Stacking running backs with a defense/special teams can be a fruitful fantasy option, as teams who get out to a big lead may elect to attempt to shorten the game by running the ball more. A big lead can also lead to opposing teams elevating their passing output to try to catch up, which can create more opportunities for sacks and turnovers.
1. Leonard Fournette ($11,700) & Bucs DST ($4,200)
If a running back is going to take center stage Sunday, it will most likely be Fournette. He has averaged more than 20 DraftKings points during the Buccaneers’ three-game run to the Super Bowl. He’s also the back Tampa wants on the field in passing situations as he has out-targeted Ronald Jones III 17-1 during these playoffs. Patrick Mahomes is the bane of every defense, but if the Bucs can tally a few sacks and maybe one turnover, that along with another solid performance from Fournette will make this a profitable stack.
2. Darrel Williams ($7,800) & Chiefs DST ($3,900)
The Chiefs’ backfield is somewhat nebulous heading into this game, but Williams has staked his claim as the best runner of the group lately. He carried the ball 13 times in each of the past two games and has totaled five yards per carry. Williams outshined Clyde Edwards-Helaire against Buffalo in the rookie’s return from injury and earned nearly double the amount of carries. He is not as natural a pass-catcher as CE-H, but Williams’ price makes him a decent value, even against an extremely strong run defense. Plus, while both QBs will put up plenty of yards and points, Tom Brady has looked more fallible during these playoffs. KC’s defense could very well pick him off a couple of times, like it did in Week 12.
3. Ronald Jones ($3,300) & Bucs DST ($4,200)
The Chiefs will probably let the Buccaneers run the ball if that’s what Tampa Bay desires. Kansas City allowed the ninth-most rushing yards to RBs during the regular season. With their offense, the Chiefs don’t think a bunch of four- and five-yard runs pose a massive threat. And if the Bucs do decide to go that route, Jones should be involved significantly. Although he got walled repeatedly versus Green Bay, he ran for 62 yards on 13 carries against the Saints’ top-notch run defense one week earlier. He hasn’t caught a pass in his last three games, so you’re hoping that he can find an alley to the end zone, but Jones could return value if he rips off a few nice gains.
4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($10,500) & Chiefs DST ($3,900)
DraftKings seems to believe that Edwards-Helaire will have a significantly larger role and/or be much more successful than Williams this weekend. There’s a road to such an outcome; he is a quality receiver, so the Chiefs might use him often in that role as part of a pass-first, pass-second attack. Plus, the Bucs permitted a league-high 101 receptions to RBs during the regular season. But in his first game back from the hip/ankle injury that shelved him for a month, CEH gained just seven yards on six carries and caught one of two targets versus Buffalo. Williams simply looked like the better player. It’s presumptuous to think that Edwards-Helaire is fully healthy, yet that’s what you’re paying for here.
Le’Veon Bell ($1,200) & Chiefs DST ($3,900)
Will Bell even play in Super Bowl 55? There may be no room for him with Williams and Edwards-Helaire around, and that’s before you factor in that he’s been bothered by a knee ailment. It wouldn’t be shocking if he is scratched despite not being on the injury report for the game. His best-case scenario looks like a scant few carries and maybe a target or two Sunday. Just don’t.