NFL DFS Week 17: Running Backs Report - Alexander Mattison Will Shine

An in-depth NFL DFS guide to the Week 17 running backs to target and fade when setting your daily lineups.
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Week 17 NFL DFS Reports


Alvin Kamara, NO (DK – $9,500/FD – $9,400)

After failing to gain over 100 yards rushing in any contest over his first 14 starts, Kamara dominated the Vikings in Week 16 (172 combined yards with three catches), highlighted by his six rushing touchdowns. He needs 68 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the first time in his career while already setting career-highs in touchdowns (21) and catches (83). Kamara leads the league in running back scoring (25.20 FPPG), with four impact games (38.40, 44.70, 34.80, and 56.20 fantasy points). In Week 7, he gained 148 combined yards with eight catches against the Panthers. Carolina worked their way to 25th in running back defense, but they did allow over 30.00 fantasy points to seven different opponents. They allow 4.7 yards per rush, with backs scoring 14 touchdowns. Running backs do have 93 catches for 629 yards and three scores vs. the Panthers. His higher salary requires 38.00 fantasy points to pay off. He is priced too high for me.

Derrick Henry, TEN (DK – $9,400/FD – $10,200)

Henry played well over the first two weeks (36.20 and 25.20 fantasy points) of the championship rounds in the season-long games, but a snowstorm in Green Bay led to a dull showing in Week 16 (23/98). He needs 223 rushing yards to reach 2,000. Henry averages 24.2 touches per game while averaging one touchdown. In Week 6, he gained 264 combined yards with two touchdowns and two catches against the Texans. Henry has two other impact games (38.50 and 36.20 fantasy points). Houston remains last in the league vs. running backs (32.30 FPPG), with failure in eighth matchups (37.20, 32.00, 36.50, 48.60, 34.80, 35.90, 38.50, and 50.30 fantasy points). Backs have 21 touchdowns while gaining 5.0 yards per rush with success in the passing game (81/723/2). His floor should be 150 yards with a pair of touchdowns.

David Montgomery, CHI (DK – $7,700/FD – $8,200)

Montgomery has been rock solid over his last five starts (25.30, 27.10, 24.50, 29.20, and 20.10 fantasy points), pushing him to sixth in running back scoring (15.84 FPPG). Over his hot streak, he gained 792 combined yards with seven touchdowns and 15 catches. Montgomery already set career-highs in rushing yards (1,001), touchdowns (9), catches (45), and receiving yards (375). The Packers do have risk against running backs (26.85 FPPG – 28th), with most of the damage coming in four matchups (34.00, 52.20, 32.00, and 49.60 fantasy points) over the first seven weeks. They allow 4.6 yards per rush, with running backs scoring 19 touchdowns. Montgomery should be active in this matchup, but his salary is above his best game of the season.

Nick Chubb, CLE (DK – $7,600/FD – $8,100)

The Jets held Chubb to a season-low 28 rushing yards while extending his scoring streak to five weeks (six touchdowns). He did have his best opportunity in the passing game (5/38). Chubb gained fewer than 85 rushing yards in his previous four matchups. He needs to gain 41 yards rushing to reach 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Chubb played well in four games (26.30, 24.00, 26.60, and 24.30 fantasy points), which still ranks below his needed outcome to fill his salary bucket at DraftKings. Pittsburgh has the second-best defense against running backs (18.61 FPPG), with their worst showing in Week 16 (30.80 fantasy points). The Steelers will rest players this week, and Chubb did rush for over 100 yards in four games (22/124/2, 19/108/2, 19/126/1, and 20/114) at home. Reasonable floor, while being a while card option in Week 17.

Austin Ekeler, LAC (DK – $7,500/FD – $7,700)

Since returning from the injured list, Ekeler played well in two (23.90 and 23.60 fantasy points) of five matchups while having a floor of 10.80 fantasy points. Over this span, he gained 490 combined yards with 31 catches and only one touchdown. His top game came in Week 3 (31.30 fantasy points). The Chargers had him on the field for about 62 percent of their plays over the last four weeks. Ekeler finished with 148 combined yards with four catches against the Chiefs. Kansas City ranks 22nd against running backs (24.75 FPPG). Four teams scored over 30.00 fantasy points, with most of the damage coming in two contests (41.70 and 45.80 fantasy points). The Chiefs will rest players this week, but his salary is above his expected production and previous success.

Jonathan Taylor, IND (DK – $7,400/FD – $8,400)

Over the last month, Taylor gained 469 combined yards with six touchdowns and nine catches (22.98 FPPG). His success pushed him to seventh in running back scoring (14.36 FPPG) while needing 84 rushing yards to reach 1,000 in his rookie season. His best game (30.50 fantasy points) came in Week 14. The Colts gave him 20 touches per game over the past three weeks. In Week 1, Taylor gained 89 combined yards with six catches against Jacksonville. The Jaguars sit 30th against running backs (28.91 FPPG). Three different opponents gained over 200 rushing yards with plenty of damage in touchdowns (18) to running backs. Taylor looks poised to finish the year on a high note, helping the Colts make a push for the playoffs.

Aaron Jones, GB (DK – $7,100/FD – $8,000)

Jones hit on a 59-yard run last week, but he still finished with another dull showing (108 combined yards with two catches) for the daily contests. Over his last four starts at home, he gained 504 combined yards with two touchdowns and nine catches. Jones ranks fifth in running back scoring (16.03 FPPG), but he only has one impact game (45.60 fantasy points) while averaging 17.5 touches over his last eight starts. The Bears held him to 90 yards in Week 12. Chicago allowed 20.81 FPPG (7th), with their most significant weakness in two matchups (30.20 and 31.50 fantasy points). Green Bay continues to rotate in a second running back, and A.J. Dillon played well in Week 16 (21/124/2). Tough to trust based on his current salary and weakness in chances.

David Johnson, HOU (DK – $6,800/FD – $7,300)

Despite four missed games and an early exit in Week 9, Johnson averaged 15.79 fantasy points in his other ten matchups. His play has been exceptional over the last two weeks (272 combined yards with two touchdowns and 14 catches). The Texans had him on the field for 96 percent of their plays in Week 16, with Duke Johnson inactive and 80 percent in the previous game. Deshaun Watson connected with him on all 14 targets over the last two weeks. Johnson gained 69 combined yards with a touchdown and one catch in Week 6 vs. the Titans. Tennessee fell to 26th defending running backs after getting run over by the Packers in Week 16 (37/234/2). They allow 4.5 yards per rush, with backs scoring 19 touchdowns. Rising salary, but his recent play does give him a chance to pay off.

J.K. Dobbins, BAL (DK – $6,700/FD – $6,400)

Dobbins picked up a touchdown in each of his last five starts while gaining 352 combined yards with three catches. Even with a better opportunity over the second half of the season, he still hasn’t scored over 19.00 fantasy points in any matchup. His best success in yards (121) came in Week 8. Dobbins gains 5.3 yards per rush while remaining in a three-way split for touches in Baltimore. Cincinnati is about league average defending running backs (23.69 FPPG). Other than a disaster game (51.40 fantasy points) in Week 2, the Bengals have held running backs to fewer than 30.00 fantasy points in 14 of their other 15 games. Overpriced unless Dobbins hits on a long run or multiple touchdowns.

Myles Gaskin, MIA (DK – $6,500/FD – $6,700)

After missing six of the previous seven games, Gaskin returned just in time to keep the Dolphins’ playoff hopes alive. He finished 169 combined yards with two touchdowns and five catches on 19 touches against the Raiders. His 59-yard catch for a touchdown highlighted his game. Over nine games of action, Gaskin gained 895 combined yards with four touchdowns and 37 catches (16.77 FPPG). His only other game with over 20.00 fantasy points came in Week 5 (91 combined yards with one touchdown and five catches). In a limited role in Week 2 against the Bills, Gaskin gained 82 yards with six catches. Buffalo ranks 14th in running back defense (23.35 FPPG). They allow 4.7 yards per carry with 13 touchdowns and 69 catches. I don’t see a repeat of last week, but Gaskin will be active in this matchup.

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (DK – $6,400/FD – $6,500)

A week after watching Tony Pollard shine as his replacement (132 combined yards with two touchdowns and six catches), Elliott gained 139 combined yards with four catches on 23 touches). Over his previous three weeks, he gained 193 combined yards with seven catches on only 47 touches. Since Week 5, Elliott only has one touchdown (none rushing). Over the first four weeks of the season, Dallas had him on the field for about 88 percent of their plays, compared to 63 percent in Week 13 and 14 with regression last week (53 percent). His best game came in Week 1 (127 combined yards with two touchdowns and three catches). Elliott played well in his first matchup (23.50 fantasy points) against the Giants. New York allows 25.00 FPPG (23rd), with three teams scoring over 30.00 fantasy points. Only in a split role with weakness in scoring.

D'Andre Swift, DET (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,500)

Over the last two weeks, Swift was on the field for about two-thirds of the Lions’ plays. Over this span, he gained 152 combined yards with two touchdowns and eight catches. Swift scored over 20.00 fantasy points in three games (27.30, 25.90, and 23.20 fantasy points). His value in touchdowns (9) and catches (43) helps his floor. He gained 97 yards with three catches against the Vikings earlier in the year. Minnesota dropped to 27th vs. the running back position (26.43 FPPG) after allowing 71.20 fantasy points against the Saints. Over the previous 11 games, they only allowed six touchdowns. I don’t think Matthew Stafford will play this week, which is a downgrade to Detroit’s offense.

Josh Jacobs, LV (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,400)

The Raiders had Jacobs on the field for fewer than 55 percent of their past three games. His play has been suspect over his last five starts (365 combined yards with two touchdowns and 10 catches). He only has two games of value (35.90 and 29.60 fantasy points) while gaining a disappointing 3.8 yards per rush. Jacobs gained over 20 yards on only two of his 242 carries. He did run the ball well against the Broncos (136 combined with two touchdowns and four catches). Denver is league average against running backs (23.51 FPPG). They struggled in four matchups (50.90, 35.90, 32.60, and 31.70 fantasy points). The Broncos allow 4.8 yards per rush, with backs scoring 14 touchdowns. Not playing well, and his touches don’t support his salary at DraftKings.

Chris Carson, SEA (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,000)

Carson has been a boring option over his last five games (415 combined yards with three touchdowns and 13 catches), but he did gain 4.9 yards per rush. The Seahawks gave him 15.4 touches per game over this span. Over his 10 full games, Carson hasn’t gained over 80 yards rushing in any week. His best two games (24.60 and 25.00 fantasy points) came in Week 1 and 4. The 49ers have the sixth-best defense vs. running backs (20.48 FPPG), with failure in two games (40.50 and 32.30 fantasy points). San Francisco gave up seven rushing touchdowns over their previous 10 games. Carson has been on the field for fewer than 55 percent of the Seahawks’ snaps over the last five weeks. Tough to get excited here.

Alexander Mattison, MIN (DK – $6,100/FD – $5,000)

With Dalvin Cook out this week with a personal issue, Mattison should see the most snaps for the Vikings in Week 17. He missed last week’s game with a concussion, but he did turn in a limited practice on Wednesday. Mattison gained only 30 yards with one catch in his only start, which came after playing well in a relief role the previous week (136 combined yards with three catches on 23 touches). This season Minnesota’s running backs gained 2,521 combined yards with 23 touchdowns and 62 catches. Detroit has the second-worst defense against running backs (31.47 FPPG). Five opponents scored over 40.0 fantasy points. The Lions allowed 29 touchdowns to running backs. Great matchup if he does indeed earn the full share of running back snaps in Minnesota.

Jeff Wilson, SF (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,300)

The 49ers gave Wilson the whole show in Week 16, leading to an impressive 204 combined yards with one touchdown and one catch. He has a score in his last three games while also playing well in Week 7 (120 combined yards with three touchdowns and two catches). San Francisco had him on the field for 70 percent of their plays. Seattle ranks 18th defending running backs (23.87 FPPG). Over the past 11 matchups, they allowed over 30.00 fantasy points in six games. Wilson is an intriguing player who takes a slight hit by the downgrade at quarterback and the loss of another top wide receiver for the 49ers.

Kareem Hunt, CLE (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,400)

Hunt will go down as a value running back in the season-long games, but his play tends to be more steady than explosive. He scored between 12.10 and 19.20 fantasy points in seven games while shining in two matchups (24.10 and 29.00 fantasy points). Over the last three weeks, the Browns gave him only 29 combined touches. Hunt still ranks ninth in running back scoring (14.23 FPPG). In Week 6, he gained 57 yards with two catches against the Steelers. A rotational player with a sliding opportunity. Hunt is priced too high based on his recent results.

Ronald Jones, TB (DK – $5,900/FD – $6,600)

Tampa will have the services of Jones in Week 17, and he should slide into the starting lineup. His best play came in two matchups (26.10 and 25.80 fantasy points). Jones needs 100 rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the first time in his career. He gains 5.0 yards per rush with seven touchdowns over 13 games. Only three times this season has he had over 60 percent of the running back snaps. Atlanta has the 10th-best defense against running backs (20.99) after holding them to fewer than 22.00 fantasy points in seven of their previous contests. Even so, running backs have 11 touchdowns with some weakness in catches (87). Not a lock to get a high number of touches as Tampa will rotate in another running back or two.

Melvin Gordon, DEN (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,800)

Gordon fell short of expectation in Week 16 (16/79). Over the previous four games, he gained 383 combined yards with two touchdowns and eight catches. With Phillip Lindsay out last week, the Broncos had him on the field for two-thirds of their plays. Gordon played well in two games (25.80 and 24.10 fantasy points). The Raiders held him to 46 yards on 11 carries in Week 10. Las Vegas allows 4.7 yards per rush, with back scoring 20 touchdowns. They allowed two rushing touchdowns or more in nine different games. Gordon tends to have a low opportunity in the passing game (28/141/1). In the mix at this level.

Kenyan Drake, ARI (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,200)

With Chase Edmonds banged up last week, Drake was on the field for 63 percent of the Cardinals’ plays. Over his previous seven starts, he had a max of 56 percent of the playing time. Drake gained fewer than 80 yards in his last six games, but he scored six times over this span while averaging 18 touches. His best two games (28.40 and 24.30 fantasy points) came in Week 6 and Week 12. The Rams held him 58 combined yards with a touchdown and two catches in their first matchup. Los Angeles ranks fifth vs. running backs (20.31 FPPG). Drake needs 91 yards to reach 1,000 for the first time of his career. Not ideal, but no Edmonds will be a win for his chances.

Wayne Gallman, NYG (DK – $5,300/FD – $5,700)

Gallman struggled to make plays over the past two games (9/29 and 63 combined yards with two catches on eight touches). After scoring six touchdowns over five matchups, he failed to reach paydirt over his previous four games. Gallman gained 634 combined yards with six touchdowns and 16 catches over the last nine weeks. New York had him on the field for fewer than 50 percent of their plays over the past month. Dallas allows 25.09 FPPG (24th), with struggles in five matchups (31.90, 36.00, 32.30, 47.00, and 31.60 fantasy points). The Cowboys allow 5.0 yards per rush while allowing 16 touchdowns to running backs. A good matchup, but his touches tend to be up and down.

Samaje Perine, CIN (DK – $4,700/FD – $5,700)

With Giovani Bernard gaining only 3.4 yards per rush, Perine may get the starting gig in Week 17 after playing well off the bench against the Texans (136 combined yards with two touchdowns and four catches). Baltimore sits 12th against running backs (22.56 FPPG), with most of the damage coming in two games (41.50 and 53.30 fantasy points). I don’t expect a full ride of touches, and his matchup doesn’t point to an impactful game.

Dare Ogunbowale, JAC (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,600)

With James Robinson out last week, Ogunbowale saw 71 percent of the Jaguars' running back snaps. He finished with 78 combined yards with three catches on 17 touches. He will receive his second start this week with a minimal resume (430 combined yards with two touchdowns and 41 catches) in the NFL. The Colts allow 22.63 FPPG (13th) to running backs, with only one team scoring over 30.00 fantasy points. Ogunbowale is a starter by name, but an early game struggle could lead to a downgrade in touches. His ability in the passing game does help his floor.

Ty Johnson, NYJ (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,000)

The path has been cleared for Johnson to start in Week 17 after the Jets lost Frank Gore to an injury and La’Mical Perine to a Covid issue. In his only game with starting touches (24), Johnson gained 117 combined yards with one touchdown and two catches. He brings speed to the running back position with some value in pass-catching. The Patriots fell to 21st defending running backs (24.05 FPPG). They’ve struggled in four (50.90, 30.30, 32.60, and 46.50 fantasy points) of their previous 10 matchups. Johnson is worth a flier as a salary savior.

Malcolm Brown, LAR (DK – $4,300/FD – $5,600)

The running back situation for the Rams looks extremely messing in a must-win game against the Cardinals. Darrell Henderson is out with an ankle injury, and Cam Akers wants to play through his high ankle issue. Brown also landed on the injury report this week with a shoulder problem. The Cardinals slipped to 19th against running backs (23.88 FPPG) after getting drilled by the 49ers’ backs in Week 16 (268 combined yards with three touchdowns and seven catches). Brown’s best showing came in Week 1 (110 combined yards with two touchdowns and three catches). Only in play of his shoulder issue is minor. 

MORE DFS: Week 17 DFS Hub