The running back position is not going to be a pretty one here during Wild Card Weekend. We have more players in bad matchups compared to good ones, so it’s going to be a bit tough to try and differentiate ourselves from the rest of the field. Let’s take a look at some of the running backs playing this weekend.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
Cream of the Crop
UPDATE: Marshawn Lynch is OUT for Wild Card Weekend. Bryce Brown should be the featured back in the Seahawks match up against the Vikings
REPLACEMENT: Christine Michael ($4400 vs. MIN)
REPLACEMENT: Bryce Brown ($3500 vs. MIN)
Marshawn Lynch ($6,500)- The news isn’t official just yet, but word around the league is that Marshawn Lynch will be active for this playoff matchup against the Vikings. If he is indeed, then this is a huge boost for the Seahawks and a play that I expect to be heavily owned. At just $6500, Lynch has the potential to see 20+ carries in this one, especially if the Seahawks get up in this one, which is what Vegas expected with a line of -6 for the Seahawks. Going off the production Lynch had earlier this season doesn’t really tell the whole story, as the injured Lynch was only averaging 13.8 carries per game. In his six seasons with the Seahawks, Lynch is averaging 17.8 per game, which is certainly quite the difference. With his potential return, Lynch is in one of the best spots to make an impact and rack up some garbage time carries as well. Getting Lynch at this price won’t happen often, so feast while the opportunity is here.
Eddie Lacy ($4,500)- Do I like Lacy, or do I not like Lacy? Personally, I think the Packers could be playing from behind in this one, which would take a hit on the value Lacy brings. On the flip side, Lacy is in a plus matchup against a Redskins defense that allowed 4.8 YPC and 122 rushing yards per game this season. Even in the Cardinals game a few weeks ago that saw the Packers get blown out 38-8, Lacy was able to score 15.8 points on 12 carries for 60 yards and two catches for 28 yards with a touchdown. In a week with some slim picking at this position, Lacy finds his way near the top.
Middle of the Pack
UPDATE: DeAngelo Williams is OUT for Wild Card Weekend. Fitzgerald Toussaint should be see the majority of carries in his place against the Bengals and makes for a strong value play.
REPLACEMENT: Fitzgerald Toussaint ($3900 vs. CIN)
DeAngelo Williams ($7,000)- Obviously this is contingent on his health and if he even plays. Williams is dealing with a foot injury and not an ankle sprain which was originally stated. The perception at this point is that he will indeed miss this start, which would allow Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman as their running backs. If Williams does get cleared, he does have a decent matchup ahead of him. In the two prior matchups this season, Williams gained 130 on 32 carries, which breaks down to just over 4 YPC. Williams has been a huge part of this Steelers offense, averaging 4.5 YPC this season with 11 touchdowns. It would be a huge blow to the Steelers to be without him, but would bring a huge bump to the passing game.
Pierre Thomas ($3,400) – It’s been tough to weed out the mess that is the Redskins. Quite honestly, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable rostering any of them at this point. The only intriguing aspect about Pierre Thomas (besides his price point) is how he was targeted late in this season against the Eagles. In that game, Thomas caught 7/8 targets for 67 yards. It’s hard to predict if Thomas will even sniff that type of production in the playoffs, but it could be worth the price of admission if you’re looking to punt a RB spot.
Rest of the Field
Jeremy Hill ($5,000)- As I stated earlier, this is not a really good weekend for running backs. Hill doesn’t have a good matchup this week either, going up against a tough Pittsburgh defense against the run. On the season, the Steelers only allowed 91.2 rushing yards per game, which ranked as one of the best in the league. In the two games these two faced off, Hill rushed for a total of 76 yards on 22 carries, which breaks down to 3.4 YPC. This isn’t a matchup I’m looking to target, but Hill at $5,000 doesn’t really hurt your salary cap too much, where as so many people will be paying up at the wide receiver position.
Adrian Peterson ($7,300)- No, no, no, no and no. I want absolutely NOTHING to do with Peterson this week going up against the Seahawks. As if the 81.5 rushing yards per game allowed by the Seahawks wasn’t enough, Peterson had his second lowest scoring game of the season against these Seahawks. In that game, Peterson was only able to muster 18 yards on eight carries. He “saved” his day with catching 4/4 targets for six yards. Truly, thank goodness DraftKings is a full PPR site. It should be noted that the four targets were a season high for Peterson, so they COULD potentially utilize their most talented player in that aspect, but it’s not worth finding out for a price of $7,300. No way, no how.