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Fantasy Football Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Running Backs, RB Touch and Target Projections for Week 1

Reid Fowler gives you his top DraftKings fantasy football picks at running back for Week 1 along with their touch and target projections.

Week 1 of the NFL season is finally here. This season will be unprecedented, and more so than last, we’ll need to follow noteworthy news all the way up until game day. Targeting the studs like Christian McCaffrey ($10,000) and Saquon Barkley on DraftKings proved to be a weekly strategy with how efficient they were despite their expensive salary. CMC totaled just under 488 total DraftKings fantasy points last season and averaged 31 DKFP per game, beating out Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas by a decent margin.

The lack of preseason games and a shortened training camp may necessitate a more balanced approach in the first few weeks. Here are the running backs we should be targeting on DraftKings along with their opportunity projections this week.


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STUDS

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers, $7,900

The contract situation and hesitation on Cook this preseason is something we should take advantage of against one of the worst rush defenses last season. The Packers ended the season ranked as the 27th rush defense in DVOA and did nothing in the first few rounds in the draft to shore up this defense. They also lost one of their best run stoppers in linebacker Blake Martinez, who is now with the New York Giants. The last time we saw Cook, he was getting bottled up by the San Francisco 49ers’ rush defense, but so was every other running back. The last we saw the Packers’ defense, they were busy giving up four TDs to Raheem Mostert ($5,800) in the playoffs. Last season, Dalvin ‘cooked’ the Packers for 154 rushing yards on 20 carries and added three receptions for 37 yards. This could be a close game with the Vikings as slight favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook in one of the lower game totals on Sunday’s slate.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cook has agreed to a to a five-year, $63 million contract extension.

Projections:

Rushing: 21 attempts

Receiving: 4 Targets; 3 Receptions

Total: 24 Touches


Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles at Washington, $6,300

I don’t usually advise taking running backs in the same game. Still, both Sanders and Antonio Gibson ($4,000) are both cash and GPP viable this week. Sanders should be near the top of the RB salaries, but we’re getting a savings due to his hamstring issues this offseason. Sanders will be heavily utilized against the Washington Football Team, especially when their starting middle linebacker is journeyman, Thomas Davis, who’s entering his 16th season. Monitor injury reports on DK Live ensuring Sanders is a go.

Projections:

Rushing: 15 Attempts

Receiving: 5 Targets; 4 Receptions

Total: 19 Touches


VALUES

Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns, $5,500

The Ravens’ backfield is one we’ll have to monitor all season. Still, the price and situation for the ‘starter’ in Baltimore is a nice leverage spot. The Browns were 30th in rush defense, giving up 144.7 yards per game to opposing backfields and the fourth most touchdowns (19). Ingram doesn’t have the volume to provide a safe floor, but none of these backs in this range do. The Ravens were first in red-zone scoring attempts per game last season, and Ingram was top 5 in both attempts and TDs inside the five-yard line.

Projections:

Rushing: 15 Attempts

Receiving: 1 Targets; 1 Receptions

Total: 16 Touches


Antonio Gibson, Washington at Philadelphia Eagles, $4,000

Gibson is shaping up to be the chalk at RB this week. His usage shouldn’t be outrageously high, but we don’t need it to be. Washington should be trailing for most of this game, and Gibson was brought in to be someone who doesn’t have to leave the field on third downs. In college, Gibson was heavily utilized in Memphis’ passing game, averaging close to four receptions per game in his last five starts in college.

Projections:

Rushing: 11 Attempts

Receiving: 4 Targets; 3 Receptions

Total: 14 Touches

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