NFL DFS Week 11: Running Backs Report - Don't Be Shy, Pay Up For Dalvin Cook

An in-depth NFL DFS guide to the Week 11 running backs to target and fade when setting your daily lineups.
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Week 11 NFL DFS Reports

Alvin Kamara, NO (DK – $9,200/FD – $9,700)

The 49ers held Kamara to 15 yards on eight carries, but he still finished with an impact day thanks to three touchdowns and success in the passing game (7/83). He ranks first in running back scoring (27.38 FPPG), which is over a nine-point advantage over every running back except Dalvin Cook (27.18 FPPG). Kamara scored 117.9 (47.8 percent) of his 246.40 fantasy points in three games. Over his last four starts, he only had 43 rushing attempts for 205 yards with three touchdowns. Last year he gained 158 combined yards with 12 catches in two games against the Falcons. Atlanta played great vs. running backs over the previous four games (7.40, 18.80, 8.70. and 6.00 fantasy points), lifting them to sixth in running back defense (20.06 FPPG). Over the first five weeks, the Falcons did struggle against running backs in three matchups (35.30, 42.70, and 30.10 fantasy points). New Orleans had a switch at quarterback, which will change the game flow for the Saints. At $9,200 at DraftKings, Kamara needs 37.00 fantasy points to fill his salary bucket. I’ll take the under, but he may still create an edge.

Dalvin Cook, MIN (DK – $9,000/FD – $10,500)

The Bears slowed down the Cook train in Week 10 (112 combined yards and four catches). His success over eight projected over a full season would be 2,286 combined yards with 26 touchdowns and 40 catches. He posted two impact games in Week 8 (48.60) and Week 9 (39.20). The Vikings have him 30 touches a game over the past three weeks. Dallas is about league averaged defending the running back position (22.62 FPPG), but they struggled with backs in three matchups (CLE – 40/307/3, ARI – 35/261/3, and WAS – 39/208/1). The Cowboys allow 5.0 yards per rush, with running backs scoring 10 touchdowns—an excellent matchup with explosive upside.

Derrick Henry, TEN (DK – $8,000/FD – $8,200)

Nine games into 2020, Henry only has one impact game (264 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches), plus another playable showing (130 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches). Over the last four weeks, the Titans gave him 20.25 touches per game with 4.6 yards per rush, but he averaged only 14.28 FPPG. Henry played at a high-level in the postseason in 2019 against the Ravens (202 combined yards with two catches). Baltimore slipped to 13th in running back defense (22.22 FPPG) after getting drilled on the ground in the rain against the Patriots (15 combined yards with two touchdowns and eight catches). Tough matchup overall for the Titans’ offense, which makes Henry an against the grain play.

Aaron Jones, GB (DK – $7,200/FD – $8,200)

Over the last two starts, Jones gained 174 combined yards with 10 catches on 38 touches. The Packers had him on the field for 62 percent of their plays over this span. His only game of value came in Week 2 (236 combined yards with three touchdowns and four catches). Jones continues to rank highly in yards per rush (4.8) with upside in the passing game (28/231/2). The Colts have the third-best defense (19.69 FPPG) vs. running backs, with ball carriers gaining only 3.5 yards per rush. Jones should be a low-percentage own while not getting the whole show in touches. His big-play ability keeps his window open for a surprising game.

Nick Chubb, CLE (DK – $7,000/FD – $8,100)

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Chubb looked sharp in his first game (19/126/1) back in action after missing four weeks. Over his last three full games, which all came at home, he gained 269 combined yards with five touchdowns and two catches. Over this span, he finished with over 100 yards rushing in each outing while averaging 20.7 touches per game. The Eagles sit fifth in the league vs. running backs (20.89 FPPG) with no team scoring over 28.00 fantasy points. Philly does allow 4.4 yards per rush, with rushers scoring 14 touchdowns. Last week Chubb was on the field for 43 percent of the Browns’ running back snaps compared to 62 and 54 percent in Week 2 and Week 3. A dominating runner with plenty of value in rushing touchdowns.

Miles Sanders, PHI (DK – $6,900/FD – $7,700)

The Eagles ran the ball well last week (174 combined yards with two touchdowns and three catches), but Sanders failed to deliver a playable game (95 combined yards with two catches on 17 touches). He missed on the one chance for a big play when Boston Scott hit on a 56-yard touchdown. Over six games, Sanders averaged 103 yards per game with minimal damage in touchdowns (3) and catches (14 – 46.7 percent catch rate). Cleveland inched up to 10th defending running backs (21.46 FPPG). Their only poor showing came in Week 4 (DAL – 170 combined yards with a touchdown and nine catches). Game flow is important here, and Sanders does have a top-tier opportunity while owning explosiveness.

Mike Davis, CAR (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,400)

Davis lost his momentum over the last month (194 combined yards with no touchdowns and 15 catches), with one of his short outings coming in a game that Christian McCaffrey returned to the starting lineup. Last week he battled a finger injury (dislocated), which ended up being minor. The Lions remain last in the NFL vs. the running back position (35.89 FPPG) with disaster showings in five different matchups (57.00, 43.90, 46.60, 55.30, and 42.80 fantasy points). Detroit allows 4.7 yards per rush, with running backs scoring 20 touchdowns. It seems like a slam dunk based on his matchup, but Davis isn’t playing at an elite level.

Kareem Hunt, CLE (DK – $6,700/FD – $6,700)

Hunt appeared to be overrated last week by Sports Illustrated, but he fell about 18 inches short of his number (27.31). Hunt finished with 132 combined yards and three catches (19.2 fantasy points at DraftKings) thanks to a late 59-yard run, which he decided to run out of bounds inside the one-yard line on a sure score with about 30 seconds left in the game. Hunt is on pace for 1,376 combined yards with 12 touchdowns and 37 catches. Second fiddle in a high profile run game with a favorable matchup. Hunt looks overpriced, with Chubb expected to see more playing time this week.

James Conner, PIT (DK – $6,600/FD – $7,000)

The Steelers struggled to run the ball in back-to-back games, which led to Conner's emptiness (4.20 and 6.80 fantasy points). Over the last six weeks, he averaged only 12.57 fantasy points while gaining short yards per rush (3.6) and per catch (5.1). Conner played well in Week 2 (20.10) and Week 3 (24.90) while gaining over 100 combined yards in four weeks. The Jaguars rank 28th vs. the running back position (27.52 FPPG) with failure in three matchups (50.80, 44.00, and 43.10 fantasy points). With the Steelers gaining momentum in the passing game, Conner may see an uptick in production this week. Pittsburgh had him on the field for a season-high 88 percent of their plays in Week 10.

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (DK – $6,500/FD – $8,000)

There has been nothing but boring stats from Elliott over the past three weeks (6.10, 8.30, and 8.90 fantasy points) while gaining only 3.2 yards per carry. His passing game value fell over the shelf over this span (1/6, 1/10, and 2/18). Elliott doesn’t have a game with over 100 yards rushing, with his last touchdown in Week 5. He is on pace for 1,440 combined yards with 11 touchdowns and 64 catches. The Vikings are 16th against running backs (22.86 FPPG). Their worst showing came in Week 1 (GB – 192 combined yards with one touchdown and nine catches). Minnesota will give up catches to backs (43/350) with minimal damage in touchdowns (5). Not playing well, and Dallas desperately needs better quarterback play to help their offensive players' value.

D’Andre Swift, DET (DK – $6,400/FD – $6,900)

Lions D'Andre Swift Fantasy Football

The Lions gave Swift a season-high 73 percent of their snaps in Week 10, which led to him delivering an impact game (149 combined yards with one touchdown and five catches). He finished with the most touches (21) of his career. His other value game came in Week 6 (123 combined yards with two touchdowns and three catches). Swift moved to 11th in running back scoring (14.18 FPPG). The Panthers improved to 29th in running back defense (29.03 FPPG), with most of the damage coming in four games (46.60, 45.90, 37.50, and 33.10 fantasy points) over the first five weeks of the season. His higher salary requires a repeat performance, and he has the matchup to have success.

James Robinson, JAC (DK – $6,400/FD – $7,200)

Robinson ran the ball well in each of his past three starts (22/119/1, 25/99/1, and 23/109) with some value in the passing game (6/21/1). He moved to third in running back scoring (18.19 FPPG). His two impact games came in Week 3 (30.90) and Week 7 (31.70). Robinson is on pace for 1,630 combined yards with 12 touchdowns and 52 catches. The Steelers have the top defense vs. running backs (17.70 FPPG), but they did show regression in their run defense over the previous three weeks (47/265/1, 31/144, and 21/139). Robinson landed on the injury report this week with a shoulder issue. Playing at home, and his matchup isn’t ideal.

Todd Gurley, ATL (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,700)

Gurley has nine touchdowns in his nine starts, but he’s gained over 65 yards rushing in two games. The Falcons gave him 21.75 touches per game over the last four weeks with weakness in his yards per rush (2.6) and yards per catch (5.9). His only game of value came in Week 5 (150 combined yards with one touchdown and four catches). New Orleans held running backs to fewer than 20.00 fantasy points in each of their last five games, helping them be second in running back defense (18.52 FPPG). No upside matchup even if he finds the endzone once.

Antonio Gibson, WAS (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,500)

Gibson extended his scoring streak to three games, leading to three productive outings (18.80, 13.50, and 22.50 fantasy points). He jumped to 10th in running back scoring (14.46 FPPG). Even with success, Gibson has five games with fewer than 15 touches. His highest fantasy point total (22.80) came in Week 4 at home against the Ravens. Cincinnati played respectable defense versus running backs (22.29 FPPG – 14th) in eight of their nine games, with their only disaster showing coming in Week 2 (51.40 fantasy points). Washington had him on the field for fewer than 50 percent of their snaps over his past four games. Gibson needs more touches to reach a high enough score for his Week 11 salary.

Damien Harris, NE (DK – $5,700/FD – $5,800)

The Patriots continue to rotate in three running backs, plus Cam Newton is the team’s top-scoring threat at the goal line. Harris gained 100 yards or more three times (17/100, 16/102/1, and 22/121) in his six games played. Unfortunately, he has minimal value in the passing game (2/26). His success projected over a full season would be 1,325 yards with three touchdowns and five catches. The Texans allow 5.2 yards per carry, with running backs scoring 11 rushing touchdowns. I love his direction, but Harris needs an injury to secure a high role in New England’s offense.

Kalen Ballage, LAC (DK – $5,600/FD – $5,800)

The Chargers signed Ballage in early October. An injury to Justin Jackson in Week 9 and a decline in play by Joshua Kelley led to Ballage claiming the lead running back role over the last two weeks. Los Angeles gave him 40 touches over this span, which led to 186 combined yards with a touchdown and seven catches. The Jets rank 26th in running back defense (26.89 FPPG). They allow 4.1 nine yards per rush, with running backs scoring nine touchdowns with plenty of catches (59/403). Last week the Chargers had him on the field for 73 percent of their plays. Ballage is priced to pay off in a matchup that should favor a heavy volume rushing attack.

Giovani Bernard, CIN (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,300)

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With Joe Mixon missing practice on Wednesday, Bernard looks on a path to start again in Week 11. Last week he struggled to make plays vs. the Steelers (47 combined yards with four catches on 12 touches), which came after two productive games (20.60 and 22.80 fantasy points). Cincinnati had him on the field for 69 percent of their running back snaps since taking over the lead role. Washington has the ninth-best defense against the running back position (21.43 FPPG). They struggled in three matchups (40.70, 31.90, and 30.20 fantasy points)—an outside chance at a productive game.

Duke Johnson, HOU (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,000)

In his first start of the year, Johnson gained 54 yards on 14 carries, but the Texans failed to get him involved in the passing game. He played well off the bench in Week 9 (73 combined yards with a touchdown and four catches). The Patriots slipped to 18th defending running backs (23.34 FPPG). The 49ers drilled New England for 235 combined yards with four touchdowns and four catches, and Buffalo beat them for 173 combined yards with two touchdowns and one catch. Johnson is priced low enough when 20 touches may very well fill his salary bucket.

Nyheim Hines, IND (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,100)

Hines has been extremely tough to time in 2020. He scored 77.00 of his 113.20 fantasy points (68 percent) in three games (27.30, 21.20, and 28.50). In his other six contests, he scored fewer than 8.00 fantasy points in five games. In Week 10, Jonathan Taylor struggled to break into the second level of the defense, leading to Hines receiving the most snaps (56 percent) of the season. Over the previous three weeks, Indy has rotated on three running backs. Hines has the highest floor due to his value in the passing game (33/265/4). Green Bay fell to 31st against running backs (31.61 FPPG) with plenty of risk defending backs in the passing game (55/482/4). Hot hand player who has just as much downside as upside.

J.D. McKissic, WAS (DK – $5,200/FD – $5,600)

Washington looked McKissic’s way 29 times over the last two weeks, which led to reasonable games (17.20 and 17.90 fantasy points). Over the previous five weeks, he gained 361 combined yards with one touchdown and 37 catches or 15.62 FPPG. Two chaser games helped his uptick in production—more of a flier with his playable value hinging on his low scoring ability.

Melvin Gordon, DEN (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,400)

Broncos RB Melvin Gordon was charged with DUI on Tuesday night in Denver.

Gordon struggled to make plays over his past three games (120 combined yards with seven catches). Over his first five weeks, he gained 406 combined yards with five touchdowns and 13 catches, highlighted by success in Week 4 (118 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches). Denver tends to have him on the field for about 58 percent of their running back snaps since the return of Phillip Lindsay. Miami worked their way to 20th vs. running backs (23.93) after holding teams to fewer than 21.00 fantasy points over the last four weeks. The Dolphins allow 4.7 yards per rush, with backs scoring eight touchdowns. Tough to trust, but his career resume gives him a chance at filling his salary bucket.

Salvon Ahmed, MIA (DK – $4,800/FD – $5,600)

Heading into Week 10, the running back situation was cloudy in Miami. The Dolphins gave Ahmed 76 percent of their snap, which fell in line with the playing time earlier in the year by Myles Gaskins. He finished with 90 combined yards with a touchdown and one catch with 22 touches. Denver struggled in Week 10 vs. running backs (50.90 fantasy points), pushing them down to 17th in running back defense (23.27 FPPG). Ahmed has a short resume, which means his playing time could turn on a dime.

Rex Burkhead, NE (DK – $4,600/FD – $5,900)

This season Burkhead has two playable games (34.80 and 22.60 fantasy points) with a bump in touches (23) over the last two weeks. He moved to 20th in running back scoring (11.60 FPPG), despite averaging only 9.6 touches per game. Matchup player who has bust downside. 

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