If you paid down at the running back position in Week 13, you were likely sitting pretty atop the leaderboards. Of the top five scoring backs, four of them were $5,400 or less with the only exception being Derrick Henry at $7,600. Could we see more of the same in Week 14? Let’s dive into the info. Salaries via DraftKings.
James White ($5,500) vs. Chiefs
After essentially ghosting from the Patriots offense in the two prior weeks, White exploded for 37.7 DKFP in the Sunday night primetime game against the Texans. Despite the 28-22 loss, White carried the ball a season-high 14 times for 79 yards while catching eight-of-11 targets for 98 yards and two touchdowns. In continues the constant head-scratching mentality when it comes to the Pats backfield, as for someone that came into this game averaging 3.9 carries would end up out-touching the perceived RB1 in Sony Michel. For reference, Michel only logged 10 carries for 45 yards and didn’t see a target. White also played on 67 snaps compared to the 17 of Michel.
While we certainly aren’t ready to tab White as the RB1, because you could never actually do so in this offense, White’s huge bump in usage was encouraging, especially when you see his upcoming matchup. The Chiefs have been by far the worst run defense in the league, allowing an average of 32.6 DKFP, 121 rushing and 63 receiving yards. While its unlikely White will log double-digit carries for a second straight week, we can pencil him in for some work through the air. Even after a couple of silent weeks, White is still averaging 6.9 targets and 45.6 receiving yards per game. We’ve seen two different teams with excellent passing down back go off against the Chiefs, as Aaron Jones had 159 receiving yards and Austin Ekeler had 108. With only a $300 bump in salary, how could you hate White in this spot?
Jonathan Williams ($5,300) vs. Buccaneers
Williams was someone people were looking towards as a value in Week 13 because he’s seemingly taken over the RB1 role with Marlon Mack sidelined due to a fractured hand. With back-to-back games of over 100 yards, while averaging 21.4 DKFP, it was a great spot to use him. However, for reasons not yet disclosed, Williams logged just eight carries for 14 yards and 3.5 DKFP before taking a back seat to Jordan Wilkins (11 carries 47 yards; 7.6 DKFP) and Nyheim Hines (four carries, 22 yards, TD; 12 DKFP). Unless we hear otherwise, it looks as if the benching was due to performance, as Williams averaged just 1.8 YPC on eight attempts for 14 yards. Still, it seems like the hook was unusually quick for someone who ran as well as he did the prior two weeks.
Regardless of why Williams was used as he was, he’s simply unplayable in Week 14. RB1 or not, the Bucs are by far the best run defense in the league and they’ve done so against some stiff competition. They’ve had three games where teams have rushed over 100 yards but of the rest of the game, they’ve allowed an average of 44 yards per game. This team shut down Christian McCaffrey on two separate occasions, rushing for a total of 67 yards and 42 receiving yards. With the newfound uncertainty in this backfield and a horrible matchup, to begin with, the Colts backfield can easily be ignored in Week 14, even with a $600 discount placed on Williams after his putrid performance.