 of 74 plays (81.1 percent) run by the Cowboys, which was higher than his 2016 resume (74.3 percent of the snaps). The Chargers have a poor offensive line leading to 22 rushed for 64 yards vs. the Broncos. Gordon did catch five of his six targets for 25 yards and a TD. Last year Denver ranked 19th in the league vs. the RB position in PPR leagues. RBs had over 2,000 yards rushing vs. the Broncos in 2016 with 13 combined TDs plus 70 catches for 691 yards. Most will fear Denver’s defense, but they need to prove they can handle an elite rushing attack. Ezekiel is scheduled to gain over 150 combined yards with a TD and three catches. Nice floor especially at DraftKings where his salary remains favorable.
Devonta Freeman (DK – $7,300/FD – $8,100): In Week 1, Freeman had 60 percent of the RB snaps. He struggled to find running room vs. the Bears (14 touches for 39 yards), but he scored a TD with two catches. His stablemate had 12 touches for 58 yards and four catches so timing this backfield will be tough again in 2017. Last year Devonta only had two games with over 100 yards receiving, which came vs. the Saints on the road and at home against the lowly 49ers. Freeman scored 11 of his 13 TDs at home in 2016, which included two TDs at home vs. the Packers (58 combined yards with four catches). Green Bay had the 8th ranked defense against the RB position in 2016 in PPR leagues. In Week 1, Seattle struggled to create space on the ground for their RBs (16 carries for 50 yards) against the Packers with just about an empty score in the receiving game (1/10 on one target). Atlanta’s offense is going to be a beast to defend so there should be plenty of scoring. Sometimes you just need to believe in a player. I don’t see an explosive game as far as yards so scoring TDs will be key.
Melvin Gordon (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,600): Gordon scored 18.9 Fantasy points in PPR leagues in Week 1. He had 23 touches leading to 79 combined yards with a TD and five catches. Melvin was on the field for 76.2 percent of the Chargers’ offensive plays. He has four catches or more in his last seven full games played while averaging 26.5 touches per game in his last eight games with full time snaps. Gordon had 132 combined yards with five catches in his matchup in 2016 at home vs. the Dolphins. Miami ranked 20th in the league vs. the RB position in 2016 with no disaster games. One of the best opportunities in the game with scoring and catching ability. Excellent chance at 100+ rushing yards plus a TD. When you add in his catches, Melvin should be a top five RB option in Week 2.
Kareem Hunt (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,800): The success of Hunt in Week 1 (246 combined yards with three TDs and five catches) push him to a top five pick in the late draft season in the season long games. Even if he didn’t hit on a pair of big plays, Kareen looked like an impact back despite fumbling the first time he touched the ball in his NFL career. Hunt was on the field for 40 of 69 plays run by Kansas City. The Eagles held the Redskins to 64 yards rushing on 17 carries. Their RBs caught four of six targets for 52 yards. In 2016, Philly placed 11th in RB Fantasy defense with four teams rushing for over 150 yards on the road. They allowed 81 catches for 556 yards and 11 combined TDs. Rising star who will command more touches per game going forward. Still looks underpriced plus the Eagles have some failure risk on the road.
Todd Gurley (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,700): The Rams struggled to run block in Week 1 leading to Todd gaining only 40 yards on 19 rushes. He did score a TD while having success in the passing game (5/56). Los Angeles looked improved offensively with Jared Goff being the key. Goff’s success should lead to bigger plays in the passing game forcing defenses to change their approach against the run. In the end, Gurley had a high-volume opportunity as expected. The Redskins played well vs. the run in Week 1 (24/58) with RBs catching seven of their ten targets for 92 yards and a TD. Washington ranked 25th in the league vs. the RB position in PPR leagues. Scout has him projected for 137 combined yards with four catches and a TD leading to the third highest rating at RB in Week 2.
Leonard Fournette (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,600): The Jaguars rode Fournette hard (29 touches) in Week 1 leading to 124 combined yards with a TD and three catches. This led to a big win on the road when most were writing off Jacksonville. His game fits perfect with the new and improved style of the Jaguars. They want to run the ball and play solid defense. The Titans ranked third in the league vs. the RB position in 2016. Oakland rushed for 109 yards on 29 carries last week against Tennessee. The loss of Allen Robinson does take away a threat in the passing game allowing defenses to move up a safety to stop the run. It should create less running room, but a missed tackle could lead to a long TD. Possible TD with plenty of touches and he’s not dead in the passing game.
Jay Ajayi (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,900): There’s no doubt that Ajayi has explosiveness in his game after posted three games with over 200 yards rushing in 2016. If he can add pass catches to his resume, which he showed in college (50/535/4 in 2014), the Dolphins will have their hands on an impact back. His success over the last 11 games projected over 16 games would be 333 rushes for 1680 yards, 10 TDs, 28 catches, and 156 receiving yards. The Chargers held Denver to 3.9 yards per rush, but they gained 140 yards with a TD due to 36 rushing attempts. The Broncos’ RBs caught only one of their four targets for seven yards. In 2016, LA had the fourth worst defense in the league vs. the RB position. Miami has talent on offense so they should push the issue on the scoreboard creating scoring chances for Jay. I prefer to play him at home plus the Chargers do have solid CBs to hopefully slow down the passing game.
DeMarco Murray (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,500): DeMarco won the snap battle in Tennessee over Derrick Henry (47 to 18), but he gained only 60 yards on 14 touches. Last year Murray gained 188 combined yards with a TD and three catches over two games against the Jaguars in two games. Jacksonville allowed 93 yards rushing to the Texans in Week 1 on 23 carries. Game score led to back catching six of seven passes for 49 yards vs. the Jaguars. The offseason changes on the defensive line has proved to be the right moves after one game. DeMarco still has a salary based on his 2016 success. I need to see him earn it before taking him on a ride in the daily games.
Marshawn Lynch (DK – $6,000/FD – $7,200): The Raiders continued their three-way rotation of backs in Week 1. Lynch was on the field for 32 of 66 plays compared to 16 by DeAndre Washington and 14 by Jalen Richard. Marshawn ran hard while delivering 92 combined yards with a catch on 19 touches. His value will come in the power run game and when the Raiders play from the lead. In the past, he played well at home for Seattle and that theory may hold true in Oakland. The Jets had no answer to the Bills’ run game in Week 1 (190 yards and a TD on 42 rushes). Buffalo’s RBs had seven catches for 66 yards on eight targets. The Raiders are huge favorites so Lynch should have plenty of rushes on early downs. Possible 100+ combined yards with a TD, but he’ll need a second score to pay off in the daily games. In my thoughts…
Dalvin Cook (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,700): The bounce looks back in the Vikings’ run game after one week. Cook flashed explosiveness in the second half helping the Vikings earn their first win in 2017. Dalvin finished with 137 combined yards and three catches while finishing with 25 touches. Minnesota had him on the field for 51 of his 65 plays (78.5 percent) pointing to an elite opportunity. The Steelers could be without one of their top defensive lineman (Stephon Tuitt) who suffered an arm injury last week. Pittsburgh held Cleveland to 2.3 yards per rush in Week 1. The Browns’ RBs caught six of nine targets for 62 yards. He’s playing on a short week so this may not turn out to be an impactful game. Cook is fairly priced especially at Fanduel. Opportunity and explosiveness is a great combo in the daily games even as an against the grain play.
Jordan Howard (DK – $5,900/FD – $7,400): A thorn has emerged in the side of Howard in 2017 and he goes by the name of Tarik Cohen. The Bears gave Howard 38 snaps compared to 28 by Cohen in Week 1. This is huge step back in chances. Jordan landed on the injury report on Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He finished with 16 touches in Week 1 for 66 combined yards with a TD and three catches. Tampa ended up 22nd in the NFL in Fantasy points allowed to RBs with one team scoring over 40 Fantasy points. The drop down in opportunity is a negative to me especially in the passing game. It pretty much comes down to a back with mid-teen touches or 20+ touches, which seems like a pretty simple decision.
Ty Montgomery (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,500): Ty had a tough time breaking free in the run game in Week 1 vs. the Seahawks. The Packers gave him 19 rushes for 54 yards and a TD. Montgomery caught all four of his targets for 39 yards to finish 7th RB scoring in PPR leagues. Last year he missed his game against Atlanta. The Falcons struggled to defend the RB position in Week 1 (186 combined yards with two TDs and 11 catches). This bold well for Ty in Week 2. Montgomery is projected to gain 126 combined yards with a TD and five catches, which works well for his lower salary. Upside option with his only question being his scoring ability in the run game.
Mike Gillislee (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,700): Gillislee looked like the new and improved version of LeGarrette Blount in Week 1. He scored three TDs while gaining 45 yards on 15 carries, but he did fail on a couple of short yardage chances. The Patriots ran 81 plays last week. Mike was on the field for only 24 plays. His success and opportunity will vary from game to game. The Saints allowed 129 rushing yards on 30 carries in Week 1, but no rushing TDs. Last year RBs scored 18 rushing TDs vs. New Orleans with four teams scoring three TDs in a game (three of those games came at home). Possible TD, but he should have enough touches to deliver the needed yards.
Christian McCaffrey (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,600): The Panthers gave McCaffrey 18 touches in Week 1 leading to 85 combined yards and five catches. Christian was on the field for 47 of 67 plays compared to 29 by Jonathan Stewart. The Bills had no trouble with the Jets inapt rushing offense in Week 1 (15/38/1) while their RBs caught eight of their 11 targets for 37 yards. Carolina is expected to give Stewart short yardage carries plus Cam will be a factor at the goal line. Possible 100+ combined yards with three to five catches. If he scores, his total should be playable in the daily games.
Derrick Henry (DK – $5,500/FD – $5,500): The excitement of Henry on draft day turned into a misread at least in Week 1. The Titans only gave him six rushes leading to 25 yards while being on the field for only 18 plays. Last year at home in Week 8, Derrick had one of his better games vs. the Jaguars (97 combined yards with four catches and a TD). Talented player who lacks a winning opportunity in the daily games and he’s overpriced as a backup player.
Tevin Coleman ($5,300/FD – $5,700): Tevin was on the field for about 40 percent of the RB snaps in Week 1. He finished with 12 touches for 58 combined yards with four catches. Last year he missed the Falcons’ game against the Packers. Even with a short game last week, he looked explosive. Coleman has a very good chance of scoring a TD and hitting on a big play. He really needs about 21 Fantasy points to be in play. Viable gamble even with short touches.
Terrance West (DK – $5,100/FD – $5,200): The injury to Danny Woodhead should help the value of West in the passing game even with competition for playing time with Javorius Allen. In Week 1, he had 19 rushes for 80 yards with a TD with game score creating no chances in the passing game. In 2016, Terrance did catch 34 balls for 236 yards and a TD. This situation is going to be a split for sure while West will have the top chance at the goal line. Last year he had 134 combined yards and two catches in two games vs. the Browns. Cleveland held Le’Veon Bell in check in Week 1 (47 combined yards with three catches), which may point an improved run defense. Terrance is projected to gain 93 combined yards with two catches and a TD. Viable RB with more upside if he scores multiple TDs.
Bilal Powell (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,400): The Jets almost used a 50/50 split in playing time at RB in Week 1. New York ran 58 plays with Powell seeing 30 plays of action. The Bills held him to 39 combined yards with five catches while receiving 12 touches. RBs gained 4.5 yards per rush vs. the Raiders in 2016 while allowing 15 rushing TDs to RBs. Oakland did have success defending RBs in the passing game (55/555/5). Passing catching option in a chaser game, but he’s a coin flip to beat out Matt Forte for snaps. His recent history suggests 20+ Fantasy points is within reach.
Isaiah Crowell (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,300): The Browns used a lot of two RB sets in Week 1. Cleveland ran 66 plays with Crowell being on the field for 52 plays compared to 50 by Duke Johnson. Isaiah finished with 19 touches for 66 combined yards and two catches. In 2016, he had struggled in his game on the road vs. the Ravens (53 combined yards with three catches) while dominating at home (148 combined yards with a TD and three catches). Baltimore held the Bengals to 77 yards rushing on 22 catches plus five catches for 52 yards and six targets. Based on the Ravens play in Week 1, I would avoid Crowell on the road.
Mark Ingram (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,200): The RB situation was a mess last week. Ingram was on the field for 26 plays compared to 31 Alvin Kamara and nine plays by Adrian Peterson. Game score was part of the factor. It’s clear New Orleans wants Kamara to have the top pass catching opportunity while Mark has the first chance to play on early downs while the goal line carries coming down to a coin flip. Ingram had 71 combined yards with five catches while receiving 12 touches. The Patriots’ defense was a disaster defending the running game (27/185/2). They even allowed six catches for 102 yards and two TDs on six targets. One of the Saints’ backs should be in play this week with Ingram being the highest price option.
Carlos Hyde (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,400): Hyde was on the field for 78.9 percent of the 49ers snaps in Week 1. He finished with 15 touches for 77 yards and six catches. Carlos played well in 2016 on the road against the Seahawks (105 combined yards with two TDs and a catch). Seattle was the second-best team in the league defending RBs last season. They held the Packers to 3.0 yards per rush in Week 1 with Ty Montgomery scoring a TD. High volume back with scoring ability. His upside is tied to the play of Brian Hoyer at QB. Not ideal even with success at this venue in 2016.
Kerwynn Williams (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,100): The David Johnson injury does create a huge opportunity for Kerwynn. The Cardinals are expected to split touches with Andre Ellington and possibly Chris Johnson who signed this week. In his limited touches in the NFL, Williams averaged 5.4 yards per rush while struggling to make plays in the passing game (6/35). His college resume in 2012 (218/1512/15 plus 45 catches for 697 yards and another five TDs) suggest Kerwynn may have more all-around value than meets the eye. The Cardinals’ offense does flow through the RB position and they should try to keep that rhythm even with Johnson hurt. His salary is about half of King David while having a chance at 65+ percent of the playing time. The Colts’ defense struggled in Week 1, but they allowed only 2.1 yards per rush. His starting point in his projection looks to be about 92 combined yards and two catches. If he scores a TD, Kerwynn will be in the ballpark for his salary.
Adrian Peterson (DK – $4.700/FD – $5,900): There is a lot of pride left in Peterson’s game, but the Saints failed to commit to him in Week 1 against his former team. Adrian was only on the field for nine plays leading to six carries for 18 yards and a missed catch on his only target. Based on usage and matchup, I have to believe he’ll be the third RB option again in Week 2. Peterson has a great resume in the NFL. He looks healthy, but he’ll need the Saints to play from the lead to gain value or an injury to another back to improve his position in the rotation. Maybe next week.
C.J. Anderson (DK – $4,700/FD – $7,000): The Broncos gave Anderson about two-thirds of the RB snaps (48 of 69 plays). He finished with 21 touches for 88 yards and a catch while Jamaal Charles looked to still have a bounce in his step (10/40). The Giants only rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries against the Cowboys in Week 1, which wasn’t helped by Eli Manning settling for the short underneath passes to avoid getting drilled by the pass rush. The Cowboys allowed New York’s backs to catch 12 of 14 targets for 59 yards. In 2016, Dallas finished fourth in the NFL defending RBs in PPR leagues with only two teams rushing for over 100 yards (Giants in Week 1 – 24/113 and Philly in Week 17 – 29/101/1). Reasonable salary based on his opportunity, but this isn’t an explosive matchup. If Denver fails behind in any game, Jamaal may be the preferred choice in the passing game.
Thomas Rawls (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,800): The Seahawks expect to have Rawls back this week after missing the first game of the season with an ankle issue. He should start and rotate touches with Chris Carson who looked like the best RB option vs. the Packers. In addition, C.J. Prosise is the best passing catching back on the roster. Overall, Seattle’s backs gained 53 yards on 15 carries in Green Bay while securing only one catch for ten yards. Last year the Seahawk’s RB had 28 rushes for 126 yards and two TDs in their home game against the 49ers plus four catches for 24 yards. In Week 17 on the road, their backs had 121 combined yards with a TD and five catches. For Rawls to be in play, he would need more than 75 percent of the RB touches. I don’t believe he’ll get that opportunity in Week 2 even with San Fran allowing 168 combined yards on 42 touches in Week 1 to the Panthers with a TD and seven catches. Seattle needs to work out their offensive line issues and Thomas will need a game or two to establish his role.
Jonathan Stewart (DK – $4,400/FD – $5,900): Despite being on the field for only 29 of 67 plays run by the Panthers in Week 1, Stewart had 20 touches for 82 yards with a TD and two catches. His opportunity was helped by Carolina playing from the lead. Jonathan will continue to see early down action plus the short yardage and goal line carries. He should settle into 10 to 15 touches per game while scoring some TDs. Price low for his touches last week, but he has a lower ceiling from week-to-week due his limited role in the passing game with Christian McCaffrey on the roster. The Panthers should play from the lead this week so he may finish in the mid-teens in Fantasy points again.
LeGarrette Blount (DK – $4,400/FD – $6,300): Blount wasn’t exciting in the run game in Week 1 (14/46), but he did catch his only pass for one yard leading to a TD. He finished with 70 percent of the team’s RB rushes (14 of 20) while being on the field for 23 of 68 plays compared to 33 by Darren Sproles and 15 by Wendell Smallwood. The Chiefs were league average defending RBs in in 2016 with failure in two games (Week 1 vs. San Diego – 177 combined yards with three TDs and five catches and Week 15 vs. the Titans – 172 combined yards with a TD and three catches). Against the Patriots in Week 1, Kansas City allowed three rushing TDs plus 30 rushes for 107 yards by RBs. New England’s RBs had four catches for 38 yards on eight targets. LeGarrette is a grinder running back that needs volume of touches to be in play in the daily game. Not my type of dance on the road as an underdog.
Jacquizz Rodgers (DK – $4,400/FD – $6,600): Rodgers will assume the starting RB job in Tampa in Week 2. Jacquizz flashed in two games in 2016 (129 combined yards with five catches and 163 combined yards with a catch). Out of the gate, he’ll see about two-thirds of the carries on early downs while Charles Sims sees the bulk of the action in the passing game. The Bears played well vs. the RB position in 2016 (5th in PPR leagues) with reasonable success in Week 1 vs. the Falcons (20/53/1 plus six catches for 44 yards on eight targets). Fair price at DraftKings based on him having the starting job and some value in the passing game. Not the best matchup, but a TD would put him in position to be a value play if he had enough yards rushing.
Matt Forte (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,600): The Jets gave Forte nine touches in Week 1 leading to only 36 combined yards with three catches. He out snapped Bilal Powell 35 to 30, but he lost the touch battle 9 to 12. Fading back in a split role. The players behind him on the roster offer more upside at this point of his career. Seems like a losing dance.
Javorius Allen (DK – $4,100/FD – $4,900): With Danny Woodhead injury in Week 1, Allen was able to secure 21 touches against the Bengals for only 71 yards. The Ravens gave him the most RB snaps (33), which led to about 50 percent of the playing time at the RB position. In his rookie season, Javorius had 45 catches for 353 yards and two TDs on 62 targets so he looks like the natural replacement for Woodhead in the passing game. Joe Flacco likes to dink and dunk so Allen should see three to four catches per game. In Week 1, the Ravens played from the lead. They didn’t need to throw to the RB position once Woodhead was injured. The summer reports were positive on Javorius’s play so he should carve out a reasonable role in this offense. With 60 yards of offense and three catches, Allen will be within a TD of being a value option in the daily games. I’d be more intriguing in him if Baltimore was forced to chase on the scoreboard. Possible flier.
Tarik Cohen (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,400): Cohen attracted attention late in the season long draft season, but I doubt he made it to the starting lineup on any teams. With the Bears having injuries at the WR position, Cohen was rewarded with the best pass catching opportunity on the team. He caught eight of his 12 targets for 47 yards and a TD. In the run game, Tarik broke off a 46-yard run leading to five rushes for 66 yards. His combined total led to the second highest RB score (25.30) in PPR leagues in Week 1. Cohen was on the field for 28 of 67 plays run by Chicago compared to 38 by Jordan Howard. Scout has him projected for 71 combined yards with four catches and about a quarter of a TD. Interesting player due to his value in the passing game. I’m sure Tampa will be aware of him this week after watching the tape, but his quickness and change of direction speed gives him big play ability. Don’t dismiss him especially with Howard battling a minor shoulder issue.
Frank Gore (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,800): Gore stumbled his way to 52 combined yards with one catch in Week 1. The Colts gave him only 19 snaps of 50 plays run compared to 17 by Marlon Mack and 14 by Robert Turbin. With no Andrew Luck behind center, defense won’t fear the deep passing game by Indy. TDs will be slim by this offense and Frank doesn’t appear to have the beans to a difference maker in the daily games. Last year Arizona was the top team in the league defending RBs. I see regression in 2017, but Gore is still a weak play.
Andre Ellington (DK – $4,000/FD – $4,900): With David Johnson out for multiple weeks, Ellington has a chance to work his way back into the RB rotation in Arizona. His best value will come in the passing game, which he showcased in 2013 (39/371/1) and 2014 (46/395/2). The Cardinals should use at least two backs to cover the loss of Johnson. Andre will get some carries on early downs while being the favorite to be on the field on passing downs. Kerwynn Williams has more pass catching ability than most believe so Ellington is far from a lock to be the top pass catcher out of the backfield going forward. Reasonable price if he catches over five balls, but he does have some failure risk.
James White (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,700): White led all RBs on the Patriots in snaps (43) in Week 1. He finished with better than expected rushes (10 for 38 yards) while securing three of his five targets for 30 yards. Over his 34 games in his NFL career, James has had over five rushes in a game just twice (one in 2016 – 7/19). I view this a good sign for his value going forward. Dion Lewis didn’t get in his way vs. the Chiefs (only six snaps). The Saints allowed RBs to catch 85 passes for 868 yards and five TDs on 103 targets in 2016. White should be in play if this game is high scoring. He may score a TD while being active in the passing game. Possible low value hookup for Tom Brady.
Duke Johnson (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,400): Johnson ended up being a failed play in Week 1 in all formats. The Browns didn’t give him one carry. Duke caught two of his five targets for 20 yards while being on the field for 50 of 66 plays run by the Browns. Last year he had 87 combined yards with seven catches against the Ravens in two games. Pass catching back who has a chance to split out at WR at times, but he has too low ceiling and plenty of failure risk in Week 2.
Charles Sims (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,600): Headed into Week 2 with Doug Martin on suspension, Sims looks to be the third down back with a chance to see better than expected carries on early downs. His name hasn’t drawn much attention in the season long drafts in August or September. In 2015, he had over 1,000 combined yards with 51 catches and four TDs while gaining 4.9 yards per rush. Last year RBs had 57 catches for 399 yards and two TDs vs. the Bears. Not the best matchup in the passing game and we’ll need to see how his role shake out in Tampa before giving him a chance in the daily games.
Rob Kelley (DK – $3,900/FD – $5,600): As expected, Kelley came out flat in Week 1. He rushed for only 30 yards on ten carries while failing to catch his only target. Rob was on the field for 33 of 63 plays compared to 30 by Chris Thompson. The Rams held the Colts to 75 yards rushing on 24 attempts with a TD. His window will be short to prove his upside with Samaje Perine waiting to still his job. Tough to trust at this point of the season.
Chris Thompson (DK – $3,800/FD – $5,500): With Redskins trailing in Week 1, Thompson caught four of his five targets for 52 yards and a TD while having minimal success in the run game (three rushes for four yards). Chris will see minimal touches on early downs while being the top option at RB in the passing game. Last week Thompson was on the field for about 50 percent of the plays run by the Redskins. In 2016, RBs caught 77 of 98 passes vs. the Rams for 594 yards and five TDs. Only in play if Washington falls behind early. Priced low enough to viable if a Fantasy owner wants to cheat the RB2 positions in the daily games leading to more strength at the WR position.
Alvin Kamara (DK – $3,500/FD – $4,700) – In his first NFL game, Kamara had 11 touches for 38 yards while catching four of his six targets. The Saints gave him the most RB snaps (31 of 62 plays), which was helped by game score. Brees was not in rhythm and Alvin struggled to get into space. This week the Patriots have to be pissed off after losing last week and I expect a big game offensively. If this happens, New Orleans will need to throw a lot while possibly chasing again on the scoreboard. This should give Kamara some upside in the passing game while having a favorable salary. Playing time will be tricky for sure at RB in New Orleans early in the season so Alvin could have downside. The gambler in me wants to take a shot with Kamara and White at RB while securing elite WRs and a TE in Week 2.