The Chalkboard Week 8 – Running Back

Hey LineupLogic listeners! I would like to welcome you to The Chalkboard. In these articles, I will try to determine which players you should use in Fanduel tournaments. I will do this by analyzing match-ups of some chalky, mid-owned and low-owned players. I will also be mentioning which players you should consider fading and why. Fading a chalky player and instead selecting a lower owned player who performs well will give you an automatic edge against other competitors in that tournament. Hopefully, some of my information can help you take down a tournament and walk away with some serious cash.

Guide to each sub-category
Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total: Current implied game and team totals according to
Fun Fact: Interesting fact(s) about player, defense or match-up history.
Def Rank vs Position: Defensive rank for yards per game, yards per carry and touchdowns allowed to running backs.
Final Grade/Rank: Grade will be on a scale from 0-30. Grade is based on point per dollar value. For example, 13/30 would be 1.3x value, 20/30 would be 2x value, 27/30 would be 2.7x value and so on.

I know that I keep switching formats of my articles, but I think I finally found a style that I like. This will be the format of my articles for the rest of the season. That said, let’s get into the breakdown!


The Chalkboard – Running Back


CHALK (owned at 15% or higher)

 De’Vonta Freeman ($8,000) @ New York Jets

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 46/Falcons – 25

Fun Fact – Freeman has averaged 6.7 yards per carry over his last two contests. However, he has only carried the ball 21 times over those two contests.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 126.6 (28th)  YPC: 4.3 (21st)  Touchdowns: 5 (tied for 19th)

Grade – 25/30 (2.5x value/20 FDP) – The Falcons have lost their past two games and Freeman has only carried the ball an average of 10.5 times over those contests. I strongly believe that they will recognize that trend and go back to what was winning them games, giving Freeman around 20 carries. His carry count should stabilize in this game, once again making him an elite fantasy running back.

Melvin Gordon ($7,900) @ New England

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 48/Chargers – 20.25

Fun Fact – Gordon has only scored under 13.9 FDP twice this season. Those performances were against the 1st and 2nd ranked rushing defenses.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 116.4 (22nd)  YPC: 4.8 (29th)  Touchdowns: 4 (tied for 10th)

Grade – 29/30 (2.9x value/23 fantasy points) – Gordon had an awful performance last week. Take into account that the Broncos haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown on the year. This week he should find more running room against a Patriots defense who has struggled all year.

Medium Ownership (Owned between 5% and 15%)


Jordan Howard ($6,900) @ New Orleans

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 47.5/Bears – 19.25

Fun Fact – Only one running back has carried over 20 times against the Saints this season. That was Dalvin Cook who had 22 carries for 127 yards.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 114.2 (20th)  YPC: 4.9 (30th)  Touchdowns: 4 (10th)

Grade – 26/30 (2.6x value/18 FDP) – Aaron Jones went off against the Saints last week for 131 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Howard will most likely get around 25 carries because they want to limit Trubisky’s potential to screw up. He has a good shot of eclipsing 100 yards and I don’t think a touchdown would be out of the question. They will need Howard on top of his game if they want to keep this game competitive.

Christian McCaffrey ($6,300) @ Tampa Bay

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 44.5/Panthers – 21.25

Fun Fact – The Bucs have allowed 2 rushing touchdowns in each of their last two games.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 113.7 (tied for 17th)  YPC: 4.0 (tied for 14th)  Touchdowns: 6 (tied for 25th)

Grade – 29/30 (2.9x value/18.5 FDP) – To be honest, this is mainly to attack Tampa Bay’s receiving defense. We know that McCaffrey is the leading receiver on the Panthers and we also know that Tampa is very bad against the pass. People won’t play him because the Bucs are decent against the run, but they forget to use him to attack the passing defense. I think McCaffrey could be a sneaky good play here with 2 TD upside.

Pivots/Sleepers (Owned below 5%)


Joe Mixon ($5,900) vs Indianapolis

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 41.5/Bengals – 26

Fun Fact – Mixon averaged 6.8 yards per carry in the first half of last week’s game. They didn’t hand him the ball in the second half which Mixon has vented his frustration about.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 124.7 (26th)  YPC: 4.3 (20th)  Touchdowns: 10 (Last)

Grade – 25/30 (2.5x value/15 FDP) – Mixon was solid in the first half last week against the Steelers. He was running better than he had all season and then they stopped giving him touches. They should listen to his frustration and give him the ball more this week making him a solid option against the Colts who are allowing the most rushing touchdowns on the year.

Ameer Abdullah ($6,000) vs Pittsburg

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 45/Lions – 21

Fun Fact – Two running backs have carried the ball 20 or more times against Pittsburg. Those backs have both averaged 6 or more yards per carry and both had 2 touchdowns.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 111.7 (15th)  YPC: 4.7 (27th)  Touchdowns: 6 (tied for 25th)

Grade – 23/30 (2.3x value/14 FDP) – I just don’t know how many carries Abdullah will get. The game should be close and I think the Lions will be focused on keeping Stafford from getting re-injured and lean on Abdullah to put forth a solid offensive effort. After all, if you can exploit the Steelers defense in one area, it’s the running game.

Consider Fading

Ezekiel Elliot ($9,000) @ Washington

Implied Game Total/Implied Team Total – Total – 50.5/Dallas – 26.25

Fun Fact – Washington has only allowed a rushing TD in 2 of 6 games this year.

Def Rank vs Position – Yards per game: 94.5 (9th)  YPC: 4.0 (14th)  Touchdowns: 4 (tied for 10th)

Why consider fading? – Washington has been very good against the run this year and I could see him going for 20 points, but I think there are better options for the price. There are a lot of high priced players at other positions you may want to get, so you will need to pick and choose who to fade. I think you should consider Zeke as one option to fade this weekend.

Grade – 22/100 (2.2x value/20 FDP)

That’s it for my week 8 Running Back breakdown. Be sure to check out my QB, WR and TE 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!

QB article – The Chalkboard Week 8 – Quarterback

WR article – The Chalkboard Week 8 – Wide Receiver

TE article – coming soon

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