Cardinals Ravens Football

Throughout the season, we’ll trek through the trenches and project which tailbacks will get the touches and targets in their matchups necessary for us to succeed. Enough postulating and postering (and enough alliterations), let’s get to it.

STUDS

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at HOU, $8,800

Set it and forget it. McCaffrey is the highest priced player on the main slate, and we should be OK with it. He’s the only non-quarterback getting 100% of the team’s snaps, and he’s averaging more than 150 total yards from scrimmage. He’s production is elite, and he is the red zone back, ranking fifth in attempts so far this season. He gets a Houston defense that’s given up the fourth most targets and second most receptions to opposing running backs. McCaffrey in a dome could be dangerous.

Projections:

Rushing: 19 attempts
Receiving: 9 Targets; 8 Receptions
Total: 27 Touches

Mark Ingram, BAL vs. CLE, $6,600

Over the past three weeks, Ingram is seeing the fifth highest rate of eight-plus defenders in the box but has the second highest yards after contact per attempt (4.3). He’s seen only 60% of the snaps on average this season but shouldn’t concede too much to Justice Hill ($3,500) or Gus Edwards ($3,600), who saw only a combined eight attempts last week in a plus matchup against the Chiefs. Ingram gets a Cleveland defense that doesn’t give up a ton of fantasy production to opposing running backs, so I don’t see him having a repeat of last week, but the Browns have given up the 11th most rushing plays by percentage so far this season and Ingram could finish as a solid RB2.

Projections:

Rushing: 16 attempts
Receiving: 2 Targets; 1 Receptions
Total: 17 Touches

Marlon Mack, IND vs. OAK, $6,100

Mack has silenced the doubters and rewarded the supporters with the fifth most total carries and third most rushing yards per game and gets an Oakland rush defense that just allowed Dalvin Cook ($8,300) to rush for 110 yards on 16 carries. Mack has seen 70% or more of the team’s snaps in two straight weeks and has averaged 21 total attempts over the past two weeks. The Raiders have given up fifth most attempts and ninth most receptions to opposing backfields.

Projections:

Rushing: 18 attempts
Receiving: 2 Targets; 2 Receptions
Total: 20 Touches


VALUES

Wayne Gallman, NYG vs. WAS, $4,600

This might be the only week Gallman gets the backfield all to himself before the Giants bring in someone to add depth or split the running back duties until Saquon Barkely (ankle) returns from injury. Gallman won’t be a high-profile handcuff like Tony Pollard is to Ezekiel Elliot or Justice Hill is to Mark Ingram, but he’s a starting running back who saw 90% of the snaps when Barkley went down and has Elijhaa Penny ($4,300) as his back up.

Projections:

Rushing: 16 Attempts
Receiving: 3 Targets; 2 Receptions
Total: 18 Touches

Carlos Hyde, HOU vs., CAR, $4,300

Duke Johnson Jr.’s ($4,200) rushing attempts have gone down each game from nine in Week 1 to only two last week. Hyde has taken control of the rushing attempts, averaging 56.6% of the snaps over the past two weeks and has averaged 13 attempts so far this season. Carolina allowed a similar style of running back in Peyton Barber ($4,300) to rack up 24 total touches.

Projections:

Rushing: 17 Attempts
Receiving: 1 Targets; 0 Receptions
Total: 17 Touches

Justin Jackson, LAC at MIA, $4,100

Reports of Melvin Gordon reporting sooner than anticipated might mean the Jackson breakout we were hoping for might not happen. We still have this week, though, and his matchup against Miami is too good to pass up. He should be chalk, but Miami is the worst team in the NFL and can support multiple fantasy options on the opposing team. Jackson ranks first in yards after contact per attempt (4.78) and is the third hardest to bring down after first contact, being tackled only 53% of the time when hit.

Projections:

Rushing: 10 Attempts
Receiving: 3 Targets; 2 Receptions
Total: 12 Touches


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on.  Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.