Fantasy Football: Week 14 Running Back Touch, Target Projections

STUDS

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at CLE, $9,300 – Three weeks in a row seems excessive, but I’ll never get tired of playing CMC every week and be rewarded. If you want his numbers over the last month, go back and read my articles from Week 12 and 13 article, so for the sake of repetitiveness, I’ll speak to his matchup against Cleveland. The Browns run defense has been inefficient from Week 3 against the Jets and since then, Cleveland has given up nine out of 10 100+ rush yards to opposing run offenses averaging 141.8 yards per game in that time span.

The Browns rank 26th per DVOA in rush defense and 25th in passing situations to running backs giving up an average of 52 yards per game; McCaffrey is averaging 74 yards receiving and nine targets over his last three games. He ranks inside the top 25 in targets over the season and should be in line for a lot of work as Carolina is only favored by one on the road.

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




Alvin Kamara, NO at TB, $8,100 – It’s been an up-and-down season so far for Kamara by our high expectations for him. In 2017, from Week 6 to Week 13, Kamara averaged 24 DKFP and finished the season as the third overall running back via points. From Week 5 this season (when Ingram was activated), Kamara has averaged 19 fantasy points and just 18 touches per game.

He is still in the top-5 running backs (via fantasy points) so far this season and gets a great matchup against the Bucs, who gave up 34 DKFP to McCaffrey last week, are 30th in rush DVOA, and have given up the third most touchdowns to opposing running backs (18).

Projections:
Rushing: 13 Attempts
Receiving: 7 Targets; 7 Receptions
Total: 20 Touches




James White, NE at MIA, $6,600 – James White led all New England receivers/running backs in receptions again last week, making it the 10th time this season. White does see a 10 percent decrease in targets when Rex Burkhead ($3,400) is in, which is most likely correlated to White’s snap count also decreasing from 46 percent with Burkhead out to 19 percent with him active.

I’m rostering White like I’ve been treating him (and benefiting from) all season, as a wide receiver more than a running back. He’s seeing eight targets a game and gets a Miami defense that he demolished in Week 4 for 31.2 DKFP. Miami is 27th in DVOA to pass-catching running backs so far this season.

Projections:
Rushing: 5 Attempts
Receiving: 8 Targets; 7 Receptions
Total: 12 Touches




Adrian Peterson, WAS vs. NYG, $4,800 – The failed relationship in New Orleans and his stint with the Cardinals pales in comparison to what he’s been able to do in Washington, especially with an offensive line that’s encountered the most injuries of any other team at the position.

Washington is favored in this low-scoring game, which means more work for Peterson who’s averaging 14 attempts per game and should see more work than Chris Thompson ($5,400) via implied game-script. Not only does Washington hold the second-ranked power run success per footballoutsides.com, but faces a Giants defense who’s given up 132 rush yards over the last three games.

Projections:
Rushing: 18 Attempts
Receiving: 2 Targets; 1 Receptions
Total: 19 Touches




VALUES

Kenyan Drake, MIA vs. NE, $4,500 – It seems like Drake makes my column more than he should, he’s one of the more frustrating running backs not due to lack of talent, but because Adam Gase refuses to feature one back. Frank Gore ($3,300) is still averaging 42 percent of the snaps and is RB26 by rushing yards per game while Drake is RB43 in the same metric. Although Gore might be the value and provide a safe floor, Drake has the upside and GPP appeal seeing 4.9 targets per game and faces a Patriots defense that has had trouble with speed and dynamic backs this season (16 DKFP to Nyheim Hines ($4,200) in Week 5 and 22 DKFP to Tarik Cohen ($6,400) in Week 7).

The Fins should be playing from behind as 7.5 point home dogs, but we’ve seen Miami do well against the Patriots this time of year, which could mean it’s a Frank Gore game. If you’re playing GPPs, go with Drake.

Projections:
Rushing: 11 Attempts
Receiving: 6 Targets; 4 Receptions
Total: 15 Touches




Gus Edwards, BAL at KC, $4,500 – Gus ‘The Bus’ Edwards gets another plus matchup against the Chiefs, a team that is giving up over 100-yards per game this season to opposing running backs. Gus has seen ZERO targets and red-zone opportunities over his last three games as the starter, which caps his upside.

All of this being said, you can pencil ‘The Bus’ for close to 18 to 20 attempts and 80 yards per game as long as the Ravens stay the most run-heavy team in the NFL running the ball 65 percent of the time. Also, there’s only ONE Bus: Jerome Bettis. Don’t at me.

Projections:
Rushing: 20 Attempts
Receiving: 1 Targets; 0 Receptions
Total: 20 Touches


LeGarrette Blount, DET at ARI, $3,900 – Blount is always overlooked at the beginning of the year, but always becomes valuable not only to the NFL teams he’s been on, but also to our lineups averaging 14.8 DraftKings fantasy points on 17.5 attempts while only seeing 45.9% of the snaps.

Kerryon should still be sidelined for this contest so Blount gets another go at early-down work against an Arizona run defense who ranks 21st in rush DVOA and is allowing 27.5 attempts per game, the most of any team all season.

Projections:
Rushing: 15 Attempts
Receiving: 1 Targets; 1 Receptions
Total: 16 Touches




Jaylen Samuels, PIT at OAK, $3,700 – Another stud running back down this week and yet another sub-$4,000 chalk play. This week, Samuels is projected to be the highest-owned amongst all running backs and faces a Raiders team that just faced Spencer Ware ($5,200), who garnered 61% ownership last week. There are a lot of mixed messages coming from the Steelers camp, that it’s going to be a committee backfield this weekend, but Samuels should see the lion’s share of touches.

Stephen Ridley ($3,300) is reportedly serving as the 1B, but this should render itself obsolete as the game goes on. The Steelers running backs get a Raiders run defense who ranks 31st in rush DVOA and has given up seven straight games over 100-yards rushing, two of which were 200-plus yards to opposing running backs. In this span, they are giving up the second most attempts per game (25) to opposing running backs. He’s a cash game lock, but he might be a pivot in GPPs when his ownership skyrockets to the moon.


Projections:
Rushing: 13 Attempts
Receiving: 5 Targets; 4 Receptions
Total: 17 Touches




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