Earlier this week I broke down some of the top quarterback options for Week One on DraftKings so it’s time to pivot over to the running backs. Smash mouth running backs with heavy workloads aren’t nearly as prevalent in the present day NFL, which is why I like the DraftKings scoring system so much. It favors pass catching backs with the full point per reception bonus. With that in mind, here’s who to look at for NFL Week One:
Jamaal Charles vs. TEN ($9000) – It seems obvious to target the most expensive running back but this one comes down to matchup more than anything. The Titans are expected to have one of the worst rush defenses in all of football and are coming off a season where they allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing rushers. They did very little to improve on that in the off-season, but what’s even worse for Tennessee against Charles is their struggles against pass catching backs. Opposing RBs averaged 6.25 receptions per game vs. TEN a season ago for 56.25 yards per contest. Going back to the point from the intro about DK’s scoring, Charles should be in a terrific spot here.
Shane Vereen vs. MIA ($6100) – We’ll continue the theme of targeting backs with big upside in the passing game by going with an RB who is really only used in the Patriots passing game. Vereen lead all running backs in targets per game last season and is used consistently in the red zone, especially with Rob Gronkowski ailing. Vereen saw double digit targets in four of his eight games played last season and had less than five targets on only one occasion. He also looked terrific in the Patriots most meaningful preseason game vs. CAR, hauling in a 40 yard touchdown reception with the first team offense.
Joique Bell vs. NYG ($5500) – Full discretion, I also really like Reggie Bush against the Giants and could have gone either way with this pick. I lean towards Bell because of the price tag, as he’s a great value at $5500. Bell is coming off a terrific season where he had 650 rushing yards to go along with 550 receiving yards. He’s a tremendous pass-catcher in an offense where new OC Joe Lombardi has already stated Bell will see more snaps each game to keep Bush fresh. The Giants defense is another one who struggled with RBs in the passing game last year as well. The G-men allowed an average of 6.19 receptions per game to opposing RBs for over 50 receiving yards.
Super Value: Carlos Hyde vs. DAL ($3900) – If you want to take a risk in a big tournament, I think Hyde could see a decent number of touches in this game. The 49ers know that Frank Gore can’t continue to carry the heavy workload he once did at the age of 31 and that means they need to spell him more often with Hyde. Hyde performed well in the preseason and the Cowboys have a defense that can give up big plays in a hurry. He’s dirt cheap and might have that big play upside that you’re looking for in a large field tournament during Week One on DraftKings.
That does it for the running back picks for NFL Week One on DraftKings. I’ll be bringing you some receivers and tight ends to target later in the week and as always, remember to head over to DraftKings and start filling out your rosters ASAP to get into their $5 Million Guaranteed NFL Kickoff Bash!