Hey LineupLogic listeners! I would like to welcome you to “The Chalkboard”. In these articles, I will give my take on some possible under-owned pivots to chalky players and why they could be a better option. Choosing some of these lower owned players in GPPs will give you an edge on the competition and possibly help you take home some serious cash.
The Chalkboard – Running Back
Le’Veon Bell ($9,700) vs Cincinnati
Pros – The best running back that Cincinnati has faced is Ty Montgomery who they held in check. Ty Mont isn’t nearly as good as Bell and they may have trouble containing him. He is one of the only running backs who has 2 TD upside in any matchup which is why he is priced so high.
Cons – The trend with Bell’s workload continued last week. He is only receiving over 15 carries every other week and I can see that continuing this week. Cincy is only allowing 3.8 YPC on the year and if I can’t trust Bell to get enough touches, I’m not paying this much for him. It’s a ridiculous price tag for a ceiling of around 3x value.
Projection – 21 FDP (2.2x value) – I am perfectly content fading Bell this week. I’m not going to play a player at almost $10,000 who may only get 15 carries. I understand the matchup favors Bell more than anybody else in this game, but I don’t want a running back who needs 29 points to give me 3x value. I may play end up changing my mind last minute and throwing him in one lineup, but I will not have any more exposure than that. There are many other places I’d rather spend this week.
Ezekiel Elliot ($8,700) @ San Francisco
Pros – Volume, volume, volume. Elliot has received 25+ touches in all but one game this season. If Elliot gets the ball enough he will end up producing. It’s as simple as that. The Niners are allowing 1.7 carries inside of the 5-yard line and Elliot is averaging 3.4 red zone carries per game. All of that should equal a touchdown for Elliot this week.
Cons – Dallas may exploit San Francisco’s terrible pass defense and only score through the air. The 49ers have only allowed 3.6 YPC on the season and that leaves Zeke to gain points on rushing yards alone. Elliot without a touchdown is not somebody that I want this week.
Projection – 16 FDP (1.8x value) – I think Elliot ends up scoring this week, but your choice whether or not to pick him should be based on whether or not you think he can score twice. That’s the only way I really see Elliot as an elite play this weekend because I don’t see him having a high yardage total against a decent Niners rush defense.
DeVonta Freeman ($7,800) @ New England
Pros – Falcons have high implied team total in a shootout. The Patriots have allowed 4.7 YPC with 3 rushing TDs to running backs. They have also allowed 457 receiving yards to running backs (most in the NFL) along with 3 TDs. Freeman is in one of the best situations on the slate and it is hard to find a reason not to play him.
Cons – The only con I can think of is Tevin Coleman scoring rather than Freeman. It’s possible, but Freeman will still receive more total touches than Coleman.
Projection – 20 FDP (2.6x value) – I don’t see Freeman going without a touchdown in this game. The matchup is just too good for a running back of his caliber.
Mark Ingram ($7,100) @ Green Bay
Pros – Green Bay has been mediocre against the run and Ingram had a great performance last week. The Saints should take this one fairly easily and they may feed the ball to Ingram to eat up the clock. He could mimic last week’s performance if given enough carries.
Cons – The Packers are worse against receiving backs which may mean that the Saints will opt to give Alvin Kamara more touches this week. Kamara has had a better YPC average all season and the Saints should recognize this and give Kamara more touches limiting Ingram’s upside.
Projection – 12 FDP (1.7x value) – I think the Saints coaching staff is smart and will realize that the Packers are vulnerable to receiving backs leading to more opportunities for Kamara. I expect Ingram to have his workload cut back this week so I am okay with fading him here.
Adrian Peterson ($6,300) @ LA Rams
Pros – The Rams are terrible against the run allowing 139 yards per game, 4.8 YPC and 8 rushing TDs on the year. Paired with that is Peterson’s history against the Rams. In 4 career games against the Rams, he has rushed for 475 yards and 4 touchdowns averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Game history isn’t an amazing statistic to go by, but it’s information worth sharing.
Cons – We don’t know whether or not the Cardinals intend on giving Peterson this kind of workload going forward. I would expect him to get fewer carries which could end poorly for Peterson if the Rams focus on stopping the run.
Projection – 14 FDP (2.2x value) – This projection is actually lower than I wanted to go, but I don’t know if we can trust Peterson just yet. Regardless of trust, I think he’s a lock for 80 yards and a touchdown seeing as the Rams have given up 1.3 TDs on the ground per game and Peterson is the only real rushing threat the Cardinals have.
Alvin Kamara ($6,100) @ Green Bay
Pros – As I mentioned earlier, the Packers are really bad against receiving backs. They have given up 3 receiving touchdowns to backs on the year (tied for league worst) and Kamara could see around 6-7 targets. He only received 3 targets last week, but I don’t expect that to continue into this week. The game against the Lions was a shutout for a majority of the game and the Saints didn’t need to utilize Kamara’s skill set as much as they would in a closer game. This game is expected to be a one score game and I think that should translate into more touches for the rookie.
Cons – I could be wrong. Maybe the Saints want to use Ingram as their main back and sprinkle Kamara in occasionally which drastically limits his upside.
Projection – 13.5 FDP (2.2x value) – I think Kamara has a similar range of outcomes as Peterson. Kamara should be lower owned than Peterson, but Peterson should have more guaranteed touches. I’m fine with both in tournament lineups.
Duke Johnson Jr. ($5,500) vs Tennessee
Pros – Tennessee is terrible against receiving backs allowing 301 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns with 11.1 yards per reception. Johnson is averaging 10.3 yards per reception this year and is clearly one of the biggest receiving back threats any defense will face. Johnson averaged 7 targets per game with DeShone Kizer and just 4 with Kevin Hogan. Kizer obviously uses Johnson as his safety net and that could translate into big plays against a defense who struggles against receiving backs.
Cons – He is a bust if he doesn’t receive enough targets. The Browns don’t want to give him very many carries for some reason so he’s limited by play calling which makes for a risky play.
Projection – 12.5 FDP (2.3x value) – Johnson can hit this value without even scoring and that’s why I like him this week. He can hit this if he gets 6 receptions for 60 yards and 35 yards rushing. That’s very plausible and that’s if he doesn’t even score. Add a touchdown and he becomes a 3.3x value which is the equivalent to Le’Veon Bell scoring 31.7 points.
Other RBs to consider: CJ Anderson ($7,100) and Jordan Howard ($6,800)
That’s it for my week 7 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!