Week 4 was weird for running backs. We’re sure none of you knew who Jaleel McLaughlin was before last week’s game against the Bears. Neither did we. But here we are ready to play the Denver Broncos third-string back in DFS contests. McLaughlin had over 10 yards per touch in Week 4 and found the end zone for nearly 20 fantasy points.
We could also see a shift in the backfield in Cleveland. At least it may not be Jerome Ford’s anymore. Pierre Strong Jr. led the Browns in rushing in Week 4 in a blowout loss. That could have more to do with it, the score and all. Ford also may have tweaked a leg, which is something to monitor going into Sunday.
Both situations could open up some value at RB for the Sunday main slate on DraftKings. Here we take a look at cheap options for your lineups.
NFL DFS Picks, Week 5: RB value plays
Jaleel McLaughlin, DEN vs. NYJ, $5,000
This price is a bit higher than you’d want for a player coming out of nowhere the week prior. McLaughlin finished with seven carries for 72 yards and another three catches for 32 yards and a TD in the comeback win over Chicago. RB Javonte Williams sustained a hip flexor injury and could miss Week 5 vs. the Jets. New York was just torched on the ground on SNF by Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco. If Williams is out, we could see McLaughlin lead the backfield over Samaje Perine. Based on last week, you’d expect that. Wait and see how the injury report looks but McLaughlin feels like a good upside GPP play.
Cam Akers, MIN vs. KC, $4,800
In another crazy development, the Vikings acquired Akers a few weeks back to add depth behind Alexander Mattison. The starting RB has taken that as a threat and is up to 43 touches over the past two weeks with 90+ rushing yards in both games. Even so, Akers saw 14 snaps in his team debut in Week 4 and had seven touches for 51 total yards. That’s not too shabby in a close game without much practice time. We could see Akers continue to get more snaps/touches. This is a good game environment with a high over/under.
Ronnie Rivers, LAR vs. PHI, $4,600
Again, another wait and see situation on the injury report. But RB Kyren Williams injured his hip in Week 4 and could be questionable for Week 5 vs. the Eagles. If that’s the case, Los Angeles could turn to Rivers, the second-year back out of Fresno State. Last week, Rivers played a season-high 23 snaps, finishing with 11 touches and 57 total yards. Those aren’t bad numbers even with Williams playing almost 80% of the snaps. If Williams is out, Rivers will be a more obvious play. The Rams could also be careful with Williams given the lack of depth and Rivers would get more snaps as a result.