Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks – $9400
My preseason pick for MVP Todd Gurley is looking in MVP form with the Rams offense humming along to big game after big game. With Le’Veon Bell still holding out, Gurley has a strangle hold on the top running back in football. Traveling to Seattle is no easy task, with the team ranking in the bottom ten in points to running backs. That being said, Gurley and the Rams offense is something this team has never seen. Seattle’s schedule defensively has given the team inflated stats with Dallas, Arizona, Denver and Chicago. Not exactly a murderers row of offensive talent there. Do not be afraid to start Gurley if you do not mind throwing the big bucks at the top priced option.
Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers vs Oakland Raiders – $8600
It is hard to believe it but Melvin Gordon is the third highest scoring fantasy running back this season just behind Gurley and Alvin Kamara. Gordon is the Chargers fulcrum for the offense and has seen an increase in passing down work over the course of his career. Now a matchup with Oakland is setting up nicely for his hot start to continue. Oakland is seventh in points allowed to opposing running backs. Their defense is going to be stretched thin and they’re coming off where rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was able to score over 40 points in his first career start. Gordon is a great play this week in Oakland.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Atlanta Falcons – $8500
All reports point to Le’Veon Bell returning somewhere around the half way point of the season. It is odd to see DraftKings even price him at this point. Unless something drastically changes by this weekend, avoid Bell. When he comes back give it a week then be prepared to break the bank open for his services on a weekly basis.
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers vs New York Giants – $8000
It is hard to believe that despite over 400 yards of total offense, Christian McCaffrey has yet to find the end zone in 2018. One of the consensus fantasy darlings entering the season, the workload has been there for McCaffrey. Unfortunately his offense has sputtered in the red zone and his easy touchdowns are being vultured by his quarterback. This week against the Giants, yards should be there. McCaffrey is going to need to score to live up to his $8000 price tag, and he should this week.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers – $7700
The opposing running back in that game, Saquon Barkley, has seen his offense force feed him the ball on a weekly basis. Barkley was the second overall pick and the Giants understand that to maximize a running back taken that early he needs to get the ball early and often. Unfortunately Barkley’s going to have tough sledding against a Carolina defense that ranks 21st in points allowed to opposing running backs. Even with his ability as a receiver, that could be stifled with no defense allowing less receiving yards by running backs than the Panthers. His big play ability can make me eat these words but stay away from Barkley this weekend.
Value Running Backs
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs – $5600
On Wednesday Jaguars starting running back Leonard Fournette was ruled out for this weekend’s game against the Chiefs. That is good news for DraftKings players who were planning on grabbing the Jaguars running back. Now you can save some cash and grab T.J. Yeldon instead. Yeldon has been solid in Fourtnette’s absence. This is a great matchup for the Jaguars back with the Chiefs being the second friendliest defense to opposing running backs.
Matt Brieda, San Francisco 49ers vs Arizona Cardinals – $5700
Another player that is undervalued due to injury is Matt Breida. The 49ers were once a darling for fantasy players but now are a shell of their preseason self. Breida remains, and despite a shoulder injury led the team in snaps a week ago. He plays the Cardinals who are the best defense for opposing running backs in the NFL. If he is a full go, Breida is a great way to save some cash and get big production from the running back position.