NFL DFS Week 13: Running Backs Report - Dalvin Cook in Play With Bounce-Back Potential

An in-depth NFL DFS guide to the Week 13 running backs to target and fade when setting your daily lineups.
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Week 13 NFL DFS Reports

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

Cook went down as a significant bust in Week 12 in the daily games after gaining only 82 combined yards with four catches on 22 touches in a favorable matchup against the Panthers. Over his previous four home starts, he averaged 29.73 fantasy points at DraftKings. His two impact games (48.60 and 39.20 fantasy points) came in Week 8 and Week 9. Cook averages 24.8 touches per game with a high level of production in touchdowns (13). Jacksonville had no answer for the Browns’ run game (33/207/1) in Week 12, which was their third disaster showing (50.80, 44.00, and 43.10 fantasy points) on the year. They allow 4.5 yards per rush, with backs scoring 12 touchdowns. The Jaguars have also struggled three times vs. pass-catching running backs (IND – 17/142/1, LAC – 10/67, and GB – 9/77). Cook looks poised for a bounce-back game, but he did come out of last week’s matchup with a slight ankle issue.

Derrick Henry, TEN (DK – $9,200/FD – $10,000)

Henry ended up being an against-the-grain play in Week 12 (6.5 percent own) in the $101 Millionaire Maker game at DraftKings due to high ranking Colts’ run defense. He finished with his second impact game (38.50 fantasy points) of the year. Henry dominated the Texans at home in Week 6 (264 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches). Over the last two weeks, the Titans gave him 29 touches each contest. Henry rushed for over 100 yards in seven of his 11 starts. The Browns had a tough time against James Robinson (159 combined yards with one touchdown and five catches) in Week 12. They rank 11th vs. running backs (21.12 FPPG) while allowing over 30.00 fantasy in one matchup. Cleveland allows 34.6 points per game on the road, which points to another active game by Henry.

Nick Chubb, CLE (DK – $7,700/FD – $8,700)

Since returning from his four missed games with a knee injury, Chubb rushed for over 100 yards in each matchup (19/126/1, 20/114, 19/144/1) while posting his top output in the passing game (3/32) in Week 12. He gained 768 combined yards with six touchdowns and six catches on 17.3 touches per game over seven games of action. The Browns had him on the field 61 percent of their plays last week. Tennessee sits 22nd in running back defense (25.45 FPPG), with failure in four matchups (32.70, 31.70, 33.20, and 37.00 fantasy points). The Titans will give up rushing touchdowns (12), but a chaser game and higher salary points to Chubb falling short of filling his salary bucket.

Josh Jacobs, LV (DK – $7,400/FD – $7,800)

Josh Jacobs, Raiders RB

Jacobs and the Raiders’ offense had a non-productive game against the Falcons. He finished with only 44 combined yards and three catches on 10 touches while being on the field for 60 percent of the action. Jacobs came out of the loss with an ankle issue that may cost him playing time in Week 13. His play was trending upward over his four previous starts (397 combined yards with four touchdowns and six catches). The Jets have a bottom-tier defense against running backs (26.21 FPPG). They allow 3.9 yards per rush, with backs scoring nine touchdowns and weakness defending running backs in the passing game (74/474/1). Gut check game for the Raiders and Jacobs. More info is needed here about the health of his bulky ankle.

James Robinson, JAC (DK – $7,300/FD – $7,800)

Despite a 10-game losing streak, Jacksonville continues to get Robinson plenty of chances each week. Over the past five games, he gained 601 combined yards with four touchdowns and 13 catches on 24.4 touches per game. Robinson gained 4.8 yards per carry over this span. His floor has been 10.00 fantasy points while delivering the four playable games (33.90, 34.70, and 29.90 fantasy points). Minnesota is just below the league average against running backs (23.71 FPPG). They’ve allowed between 29.50 and 32.60 fantasy points to running backs in four contests. The Vikings will give up catches (60) to running backs, but they tend to minimize the damage in touchdowns (seven – two over the past six games). Robinson has a rising salary for a team that averages only 2.4 touches per week.

Aaron Jones, GB (DK – $7,200/FD – $8,400)

Since his calf injury in Week 6, Jones missed two games with dull results over the last four weeks (12.90, 14.50, 17.10, and 10.00 fantasy points). In 2019, he scored 19 touchdowns while also starting the year with four scores over three games. His only impact game (236 combined yards with three touchdowns and four catches) came in Week 2. Over the last two weeks, the Packers had Jones on the field for 50 and 54 percent of their plays. Philadelphia still ranks in the top 10 vs. the running back position (20.85 FPPG), with no team scoring over 30.00 fantasy points. The Eagles allow 4.1 yards per rush while allowing 16 rushing touchdowns (11 by RBs, two by QBs, and three by WRs). Trending in the wrong direction, and his salary is above his recent output. Against the grain, but he can’t be dismissed in Week 13 due to his explosiveness and multi-touchdown upside.

Austin Ekeler, LAC (DK – $7,100/FD – $7,000)

Ekeler went from possibly being activated in Week 12 to a must-start at DraftKings on Sunday. The Chargers had him on the field for 72 percent of their plays, which was above his opportunity over his first three starts (65.1 percent). Game score led to 11 catches for 85 yards on 16 targets with some struggles to find the open field on early downs (14/44). In his other two starts with Justin Herbert behind center, Ekeler gained 291 combined yards with a touchdown and 15 catches (15 targets). The Patriots kept running backs somewhat in check in all but three games (SF – 237 combined yards with four touchdowns and four catches, BUF – 173 combined yards with two touchdowns and one catch, and ARI – 136 combined yards with two touchdowns and seven catches). New England hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a running back in the passing game since Week 2. Based on his three-down ability, Ekeler should work well at this level when adding Herbert's growth at quarterback.

Alvin Kamara, NO (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,500)

The Drew Brees injury has been devastating to Kamara’s value over the past two weeks (24/98/1 with only one catch for minus-two yards). Over this span, Taysom Hill sniped four rushing touchdowns, and the Saints decided to rest Kamara in the second half vs. a quarterback-less Broncos’ offense due to a slight ankle issue. Over the last month, he only gained 244 combined yards with five touchdowns and 13 catches (16.85 FPPG). The Falcons held him to 13 rushes for 45 yards and one touchdown in Week 11. The Falcons played well vs. running backs over their previous six games (7.40, 18.80, 8.70, 6.00, 21.00, and 8.90 fantasy points) after starting the year with failure in three matchups (35.30, 42.70, and 30.10). Too good of a player to keep down, but I can’t trust his value in the passing game with Hill starting.

Miles Sanders, PHI (DK – $6,700/FD – $8,400)

miles sanders

The Seahawks held Sanders to a season-low 22 combined yards with two catches on only eight touches. Philly had him on the field for 61 percent of their plays, which was in line with his playing time in the previous game (60 percent). Sanders hasn’t scored in his past four games while delivering his top output in Week 2 (21.10) and Week 5 (23.90). If he played 16 games, Sanders would be on pace for 1,446 combined yards with six touchdowns and 38 catches. The Packers allow the second-most fantasy points (31.28) to running backs with failure in five games (34.00, 52.20, 32.00, 49.60, and 31.10 fantasy points). A winnable matchup, but he needs better quarterback play and a rebound in touchdowns. His glowing stat is 5.6 yards per rush.

D’Andre Swift, DET (DK – $6,500/FD – $6,800)

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 game of value came in Week 6 (123 combined yards with two touchdowns and three catches). Swift moved to 11th in running back scoring (14.51 FPPG). Detroit hopes to have him back in the starting lineup this week after missing two games with a concussion. The Bears have the sixth-best defense (20.82 FPPG) vs. the running back position. Two teams (ATL – 30.20 and NO – 31.50) scoring over 30.0 fantasy points. His pass-catching helps his floor, but this matchup is below-par.

Chris Carson, SEA (DK – $6,300/FD – $8,000)

After a four-game vacation with a foot injury, Carson returned to action against the Eagles. Seattle had him on the field for only 37 percent of their plays against the Eagles, leading to Carlos Hyde earning the most snaps in the second half. Carson finished 59 combined yards with a touchdown and two catches. He hasn’t rushed for over 100 yards in any game, with his value coming in Week 1 (24.60) and Week 4 (25.00). The Giants rank 25th defending running backs (26.14 FPPG), with three opponents scoring over 30.00 fantasy points (43.10, 30.70, and 34.40 fantasy points). New York will give up touchdowns (11) to running backs with damage in the passing game (66/556/3). In a split role for now, so I leave this club in the bag in Week 13.

Duke Johnson, HOU (DK – $5,800/FD – $6,000)

Over the last month, Johnson delivered two steady games (16.30 and 17.00 fantasy points) as a fill-in for David Johnson. Over this span, he gained 242 combined yards with two touchdowns and 10 catches on 59 touches. The Texans had him on the field for well over 80 percent of their plays from Week 9 to Week 12. David Johnson has a chance to play this week, which hurts Johnson's playable value in all formats. Indianapolis had their worst game of the year vs. the running backs in Week 12 (238 combined yards with three touchdowns and two catches. The Colts sit fifth vs. running backs (20.29 FPPG). Easy avoid even with a starting job.

Jonathan Taylor, IND (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,400)

After a three-week vacation in production (5.10, 10.40, and 5.70 fantasy points), Taylor emerged as the top running back for the Colts in Week 11 (114 combined yards with four catches on 26 touches). Taylor doesn’t have a week with over 20.00 fantasy points while offering the best value in Week 2 (110 combined yards with a touchdown and two catches). He missed last week’s game due to contact tracing with Covid. Running backs scored the third-most fantasy points (30.84 FPPG) against Houston. Six teams scored over 29.00 fantasy points. The Texans allow 4.9 yards per rush, with backs scoring 15 touchdowns. Taylor should score while having an outside chance at his best game of the season.

Kenyan Drake, ARI (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,600)

The Cardinals didn’t play well last week offensively, but Drake still finished with a competitive day (93 combined yards with two touchdowns and three catches). He scored six touchdowns over his previous six starts with an impact showing (28.40 fantasy points). Drake worked his way to 20th in running scoring (11.20 FPPG). In 2019, he gained 134 combined yards with a touchdown and five catches in two games vs. the Rams. Los Angeles ranks third in running back defense (20.24 FPPG). Their worst showing came in Week 1 (159 combined yards with two touchdowns and six catches). Over the past three weeks, Drake was on the field for 52 percent of their snaps. Improving, but his resume in this matchup isn’t great, especially when adding in Drake hasn’t scored at home in 2020.

Wayne Gallman, NYG (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,100)

Wayne Gallman out Week 5 Giants

The Giants continue to lean on Gallman as their lead runner. He extended his scoring streak to five games (six touchdowns). In Week 12, Gallman had a season-high 27 touches, leading to 91 combined yards with a touchdown and three catches. New York had him on the field for a season-high 63 percent of their snaps. Seattle showed risk defending running backs (25.65 FPPG – 25th) in four (38.40, 30.20, 33.20, and 30.90 fantasy points) of their previous six games. The Seahawks allow 3.9 yards per carry, but they did give 16 rushing touchdowns (11 to running backs). Daniel Jones may not play on Sunday, which leaves Gallman in the hands of Colt McCoy. More steady than explosive.

David Montgomery, CHI (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,200)

The fact or fiction question for Week 13 is whether Montgomery’s success in his last game (143 combined yards with one touchdown and five catches) is an accurate indication of his value going forward. Over his last six starts, he gained 515 combined yards with two touchdowns and 26 catches). Montgomery only has three touchdowns on the year while rushing for over 100 yards in one matchup. The Lions have the worst defense in the NFL vs. the running back position (34.18 FPPG), with five opponents beating them for 40.0 or more fantasy points. Enticing based on his recent uptick and potential impact upside.

Kareem Hunt, CLE (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,300)

Hunt ran the ball well last week (10/62), but his lack of catches and touchdown led to his worst showing of the year. Over the previous three games with Nick Chubb on the field, he gained 215 combined yards with one touchdown and four catches. Game flow is the key to Hunt’s opportunity. This week, the Titans have a good chance of playing from the lead, which points to a bump in the passing game's chances for the Browns’ running backs. A fading feel, but Hunt may surprise in Week 13.

Nyheim Hines, IND (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,400)

Hines' yo-yo output has been on an every week path over his last five games (21.20, 5.80, 28.50, 8.30, and 17.50 fantasy points). Over this span, his best value came via the pass (21/216/3). Hines delivered only one other playable game (73 combined yards with two touchdowns with eight catches). With Jonathan Taylor back in the starting lineup this week, Hines returns to his change of pace ways. Running backs have 53 catches for 479 yards and one touchdown against the Texans. Coin flip only with a much higher salary than Week 2 ($4,600).

Giovani Bernard, CIN (DK – $5,200/FD – $5,800)

Bernard has been almost unplayable in the season-long games over the previous three games (8.70, 9.50, and 6.90 fantasy points). The loss of Joe Burrow will be a massive problem for the Bengals’ offense down the stretch. Bernard played well in Week 7 (20.60) and Week 8 (22.80) at home. On the year, he gains only 3.4 yards per rush. The Dolphins moved up to 17th in running back defense (23.27 FPPG) after holding backs to fewer than 21.00 fantasy points in five of their previous six contests. Fading of the cheat sheet with no sense of a heartbeat coming.

Damien Harris, NE (DK – $5,200/FD – $5,900)

In his first game without Rex Burkhead stealing touches, Harris was on the field for a season-high 64 percent of New England's running snaps. He finished 14 rushes for 47 yards. Over the last five games, he gained 395 combined yards with two touchdowns and one catch while gaining 5.0 yards per rush. James White sniped a pair of touchdowns against the Cardinals. Los Angeles will give up production to running backs (24th – 25.27 FPPG). The Chargers allow 4.8 yards per carry, with running backs scoring 11 touchdowns. Possible big game in rushing yards, but scoring tends to be a problem with no real upside in the passing game. 

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