Last week my running back picks really killed my lineups. I had both Charcandrick West and Devonta Freeman in my top plays section and both of these guys left the game early from injuries. When that happens you really just have to live with it because the picks weren’t incorrect, injuries just happen in the NFL and you have to hope your rostered players stay healthy through the game that week. This week I don’t feel like I have as strong a read on the running backs and maybe that will be good because I’m going to be spreading more thinly between my lineups, which will at least protect me from major injuries.
Below, I’ll give you five guys that I like this week, but I don’t have any must-plays. That may change when more injury reports come out, and I’ll outline that in the breakdown below.
Mark Ingram ($6,400)
Ingram was about to go ham in week 10 (77 rushing yards on 5 attempts and 3 receptions for 21 yards) while missing a big chunk of the game from an injury and I’m still convinced that with Khiry Robinson out of the season Ingram is still a big game threat every week. I’m expecting a shootout between the Saints and Texans this week and the Saints should look to Ingram early and often to try to give their horrible defense rest off the field. I think Ingram has the highest ceiling of any running back this week, it’s just a question of game script in the Saints offense.
LeSean McCoy ($5,300)
McCoy seems to have finally found his groove in the Bills offense. He’s no gone off for 22.9, 23.9 and 24.3 points in his last 3 games and I’m expecting another big game from him this week. I also think his ownership percentage may be low because the Chiefs currently have the 3rd best defense in the league against opposing running backs. I can’t see that causing Buffalo to throw the ball more this week and I have faith in McCoy’s ability to put up points if given the ball. McCoy also had 10 targets last week, which shows how involved he is in the passing game.
TJ Yeldon ($4,800)
The Jags are up against the Chargers who have by far the worst run defense in the league. The Jags are at home and favoured by 4 points as well, which all points to Yeldon having plenty of opportunities in this game. Yeldon has been up against tough run defenses all season long, with 7 of the 9 defenses the Jags have played being within the top 11 in defense vs opposing running back. That’s a ridiculously tough schedule for a running back, so I think this could be a great spot to be on Yeldon. He will be high owned because he’s up against the Chargers, but people may think his ceiling isn’t that high because he’s only been putting up fantasy points in the high teens all seasons. But when you realize these high teen games were against a lot of very good run defenses you start to realize how good this play could be.
Javorius Allen ($4,600)
Buck Allen will be taking over the top RB duties for the Ravens since Forsett broke his arm last week. Allen is a good flyer bet as a Monday Night hammer against a Browns defense that isn’t great against the run. Joe Flacco is out for the Ravens so they will be relying on the running game even more than normal. Also, the game could have some high winds as well, which would lead to the offenses going with the run more often. If you want to spend down this is another option.
High Owned Low Priced Running Backs
Thomas Rawls ($4500), Tevin Coleman ($4300), Spencer Ware ($3800)
Rawls and Coleman are jumping into starting roles on their teams thanks to injuries to Marshawn Lynch and Devonta Freeman. You can expect both of these guys to be very highly owned in GPP’s. In the case of Ware, there’s still no word on whether Charcandrick West will be ready to go this Sunday (I don’t expect him to be), so paying down to just $3800 will also make Ware a high owned commodity. The problem with all of these guys is they have difficult match ups this week. That combined with the fact they will be high owned has me likely staying away.
I will definitely have a few shares of each of these guys but I’m not going to going all-in on anyone here like I expect some other players to.