The Week 12 NFL main slate kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m. ET. In this piece, I highlight the running backs who stand out in our large suite of analytical DFS Tools, most specifically the industry-leading FantasyLabs Models.
Top Running Backs in the FantasyLabs Models
There are eight running backs atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
- Alvin Kamara: $8,200 DraftKings, $8,300 FanDuel
- Leonard Fournette: $7,300 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel
- Derrick Henry: $6,900 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
- Latavius Murray: $6,100 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
- Phillip Lindsay: $5,200 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
- Devonta Freeman: $5,100 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
- Sony Michel: $4,600 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
- Bo Scarbrough: $4,200 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
Odds as of Thursday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Alvin Kamara: New Orleans Saints (-9.5) vs. Carolina Panthers, 46.5 Over/Under
Kamara has had an up-and-down campaign. He has just two touchdowns on the season, and he missed Weeks 7-8 to injury. He hasn’t been at the top of one of our Models since Week 2. Despite consistently having one of the highest backfield salaries in each slate, he’s just the No. 9 fantasy running back in points scored.
His year-over-year production has undoubtedly been a disappointment (per our FantasyLabs Trends Tool).
- 2018 (17 games): 20.2 FanDuel points, +5.20 Plus/Minus, 64.7% Consistency Rating
- 2019 (eight games): 15.3 FanDuel points, +1.16 Plus/Minus, 37.5% Consistency Rating
Given how expensive he typically is, Kamara has significantly underperformed his salary-based expectations.
Last year, he was a fantasy RB1 in 10 of 15 games. This year, he’s hit that threshold in just three of eight games (per RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer).
And since he returned from injury, the Saints have scaled back his usage (per RotoViz Game Splits App).
- Weeks 1-6: 14.3 carries, 6.5 targets, 5.5 receptions
- Weeks 10-11: 8.5 carries, 10 targets, nine receptions
But there’s still a lot to like about Kamara. Even with a reduced workload, he’s averaged 18.5 opportunities (carries plus targets) over the past two weeks. With that kind of usage, he’s eventually going to have positive touchdown regression.
The Saints are significant favorites, so Kamara is on the positive side of his splits.
- Favorite (30 games): 18.7 FanDuel points, +4.88 Plus/Minus, 66.7% Consistency Rating
- Underdog (13 games): 16.4 FanDuel points, +3.82 Plus/Minus, 69.2% Consistency Rating
On top of that, the Saints are at home, the Coors Field of fantasy football. With quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints have a 64-46-2 record to the over at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, good for an A-graded 14.2% return on investment (including postseason, per Bet Labs).
And the Saints have a slate-high 27.75-point implied Vegas total, so there will likely be fantasy points to go around. Team-specific production patterns can be analyzed with our FantasyLabs Correlations Tool, and over the past year, Kamara has had a 0.42 correlation in production with Brees. That’s the highest player-to-player correlation mark for Kamara, and one of the highest QB-RB correlations in the league. If Kamara has a big game, there’s a good chance that Brees will too. For guaranteed prize pools, use our Lineup Builder to stack Kamara with his quarterback.
The Panthers have been without run-stuffing Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short (shoulder, IR) since Week 3, and in his absence, they have been a ground game sieve. The Panthers have allowed the third-most FanDuel points to opposing backfields with 26.1 per game.
Kamara leads all backs in our Models with a Buzz Score of 10, and he’s the No. 1 option in the Freedman Model for FanDuel, where he has strong marks with nine Pro Trends and a 96% Bargain Rating.
Leonard Fournette: Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) at Tennessee Titans, 41.5 O/U
Fournette ranks No. 3 in the with 229 touches and 1,183 scrimmage yards as well as 19.2 expected fantasy points per game (per RotoViz Screener). And yet he’s only the No. 12 fantasy running back with 14.6 FanDuel points per game.
What’s going on?
Touchdowns — or a significant lack thereof. Fournette has just one touchdown this year. Based on his usage and yardage, you’d expect him to have 5-10 touchdowns. At some point, his touchdown luck is going to change.
Fournette is coming off a season-low eight-carry performance in Week 11, but he has still had 15 touches in every game this year thanks to his work as a receiver. With 47 receptions and 329 yards on 58 targets, Fournette has been so much more than the early-down grinder people assumed he’d be when he entered the league three years ago.
Fournette is a full-blown game script-independent lead back. It’s hard to ignore a guy getting 24 opportunities per game even if he isn’t scoring any touchdowns. Fournette trails only Christian McCaffrey with his 88.2% opportunity share (per Player Profiler).
The matchup for Fournette is not good. In fact, it’s bad. The Titans are No. 2 in run defense grade (per Pro Football Focus). But here’s the thing: NFL matchups matter much less than most people think. And the Titans are No. 24 in pass defense DVOA against backs. So I expect that Fournette will still get his touches.
In Week 3, Fournette had 92 yards against the Titans on 15 carries, eight targets and six receptions. This year, the six backs with 20-plus opportunities against the Titans have averaged 15.2 FanDuel points per game. Again, the matchup isn’t great, but it’s also not prohibitively terrible.
And here’s something that sounds counterintuitive but is historically verified. It actually might be a good thing for Fournette that he’s a road dog. Throughout his career, he’s had reverse splits.
- Away (19 games): 17.3 FanDuel points, +4.32 Plus/Minus, 68.4% Consistency Rating
- Home (13 games): 13.1 FanDuel points, -0.21 Plus/Minus, 53.8% Consistency Rating
- Underdog (17 games): 17.5 FanDuel points, +5.32 Plus/Minus, 76.5% Consistency Rating
- Favorite (17 games): 13.3 FanDuel points, -0.64 Plus/Minus, 47.1% Consistency Rating
Amazingly — and this truly is amazing — Fournette has been his absolute best as a road dog, averaging 18.8 FanDuel points per game with a +6.53 Plus/Minus and 75% Consistency Rating. This fact highlights just how dependent Fournette is on his receiving workload.
Fournette is the No. 1 back in the Bales, Levitan, Koerner, Raybon and SportsGeek Models for FanDuel, where he has a position-high +4.43 Projected Plus/Minus. He’s also the top option in the SportsGeek Model for DraftKings.
Derrick Henry: Tennessee Titans (-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 41.5 O/U
Last year in Week 14, the Titans finally decided to treat Henry like a lead back and give him a locked-in 15-plus touches per game. In the 14 games since then, he has been one of the position’s most reliably non-bust players, averaging 20.7 DraftKings points, 114.7 yards and 1.21 touchdowns per game.
I think that big-bodied grinders with limited pass-catching roles tend to be undervalued on DraftKings because of the point-per-reception scoring, and there’s a lot to like about Henry anyway.
He’s coming off the bye, so he and the Titans should be as rested and ready as possible. Additionally, Henry is a very game script-dependent back, and he’s on the positive side of the splits he’s had since at least 2017, when he started averaging double-digit carries (including playoffs).
- Home (19 games): 14.5 DraftKings points, +3.64 Plus/Minus, 52.6% Consistency Rating
- Away (22 games): 10.9 DraftKings points, -0.21 Plus/Minus, 36.4% Consistency Rating
- Favorite (22 games): 13.4 DraftKings points, +2.13 Plus/Minus, 50% Consistency Rating
- Underdog (20 games): 11.7 DraftKings points, +1.23 Plus/Minus, 40% Consistency Rating
In his 13 games as a home favorite since 2017, Henry has averaged 15.6 DraftKings points with a +4.12 Plus/Minus. If we narrow the sample to include just 2018-19, those numbers jump to 19.5 and +7.68 in seven games.
And the matchup is good too. The Jags have a funnel defense that ranks No. 11 against the pass but No. 30 against the run in DVOA. The Titans usually don’t need much motivation to run the ball, but against the Jags they will have every incentive to do so.
The 10 running backs with double-digit carries against the Jags this year have averaged 17.8 DraftKings points, and since Week 14, Henry has had success in his two divisional matchups with them.
- Week 14 (2018): 50.8 DraftKings points, 17-238-4 rushing
- Week 3 (2019): 11.6 DraftKings points, 17-44-1 rushing, 1-2-0 receiving on two targets
This is an absolute smash spot for Henry, who is the No. 1 back in the Freedman Model for DraftKings, where he has a position-high seven Pro Trends and a strong 88% Bargain Rating.
Latavius Murray: New Orleans Saints (-9.5) vs. Carolina Panthers, 46.5 O/U
Murray’s season has been something of a triptych. In Weeks 1-6, Murray was getting minimal action behind Alvin Kamara. But in Weeks 7-8, with Kamara sidelined, Murray had league-leading usage. Then after the bye, with Kamara back on the field, Murray returned to his old role with just a little bit more change-of-pace utility in Weeks 10-11.
- Weeks 1-6: 5.2 FanDuel points, 34.2 yards and 0.17 touchdowns on 5.3 carries, 1.7 targets and 1.5 receptions
- Weeks 7-8: 30.9 FanDuel points, 153.5 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, nine targets and seven receptions
- Weeks 10-11: 3.6 FanDuel points, 25.5 yards and zero touchdown on 7.5 carries, 2.5 targets and two receptions
Although I expected Murray to have more of a supplementary Mark Ingram role upon Kamara’s return — thanks to how productive he was in Weeks 7-8 — over the past two weeks, he’s had playing time right in line with what he saw in Weeks 1-6.
So it’s hard for me to be too excited about Murray.
But he’s an intriguing option for tournaments as a contrarian leverage play on Kamara, Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas. As noted in the Kamara section, the Saints have a slate-high implied Vegas total, they’re big home favorites and they have a great matchup.
Murray leads the team with five touchdowns, and he could get extra usage if the game gets out of hand. It’s not unthinkable that he could get 100 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers.
Murray is the No. 1 back in the CSURAM88 Model for FanDuel, where he has a position-high 99% Bargain Rating.
Phillip Lindsay: Denver Broncos (+4) at Buffalo Bills, 37 O/U
On this week’s Fantasy Flex podcast with Denny Carter, the Oddsmaker set a line of 73.5 rushing yards for Lindsay. That line feels aggressive, and Denny, Raybon and I all bet the under.
So that’s where I am on Lindsay.
But perhaps I’m overly pessimistic. Not in one game this year has any Broncos player had more rushing attempts than Lindsay. And over the past two weeks, the rushing workload disparity between Lindsay and No. 2 back Royce Freeman has significantly grown (per RotoViz Player Usage App).
And before Week 11, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that the Broncos wanted to increase their usage of Lindsay in the running game, so it’s probable that Lindsay’s recent rushing workload is sustainable.
Lindsay’s talent is undeniable. Despite being an undrafted back with a small frame (5-foot-7, 184 pounds), the second-year back has averaged 5.2 yards per carry for his career, and with his elite speed (4.39-second 40-yard dash), Lindsay has the ability to rip off long runs.
Last year he led the Broncos with 1,278 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage, and this year he’s on pace for a comparable 1,310.4 yards and eight touchdowns. I can’t cast too much shade at a guy with 13.4 carries and 3.4 targets per game, especially when four teams are on bye.
And he has a good matchup: The Bills have a backfield-friendly funnel defense that is No. 9 against the pass but No. 27 against the run in DVOA. The nine backs with 10-plus carries against the Bills have averaged 16.1 DraftKings points per game with a +3.39 Plus/Minus and 88.9% Consistency Rating.
And Lindsay is on the positive side of his reverse splits.
- Away (13 games): 17.0 DraftKings points, +5.72 Plus/Minus, 69.2% Consistency Rating
- Home (11 games): 12.3 DraftKings points, +1.22 Plus/Minus, 63.6% Consistency Rating
- Underdog (13 games): 15.9 DraftKings points, +5.34 Plus/Minus, 76.9% Consistency Rating
- Favorite (11 games): 13.6 DraftKings points, +1.67 Plus/Minus, 54.5% Consistency Rating
In his seven career games as a road dog, Lindsay has averaged 18.2 DraftKings points per game with a +7.74 Plus/Minus and 71.4% Consistency Rating.
Lindsay has a position-high +2.19 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings, where he’s the No. 1 back in the Levitan Model.
Devonta Freeman: Atlanta Falcons (-4.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 51.5 O/U
UPDATE (Nov. 23): RB Devonta Freeman (foot) and TE Austin Hooper (knee) are out. Bucs CB M.J. Stewart (knee) is out.
Freeman (foot) suffered an injury in Week 10 and missed Week 11, so his status should be monitored. On Monday, head coach Dan Quinn said that Freeman was trending in the right direction but that he wouldn’t practice on Wednesday.
If Freeman misses practice on Thursday, that will be a bad omen for his availability this weekend.
Full disclosure: I’m not at all enamored with Freeman. Even if he practices in full on Thursday or Friday, he will still be too risky for cash games because of usage and re-injury concerns.
But Freeman has potential as a contrarian pivot. Falcons-Bucs has a slate-high over/under and will be popular to stack. In targeting this game, most daily fantasy investors will likely go with one of the quarterbacks in Matt Ryan or Jameis Winston and then load up on wide receivers, of whom there are several options: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage for the Falcons and Mike Evans and Chris Godwin for the Bucs.
Freeman, though, is likely to be relatively ignored, which means that he’ll offer tremendous leverage on almost every other player in the game.
And it’s not as if he lacks upside: He’s not the player he was in 2015-16, but he’s still averaging 72.6 yards and 0.33 touchdowns on 11.9 carries, 4.9 targets and 4.2 receptions per game.
Freeman has a tough matchup against the Bucs, who are No. 1 in rush defense DVOA and No. 2 in pass defense DVOA against running backs, so you definitely shouldn’t go overweight on him in tournaments.
But Freeman has had four-plus targets in seven of nine games this year and could easily hit that mark again. In two games, he’s had eight-plus targets.
The seven backs with four-plus targets against the Bucs have averaged 16.0 DraftKings points per game. Just four games ago, Freeman had a 118-yard, two-touchdown performance on 22 opportunities. If he gets that kind of usage against the Bucs, he could contribute to a GPP-winning lineup.
Freeman is the No. 1 back in the Raybon Model for DraftKings, where he has the No. 14 ceiling projection at the position but the No. 20 salary.
Sony Michel: New England Patriots (-6.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys, 45 O/U
UPDATE (Nov. 23): Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) is out.
Anytime you can spend a first-round pick on a middling running back instead of a franchise quarterback, you pretty much have to, right?
It’s not Michel’s fault that he’s not Lamar Jackson …
No. 31: Pats select Sony Michel. That was the worst pick of the first round. By far. Not. Even. Close.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 27, 2018
… but Michel has been magnificently pedestrian this year with his 3.3 yards per carry and 4.9 yards per target. In his usage and skill set, he’s basically small LeGarrette Blount.
But in all fairness to Michel, maybe he wasn’t actually the worst 2018 first-round selection. In his 26 career games (including playoffs), Michel has averaged 4.1 yards per carry and 73.7 yards and 0.69 touchdowns from scrimmage per game. He’s not a net negative.
Still, he’s nothing more than a contrarian tournament option. His 2019 production has been painfully problematic.
Michel is an incredibly splits-driven back. If he doesn’t score a touchdown or if he gets fewer than 15 carries, he basically offers nothing.
- Touchdown (12 games): 21.0 DraftKings points, 20.2 carries, 94 yards rushing, 1.5 touchdowns
- No touchdown (14 games): 5.8 DraftKings points, 13.7 carries, 46.7 yards rushing, zero touchdowns
- 15-plus carries (17 games): 16.9 DraftKings points, 20.3 carries, 86.7 yards rushing, one touchdown
- 14 or fewer carries (nine games): 5.1 DraftKings points, 9.9 carries, 34.2 yards rushing, 0.11 touchdowns
And his production has also been tied to the presence of teammate Rex Burkhead, who is a more versatile back with more experience in the offense.
- Without Burkhead (nine games): 17.0 DraftKings points, 17.8 carries, 1.4 targets, 1.1 receptions, 89.9 yards and one touchdown from scrimmage
- With Burkhead (17 games): 10.6 DraftKings points, 16.1 carries, 0.9 targets, 0.4 receptions, 65.1 yards and 0.53 touchdowns from scrimmage
Burkhead is playing, so Michel has that going against him, but at least this year he’s in the top five with 11 carries inside the opponent five-yard line, and he’s had 15-plus carries in seven of 10 games.
And in his 17 games with Burkhead, Michel has still managed 17.0 opportunities per game. Any back with that much usage and a goal-line role warrants consideration, especially when he’s a significant home favorite.
In his 11 games as a home favorite, Michel has averaged 14.8 DraftKings points with a +3.23 Plus/Minus.
The Cowboys are a middle-of-the-road No. 17 in rush defense DVOA, so they’re not especially exploitable, but they have the No. 1 pass offense in the league with 8.3 net yards per pass attempt and a 56% pass play success rate (per Sharp Football Stats).
Especially since quarterback Tom Brady is struggling, the Patriots — as they did in Super Bowl 53 — could lean on their ground attack to control the ball, slow the game down and keep the Cowboys offense on the sideline.
If that happens, Michel could end up with a 100-yard, two-touchdown game on 20 carries.
Besides, Michel is just way too cheap given his role in the offense and that the Pats are home favorites. Michel hasn’t been available at $4,600 on DraftKings since Week 3 last year. Even I know that’s too low.
Michel is the No. 1 back in the CSURAM88 Model for DraftKings, where he has a strong 93% Bargain Rating.
Bo Scarbrough: Detroit Lions (-3.5) at Washington Redskins, 41.5 O/U
UPDATE (Nov. 23): QB Matthew Stafford (back) and C Frank Ragnow (concussion) are out. Redskins DT Da’Ron Payne (ankle) is doubtful.
I’ll forgo the obvious yet obscure obligatory Simon & Garfunkel pun and get right to the analysis.
At this time last week, Scarbrough was a forgotten practice squad player with not one snap of NFL experience. And now he’s apparently the lead back for the Lions. Life comes at you fast in the second half of the season.
In Week 12, even with Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic active, Scarbrough led the team with 14-55-1 rushing, and he led the backfield with a 49.2% snap rate. He offers nothing as a receiver, but if he’s going to get double-digit carries on a regular basis, he’s in play.
An Alabama back, Scarbrough displayed great sized-adjusted speed and explosiveness at the combine. His production is paltry, but over the past decade the NFL hasn’t been able to get enough of the Alabama backfield. Scarbrough never had a full-on breakout season, but neither had Kenyan Drake before his top-100 selection.
As a freshman, Scarbrough served as a depth back behind Derrick Henry, Drake, and Damien Harris. As a sophomore Scarbrough formed a committee with Harris and was arguably the more important member of the timeshare, rushing 125 times for 812 yards and 11 touchdowns. He specifically got hot to end the season, turning 63 rushes into 454 yards and six touchdowns in the four final games.
Entering the 2017 season, Scarbrough was generally thought of as superior to Harris, but he regressed significantly as a junior. Over his two final seasons, Scarbrough averaged just 57 yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. That kind of production tends not to inspire — and Scarbrough offers little as a receiver (21 career receptions for 131 yards) — but he’s a big-bodied Alabama back who entered college as a five-star recruit.
Is Scarbrough any good? Maybe. He was selected by the Cowboys in the sixth round last year, and highly recruited backs who sign with Alabama and get drafted tend to be no worse than adequate.
Scarbrough doesn’t have a great matchup, but the Redskins aren’t imposing: They’re No. 21 in rush defense DVOA. The nine backs to face them and get double-digit carries but no more than three targets averaged 10.7 DraftKings points per game.
If we get reports that the coaching staff plans to use him as the lead back once again this week, Scarbrough will be an option for tournaments (but almost certainly not cash games).
Scarbrough is the No. 1 back in the Bales and Koerner Models for DraftKings, where he has a position-high 98% Bargain Rating.
Upside Running Backs for Guaranteed Prize Pools
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers ($10,500 DK, $10,500 FD): For the fourth week in a row, Run CMC is priced at an all-time high on DraftKings and FanDuel, but he’s earned the high salaries as an official member of Team Jam ‘Em In. McCaffrey is the No. 1 running back in our Week 12 fantasy football rankings. Of any starting back, McCaffrey is the league’s most north/south runner with his 3.21 efficiency rating (per Next Gen Stats), and he trails only Austin Ekeler with 55.6 air yards and yards after the catch combined per game (per AirYards.com). Just last week, McCaffrey had a 191-yard Millionaire Maker-winning performance. Unsurprisingly, McCaffrey leads all running backs in our Models with his median, ceiling and floor projections.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns ($8,100 DK, $8,200 FD): Even with the return of Kareem Hunt, Chubb gas averaged 23.5 carries and 2.5 targets over the past two weeks. Dating back to last season, Chubb has averaged 107.5 yards and 0.7 touchdowns from scrimmage in his 20 games as the team’s lead back. The Dolphins are No. 31 in PFF run defense grade. Chubb has a position-high 10 Pro Trends on FanDuel. UPDATE (Nov. 23): Dolphins SS Reshad Jones (chest, ankle) and FS Bobby McCain (shoulder) have been placed on IR.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants ($7,900 DK, $7,900 FD): Barkley is coming off the bye, so hopefully he will be over his lingering ankle injury. Since returning in Week 7, he has averaged just 17.2 DraftKings points, 87.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns on 16 carries, seven targets and 5.5 receptions per game. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) last played in Week 5, and tight end Evan Engram (foot) was out last week. Barkley could see extra usage if either one is out. UPDATE (Nov. 23): Shepard is in, but Engram is out.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys ($7,500 DK, $8,100 FD): This year, Zeke has career-low marks with 23 opportunities and 105.3 scrimmage yards per game, and he’s hit salary-based expectations on DraftKings in just three games. But this week he’s on the positive side of his splits, averaging 25.1 DraftKings points per game with a +6.24 Plus/Minus in his 13 games as a dog. He has an underappreciated matchup against the Patriots, who are No. 29 in PFF run defense grade.
Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders ($7,400 DK, $8,000 FD): Jacobs (shoulder) is dealing with a lingering injury, but he practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday and is expected to suit up. The No. 1 player in my dynasty rookie rankings in May, Jacobs has lived up to the hype with 106.7 yards and 0.7 touchdowns from scrimmage per game. Despite having mediocre game script this year, the Raiders are committed to the run, ranking No. 6 with a 46.3% run rate. The Jets are No. 2 in rush defense DVOA, but the five backs to face the Jets with comparable salaries averaged 17.0 DraftKings points per game. UPDATE (Nov. 23): Jets LB C.J. Mosley (groin) is out.
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers ($7,200 DK, $6,900 FD): Starter James Conner (shoulder) left Week 11 with an injury and missed practice on Wednesday. He seems unlikely to play, so Samuels will serve as the lead back in his place. In his six games entirely (or mostly) without Conner, Samuels has averaged 16.1 DraftKings points, 82.7 yards and 0.33 touchdowns on 11.5 carries, 6.3 targets and 5.5 receptions. Samuels is one of the league’s best pass-catching backs, and the Bengals are No. 31 in pass defense DVOA against running backs. UPDATE (Nov. 23): RB James Conner (shoulder) and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion, knee) are out, but WR Diontae Johnson (concussion) will be active.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks ($6,700 DK, $7,700 FD): Carson is on the negative side of his splits, averaging 13.0 DraftKings points per game since last season in his nine games as a road dog. On top of that, the Eagles are No. 7 in rush defense DVOA. But Carson is coming off the bye, and he’s No. 2 in the league with 20 carries per game.
Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets ($6,400 DK, $7,300 FD): Since his 2014 breakout, Bell is No. 1 among all backs with 26 opportunities per game. In his eight games against teams other than the Patriots, Bell has averaged 16.7 DraftKings points with a 75% Consistency Rating. For the season, he has a strong 85.4% snap rate. The Raiders are No. 22 in rush defense DVOA and No. 26 in pass defense DVOA against running backs.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns ($5,600 DK, $5,600 FD): In his two games with the Browns, Hunt has played a 55.0% snap rate and averaged 66 yards on 8.5 targets, 6.5 receptions and five carries per game. With 19.7 DraftKings points per game for his career, Hunt easily has the upside to put up a tournament-winning performance, and his matchup is glorious. The Dolphins are No. 29 in rush defense DVOA and No. 32 in pass defense DVOA against running backs. UPDATE (Nov. 23): Dolphins SS Reshad Jones (chest, ankle) and FS Bobby McCain (shoulder) have been placed on IR.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,000 DK, $5,600 FD): Starter Jordan Howard (shoulder) missed last week and is uncertain to play. Even if he does suit up, Sanders has potential because of his locked-in pass-catching role. He has three-plus targets in each game without Darren Sproles (quad, IR) and 10.1 yards per target. Sander has the potential for 10-plus carries, and the backs to get double-digit carries and three-plus targets against the Seahawks have averaged 23.7 DraftKings points per game.
Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons ($4,900 DK, $5,500 FD): Week 11 did not go as planned, but starter Devonta Freeman (foot) is still uncertain for Week 12. If Freeman is out, Hill will once again be in play. He had just 38 yards last week, but he lost a one-yard touchdown on a holding penalty, and over the past two weeks, he’s averaged 17.5 carries and 2.5 targets per game. Falcons-Bucs has a slate-high 51.5-point over/under. UPDATE (Nov. 23): RB Devonta Freeman (foot) and TE Austin Hooper (knee) are out. Bucs CB M.J. Stewart (knee) is out.
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,800 DK, $6,000 FD): Jones had just four carries and four targets on 21 snaps last game, so he’s likely to have a diminished ownership rate this week. Even with his recent underwhelming performance, Jones has averaged 11 carries and 4.3 targets per game since the Week 7 bye. This might seem unfathomable, but through 10 games, RoJo is on pace for 1,000 yards and 6.4 touchdowns.
Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins ($4,300 DK, $5,800 FD): Last week, Peterson lost work to second-year back Derrius Guice in his return from injury, but in his five games under interim HC Bill Callahan, the aged veteran has still averaged 96 yards on 16.8 carries and 1.4 targets. The Lions have allowed a league-high 28.5 FanDuel points per game to opposing backfields. Peterson will have an almost nonexistent ownership rate, and he offers lots of roster flexibility. UPDATE (Nov. 23): Peterson (toe) is questionable after a limited practice on Friday. RB Chris Thompson (toe) is also questionable.
Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins ($3,400 DK, $4,900 FD): An undrafted 24-year-old rookie with back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons to close his college career, Laird has played just 24 snaps over the past two weeks, but with that opportunity he has turned eight targets and three carries into eight receptions and 77 yards. Starter Kalen Ballage has just 1.9 yards per carry and 2.3 yards per target, so Laird could see more action, and with his pass-catching prowess (96-610-5 receiving in two final college seasons), he might benefit from a pass-heavy game script as a big road dog. Laird has a strong 88% Bargain Rating on DraftKings. UPDATE (Nov. 23): Browns DE Olivier Vernon (knee) is out.
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Pictured above: Alvin Kamara
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports