Week 6 is the first week of the 2021 NFL season with teams taking their bye weeks, so the main DraftKings slate has 10 games this Sunday afternoon. Even with the slightly smaller slate, there are some awesome options to build around at RB and plenty of depth to consider at the position.
Last week’s projections included Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott, who both had big games, along with Brandon Bolden and Damien Williams, who were solid value options. Four of the six touch projections were within two of the final number, with the only misses being Chase Edmonds, who played through an injury, and Kenneth Gainwell, who was less involved than expected.
With 20 teams on the main slate this week, let’s key in on where to find the volume and production for the best cost in the backfield. Listed below are the RBs that I think will return the best value at their price point in Week 6.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, $7,900
With Derrick Henry off the main slate and both Christian McCaffrey ($8,800; hamstring) and Dalvin Cook ($7,700; ankle) battling injuries, Ekeler is the elite RB play to chase this Sunday. He’s coming off his best week of the season after scoring two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown on his way to 33.9 DKFP against the Browns in Week 5. Ekeler has over 22 DKFP in four straight weeks with at least five catches in three of those contests and six touchdowns over that span. He should be set up to stay red hot against the Ravens, who are on a short week after allowing a Week 5-high 34.9 DKFP to Jonathan Taylor ($6,600) on Monday Night Football. On the season, Baltimore has been the fifth-worst defense against RBs.
Rushing: 16 attempts
Receiving: 5 Targets; 4 Receptions
Total: 20 Touches
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans, $6,600
Taylor’s big game against the Ravens isn’t figured into this pricing since salaries were released before Monday Night Football. He ended up with 53 rushing yards to go with 116 receiving yards and two total touchdowns. Despite playing only about 50% of the Colts’ snaps, he has at least 15 carries in four of his five games this season and has been seeing an increased role as a receiver as well. Taylor gets another favorable matchup this week against the Texans and should be able to build on his big Monday performance with potentially a heavier workload if the Colts play from ahead.
Rushing: 18 attempts
Receiving: 5 Targets; 3 Receptions
Total: 21 Touches
Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, $6,000
Henderson missed Week 3 with a rib cartilage injury but has returned to his role as the featured back for the Rams in each of the past two weeks, even with a short week leading up to Week 5 against the Seahawks when he posted 16.9 DKFP on Thursday Night Football. He has produced over 80 rushing yards in each of the past two weeks and has played at least 66% of snaps and while producing over 15 DKFP in each of his four games this season. The Giants have given up the third-most DKFP to opposing RBs and their injury-depleted offense could result in a bigger lead for the Rams and more clock-killing work for Henderson late in the game. Henderson appears poised for his first 100-yard performance of the season.
Rushing: 17 attempts
Receiving: 2 Targets; 2 Receptions
Total: 19 Touches
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots, $5,600
Despite a big Week 5 for Zeke, Pollard continued to be a viable fantasy option as well. He played a season-high 40% of the Cowboys’ snaps in Week 5 and had 75 yards on his 14 carries while matching a season-high with four catches for 28 more yards. Pollard has at least 10 carries in four straight weeks and has been very efficient, averaging 6.5 yards-per-carry over that span. He has shown he can be a big-play threat and actually has the highest PFF grade among RBs (87.9) in the entire NFL. His workload is uncertain due to the timeshare, but his effectiveness in limited work has been impressive enough to make him worth a look at this salary, and if he keeps getting more work, a breakout could come soon.
Rushing: 10 attempts
Receiving: 4 Targets; 3 Receptions
Total: 13 Touches
Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team, $4,900
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) sidelined, Williams is expected to lead the Chiefs’ backfield for the next few weeks and was a very popular waive wire target as a result. He also makes a ton of sense for DFS at this salary this week. Williams played 43% of the Chiefs’ snaps last week and finished with five carries for 27 yards and three catches on five targets for 18 yards. He has a very high ceiling as a rushing and receiving threat, stepping into a high octane offense against a Washington defense that has surrendered six RB touchdowns in the past two weeks.
Rushing: 14 attempts
Receiving: 6 Targets; 5 Receptions
Total: 19 Touches
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, $4,600
Like the Chiefs, the Bears enter the week with their starting RB on IR, and former Chief Damien Williams stepped in as the starter last week. It’s worth noting, though, that Herbert played 53% of snaps compared to 48% for Williams and that it was Herbert who dominated touches towards the end of the game. Herbert had 75 yards on his 18 carries, which is a great volume at this price point. The Bears have a tough matchup against their divisional rivals this week, but relying on their successful running game could be their way to keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers.
Rushing: 13 attempts
Receiving: 1 Targets; 1 Receptions
Total: 14 Touches
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.