Last week was great for the running back position. Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy delivered beyond expectations. However, Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard and Adrian Peterson all disappointed in a big way. I’m feeling more confident about lineup construction this weekend and much more confident about which running backs are in play. Let’s discuss which running backs we need to stay away from in this edition of week 8 DFS don’ts.
Devonta Freeman: FanDuel Price $8,000
I’m officially done trying to be ahead of the Devonta Freeman hype train. Their game against the Patriots proved that Steve Sarkisian hasn’t figured out how to run this offense yet. Until this entire Falcons offense breaks out of their slump, I’ll be fading them all.
The Jets are not a particularly good defense against the run or the pass. Their font seven is talented and can take advantage of a weak link in the offensive line. But, this pick is less about the Jets than it is about Freeman’s consistent lack of attempts and his price.
The first three games, Freeman averaged just over 18 rushes per game. In the last three, Freeman is averaging just 13 carries per game. This includes a decrease in goal line carries. He was removed for Tevin Coleman inside the five yard line against Buffalo and was not given the ball on fourth and inches against the Patriots. When you look at this disappointing body of work, coupled with his $8,000 price, Freeman becomes an easy pick for the week 8 DFS don’ts.
Jordan Howard: FanDuel Price $6,900
Relegating Jordan Howard to the week 8 DFS don’ts list is scaring me. I usually love Howard because the Bears have committed to running the ball at all costs. His workload is comparable with the best backs in the NFL. Sadly, I don’t know if the Bears can keep pace with the Saints offense and stay in a reasonable game flow for Howard.
The Saints are playing incredibly well. For the first time in years, they are playing with a balanced offense. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara provide stability and efficiency in the run game. And, Drew Brees is not forcing the ball to Michael Thomas.
After watching the Bears play the Panthers, it’s clear that John Fox is content to just run the ball and not worry about the score. Now, he was benefiting from playing with a lead, which will not happen this Sunday. The Bears defense is legitimate; however, Brees and company are almost matchup proof when they play at home.
Chris Thompson: FanDuel Price $6,000
The ride is over for Chris Thompson. He’s been a great DFS asset for high risk tournament players, but the jury is out. Thompson is talented enough to overcome a tough matchup. But, there are other factors in play that will limit his upside.
For one, Thompson is not a between the tackles runner. The Redskins will use him in the passing game, but are careful to use him in traditional running situations. Combine his ineffectiveness in the box with the litany of offensive line injuries Washington has sustained, it spells trouble for this entire offense. Dallas has shown an ability to rush the passer and they will likely increase the pressure to take advantage of new starters and players playing out of position. Also, it’s likely that this game will be impacted by weather, which is never good for the pass game and pass catching running backs.
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