Week One DFS Dont’s: Running Backs
Last year, we experienced a resurgence at the running back position. Entering the 2016 season, the zero running back theory was a wildly popular draft strategy. However, after incredible performances by David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy and a great rookie campaign by Ezekiel Elliott, the position is now the focus of both seasonal and daily fantasy. Week one provides us with some interesting options at the running back position. But who among the top players will land on my week one DFS Dont’s list?
Ezekiel Elliott: FanDuel Price $8,700
Now that we have word on Elliott’s status for Sunday’s game, we can talk about his DFS prospects. I’m incredibly torn on Elliott. The domestic violence case could hang over his head and cause him to abandon his patience against the Giants. Or, he could run wild against this vaunted defense.
Neither result would surprise me. However, I’m leaning towards Elliott under performing.
As I outlined in yesterday’s week one DFS Dont’s, the Giants are loaded on defense. There are multiple All-Pros in the defensive line and the secondary. The Cowboys offensive line is capable of overcoming this challenging front.
However, the Cowboys have lost a starting tackle and guard from last year’s unit. This wouldn’t normally concern me, but this will be the unit’s first time playing together extensively.
To be honest, there isn’t a lot of statistical proof for my assertion to fade Elliott this week. I’m operating totally on gut feeling and preference.
At his price, I’d rather have LeSean McCoy or Devonta Freeman for $200 and $400 less respectively. Both of those players also have a more favorable matchup than Elliott, and thus, puts Elliott on my week one DFS Dont’s.
Leonard Fournette: FanDuel Price $7,100
Leonard Fournette was one of the most exciting players in recent memory during his time at LSU. His rare combination of size, speed and athleticism has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson. Regardless of his incredible talent, Fournette will not score more than 12 points in week 1 against the Texans.
Like most players on my week one DFS Dont’s list, my concerns are with the situation surrounding the player, rather than the player himself. This Jaguars offensive line is not good. It’s that simple.
They have potential to develop into an average unit. However, the Jaguars just switched to a power run scheme this offseason. It takes time and opportunity for an offensive line to develop chemistry. The Jaguars will struggle initially adjusting to this new scheme. The sudden retirement of Branden Albert also forces Cam Robinson to start at left tackle, which is a big question mark.
Apart from Fournette’s offensive line, his own status is in question. He’s already developed a lingering foot injury that kept him out of three preseason games. The Jaguars want to use Fournette, but don’t want to destroy their first-round investment.
Expect Fournette to have a reduced workload in week one. He’ll be lucky to register 20 carries while sharing reps with Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon. His price is inflated beyond his value, so, he makes my week one DFS Dont’s list.
Marshawn Lynch: FanDuel Price $6,900
The Oakland Raiders have assembled one of the best offenses in the NFL. Acquiring Marshawn Lynch was one of the biggest stories of the offseason. Despite all the praise Lynch has been receiving, I’m gonna pass on him this week.
Some are operating under the notion that Lynch will be getting the same workload he saw in Seattle. That could not be further from the truth.
The Raiders are not going to change the way they operate their offense. Derek Carr proved last year he is a franchise quarterback and was given the contract to prove it. Weapons like Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Jared Cook, along with an incredible offensive line, will cause the Raiders to rely on moving the ball through the air.
I almost forgot to mention this, but in case you didn’t know, Lynch took an entire year off from Football! You really expect him to pick up right where he left off in Seattle after a year on the couch consuming all the Skittles within 100 square miles? That might’ve been too much, but the idea that he will get 20-plus carries, 75 rushing yards and a touchdown this week is unrealistic.
Apart from his situation, I don’t like his price. I’d much rather pay up for a Todd Gurley or DeMarco Murray, or go $100 cheaper and roster Carlos Hyde.
I could see Lynch being a slam dunk later in the season. However, I want to see his snap rate and workload before investing. For these reasons, Marshawn Lynch is the final running back on my week one DFS Dont’s list.
Like what you read? Tune into the Suck My DFS Podcast this Friday and find out who TGH fantasy experts will be playing in their DFS lineups this week. You can find the link to our podcast on the Podcast page.
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