Alvin Kamara ($9,500) stole the show on Christmas Day in Week 16 with six touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings, totaling 59.2 DKFP. Myles Gaskin ($6,500) returned to early-season form and put up a monster game as well, with 21 total touches and two receiving touchdowns totaling 33.9 DKFP. David Johnson ($6,800) came through for us with a 31.9 DKFP outing, and Jeff Wilson Jr. ($6,000) bulldozed the Arizona Cardinals for 30.4 DKFP. Samaje Perine ($4,700) rounded out the top five last week with a two rushing touchdown performance against the Houston Texans.
Week 17 is a full 15-game DraftKings slate with only one game not available — the Washington Football Team at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. With playoff implications and studs potentially sitting/resting, here are the running backs we should be targeting on DraftKings along with their opportunity projections this week.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, $7,500
The Chiefs have already secured the top-seed in the AFC, which means Ekeler could see second-string defenders on an already susceptible run defense in Kansas City. For someone as dynamic a player as Ekeler, his two touchdowns in his nine games are surprising. His mid-season injury indeed halted his progress, but he’s in a great spot this week to pad his 2020 stats. Ekeler should see a similar snap share as he did in Week 16 (67.9 percent) and gets a Chiefs defense that has given up the most receiving yards per game (51.7) to running backs. With Keenan Allen ($7,100; hamstring) and Hunter Henry ($4,300; COVID-19 list) still uncertain to play, Ekeler may be in for a sizable workload if either of his teammates are limited or can’t play.
Rushing: 12 attempts
Receiving: 6 Targets; 5 Receptions
Total: 17 Touches
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks, $6,000
Whenever Wilson gets an opportunity, he makes it count. In the two games where he’s hit over 50 percent of the snap share, he finished as the RB1 in Week 7 with 32 DKFP and finished as the RB4 last week with 27.4 DKFP. Raheem Mostert is on IR, and both Jerick McKinnon ($4,200) and Tevin Coleman ($4,000) totaled 17 snaps and seven total touches to Wilson’s 23 touches last week. The 49ers can play spoiler to Seattle’s playoff aspirations, and what better way to do that than keeping Russell Wilson ($7,300), DK Metcalf (7,300) and the Seahawks’ offense on the sideline?
Rushing: 16 Attempts
Receiving: 4 Targets; 2 Receptions
Total: 18 Touches
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,900
With their playoff future in the balance on Sunday, there’s a possibility the Colts elect to split this backfield more evenly and not rely so heavily on their rookie running back. Jonathan Taylor ($7,400) will get his opportunities against a bad Jaguars run defense, but Hines should factor in either in a blowout or a close game against Jacksonville this week. Hines saw 42 percent of the snaps last week in a one-score game and has averaged a 41.3 percent snap share in their previous three games where they’ve won by more than two scores. The Jaguars’ defense is much more susceptible to big plays on the ground but still gives up 6.7 yards per target to running backs this season. Hines is a tournament play only.
Rushing: 9 Attempts
Receiving: 6 Targets; 5 Receptions
Total: 14 Touches
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals, $4,300
Both Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp are out, and Cam Akers ($6,100) is still dealing with a high-ankle sprain, which means Malcolm Brown could have a larger workload with key starters on offense unavailable. Another viable option in this range is Mike Boone ($4,000). With Dalvin Cook out and Alexander Mattison ($6,100) still in the concussion protocol, Boone and Ameer Abdullah ($4,000) might be splitting this backfield against a Lions run defense that has given up the second-most DKFP (32.1) this season. In Week 17 last season against the Chicago Bears, Boone rushed 19 times, had 160 total yards, saw five targets and scored on a 60.6 percent opportunity share. If Mattison is active, we should stay away from the Vikings’ backfield.
Rushing: 14 Attempts
Receiving: 3 Targets; 2 Receptions
Total: 16 Touches
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