For the second week in a row, the running back position was fairly quiet overall. Only five players scored over 20 DKFP while three scored over 30. Nonetheless, as we always do, it gives us plenty to talk about ahead of Week 8. Let’s dive into two performances from last week and how they look moving ahead. Salaries via DraftKings.
Austin Ekeler ($5,900) vs. Chicago Bears
Just when you think it’s safe to start fading Ekeler, he reels you back in.
With Melvin Gordon back in the mix for his second game against the Steelers, Ekeler only scored 5.8 DKFP, carrying the ball five times for 14 yards and catching three of his four targets for another 14. It was a tiny workload and one that we thought would be normal moving forward. Instead, in Week 7 against the Titans, Ekeler would end up receiving eight targets, catching seven of them for 118 yards and a touchdown. His 28.5 DKFP was reminiscent of when he was handling RB1 duties with Gordon holding out from the team.
Ekeler ended up out-snapping Gordon 40 to 33 in their Week 7 loss to the Titans. While many are looking to stay away because of the split, Ekeler seems to be the preferred option in passing plays. Since returning, Gordon has 13 targets compared to the 28 Ekeler has in the same span. Now comes a matchup against a Bears team that has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to opposing backs, averaging out to 54 per game.
With Ekeler oddly seeing a $300 decrease in his salary, he should once again be back in your plans. The cherry on top is DraftKings Sportsbook opening this game with the Chargers as +4.5 underdogs, meaning it could be the perfect scenario for another Ekeler game.
Marlon Mack ($6,100) vs. Broncos
If you were curious how Mack did against the Texans in Week 7, you could be scrolling for a minute looking for his name on the leaderboards. Despite carrying the ball 18 times, Mack only managed 44 yards. He wasn’t very active in the passing game either, catching all three of his targets for 12 yards, giving him a grand total of 8.6 DKFP. In what was expected to be a high-scoring game, which it was, Mack was quite irrelevant.
Luckily for us all, Mack’s salary essentially stayed the same, gaining just a $100 increase ahead of the Colts Week 8 matchup and it’s a good one. The Broncos are league-average at best against the run and currently are allowing an average of 23.8 DKFP, 94 rushing yards and 33.2 receiving yards. The past two weeks against the Titans and Chiefs really brought these numbers down, as in the prior weeks before them, the Broncos were allowing an average of 28.4 DKFP.
Mack has posted some duds this season but this should be a great spot for him to bounce-back. He’s done extremely well against teams with weak run defenses like the Chiefs (20.8 DKFP), Falcons (16.8 DKFP) and Chargers (28.4 DKFP). Going against a similar defense like the Broncos should bring more of that type of production especially when you consider the Broncos secondary ranks amongst the best in the league, allowing the second-lowest DKFP average in the league at 27 per game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.