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What Week 4 tells us about Week 5 running back DFS salaries

The running back position will see some transition in the coming weeks with Melvin Gordon’s return from injury. We break down that and more in a look at Week 5 DFS salaries at DraftKings.

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram tries to get around Cleveland Browns cornerback Terrance Mitchell in the second quarter in a football game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

The running back position was full of some massive performances in Week 4, as three of them scored over 30 DKFP while Leonard Fournette and Austin Ekeler were just shy of that mark with 29 of their own. It’s going to be tough to decide who to land on in Week 5, as four of the elite running backs are priced at over $8,000 and above, making roster construction a bit tricky.

Let’s look at two running backs who people may have different perceptions on as we head into Week 5. Salaries courtesy of DraftKings.

Austin Ekeler ($6,700) vs. Denver Broncos

Perhaps the biggest story at the running back position heading into Week 5 is how the split will work out between Ekeler and Melvin Gordon ($7,000). Despite his huge performance in Week 4 in which he totaled 23 touches for a combined 122 yards and two touchdowns, Ekeler sees a $1,300 salary drop in anticipation of a split with Gordon. With such a massive drop, no one would exactly be upset if Gordon’s snaps were limited in his first return to action, as the Chargers matchup against the Broncos run defense is a favorable one.

Leonard Fournette just ripped this run defense to shreds last week, rushing for 225 yards on 29 attempts and 29.5 DKFP. While a passing touchdown went to Ryquell Armstead in the end zone, it still revealed some huge holes in this run defense. Now we have a player, arguably performing at the same level as Fournette, hosting this team at home. Keeping an eye on any news of a potential split will be vital but quite frankly, this salary is still favorable to use him even if it becomes a 50/50 split or even a 60/40. Ekeler is certainly earned his keep to be the number one in this offense and hopefully, Anthony Lynn recognizes that.

After Week 4, the Broncos are now allowing an average of 27.8 DKFP and 130 rushing yards to opposing running backs. Prior to last week, this run defense hadn’t run into much resistance against the Raiders, Bears or Packers. While they weren’t getting much in terms of yardage, they did combine for five rushing touchdowns, something the Jaguars were not able to do.

Mark Ingram ($6,300) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

After his Week 3 performance against the Chiefs in which he rushed for 103 yards, scored three touchdowns and had 32 yards through the air, the hopes were high once again for Ingram to put together another big performance against the Browns. Instead, we only saw 71 rushing yards and just one reception for the Ravens’ back, good for 9.1 DKFP. At least in the early going, Ingram has been swapping out huge weeks to quiet weeks, so maybe he’s in for another big one against a generous Steelers defense.

Ingram saw a $300 drop in salary from last week but draws a much more favorable matchup. The Steelers will be playing on Monday night so we only have three games to go off of but in that time is allowing an average of 128 rushing yards, 53 receiving yards and 29.8 DKFP. Even with the majority of teams having wrapped up Week 4, the Steelers currently rank the fourth-highest average fantasy points allowed in the league.

While his production has been hit or miss, Ingram has been consistent with his carries, averaging 13 per game. When he takes the ball, he’s also been moving it well, averaging 5.9 YPC. In a game the Ravens should be able to win, Ingram should be a focal part of this offensive plan in Week 5.

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