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What Week 1 tells us about the RB position and Week 2 DFS salaries

Week 1 brought us some notable performances by running backs — both good and bad. We break down a pair to consider as Week 2 DraftKings salaries drop.

Running back Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers scores a touchdown against middle linebacker Anthony Walker #50 of the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 8, 2019 in Carson, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The running back position was loaded with high scoring players in Week 1. In fact, 10 players scored at least 20 DKFP, with six of them owning a salary of $6,000 or less. We’ll examine two backs who have completely different perceptions heading into their Week 2 matchups.

Austin Ekeler ($6,100) vs. Detroit Lions

Even after a monster 39.4 DKFP performance against the Colts, Ekeler received just a modest $600 bump in his salary heading into Week 2. He owned this game for the Chargers both on the ground and through the air, scoring three total touchdowns. On the ground, he rushed the ball 12 times for 58 yards and a touchdowns while also catching six of his seven targets for an additional 96 yards and two more touchdowns. Even with Justin Jackson ($4,000) being in the mix, who took on the workhorse role in college, Ekeler was by far the more superior option in this game en route to this monster performance. Jackson only received six carries for 57 yards but, as he’s done in the past, posted a huge YPC average of 9.5.

The Lions weren’t able to do much with David Johnson ($7,100) in Week 1, as he went on to score 25.7 DKFP rushing the ball 18 times for 82 yards while catching six of his seven targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. With Ekeler getting similar usage in the Chargers offense, he’s already feeling like another solid mid-tier back to consider for Week 2. As the 13th most expensive running back on the 13-game main slate, Ekeler should continue to flourish in this offense while keeping Jackson in a solidified RB2 role. Their carries were divvied up as expected at a near 60/40 split but Ekeler could easily separate himself as the solidified RB1 in Week 2.

Sony Michel ($6,200) vs. Miami Dolphins

Michel was nothing less than a disaster in Week 1 against the Steelers. Sure, it was a tough matchup against a good run defense but Michel turned 15 carries into only 14 yards for a whopping 1.4 DKFP. I’m still looking to confirm with my sources but averaging 0.9 YPC isn’t very good. However, luckily for Michel, he’s in a monster bounce-back spot as the Patriots will face the Dolphins in Week 2.

In case you simply didn’t pay attention in Week 1, the Dolphins were annihilated by the Ravens by a score of 59-10. Not only did Lamar Jackson beat them through the air with 324 passing yards and five touchdowns but Mark Ingram ($6,000) rushed the ball 14 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns. This team simply gave up and now the Patriots will travel to sunny Miami for a matchup. One of Michel’s best games came in Week 4 against this team where he scored 20.2 DKFP carrying the ball 25 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. It was a game where the Patriots won 38-7, which is easily a score we could see here in Week 2. With plenty of garbage time likely available, Michel is a candidate for a huge bounce-back spot and we shouldn’t worry about the atrocious performance he had on primetime television in Week 1.

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