Christian McCaffrey, CAR (DK – $10,000/FD – $9,700)
The daily sites pushed up McCaffrey’s salary in Week 9, which almost requires a 40-point game to pay off. He averages over 30.0 Fantasy points in DK scoring with three impact games (42.90, 33.90, and 47.70 Fantasy points) with two games coming at home. McCaffrey has two TDs in three games. The Panthers give him 25.7 touches per games with trailing value in the passing game (39/343/2). The Titans are 11th in RB defense (22.89 FPPG) with only one team scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (ATL – 132 combined yards with one TD and ten catches). Tennessee allows only 3.9 yards per catch with RBs scoring four TDs. McCaffrey should be active in the passing game with the Titans show some risk in this area (52/406/1). This matchup doesn’t look explosive. When paired with his higher salary, I expect McCaffrey to be a lower percentage own in Week 9.
Dalvin Cook, MIN (DK – $9.500/FD – $9,000)
Cook continues to threaten the second and third levels of the defense, with many of his touches each game. After eight games, he has 1,116 combined yards with nine TDs and 29 catches while averaging 24.20 Fantasy points per game. His star shined even brighter in his previous two games (27.90 and 28.10 Fantasy points). In his eight starts, Cook scored between 24.30 to 28.10 Fantasy points in five games. Even with a great resume, he needs to have the best game of the year to fill his salary bucket in Week 9. The Chiefs fell to 30th in RB defense (30.91 fPPG) after getting dusted by RBs in Week 8 (262 combined yards with four TDs and ten catches). Kansas City allows 4.9 yards per rush with RBs scoring 12 TDs with damage as well in the passing game (45/470/4). It’s easy to pick on last week's terrible defense, but Cook looks poised for a great game with a circle next to his name in the daily contests.
Le’Veon Bell, NYJ (DK – $7,700/FD – $7,000)
Bell comes in with the third-highest RB scoring ($7,700) on Sunday despite ranking fifth in RB scoring (14.09 FPPG). Since Sam Darnold returned to the starting lineup, Bell lost his value (12.30, 8.60, and 6.50 Fantasy points) with only 164 combined yards with one TD and five catches on only 14 touches per game. His season started with a high volume opportunity (25.3 touches per game) despite gaining only 2.9 yards per rush and 6.0 yards per catch. Miami began 2019 with the worst RB defense in the NFL after allowing 36.67 Fantasy points per game over four games. They cleaned up their defense over their last three contests with RBs scoring only 20.67 FPPG. The Dolphins allows 4.8 yards per rush with RB scoring 11 TDs. Miami will give up yards on the ground, but the Jets need to play better offensively. I can’t write him off as a 100-yard rushing game with a TD, and some value in the passing game puts him in the mix of his salary level. His match says, “yes,” but his play spells trap.
Nick Chubb, CLE (DK – $7,300/FD – $8,100)
Chubb ran the ball well last week (20/131), but he did make two critical fumbles. His success on the ground may show a future crack in the Patriots’ defense. Over his previous four games, he gained 559 combined yards with five TDs and ten catches while averaging 21.5 touches per game. The Broncos are league average defending RBs (24.10 FPPG) with failure in two games (JAC – 294 combined yards with a TD and three catches and LAC – 138 combined yards with 20 catches). Denver allows 4.1 yards per rush with RBs scoring six TDs. On paper, this looks like a below-par matchup. With a backup QB making his first NFL start, the Browns should run the ball a ton with Chubb scoring at least one TD with over 100 yards rushing.
Chris Carson, SEA (DK – $7,200/FD – $8,200)
The Seahawks gave Carson over 20 touches in five straight games, leading to 591 combined yards with three TDs and 12 catches. He ranks 9th in RB scoring (16.25 FPPG) in PPR leagues while averaging 22.6 touches per game. His best two games came in Week 1 (25.00) and Week 6 (25.90). The Bucs continue to play well defending RBs (3rd – 16.29 FPPG). Tampa allows only 3.0 yards per rush with RBs scoring five TDs. Last week Carson saw his playing time drop to 69 percent with Rashaad Penny finally healthy. More of an against the grain play with some disaster downside.
Aaron Jones, GB (DK – $7,000/FD – $7,700)
Jones has been quite over his previous three games on the ground (11/47, 12/50, and 13/67) while seeing Jamaal Williams steal some of his upside and opportunity. Last week he saved his day with a great day in the passing game (7/159/2). Despite averaging 18.5 touches per game, Jones is the third-highest scoring RB in PPR leagues. He missed practice this week with a shoulder issue, which may lead to a step back in touches on Sunday. The Chargers fell to 21st in RB defense (26.19 FPPG) with fade in three of their previous four games (223 combined yards with one TD and three catches, 208 combined yards with one TD and eight catches, and 214 combined yards with one TD and eight catches). A hot and cold player with a teammate that makes him tough to buy.
Josh Jacobs, OAK (DK – $6,500/FD – $7,200)
Jacobs looks the stud RB1 part while battling a bum shoulder over the previous few games. Last week he gained 81 combined yards with two catches on 17 touches with only 55 percent of the RB snaps. On the year, the Raiders have had him on the field for 56.8 percent of their plays, which is well below the top RBs in the game. His value in the passing game (11/102) also remains low. The Lions fell to 32nd in RB defense (31.67 FPPG) after allowing over 30.0 Fantasy points to RBs in five of their previous six games. Detroit allows 4.7 yards per rush with RBs scoring ten TDs. Oakland will rush for well over 100 yards in this game with Jacobs rewarded with a solid game. Unfortunately, he may need to score two TDs to be in play.
Marlon Mack, IND (DK – $6,300/FD – $6,900)
Mack has a front runner feel at RB, where he’ll bury a team when momentum is on his side. The Colts give him 21.3 touches per game, but his low value in the passing game (11/68) hurt his floor. Over half of his rushing yards (590) came in two games (25/174/1 and 29/132) on the road. Mack only has three TDs in seven games. The Steelers worked their way to ninth in QB defense (22.09 FPPG) after holding to fewer than 17.00 Fantasy points in four straight contests. Pittsburgh allows 3.7 yards per rush with RB scoring four TDs. Tough sledding should be expected for Mack in this matchup.
Austin Ekeler, LAC (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,500)
Ekeler remains fourth in RB scoring (21.60 FPPG) despite two short games (5.80 and 10.20 Fantasy points) over the previous three weeks. Since Melvin Gordon returned to action, he only has 14 rushes for 31 yards while maintaining his value in the passing game (27/237/2). The Packers tend to minimize the damage to RBs in the passing game (45/329/1). Overpriced for his new opportunity.
Jamaal Williams, GB (DK – $5,900/FD – $5,400)
Williams has a TD in the passing in three straight games. Over his previous three games, he gained 203 combined yards with four TDs and 11 catches while averaging 12.3 touches per game. DraftKings has him priced like a starter despite only being in the field for about 45 percent of the Packers’ plays over the previous three games. If Aaron Jones didn’t play this week, Williams would move into the RB value column.
Derrick Henry, TEN (DK – $5,700/FD – $6,800)
The Titans remain committed to Henry over the first half of 2019. He’s on pace for 1,418 combined yards with 12 TDs and 16 catches while averaging 19.8 touches per game. Most of his results tend to fall in the mid-teen range with his highlight game coming in Week 1 (159 combined yards with two TDs and one catch). The Panthers had no answer for the 49ers’ RBs in Week 8 (56.40 Fantasy points), pushing them back to 26th in RB defense (27.49 FPPG). Carolina allows 5.0 yards per rush with RBs scoring 13 TDs. The Titans don’t have the running game of San Fran, but Henry will have room to run in this matchup with a TD in the cards.
Phillip Lindsey, DEN (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,200)
Lindsey came out of last week’s game with a wrist issue, which put gives him a questionable tag for this week’s game. His success was limited in his previous two games (108 combined yards with six catches on 15.5 touches per game). Denver had him on the field for fewer than 50 percent of their plays in five straight games. The Browns ranks 23rd in the NFL defending RBs (21.60 FPPG) with a disastrous showing in Week 5 (SF – 313 combined yards with three TDs and five catches). RBs gain 4.8 yards per rush with RBs scoring five TDs. Only a coin flip with his injury being a negative to his playable value in the daily games.
David Montgomery, CHI (DK – $5,200/FD – $6,600)
Last week Montgomery didn’t earn the worthy card to be written about in the RB report in Week 8. He hit on a long run (55-yards), helping set up his best game (147 combined yards with one TD and four catches) in his young career. His yards per rush (3.7) and yards per catch (6.5) rank below the league average while averaging 16.1 touches per game. The Eagles held RBs to fewer than 23.00 Fantasy points in seven of their eight games. They allow 3.9 yards per rush with seven TDs. Possible progression game, but this isn’t a great matchup.
Jordan Howard, PHI (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,300)
Howard will face his former team this week with a bump in playing time after an injury to Miles Sanders. Last week he had season-high in touches (24), which led to 111 combined yards with a TD and one catch. Over his past six games, Howard gained 430 combined yards with six TDs and six catches while averaging 14.3 touches per game. He’s on pace for 1,022 combined yards with 12 TDs and 18 catches. The Bears fell to 24th in RB defense (27.06 FPPG) after struggling vs. RBs in Week 5 (OAK – 218 combined yards with three TDs and eight catches) and Week 7 (178 combined yards with two TDs and eight catches). Even with their slide vs. RBs, Chicago still only allows 3.6 yards per rush with RBs scoring eight TDs. Possible workload opportunity puts him in play if he hits on a TD. In the mix at this level.
Melvin Gordon, LAC (DK – $5,000/FD – $6,300)
A TD in back-to-back games helped Gordon at least have a pulse in the season-long games despite gaining only 63 combined yards with four catches over this span. After four games of action, Gordon gained only 149 combined yards with two TDs and 11 catches while averaging only 2.5 yards per rush and 3.4 yards per catch. The Packers ranks 25th defending RBs (27.36 FPPG) with RBs gaining 4.8 yards per rush with eight rushing TDs. A talented player who isn’t playing well along with his offensive line. Maybe a chance at offensive coordinator helps unlock the missing link in big plays on the ground.
Ty Johnson, DET (DK – $4,900/FD – $5,500)
Johnson proved to be a fraud in Week 8, with some of his downside tied to the game management by the head coach. He gained only 38 combined yards with a catch on eight touches while being on the field for 40 percent of the RB snaps with the Lions working in two other RBs. No matter the matchup, Johnson is only a gamble until he works his way to more chances.
Royce Freeman, DEN (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,100)
Freeman has a TD in two straight games, but his opportunity remains in flux with his split in snaps with Phillip Lindsey. The Broncos had him on the field for about 58 percent of their snaps over his previous five games. Freeman averages 14.3 touches per game with growth in the passing game (26/182). If Phillip Lindsey is limited in this game, Freeman will be a value while having a favorable matchup.
LeSean McCoy, KC (DK – $4,800/FD – $6,000)
The backfield in KC remains a mess at the midpoint of 2019. McCoy hasn’t scored a TD in four games while failing to seize the pass-catching opportunity (19/129/1). His playing time declined in over his previous three games (50, 43, and 39 percent). McCoy averages only 11 touches per game. The Vikings rank 5th in the NFL defending RBs with six opponents scoring 20.0 Fantasy points or fewer in eight contests. More risk than reward due to three-way split for snaps in Kansas City.
Devin Singletary, BUF (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,100)
Last week Singletary flashed on his 28-yard TD, which led to 49 combined yards with four catches while receiving only seven touches. Buffalo did have him on the field for 68 percent of the RB snaps with a chaser game working toward his playing time. His overall game offers the most upside for Buffalo at RB once they decide to commit to him. Washington ranks 28th defending RBs (28.11 FPPG) with four of the previous five opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy point. Sneaky RB option, but his playing time isn’t a lock.
Mark Walton, MIA (DK – $4,500/FD – $5,700)
After trading Kenyan Drake before last week’s game, Walton received 87 percent of the RB snaps against Pittsburgh. He gained only 54 combined yards with three catches on 14 touches. Miami gave him 29 touches over the past two games. The Jets are 27th in the league defending RBs (27.84 FPPG), but they allow only 3.3 yards per rush. On the positive side, RBs do have eight rushing TDs with some success in the passing game (50/404) vs. New York. His matchup and projections give him a chance, but Miami may use Kalen Ballage as the goal line back. Tough getting excited about a Miami player, but his opportunity with a TD added to his salary does give him a fighter’s chance.
Tarik Cohen, CHI (DK – $4,200/FD – $5,300)
The Bears failed to get Cohen involved in their offense over the first half of the year. He’s gained only 240 yards with one TD and 32 catches, which is well below his success in 2018 (1,169 combined yards with 71 catches and eight TDs). Last week the Bears only had him on the field for 21 percent of their plays. Cohen needs a chaser game, and Chicago has to figure how to get him in space.
Ronald Jones, TB (DK – $4,100/FD – $5,600)
The RB rotation in Tampa remains messy with no player being counted on as Fantasy option in any week. After seven games, Jones doesn’t have a game with over 50 percent of the RB snaps. Over the last two weeks, he’s only been on the field for 16 and 27 percent of the RB snaps. Jones gains only 118 combined yards with one TD and three catches with nine touches per game. Seattle ranks 11th in RB defense (23.05 FPPG), but they do allow 4.9 yards per rush with RBs scoring seven TDs. One of Tampa’s RBs may surprise with Jones being the top option if the Bucs don’t fall behind early.
Jaylen Samuels, PIT (DK – $4,000/FD – $5,000)
With James Conner expected to miss this week’s game with a shoulder injury, Samuels should be in position to be the lead back for Pittsburgh with three-down value. His salary is lower than expected due to the Steelers playing on Monday night. Samuel has trailing stats in yards per rush (2.8) and yards per catch (6.4) in 2019, but he did shine in Week 4 (83 combined yards with one TD and eight catches). The Colts played well defending RBs over their previous six games, with five teams scoring fewer than 21.00 Fantasy points. Indy does allow 4.8 yards per rush with RBs scoring seven TDs in seven games. The key for me with Samuels in Week 9 in the daily games is the health and availability of Benny Snell, who suffered a knee injury last week as well. Viable at this level with a chance to shine.