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Week 9 DFS don’ts: Running back

This is my favorite position when creating my DFS lineups. Once I’ve established my tight end, kicker and defense, I go straight to the running back position. There are some great plays at the position this weekend, but there are plenty of players we should avoid at each price tier. Let’s examine who should be left off our lineups in the running back edition of week 9 DFS don’ts.

Devonta Freeman: Fanduel Price $7,100

It pains me to do this, but Devonta Freeman is at the top of this list for the second week in a row. Steve Sarkisian proved to us that we cannot play Freeman until further notice. In an absolute monsoon against the Jets, he only had 12 carries for 41 yards and one catch for 20 yards. Conversely, Tevin Coleman was given 14 carries and turned those opportunities into 82 yards. Yes, the bulk of his production came on one play, but the startling fact is that he carried the ball two more times than Freeman. In DFS we want to target players who will great a large amount of opportunities, or players with an unusually favorable matchup. Now, we can no longer say Freeman will have a workload worthy of his price tag.

On top of his decreasing workload, Freeman has a brutal matchup against the Carolina Panthers this weekend. They have consistently graded out as one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. According to Football Outsiders, the Panthers are ranked as the 7th best defense against the run. The only running back to have success against this defense was Jordan Howard, who has one of the heaviest workloads in terms of carries in the NFL. Until Freeman can reestablish himself as a 20 carry per game player, he’s untouchable at his current price.

C.J. Anderson: FanDuel Price $6,500

week 9 DFS don'ts
What started off as a promising season for C.J. Anderson has quickly turned south with the emergence of Charles and Booker. (Courtesy of; Unsportsmanlike Conduct)

Things have spiraled out of control in Denver. Trevor Siemian has proved he isn’t the long-term answer at quarterback. He’s been so bad that Vance Joseph is turning to freaking Brock Osweiler to help remedy their offensive woes. To top it all off, they have reduced C.J. Anderson to just another running back in a committee.

I talked about this stat earlier in the week. The Broncos have not lost a football game in 2017 when Anderson carries the ball 20 or more times. Conversely, they have lost every single game in which Anderson fails to hit that 20 carry mark. Now that Devontae Booker has carved out a role alongside Jamaal Charles, Anderson is absolutely unplayable even at his reduced price.

There is no consistency or predictability in this backfield, so there’s no guarantee he gets goal line carries. Also, this backfield will face on of the best front sevens in the NFL. The Eagles are one of the stingiest defenses against the run and I don’t see that changing this weekend. There are plenty of better options above and below Anderson’s price tag like Alvin Kamara or Christian McCaffrey. After Monday night, Anderson was a shoe-in for the week 9 DFS don’ts list.

Alex Collins: FanDuel Price $5,900

First off, I’d like to say that Alex Collins is incredibly fun to watch. His running style is so physical and violent that I don’t think he can sustain this kind of workload. The only player who has been able to do that is Marshawn Lynch. So, unless you think Collins is the next Marshawn Lynch, I’d fade him. Also, he only received one more carry than Javorious “Buck” Allen last Thursday against the Dolphins.

I don’t see the Ravens leading by multiple scores in the second half this weekend, so Collins will not see anywhere near the same kind of workload against the Titans. Collins joins Anderson and Freeman on my week 9 DFS don’ts at the running back position.


Featured Image Courtesy of CBS Sports

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