It’s all about mixing and matching salaries in DFS. You can’t field a team full of stars and thus you must find the best values around the slate and fade those who come overpriced for the production they will return.
So don’t get fooled by the boldness of the names, and rather look at their games. Sometimes highly coveted running backs can put out a dud, while others can go under-the-radar in Sunday’s main slate.
Here are the best and worst values at the position for Week 12 (values from DraftKings).
Week 12 - DFS RB Best Values
Derrick Henry, TEN (vs JAX) — $6,900
Don’t look now, but Derrick Henry looks to be back at his best. After an average first half of the season—even though he scored five rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown—it always looked like Henry was not quite reaching his true talent level. In fact, for the first eight weeks, he only scored more than 18 DKFP once, all the way back in the season opener. Henry has started his second half with a bang, though, having back-to-back games with two touchdowns each, 99 and 191 yards from scrimmage, and fantasy tallies of 24.9 and 36.1 DKFP. That’s RB1 production and what should be expected from Henry. Coming back this weekend after Tennessee’s bye he will go against a Jaguars defense that has been burned lately and ranks as the ninth-worst in fantasy points per game allowed to rushers. Jacksonville has given up 241 and 291 yards from scrimmage to Houston and Indianapolis in its last two games while conceding three rushing touchdowns, and Henry is miles ahead of those two teams’ rushers in level of play. Expect a great weekend from him at a more than palatable salary.
Derrius Guice, WAS (vs DET) — $4,700
If we’re talking about value-plays, then Guice is one of the poster boys this weekend. Guice is as cheap as it gets, and that is normal given his background and his production. He missed the entire 2018 season and after playing 24 snaps in Week 1 this year he went down injured again, remaining off the field until this past weekend. Guice came back last Sunday and had an average game at best, carrying the ball seven times for 24 yards, though he was able to catch one underneath pass and get it all the way to the paint for a 45-yard touchdown. Of course, betting on Guice is a risky proposition. He was used almost as many times as Adrian Peterson (seven to nine carries) but averaged 3.4 yards to Peterson’s 28, and Guice also profiles as the pass-catcher tailback between the two of them going forward. The most encouraging sign when picking Guice next week is his matchup: the Lions have the second-worst defense against rushers and have allowed at least a touchdown (either on the ground or receiving) to the opposing tailbacks in every game of the season. With that floor almost secured and a high ceiling in play, paying so little for Guice looks like one of the best-value plays for Week 12.
Week 12 - DFS RB Worst Values
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (at NE) — $7,500
It is always hard to pass on proven studs, but Elliott has been quite disappointing since Dallas’ bye week four weeks ago. Some people will get carried away by Elliott’s performance this past weekend (20.3 DKFP) without looking further, but that will be their downfall. In the three games Elliott has played from Week 9 to 11 he has rushed for 77 yards on average and scored one touchdown. He has also been able to add 14.7 receiving yards per game to go with another score. There are two problems with those numbers, though. The first one is that his 139-yard game in Week 9 came against the 18th-best defense (Giants), and he has only rushed for 45 and 47 yards in the past two games. The second problem is that his 20.3-DKFP game (at Detroit; second-worst defense against RBs) was absolutely inflated but his two touchdowns on low-volume touches. When he faced Minnesota (fifth-best defense against RBs) in Week 10 he finished with 8.3 DKFP. Next week Dallas visits New England (no. 1 defense in the nation) and I’d be surprised if Elliott was even average.
Josh Jacobs, OAK (at NYJ) — $7,400
For all the good Jacobs has done this season—best rookie RB, 923 rushing yards, seven rushing TDs, 144 yards receiving—he seems to suffer while facing above-average defenses against the run. He has a couple of 4.4- and 12.8-DKFP games against the fifth- and seventh-best teams at stopping RBs, and he also had low scoring outings against Kansas City (the worst team defending rushers, something concerning about Jacobs) and Houston (22nd-best). Jacobs has faced quite an easy schedule lately. In his last three games, he’s rushed for 120, 71, and 112 yards, but those games have come against the 31st-, 25th-, and 29th-ranked defenses against the run. Every time he’s gotten fewer than 20 carries he’s fallen short of 100 yards rushing, and the New York Jets are on a three-game streak in which they have allowed 19 or fewer rushing attempts and no more than 49 yards without a single touchdown. Only Dallas’ rushers were able to run for more than 90 yards against them, and New York has allowed just one touchdown (receiving, though) to a RB in their last four games.
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