High Value Running Backs
Joseph Randle (5,500): Randle ran for three touchdowns early in Dallas’s loss last week and finished with 87 yards on his 14 carries. Dallas will need to keep him involved throughout their game Sunday night as they take on the Saints. New Orleans hasn’t been horrible against the run, but Dallas will need to keep running the ball a lot with both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant still sidelined.
Devonta Freeman (5,200): Freeman is missing time this week due to a toe injury after his monster game last Sunday. With Tevin Coleman out, Freeman had 30 carries and five catches last week finishing with 193 total yards and three touchdowns. He’ll be a good play again this week if he’s healthy and Coleman is still sidelined. Stay tuned to the injury reports leading up to Sunday, but Freeman could be a nice value play for the second week in a row if things go his way.
Carlos Hyde (5,100): Hyde had a monster week 1, but he hasn’t put together much since. Maybe returning home will be what he needs to get him going as the 49ers host Green Bay. Last week, Colin Kaepernick threw a pair of early picks putting the 49ers behind early and not leaving much work for Hyde. He finished with 51 yards on his 15 carries and added ten more on his one target. This week, the 49ers will need to try and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field, and I think the best way they can do that is give the ball to Hyde against the Packers run D which ranks 22nd in the league against opposing running backs.
Frank Gore (4,700): Gore had a nice bounce back week last week finding the end zone twice against the Titans while finishing with 86 yards on 14 carries. This week, he and the Colts have a great matchup against the Jaguars who allowed four rushing touchdowns to the Patriots last week. The Colts still haven’t had a 100-yard rusher in 43 games, but this week I think Gore could break that streak especially if Indy can get an early lead.
Matt Jones (4,500): Jones had a disappointing week 3 on Thursday Night Football finishing with just 38 yards on 11 carries and losing a fumble. His week 2 performance when he ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns definitely showcases his upside, though. This week, he and the Redskins host the Eagles,and I think he’s a solid value since he has huge upside and seemingly is the back that Jay Gruden wants to utilize as the lead option in a timeshare with Alfred Morris. He’s high-risk, but so is almost everyone at this price point.
Karlos Williams (3,400): Williams has found the end zone in each of the Bills first three games and ran for a career-high 110 yards on his 12 carries against Miami last week. LeSean McCoy is still struggling with a hamstring issue, and Williams will be in line for a heavy workload if Shady gets a week off or even just a lighter week of work. Against a Giants team that have allowed opposing running backs to be pretty successful, Williams will be a good bargain play this week if McCoy is still less than 100% which seems likely.
Duke Johnson Jr. (3,100): Johnson was drafted by the Browns with the idea that he’ll be their feature back of the future. On Sunday against Oakland he had as many touches (10) as Isaiah Crowell and was extremely involved as a pass-catcher finishing with six catches for 32 yards. This week, the Browns are in San Diego where they’ll face the Chargers who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing RB’s in the NFL. At some point, Johnson will have a monster breakthrough game, and he’s a solid gamble for this week in a nice matchup.
Thomas Rawls (3,000): Rawls ran for over 100 yards last week against the Bears as he filled in for the ailing Marshawn Lynch. Lynch’s status for this week is still uncertain which could make Rawls one of the few fliers on Draftkings week 4 that you can get for the minimum who gets starting RB touches. He would likely have to share once again with veteran Fred Jackson, but Jackson is more of a third-down option according to Pete Carroll. The risk with Rawls will be rolling with him in your lineup on Sunday when it’s likely we won’t know the final status of Lynch until just before he and the ‘Hawks are scheduled to host Monday Night Football.
Week 3 Picks: Gio Bernard, Devonta Freeman, Danny Woodhead, Dion Lewis, Bilal Powell, Jeremy Langford
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