I took last week off from making DraftKings picks because there were so many variables that have to do with a teams motivation in week 17 that I didn’t feel comfortable providing picks. Now that it’s the NFL playoffs we definitely don’t have to worry about gauging motivation. This weekend is a small 4 game slate, which makes every play extremely important in your DK lineup. In fact, it’s not that unusual for you to need the perfect lineup to win the small slates at DK and I expect this weekend to be no different, especially for the $1,000,000 play-action event with 392,000 entries.
The running back is a very interesting position this week because it doesn’t look like there are very many great plays (outside of Le’Veon Bell), which makes picking the correct RB’s that much more important.
I’ve given my favourite 3 running backs for the week below. I will likely take 100% of Le’Veon Bell and then split my entries among the other two RB’s, while possibly going all three in some lineups.
Le’Veon Bell ($10,300)
Bell is by far the most expensive player on the slate this weekend, but I still think he’s close to a must-own in all formats. Bell took week 17 off, but went off for 31.7 points in week 16 against a solid Ravens run defense. And let’s not forget about his massive 54.8 DK point week 14. The weather looks like snow in Pittsburgh this week, which I think increases the amount of touches Bell will likely receive. It was snowing in Buffalo the week that Bell went off for that massive game in week 14.
I will be going 100% Bell in my lineups. He will likely be owned around 75%, so there may be some merit to fading him in case on injury, but I think there is almost a 90% chance that he ends up with the most DK points of all running backs this week. And let’s remember that you’re trying to put the team together that scores the most points, which means you need the players who score the highest DK totals, not simply the players that smash their own value. I have no problem paying up for Bell in this spot.
Jay Ajayi ($6,800)
I also like Ajayi as the second highest priced running back this week. He’s playing against the Steelers, who are 10 point favourites, so the game script doesn’t bode well for Ajayi, but the Dolphins have shown in the past that they continue to go to Ajayi in games that they are losing by involving him in the passing game. The snowy weather conditions should also result in Ajayi getting the ball even more in this game and I think he will have a huge usage rate in this game considering that the Steelers are weak (27th against opposing running backs) against the run and it looks like Matt Moore is expected to start this game.
I think taking Bell and Ajayi in the same lineup while hoping for a snow bowl is a great strategy at running back this week.
Lamar Miller ($6,100)
My third target also happens to be another high priced running back, coming in at third on the list. Miller is back after missing the last two weeks with an ankle injury, but he should slide right back into the feature role after Alfred Blue had a couple of poor games in his absence. Miller has the ability to have a big game and if the Texans are able to get on the board much against the Raiders I expect them to be utilising Miller often.
The other option I see on the board is Zach Zenner at $4500, but I do expect the Lions to attack the Seahawks through the air due to their passing defense being so poor since Earl Thomas went down with injury.