Week 9 saw some big time performances from four running backs in particular, who scored at least 30.5 DKFP. It was a good week to target the mid-tier backs, as three of them were between $5,000 an $6,800 in salary. The outlier was, of course, Christian McCaffrey at $9,200. As always, we’ll take a look at two running backs who had vastly different performances and how their outlook is for Week 9. All salaries courtesy of DraftKings.
Aaron Jones ($7,000) vs. Chargers
Jones ended Sunday as the highest-scoring running back of the day in the Packers primetime matchup against the Chiefs. The majority of his damage came as a receiver, as he caught seven of his eight targets for 159 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, he carried the ball 13 times for a total of 67 yards. Most of his receiving yardage came on two big wheel routes, one of which went for 67 yards. If it wasn’t for him inadvertently stepping out of bounds, Jones would have taken it to the house for a touchdown.
Week 9 brings a very tasty matchup against the Chargers, who have been one of the worst run defenses in the league. On the year, they’ve allowed an average of 27.1 DKFP, 111 rushing yards and 40.2 receiving yards. In all, opposing backs have scored eight touchdowns against them, six on the ground and two through the air. I love that Jones is so involved in the receiving game, as the Chargers 84.4% catch rate to opposing backs is the third highest in the league. He’s averaging 6.3 targets over the last three games and has at least four catches in that span. I imagine he’ll be very popular on this slate but he has the upside to bring back value on his $7K salary.
Austin Ekeler ($6,000) vs. Packers
Sticking with this same game, Ekeler was quite the disappointment last week, coming away with just 10.2 DKFP all while seeing his second-lowest salary of the season. While he’s not someone we lean on for rushing attempts, as he did so just three times for three years, his two receptions on three targets for 19 yards was a letdown. Granted, he somewhat salvaged his day by scoring a touchdown on one of those receptions but still, it amounted to very little production. It can’t fully be blamed on the Chargers here, as the Bears dominated time of possession in this game, which resulted in only 45 offensive plays, the lowest mark on the season. With the consensus that Melvin Gordon is going to fully take over his RB1 role, this could push people away in Week 9.
I’m still optimistic that Ekeler is very much apart of this team’s offensive plans. For as good as the Packers secondary has been, their run defense leaves a lot to be desired. They’ve allowed the third-most fantasy points overall to this position and are seeing teams average 122 rushing yards, 53 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns scored. I don’t care too much about the rushing aspect as Ekeler isn’t involved much but the receiving has my attention. In a situation where the Chargers are likely playing from behind, the game script favors Ekeler, who currently is the league-leader in yards after catch with 480. With only a $200 bump up in salary, I think you could end up getting him at low ownership and in an ideal matchup.
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.