It’s all about finding value when playing NFL slates on DraftKings, especially if it’s low-owned value. It’s also about not throwing a lot of salary into a player who underperforms. Each week, because of injury, personnel moves and that occasional hidden gem that no one sees coming, there are player with low salaries and even lower ownership that help break a slate wide open. Then there are those who are covered in red flags. Here are our picks for the best and worst value running backs on DraftKings entering Week 13:
Best running backs
Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs ($6,900)
The Raiders fell into one of the most obvious trap games of the season on Sunday, facing the Jets on the East Coast in the 10 a.m. PT window, coming off an emotional victory over the Chargers and with a showdown for first place in the AFC West against the Chiefs looming. So, of course the Raiders laid an egg. And Jacobs was a guilty as anyone in being off their game, failing to reach double-digit DK points for the first time since Week 3. DraftKings took it out on Jacobs by lowering his salary by $500 this week. This now becomes one of the most obvious bounce-back spots, with the division lead very much on the line against a bad run defense. Jacobs needed just 12 carries in the first meeting with Kansas City back in Week 2 to get 99 yards. He’s a better back and the Chiefs’ run defense is still bad. Hopefully recency bias keeps Jacobs’ ownership down in this smash spot.
Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans ($5,300)
Quick quiz: Who was the highest-scoring running back in last week’s Titans-Jaguars game? Derrick Henry might have been more spectacular, and his team was clearly superior, but Leonard Fournette had the bigger day, rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns, while also catching nine passes for 62. Williams has surpassed 100 yards rushing in two straight games and will be the lead back again this week against the Titans. While Williams’ salary has increased by $2,200 in two weeks, he still seems way too cheap for his expected volume.
Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns ($4,700)
Snell returned from a three-week injury absence on Sunday and thrashed the Bengals for 98 yards on 21 carries, ripping the lead back duties away from Jaylen Samuels, who was never projected as the between-the-tackles runner that Snell was on Sunday. As long as James Conner remains out of the lineup, Snell should remain the main ball-carrier here, and he will be counted on heavily against the Browns with the Steelers likely turning to Delvin Hodges at quarterback.
Worst running backs
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers ($7,800)
Despite the increasing presence of Kareem Hunt, Chubb did finish with a tidy total of 28.4 DraftKings points on Sunday, but he collected 10.5 of that number on a short drive that began with six minutes left in a 34-17 game against a terrible Miami team. We’re not expecting the Steelers to be so forgiving at home with a playoff berth on the line. When Cleveland faced the Steelers just two weeks ago in Cleveland, Chubb needed 27 carries just to reach 92 yards (3.4 per carry) and was targeted just once.
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,500)
Yes, we just gone done above extolling the virtue of Fournette’s Week 12 performance against the Titans. But this matchup is likely the toughest Fournette will see all season, as the Bucs have shut down virtually every running game they’ve faced, while funneling all opponent’s offense to the passing attack. Fournette’s salary ticked up slightly after his monster performance on Sunday, and he should collect points in the passing game. But yards and touchdowns on the ground are going to be hard to come by, making him a bit overpriced this week.
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals ($6,500)
The Rams’ season basically came to an end on Monday night, and it was not pretty. The Rams didn’t look particularly interested in matching Baltimore’s intensity, and that was right from the beginning, when a victory would have kept their season alive. Now, on a short week, against a pass funnel defense? I wouldn’t be shocked if Gurley was held out. If he plays, there’s no confidence he will get anything done after getting hammered by the Ravens. Stay away.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jeffgo33) 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.