Two of the best running backs in the league both face tough matchups this week, as Derrick Henry takes on a Ravens defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest DK points to the position while Cook takes on the Vikings who have given up the third-fewest DK points. Both did put up big numbers on strong run defenses last week though, making them tough to fade, even at their high prices.
Aaron Jones should get Jamaal Williams back in the fold, which hurts his upside while Mark Ingram looks like his calf is still troubling him. Marshawn Lynch appears ready to see an uptick in work while Damien Williams gets a nice matchup and has seen a good workload since returning from his injury. Carlos Hyde tore up the Chiefs run defense last time they played in Week 6 but Hyde’s off again, on again fantasy value is hard to predict.
We’ll take a look-see at a few of my favorite plays this week.
Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,000) vs. Texans
I don’t trust Williams all that much, but his last two games coupled with his matchup and price make him hard to ignore this week. Since returning from injury, Williams has had two games and put up 246 yards and three touchdowns on on 35 touches against the Chargers and Bears. There’s no doubt that Andy Reid feels safest with Williams as lead back after LeSean McCoy’s fumbling issues and after two successful games as the lead back, he will get that chance again.
The Texans rank 26th in DK points allowed to running backs and have given up the second-most receptions, most yards and most touchdowns to receiving backs this season. When healthy, Williams has led the running backs in targets and saw seven in Week 17 against the Chargers. Williams also saw all of the red zone touches last week, giving him the lead in all the important categories for a true every down back in a good matchup at a reasonable price.
Mark Ingram ($6,700), Gus Edwards ($4,900), Baltimore Ravens vs. Titans
It looks like the Ravens are going to keep Ingram’s possible status for this week under wraps, but we should have a good idea if he will play or not by this weekend. Ingram doesn’t get the usage we’d like for his cost, but with Lamar Jackson running the show, Ingram’s touches are always valuable. He’s had just 202 rushing attempts this year, but averaged 5-yards per carry and rushed for 10 touchdowns while catching just 26 passes but going for 9.5 yards per reception and getting into the end zone five times.
The Titans don’t have a bad defense but they do rank 20th in DK points allowed to running backs. Trying to stop Jackson and Ingram out of the pistol formation is nearly impossible if you are at all worried about the pass. And if Ingram can’t go, you can just sub in Gus Edwards, who put up 130 yards rushing on the Steelers in Week 17 with Ingram and Jackson both out. Either way, I like the Ravens starting running back this week.