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Week four DFS don’ts: Running back

week four DFS don'ts

Last week wasn’t great for the running back position. Some of the high end players busted like Jay Ajayi, Ty Montgomery, and LeSean McCoy. This week presents a unique opportunity, as there are potential number one running backs with great values like Chris Carson and Joe Mixon. So, who should you take a chance on, and who should you avoid? Let’s find out in the running back edition of week four DFS don’ts.

Melvin Gordon: FanDuel Price $7,500

Until this point, I have been high on Melvin Gordon. He established himself as one of the few backs in the NFL who is a three down and goal line back. Sadly, Gordon was sustained an injury against the Chiefs that caused him to miss time in the game. It’s clear that Branden Oliver isn’t capable of giving the Chargers what Gordon gives them. But, this week, it doesn’t look good for anyone in the Chargers’ backfield.

The Philadelphia Eagles are currently allowing 4.2 yards per carry. That’s not great, but, they have only allowed two rushing touchdowns all season. Their defensive front seven is one of the NFC’s best and will have a favorable match up against an average offensive line. Normally, this matchup wouldn’t bother me, but, Gordon is not an efficient runner.

Gordon needs volume to produce at high level. Meaning, he can’t turn 12 rushes into 60 plus yards. He needs 18 to 25 rushes and 3 to 6 catches to produce as a top running back. When you combine his below average 3.3 yards per carry, with this potentially reduced workload due to injury, you get a potentially awful day of production. For these reasons, Gordon is on my week four DFS don’ts list.

Marshawn Lynch: FanDuel Price $6,500

week four DFS don'ts
Marshawn Lynch is facing a tenacious Denver defense this Sunday, can he overcome a diminished workload and tough matchup? (Courtesy of; Daily Snark)

Marshawn Lynch has proven that he can still produce. He passes the eye test despite his age and year off football. The only problem is, the Raiders don’t want to give him a consistent workload. Since week one, his snap count has dropped from 32 to 16.

I know, the Raiders will most likely not be trailing so dramatically like they did on Sunday night. However, they have shown that anyone is a candidate to carry the ball, as Cordarrelle, freaking, Patterson has six carries thus far.

Snap rate aside, Lynch is also getting less and less carries. When a team goes on record that they want to limit a certain player’s workload, we need to listen. I don’t think Lynch is ever going to be a running back one this season.

The touches simply won’t be there, and, the Raiders have shown that they are willing to throw the on the goal line. Thankfully, we have plenty of other options to deploy, as Lynch’s unpredictable workload has landed him on my week four DFS don’ts.

Mike Gillislee: FanDuel Price $6,000

The only instance in which it’s acceptable to play Mike Gillislee is in a large DFS tournament. Gillislee is an absolute no in cash games. His usage, and production, are so unpredictable that there is no point to try and guess if he’ll get in the end zone.

So, unpredictability aside, this match up is not kind to running backs. The Panthers have bottled up two of the best running backs in the NFL thus far in Carlos Hyde and LeSean McCoy. Gillislee is not nearly as talented, or has the workload of these players.

If you really want to play a Patriots running back, please go with James White or Rex Burkhead. And please, don’t play them in any of your cash lineups, unless you like losing. It’s obvious, but I had to get my Mike Gillislee disdain out of my system and put him on my week four DFS don’ts list.


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Featured Image Courtesy of Saturday Tradition

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