Finally, for the first time all season we have a main slate where there isn’t an obvious value play at running back. For example, injuries have opened the door to so many sub $6,000 running backs that creating cash game lineups has been defined by eating the chalk play. As we inch closer to week five, there are barely any running backs below $6,000 with a defined role. So, we look in the mid-range to find the running backs to avoid in week five.
Tevin Coleman: $6,900
PIT Rush Yards Allowed/Game: 115.8 PFF Rushing Matchup Rank: 27th
With so many great options at the top of the running back pool, we have to make smart decisions when it comes to the mid-priced players. Tevin Coleman was the talk of the DFS community when it was announced Devonta Freeman was sidelined in week two. In the three weeks without Freeman, he’s only produced cash value once in his three weeks as the lead back. For comparison, Ito Smith produced cash value the same amount of times during that three-week span. Coleman also failed to reach 20 total touches in two of the three games without Freeman. So the common sense point is, what on earth can we expect from him now that the backfield will return to the “status quo”? Those are Dan Quinn’s words, not mine. For reference, when both backs were active this season Coleman received nine rush attempts and two targets.
While this game is expected to shoot out, you’ll want to get cheap exposure to this game. Which makes Freeman a legitimate play since he’s $100 cheaper than Coleman. And given his questionable health, it’s likely he’ll be overlooked and under-owned relative to other options in the game.
Marshawn Lynch: $6,500
LAC Rush Yards Allowed/Game: 109.3 PFF Rushing Matchup Rank: 16th
Marshawn Lynch’s placement on this list is an important one. He exploded against a reputable Cleveland run defense and even had a long touchdown run called back. However, that will not continue against the Chargers this Sunday. Corey Liguet will be returning as a starter at nose tackle for their 3-4 defense. In that scheme, having a physical nose tackle who can demand and stalemate double teams is critical. That’s exactly what Liguet will do.
While that wouldn’t be enough to keep me off Lynch, his starting right tackle, Donald Penn, has been placed on injured reserve. Penn’s absence, despite having performed poorly thus far, will impact the Raiders offensively. When you consider the Chargers’ addition, with the Raiders’ subtraction, and the fact that the Chargers are averaging just over 27 points per game, the circumstances are not conducive for Lynch in cash games.
Alex Collins: $6,500
CLE Rush Yards Allowed/Game: PFF Rushing Matchup Rank: 8th
While I’ve only used Alex Collins once this season in DFS, I would have no problem having zero shares of him the rest of the season. Some assumptions the fantasy community was making about the Ravens entering this season was that they’d want to hide Joe Flacco by pounding Collins. Well…Joe Flacco is currently 10th in passing yards and fifth in passing attempts. This has become a pass-first offense, and, Collins has done nothing but hurt his stock. His goal-line role is virtually nonexistent given his fumbling woes, and Javorious Allen’s production when given Collins’ opportunities. There’s also no reason to touch Collins in cash when T.J. Yeldon is the exact same price.
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