NFL DFS Strategy

The Chalkboard Week 2 – Running Back

Hey, LineupLogic listeners! I would like to welcome you to the“The Chalkboard”. In these articles, I will be determining which players on Fanduel are chalky (highest ownership percentages) and trying to decide which players may go lower owned. Selecting these high-upside, lower owned players will give us an edge on the competition in GPPs.

For each option, I will give my projected ownership, why I believe they will be owned at that percentage and whether I like or dislike that player this week. Starting this week, I will also be including a 0-100 point per dollar grade to determine how much I like each option.

The Chalkboard – Running Backs

Chalky Options


Kareem Hunt ($7,800) PHI @ KC – 20%

Why? – 2 Words…Week One. His performance was insane and people will be chasing a repeat performance from Hunt this week.

Like/Dislike – Dislike – If you are rolling out 10 plus lineups then sure, throw him in a couple. I need to see more from him to justify dropping $7,800 on him.

Grade – 75/100

Ty Montgomery ($6,500) GB @ ATL – 18.5%

Why? – I expect a lot of people to pay up for Rodgers, Brady and Julio Jones. You need a cheap running back to do that and Montgomery fits the bill perfectly.

Like/Dislike – Like – According to the Vegas total, the Packers are underdogs. I don’t see it playing out like that and think the Packers will take an early lead and start running the ball frequently. Montgomery looked good against an elite Seahawks defense. The Falcons defense is not even close to being as good as the Seahawks. He is a very very solid option.

Grade – 92/100

Le’Veon Bell ($9,000) MIN @ PIT – 16.5%

Why? – Despite his first week performance, Bell is still one of the best running backs in football. We all know this, but with other expensive “must play” options like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski, I think ownership on Bell will drop slightly.

Like/Dislike – Like – I think Pittsburg will take an early lead and lean on a more balanced pass/run combo. Last week Bell had 10 carries, but he should get around 15-20 this week. One of my favorite options.

Grade – 94/100

Marshawn Lynch ($7,200) NYJ @ OAK – 14%

Why? – Oakland is a 13 point favorite. That means he will run the ball like he did before he started doing Skittles commercials.

Like/Dislike – Like – If Marshawn carries the ball over 20 times, he will be fantasy gold. I’m somewhat weary that Oakland won’t want to overwork him, but I’m willing to take that risk for the incredible upside he offers.

Grade – 95/100

Ezekiel Elliot ($8,700) DAL @ DEN – 13.5%

Why? – Elliot put up 100 yards and 16.5 FDP against a solid Giants team. Elliot is super consistent which is what you want in a running back.

Like/Dislike – Like – I’m not expecting the Cowboys to be able to pass a whole lot against Denver so they will feed their workhorse. He should get 20+ carries making him a reliable option. I think there are better spots for value though.

Grade – 85/100

Kerwynn Williams ($6,100) ARI @ IND – 12.5%

Why? – Willams is going to be the lead back after D.J. went down last week. A lot of people will be on him hoping he will take advantage of a bad Colts defense.

Like/Dislike – Dislike – Todd Gurley only averaged 2.1 yards against the Colts last week. He could have a good game, but I am definitely not taking a risk when I can pay $400 more for Ty Montgomery.

Grade – 60/100

Pivots/Lower-Owned Options

I like all of the pivots that I am giving so I will be including my reasoning in the “grade” category.


Leonard Fournette ($7,600) TEN @ JAC – 8%

Why? – Fournette had a solid debut and the Jags proved they aren’t scared of using him as a workhorse. He may be higher owned, but there are a lot of good options on this slate and I think he may go a little overlooked.

Grade – 90/100 – Fournette will get more usage after Allen Robinson went down last week. He has a ton of upside and could get up to 30 carries. He’s the definition of a workhorse back and you can feel safe playing him in all formats.

Jay Ajayi ($7,900) MIA @ LAC – 6%

Why? – There are a lot of other solid options in this price point and he will go overlooked.

Grade – 87/100 – I like him for this reason. Do you trust Jay Cutler? I don’t and I doubt that the Dolphins do either. They do however trust Ajayi and he will probably get 20+ carries which gives him a good amount of upside.

DeMarco Murray ($7,500) TEN @ JAC – 5%

Why? – His performance last week was subpar and nobody will want to play offensive players against the Jacksonville defense.

Grade – 89/100 – I like Murray as a very low-owned GPP option this week. I get that Jacksonville’s defense wreaked havoc on the Texans last week. That was against an abysmal offensive line. I don’t see them doing the same against the rock solid O-line of the Titans.

Andre Ellington ($4,900) ARI @ IND – 5%

Why? – He won’t be owned as high as Kerwynn Williams because he’s the 2nd string RB now. He’s much cheaper though which means he will garner a little bit of ownership here.

Grade – 85/100 – Boom-or-Bust pick of the week right here. I’m going to have him in 1 or 2 lines because of his price. I also like a receiving back versus the Colts. I know we only have week 1 to go by, but Todd Gurley (2.1 YPC versus Colts) had 5 receptions for 56 yards and a TD. If Ellington can replicate those receiving stats, he will be a steal at this price.

Terrance West/Buck Allen ($6,600)/($4,900) CLE @ BAL 3%

Why? – Nobody knows who will get carries on this offense so they will stay away.

Grade – 85/100 & 75/100 – I think Terrance West will get the majority of the carries this week, but I included both because either player could have a good game. I will probably have West in one of my lineups, but I’m going to fade Allen unless I get more information regarding his expected usage.

Tarik Cohen ($4,900) CHI @ TB – 3%-15%

Why? – He will go lower owned if Jordan Howard plays. However, if Howard sits, he will be one of the chalkiest RBs this week.

Grade – 80/100 (Howard plays) 100/100 (Howard sits) – I love this play if Howard ends up sitting out. I think he’s still sort of viable if Howard plays, but only if you think the Bears will limit his snaps.

That’s it for my week 2 Running Back breakdown. Be sure to check out my QB, WR and TE “chalkboard” articles as well. Follow me on twitter @joejberg where I am open to answering any fantasy related questions you may have. Thanks for reading and let’s go out and make some money!

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