It’s no secret that in daily fantasy, running back is the most important position to hit on. While the NFL may claim that the age of running backs has passed us (they say that, then you get Christian McCaffrey single handedly carrying the Panthers and Aaron Jones having more touchdowns than Aaron Rodgers), the age of running back will never leave fantasy football.
Wasting your salary on a running back destined to underperform Is just asking for your daily lineup to lose, no matter who else is in it. I can speak to this personally as last week I had Will Fuller, Michael Thomas and Deshaun Watson on a team and yet didn’t win anything because Derrick Henry and James Conner did a whole bunch of nothing.
When setting your lineups this week, here are three running backs to avoid to save yourself from a horrible fate. (Salaries via DraftKings)
Dalvin Cook (vs Eagles) - $8,400
Cook is the second most expensive running back this week, right behind Ezekiel Elliott’s $8,500 price tag, despite facing an Eagles defense that’s allowed only 239 rushing yards to running backs this season (1st in the NFL). That doesn’t seem like the best matchup on paper if you ask me. Cook will likely still end up with a decent stat line given his work in the passing game—the Eagles have given up the eight most receiving yards to running backs—but I’m certain Cook isn’t going to live up to his lofty price tag this week.
Leonard Fournette (vs Saints) - $6,700
Fournette has been revitalized the last few games, scoring over 25 points in each. However, this is not a pushover Saints team he faces. In fact, the Saints run defense hasn’t allowed a running back to rush for over 63 yards this year, despite facing the likes of Elliott, Todd Gurley, and Chris Carson. As the sixth most expensive back this week, I’m going to pass on Fournette in favor of cheaper, better matchup guys like Mark Ingram and Aaron Jones.
Matt Breida (@ Rams) - $5,100
It might be tempting to add Breida as a cheaper back in a lot of your lineups after he torched the Browns last week, but I’m not expecting a similar performance from him against the Rams. Three things worry me about him this week. Firstly, if you take out his 83-yard run, Breida had only 32 yards on ten carries and zero touchdowns in Week 5. Secondly, the 49ers lost fullback Kyle Juszczyk to injury who is the lynchpin to Kyle Shanahan’s run scheme. But the thing that scares me the most is Tevin Coleman, who out carried Breida in his first game back from injury and was the 49ers red zone back. Breida seemingly will have to rely on the big play to be a fantasy standout and I’m not willing to wait for that.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is petermcdrogers) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.