Week 1 Daily Fantasy Football Running Back Strategy

The Thursday game only really took Ray Rice off the table for running back options this weekend, and I must admit – there are several strategies that could work this weekend at the RB position.

High Priced Options

Adrian Peterson – at Detroit $17,750

Doesn’t get any more expensive than AP this week. He goes against a Lions team that has struggled to keep points off the board, but the Lions can also fill up a score board themselves. The downside of having Peterson this week is that #1 he’s really expensive (over $1,000 dollars more than the second back) and #2 – if the Lions put up a bunch of points early on the Vikings, it could get Minnesota in pass-mode … limiting AP’s carries.

Doug Martin – at NY Jets $16,300

Unless the Buccaneers completely fall on their face this week – they should be up a few scores going into the 4th quarter against the Jets. That should leave some running situations for Martin even late into this game. Geno Smith is probably going to have a turnover or two, so that should give the Bucs some short field to pound the ball in with Martin at least once. The price tag is high, but Martin is a solid play this week.

Jamaal Charles – at Jacsonville $15,450

The Chiefs passing game wasn’t blowing the doors off teams in the preseason, so I would expect Jacksonville (and other teams) to ‘stack the box’ and force Alex Smith to throw. Andy Reid likes the dink n’ dunk type offense, but the Chiefs just don’t have the ability to pull that off. I think Charles will have a solid game, but he’s going to fight for every yard despite a weak opponent.

Trent Richardson – vrs Miami $14,400

If there is one ‘expensive’ back I’m in love with this week – it’s Richardson. Miami is no cupcake, but they are inconsistent (so are the Browns). I don’t see either team pulling away by more than 2 scores in this game, leaving plenty of opportunities for Richardson to run wild. In an league where ‘split carries’ are the norm – very few people can name the backup running back on the Browns – so Richardson will be getting a fuller load than almost any back in the league.

Mid-Priced Options

Alfred Morris – vrs Philadelphia $12,300

About 10 running backs rank over Morris this week, but with RGIII expected to return, I expect Washington to rely hevily on the run this week. While the Redskins have other options, Morris was a consistent scorer of touchdowns last season. Unlike other backs that are ranking ahead of him, Morris isn’t replaced on the goal line. Additionally, the Eagles are expected to run an ‘up-tempo’ offense, potentially giving the Redskins more possessions to score as well.

Frank Gore – vrs Green Bay $11,350

The Niners are a running team, and Frank Gore is still the back getting the job done for them. While he might not have the explosiveness of (almost all) the players priced ahead of him – he is a very steady performer … who you know will get his touches during the game. If you’re in a ‘double-or-nothing’ type game, going with a consistent performer like Gore can be a positive EV move because he’d have to get hurt to put up a goose-egg.

David Wilson – at Dallas $11,200

I bet Wilson will be in tons of daily fantasy lineups this week – so the value might not be that great unless he really goes off against Dallas. He has tons of upside – but I just feel most daily fantasy players are going to realize it …. and like the idea of saving a few bucks. I will be starting Wilson in a few leagues this weekend – but I’m going to leave him off my roster in a few games, just in case everyone gets stuck picking Wilson this week and he has a bad game.

Low Priced Options

BenJarvus Green-Ellis – at Chicago $8,800

What does concern me a bit about the Bengals Preseason action was the Giovani Bernard (who is priced higher than Ellis this week) got all the goal line carries. However, one fumble, one miss-block, or one small mistake and Gio will be riding the bench … because the Bengals actually have at least one other RB that might see field time this weekend. The Bengals coach and owner really like Green-Ellis … and he does have the potential for 80 yards and a TD … and at this price it might be worth saving a bit here and going top tier at WR and QB.

Isaac Redman – vrs Tennessee $4,250

Another pick that probably will be in more lineups than many will think this weekend. Heck, you are only paying a fraction of what other picks costs – and it’s almost certain he will be the starter this weekend. While the Steelers aren’t the ground-n-pound team they once were, it’s not like they have tons of weapons on the outside to throw to. I expect other backs to be mixed in – but with some injuries (and cutting Dwyer) Redman looks he’s the guy this week for the Steelers. Like David Wilson, I’ll hedge my bet with Redman, but for the price, I can’t see how you don’t start him in at least one league this weekend.

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Date: September 8, 2013
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Quick Picks: Richardson, Morris, Redman

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