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

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. GB, $8,300

Elliott wasn’t able to get going last Sunday evening with only 35 rushing yards on 18 carries; this was his third lowest total rushing yards and second lowest yards per attempt in his career. The Saints gave up an average of 127 yards over the first three weeks and the league’s best rusher could not get anything going. Well, now he gets a Packers defense which has allowed over 140 rushing yards per game, the second most rushing yards as well as the third most DKFP to opposing running backs.

Projections

Rushing: 22 attempts
Receiving: 6 Targets; 6 Receptions
Total: 28 Touches


David Johnson, ARI at CIN, $7,500

Playing running backs against the Bengals might be an “auto-play” if Monday evening’s game was any indication of things to come for Cincinnati. Both running backs on the Steelers were able to score over 23 DKFP and now the Bengals get to face Johnson, who is averaging seven targets and 45.5 receiving yards per game. With Christian Kirk dealing with an injury, the Cardinals need to rely heavily on their best player in an absolute dream matchup against the second worst defensive line against the run, according to Pro Football Focus. Don’t be surprised if we also see Johnson line up as a wide receiver; he has recorded 18 snaps in the slot position over the last two weeks. Chase Edmonds ($3,700) is also a GPP tournament play seeing about 20% of the snaps.

Projections

Rushing: 15 attempts
Receiving: 8 Targets; 7 Receptions
Total: 22 Touches


Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. DEN. $6,700

Melvin Gordon ($7,000) will be mixed in this week, but we don’t know how much. What we do know is Ekeler has been one of the best running backs so far this season and gets a Broncos defense which just lost one of its best run defenders in LB Bradley Chubb (torn ACL). Ekeler’s price has decreased by $1,300 because of the uncertainty, so we should exploit that reduction (and his projected ownership). We just saw Leonard Fournette ($6,400) destroy the Broncos rush defense for 225 yards on 29 attempts. Ekeler should be a solid play even if Gordon sees 50% of the snaps.

Projections

Rushing: 15 attempts
Receiving: 6 Targets; 6 Receptions
Total: 21 Touches


VALUES

Joe Mixon, CIN at ARI, $6,100

Mixon has been a disappointment over the first quarter of the year, averaging just 11 rushing attempts and 3.75 targets per game. His targets aren’t too far off of his 2019 average at 3.9 per game, but the Bengals are calling passing plays 72.27% of the time, the second most in the league without Mixon being a focal point. With that being said, the Cardinals are equally as bad as the Bengals against the run, giving up the eighth most rushing attempts and yards over the last four games.

Projections

Rushing: 16 attempts
Receiving: 3 Targets; 3 Receptions
Total: 19 Touches


David Montgomery, CHI vs. OAK (London), $5,200

We’re all waiting for the rookie’s breakout game and it could come overseas in London against a Raiders defense which is giving up the 10th most attempts to opposing running backs this season. Montgomery saw his highest snap count (69%) and total touches (24) last week; all he needs is to convert against a team that just lost one of their starting middle linebackers to suspension and a defense and which ranks 25th in overall against the run.

Projections

Rushing: 15 Attempts
Receiving: 4 Targets; 3 Receptions
Total: 18 Touches


Tarik Cohen, CHI vs. OAK (London), $4,800

In the two games Chase Daniel ($4,800) started last season, Cohen averaged 11 targets, 9.5 receptions and 100 yards receiving. I wouldn’t advise playing both Cohen and Montgomery in the same lineup since they have a negative success correlation score, per FantasyLabs.com, but attacking this Raiders defense, which will be without LB Vontaze Burfict and potentially Clellin Ferrell, who hasn’t practiced during the beginning of the week, could be a solid play in Week 5.

Projections

Rushing: 6 Attempts
Receiving: 8 Targets; 6 Reception
Total: 12 Touches


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